Cloud security platform provider Lacework looking for partners at Google Cloud Next

Lacework has a unified multi-cloud security solution that offers customers multiple types of protection in the cloud, and has begun building out a channel of focused security specialists who want a compelling message for customers transitioning to the cloud world.

Sanjay Kalra, Lacework’s co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer

This week, at Google Cloud Next, which starts today in San Francisco, cloud security platform provider Lacework is on hand to take its message of holistic, cloud-agnostic security to the market. That includes an appeal to prospective partners with the right skill set, as Lacework builds out a select channel.

Founded in 2014, Lacework is a SaaS platform that provides a comprehensive cloud security solution, with automated threat defense, intrusion detection, and compliance for multicloud workloads and containers. The objective is to allow customers to be able to build cloud services quickly, and safely.

“When I was at Juniper Networks as Senior Director of Security Product Management, we focused on how to improve security and we looked at the cloud,” said Sanjay Kalra, Lacework’s co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer. “What we have done here is focus on building a cloud security solution that is built using cloud characteristics – Big Data, automation, elasticity. That has resulted in a unique rule-based cloud security solution with incredible speed and scale.”

Initially, Lacework focused on providing workload security and container security independent of cloud providers. They then added support for AWS, and have since added support for Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

“We moved away from thinking about just protecting machines and started thinking about broader protection for cloud applications and users, in a cloud-agnostic manner,” Kalra noted.

Kalra drew an analogy between cloud security and the Indian parable of an elephant in the room with five blind men.  The parable has each person feeling a different part of the elephant and drawing the wrong conclusion about what it is from that one part, such as the man who felt the leg believing it was a tree, and the one who felt the trunk thinking it was a snake.

“Cloud security is like this, with focus on specific things, so that they miss the elephant in the room,” Kalra said. “We have a unified solution, that provides layered security that brings everything together. We also treat it like a data problem, using the platform to collect data around compliance, detection, investigation and enforcement. If you have the right data, you can do all four.”

Their customers range from small cloud-native startups to bigger companies migrating to the cloud.

“In the regulated space, we don’t have any customers,” Kalra noted. “They are very slow to move to the cloud and we aren’t targeting them.”

Lacework competes against many companies – depending on the specific part of their platform.

“In the cloud native security space, we compete with companies like Palo Alto Networks and Check Point,” Kalra said. “In cloud workload protection, we compete against startups like Threat Stack. In container security, we compete against companies like Aqua.”

Kalra said that Lacework does, however, work well with the major security vendor stacks,

“We are complementary with those vendors,” he stated. “They are more focused on the endpoint. We are cloud security, and we don’t see a definition of endpoint any more in the cloud. That’s an old mentality.”

Lacework has strategic relationships with the three big hyperscale cloud providers, and a select number of technology partner integrations, with companies like PagerDuty and Slack.

Mark Thornberry, Lacework’s Director of Channel Sales

“We have had some interesting dialogues with alliance partners, including ones where we have a good sell-alongside model, as well as traditional resale,” said Mark Thornberry, Lacework’s Director of Channel Sales.

Thornberry joined the company in January, specifically to build out the Laceworks channel.

“I was at Cisco running a team on the channel side, and I had a lot of familiarity with the team,” he said. “Before I came, Lacework did have some partners signed, so it wasn’t completely  starting from scratch. However, they basically needed to ‘rinse and repeat’ – find more of the right partners and drive the right strategy.”

Most of their partners are security-focused, although there are some DMRs who have a large reach.

“We are looking for the right type of partners,” Thornberry said, “We are not looking to sign every single partner who is out there. We have a handful of sales people across the country, and we want to have select partners in those geos who can align with them, and can go hand-in-hand into the customers. The key requirement for a partner is that they have a security practice. We can help those partners help customers make the migration from traditional infrastructure to the cloud world, helping them craft that story. We can be a foundational partner for that.”

That’s one of the messages that Lacework will be conveying at Google Cloud Next, at Booth #1405.

“We will be emphasizing our holistic ability to provide detection, compliance and container protection, all built using the cloud,” Kalra stated.

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