Dell Teams Up With Cylance For Next-Generation Endpoint Security

After investing in the startup earlier this year, Dell revealed Tuesday that it has teamed up with Cylance in an exclusive partnership to integrate its next-generation endpoint security into the Dell Data Security solutions fold.

The partnership will mean Dell will begin to OEM the Cylance technology as well as include the capabilities as part of its Dell Data Protection|Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise. The Cylance technology does away with the signature-based technology used by traditional endpoint security vendors and instead uses mathematics and algorithms to pick up suspect behavior.

Dell Ventures was one of the companies that invested in Cylance earlier this year, when the Irvine, Calif.-based startup landed $42 million in Series C funding. The new partnership will be the exclusive PC manufacturer relationship for Cylance.

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The driving factor behind the partnership is that customers are demanding improved threat protection, after competitors such as McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky and Sophos are "just not cutting the bill anymore," said Brett Hansen, executive director of data security solutions at Round Rock, Texas-based Dell.

"We see such a need in the marketplace for improved protection," Hansen said. "I think most companies recognize this. ... They are seeing the threats penetrate and compromise their environments and they are concerned about what it is they aren't seeing."

Michael Crean, president of Woodbridge, Va.-based Solutions Granted, a Dell partner, said the addition of a solution like Cylance will help Dell step up its game around endpoint protection. Crean said he has been feeling a lot of competitive pressure from partners offering Sophos, especially since the company's launch of Security Heartbeat last week. The addition of Cylance will help "give us a leg up," he said.

"This product coming in will level that playing field," Crean said. "The timing couldn't be better."

For partners, Dell's Hansen said the partnership opens two new sales avenues. First, he said partners already selling Dell devices should start having more advanced conversations around the Dell security suite, comparing it to buying a car with airbags and a seat belt already installed. Second, he said partners can buy Cylance as a standalone solution.

Hansen said Dell evaluated dozens of companies for the partnership opportunity, looking for an on-the-box and cloud solution that had a high degree of detection accuracy and an effectiveness rate of about 90 percent. Cylance fit the bill, Hansen said, and the complementary partnership was a better alternative to building or buying the technology itself. Hansen said he expects other vendors will be "fast followers" but that he has a "great degree of confidence" that the Cylance-Dell combination will be a "game changer" in the security industry.

"The fact is that our end users, our customers, are suffering right now. We have a serious threat in the marketplace," Hansen said. "We think Cylance brings a new approach that is extremely effective and starts to get ahead of the problem."

For Cylance, the partnership will allow the startup to accelerate its advance into the market, CEO Stuart McClure said.

"We're excited because it gets us into a space that would normally take a lot longer to get into," McClure said. "With Dell we can accelerate that now and get that technology out and deliver on the mission to protect every computer in the world."

The Dell Data Protection|Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise offering will be available starting in early 2016, the company said.