Aruba emphasizes security messaging with new Aruba 360 Secure Fabric

Aruba integrates the technology from its Niara acquisition with an expanded ClearPass, to focus on the resulting capability as a fabric and provide differentiation in the wireless networking market.

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has announced the Aruba 360 Secure Fabric, their first security fabric. It incorporates the technology from the acquisition of Niara earlier this year, with the Niara tech being rebranded as IntroSpect Advanced. A less expensive version of IntroSpect, IntroSpect Standard has also been launched, which is focused on detection compared to the Advanced version’s incident investigation as well as detection. Aruba ClearPass, which existed before the Niara acquisition, has been integrated with IntroSpect, and expanded in its capabilities. Finally, Aruba is spotlighting Aruba Secure Core, another legacy piece which was there previously, as a key part of the fabric.

“The acquisition of Niara and its analytics capabilities allow us to position our security as a fabric,” said Larry Lunetta, VP fo Security Solutions Marketing at Aruba, who had been the VP of Marketing at Niara before the acquisition. “This is the first time we have emphasized a fabric. Niara is the centre point here, but it is not the whole story. Combined with Aruba’s legacy security technology, it lets us leverage a unique position at the conjunction of connectivity, analytics and control. We can also deliver closed loop protection everywhere, from the core to the edge to the cloud – and for every network, not just Aruba.”

Lunetta highlighted three key aspects of the announcement, which together make up the Aruba 360 Secure Fabric.

“First, Niara has now been branded as IntroSpect,” he said. “Classified in the UEBA [User and Entity Behavioral Analytics] category by Gartner, its technology uses machine learning to look for changes in behavior. It runs on a big data platform, and can gather large amounts of forensics information for decision-making. It also provides a lot of differentiation compared to other UEBA players, in visibility, its library of machine learning models, and its open integrated platform.”

The old Niara product becomes Aruba IntroSpect Advanced. Aruba is also introducing a second IntroSpect product,  Aruba IntroSpect Standard. Designed as an easy way for organizations to start using  UEBA machine learning security, it can have as few as three data sources.

“With IntroSpect standard, we can use a smaller number of sources than IntroSpect Advanced to deliver value in terms of attack detection,” Lunetta said. “The use cases are similar. However, Standard is focused on attack detection, while Advanced is both detection and incident investigation. Standard is priced at 60 per cent of advanced.” Upgrading from Standard to Advanced is an easy process.

“The second is an expanded mission for Aruba ClearPass,” Lunetta said. ClearPass is a network access control and policy management security solution, which profiles BYOD and IoT users and devices. It ingests common data sources including Microsoft Active Directory, Aruba monitoring [AMON] logs from Aruba infrastructure, and firewall logs from third-party sources like Checkpoint and Palo Alto Networks.

“ClearPass has been at the front end of the process, doing discovery profiling and authorizing access,” Lunetta said. “We have done a lot of integration between ClearPass and IntroSpect. Now, with an integrated set of attack detection capabilities, we are expanding its mission to adaptive attack response. Using ClearPass’s position as a gatekeeper and policy manager makes it s strong active participant in attack response.”

ClearPass also works with third party vendors, facilitating the openness of the Aruba Fabric.

“We have over 120 technology partners like Palo Alto and CheckPoint, who can perform the same security function as IntroSpect,” Lunetta said. “We have an open, multi-vendor strategy, and because of this, the Fabric will run wonderfully on Cisco, or Juniper or any network.”

The third element of the Fabric is another legacy Aruba feature, Secure Core.  It comprises the basic security capabilities embedded in the foundation across all of Aruba’s Wi-Fi access points, wireless controllers and switches.

“With Secure Core, we are now putting a spotlight on what has been there for a long time,” Lunetta said. “We haven’t messaged around this much in the past. As part of the Fabric, it now has a much more secure set of connectivity.”

While Aruba is popular in many parts of the channel for its applicability in the SMB space, the 360 Core Fabric is targeted mainly at larger companies, although some smaller ones like hedge funds and law firms with high-value assets will also be interested.

“This is aimed at customers in a wide range of verticals, like financial services, government, retail, health care, energy, and technology,” Lunetta said. “Most of the customers will be in the enterprise. We think that two or three years out, most of the Fortune 2000 will have this technology.”

Aruba IntroSpect Standard and Advanced are generally available now in North America. Global general availability is planned for 2018.