Today, at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, which starts today in Las Vegas, Columbia, MD-based threat intelligence gateway vendor Bandura Cyber, is launching its first global channel partner program, as the company looks to recruit quality partners to scale up their go-to-market motion.
Bandura Cyber is a startup, which went through its Series A round last year, but the company doesn’t think of itself that way.
“We have more than two hundred customers and revenue that is in seven figures, so we don’t really consider ourselves to be a startup,” said Ian Dix, Chief Revenue Officer at Bandura Cyber. “The product is well accepted. That’s one of the reasons we are so excited about the channel. This is not the kind of detailed technology that you need to explain to a customer. They get it. Over 85 per cent of customers at trial buy the box.”
The primary function of the Bandura Threat Intelligence Gateway is to block large numbers of known threats and in so doing, free up firewall resources.
“The solution was conceived in 2013, when the U.S. Army came to us and said that the volume of known threats their firewalls faced was to massive that they could not block them all,” Dix said. “They weren’t built to handle that kind of volume. They wanted something to take the load off the firewall. We have 50 patents around this. What we do is take the threat feeds available, either commercially , provided by government, or vertical-created threat feeds, and ingest them. We have also partnered with Webroot and Symantec, and are about to announce a third partner here. Our box will score the IP address, according to how much tolerance the customer has set. The most used score is 90 per cent. We block anything that reaches that score.
“We don’t replace a firewall or deep packet inspection,” Dix added. “Our function is to take most of the load off. Things like proxy servers would be found later. We are the intersection between network security and threat intelligence. We are additive to the network function of taking the load off the firewall, and reducing the false alarms that techs routinely have to chase.”
“A challenge is that firewalls don’t play nicely with third party systems,” said Todd Weller, Bandura Cyber’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Our gateway operationalizes threat intelligence to take action with them. It also brings threat intelligence to the edge, whereas it is most typically at the SIEM layer.”
“We started in the SMB space, with customers like medium sized banks with 20-50 locations,” Dix said. “Many of our customers aren’t large enough to have a sophisticated threat intelligence platform. It’s why we have done well with these regional banks. What surprised us is how fast we have got to the logo accounts. We were originally focused on SMBs, but have been pulled to the high end of the market.
“We are now having conversations with large enterprises and telcos,” Weller noted.
“Most of our sales to date have been direct,” Dix indicated. “However, Todd said we would get our scale through channel, and we have been working on putting together a program that incents the channel in a meaningful way. We created a platform to register deals, and provide access to marketing information. We took our time even through we have both been here almost a year. We see the channel ultimately as the way in which we will go to market, and are transitioning to being a channel-forward organization. What we are looking for is not only large VARs – we are already on the radar of some and are pursuing more – but regional MSSPs are a sweet spot. We have a bifurcated strategy of large VARs who can get scale, backed by regional MSSPs.” They don’t have any partners in Canada today, but are actively pursuing some.
Bandura Cyber is somewhat choosy about who they accept as a partner.
“Quality is important,” Dix said. “We want productive partners. We are getting pulled in in a lot of cases. Optiv is hard for small companies to get on the radar with, but our initial relationship with them was driven by a customer. We have had some interest by distributors as well. We want to be flexible and cater to different tiers.”
The program itself starts with a single tier, with the expectation that it will scale as Bandura gets more sophisticated. It provides traditional table stakes like an established margin structure, support, and deal registration.
“Everything is automated, but we think that the real attraction is that it is an easy product to sell if you get in front of the right people,” Dix said. “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and I’ve never seen this kind of product before. We are a unique solution at a friendly price that is easy to explain – and we want to exploit that.”
That’s why Bandura Cyber is at the Channel Partners event this week, at Booth 876, to bring this message to the channel
“We are at Channel Partners to declare the next generation of security technology, of which we are a leader,” Dix said. “Threat Intelligence gateways have been identified by Gartner as an emerging category, and we have a unique solution in it. It is easy to explain, easy to sell and adds real value to a security stack. It takes load off the firewall and provides a very sophisticated Threat Intelligence product that can ingest and output a lot. We think it will appeal to those companies that sell security who are looking for a solution that doesn’t require a deep knowledge of security as much as a desire for a solution to take the load off the firewall, and which doesn’t compete with anything they are selling now.”