IoT Security Startup Armis Aims To Expand Channel Program With New Funding

IoT security startup Armis hopes that a new $17 million funding round will help it build out its channel program around its agentless IoT security platform.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-company, started in 2015, offers an agentless IoT security platform that lets enterprises see and control any device or network. Armis said its platform integrates with existing IT infrastructure and is easy to deploy.

"Our goal is to be 100 percent channel focused," CEO Yevgeny Dibrov told CRN. "Today, we're seeing a huge security blind spot in vertical market organization, and this is a huge opportunity for channel partners to bring their customers a lot of immediate value and frictionless deployment. Our channel approach will help us scale and bring our platform to a variety of verticals and larger customers."

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Dibrov said that in early deployments, Armis has seen that businesses are unaware of 40 percent of the devices in their environment – leaving those connected devices exposed to network breaches, ransomware, and botnet attacks.

"We started Armis because we've seen a huge blind spot in enterprises and organizations from different verticals, like health care and manufacturing, around IoT security," said Dibrov. "Organizations have limited visibility to connected devices – whether it’s a smart TV or a connected insulin pump – and those could be perfect targets for hackers."

Dibrov said that Armis' platform will "intimately" know every device, enabling enterprises to connect their devices in a way that doesn't put the company at risk. The platform gives enterprises complete visibility into which devices are in their environment and tracks their behavior – stopping devices from connecting to an inappropriate network or those that exhibit anomalous behavior, regardless of whether those devices are managed by IT or not.

"The product is geared toward large enterprises … it can map out and identify devices to analyze what it is doing and what it shouldn't be doing. If we see something like an IT camera or an insulin pump doing something it shouldn't, we can alert the customer so they can control the situation," said Nadir Izreal, CTO and co-founder of Armis.

Security vulnerabilities in IoT devices were underscored in October when a DDoS attack – which was launched through IoT devices including webcams, routers and video recorders – overwhelmed servers at Dynamic Network Services, taking down up to 1,200 websites.

"Working with Armis is a unique opportunity for channel partners for two reasons," Jon Jensen, VP of Sales at Red Sky Solutions, a Draper, Utah-based Armis partner told CRN in an email. "First, Armis understands the power of the channel and the value of partners like Red Sky Solutions. They get that we work with the customers who can benefit from Armis everyday. That kind of support and focus is important to a partner. Second, every company has unmanaged and IoT devices in their business. In fact, in a few short years, there will be more unmanaged devices that managed devices. The traditional methods won’t work. So this is a growing opportunity in terms of business and helping our customers."

Jensen said Red Sky Solutions' customers have varying degrees of maturity relating to information security and risk management - but IoT is deepening concerns about security across connected devices in the office.

"Working with Armis has been very positive," he said. "This is a partnership as we go to market together. Armis already has a growing customer base so they understand what we need to have to approach our customers, working side by side, and providing critical expertise on their solution when needed."

Armis, funded by Sequoia Capital, will demonstrate its product publicly for the first time at Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit next week.