CRN Exclusive: Solution Provider Sienna Group Teams Up With Interset For Threat Analytics

Solution provider Sienna Group has teamed up with behavior analytics vendor Interset to better detect and predict threats to sensitive, mission-critical data.

Tampa, Fla.-based Sienna Group said its cloud-based managed services offering -- the first such offering on the Interset platform -- will save customers money, provide greater expertise and allow for more flexibility as end- user environments change.

"It's impossible to get this needle in a haystack unless you use structured approaches," John Ford, founder and principal of the Sienna Group, told CRN.

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Interset customers can now tap into Sienna Group's threat analytics capabilities without the overhead cost associated with hosting infrastructure or having the requisite expertise on staff, according to Dan Quayle, CEO of Ottawa, Ontario-based Interset. Interset can help customers get ahead of a data exfiltration event by showing them with a high level of precision where the risks are, he said.

While Interset on its own is capable of finding and classifying data from both users and machines, Ford said combining it with Sienna Group's capabilities allows for insight into how people in specific professions normally interact with data to better determine the appropriateness of the situation at hand. Bad actors today tend to focus on data, Ford said, since items such as routers and firewalls have been commoditized.

By using a managed services model, end users can protect their data with Sienna Group's expertise and technology at a fraction of the cost it would take for them to hire and train the talent in-house, Ford said. The solution provider also can leverage its knowledge of the health-care, financial, government, retail and technology verticals to provide a more refined understanding of data risks, Ford said.

In addition, Sienna Group can leverage its scale as it adds customers to provide metadata on what health-care firms or government agencies should expect to see in terms of when and how data is accessed, Ford said. And, since the managed service operates in the cloud, the platform can adapt to business needs and maintain access to data regardless of how the client's business model changes going forward.

Even though Interset is far from the only vendor in the security threat analytics space, Quayle said his company differentiates itself through its use of big data architecture such as Hadoop. This provides Interset with the ability to process billions of events across several customers in real time, he said.

Although Sienna Group is the first managed service offered around the Interset platform, Quayle doubts it will be the last given the level of interest in security analytics.

"Partnerships are a very large part of what we're doing," Quayle said.

More than half of Interset's sales go through the channel, while the vendor often services Fortune 1000 companies directly, Quayle said; he anticipates that breakdown will remain the same even with Sienna Group on board.

Sienna Group is a 20-employee firm founded in 2011 and has between 50 and 60 customers ranging from large financial organizations and universities to small and midsize businesses, Ford said. The company anticipates that 80 percent of its customers will use its Interset managed service offerings within three years, Ford said.

"The interest has been extremely high," Ford said. "It really is an extension of what we provide our existing customers."

Enterprise organizations will benefit from the Sienna Group offering since the speed and complexity would be slowed down if they had to manage the threat detection platform internally, Ford said. And small and midsize businesses could house the same intellectual property as their enterprise counterparts and are subject to the same privacy standards such as HIPAA, he said.

The Interset managed services offering is initially being provided through a licensing model, although Ford said the company is considering other options such as a subscription model. Ford declined to discuss how much the offering would cost.

Sienna Group resells just two products, Ford said: Interset and Titus. Though the two work in a complementary fashion -- Titus classifies data, while Interset protects it -- Ford said customers do not have to deploy Titus before using Interset.