Former Blue Coat CEO Launches Security Operations Center-As-A-Service Startup

Former Blue Coat Systems CEO Brian NeSmith is diving back into the security market with the Wednesday launch of Arctic Wolf Networks, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based security startup that offers a Security Operations Center-as-a-Service solution.

The AWN Cyber-SOC brings together human intelligence and technology into a single as-a-service solution, with SIEM technology and a team of security experts dedicated to each customer to analyze logs and flag problems, according to the company. Because it is sold as a service, Arctic Wolf said, the solution can be deployed quickly, rather than a company or MSP having to spend the time and money to build it.

Arctic Wolf started into the market in 2012, with NeSmith leading the startup as president and CEO. He had previously served as president and CEO of Blue Coat, also based in Sunnyvale, from 1999 to 2011. The company has raised $27.2 million in venture capital funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Redpoint.

[Related: Cato Networks Launches Network Security-As-A-Service Platform To Channel]

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The solution is targeted at midmarket companies, which often face many of the same problems that enterprises do but have a fraction of the security budget. Combined with a shortage of talent in the security space, that puts a midmarket company in a tough spot when it comes to protecting itself from attacks, NeSmith said.

Arctic Wolf started selling its product direct a year ago, but NeSmith says it is ready to jump headfirst into the channel.

"We think were now in a good position. We have enough experience and understanding with customers that we can now bring a more significant aspect to the channel," NeSmith said.

For partners, NeSmith said the AWN Cyber-SOC value proposition is that it provides a unique subscription service to offer customers as well as helps them offer a SOC solution without the hefty overhead costs. Arctic Wolf does not offer remediation services, he said, so partners can offload the low-margin monitoring side of security and shift toward offering more margin-rich remediation and incident response services.

"Every company needs a security operations center," NeSmith said. "The VAR can try to figure out how to use it themselves, or use us and tell customers they can have a SOC up and running tomorrow. For the VAR, they can provide the remediation, where we provide the 24/7 continuous view and monitoring."

As it dives into the channel in the coming months, NeSmith said, Arctic Wolf will be focusing on recruiting smaller VARs, and is just starting the onboarding process for its first round of partners. He said the startup will be looking to recruit VARs in a variety of regions and industry verticals, with an ultimate goal of between 20 and 50 partners.

NeSmith said Arctic Wolf also plans to bolster its partner enablement capabilities, including deal registration, training and a strong margin structure.

The AWN Cyber-SOC is immediately available as of Wednesday, the company said.