Dell SonicWall Launches Advanced Threat Protection Subscription Service At RSA 2016

Dell SonicWall is jumping into the advanced threat protection market, debuting its Dell SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection Service on Monday at the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco.

The new solution is Dell's first foray into the advanced threat protection market, providing an additional layer of protection against zero-day and advanced threats for its largely SMB customer base. It will be available as an optional subscription service on top of the Dell SonicWall appliance.

Capture offers a new take on ATP protection, lacing together three sandboxing engines to deliver a multilayer defense approach. The solution includes sandboxes from SonicWall itself, plus Lastline and VMRay. This new approach will be more effective than a single-layer approach used by the competition, Jane Wasson, Dell product marketing manager for security, told CRN, and will also leave the option open of adding new sandbox technologies down the line, she said,

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Dell Security Launches Privileged Account Management Solution]

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"The threat landscape is constantly evolving," Wasson said. "This will allow us to adapt and add new engines and technology as they become relevant. That will allow us to be a standout in terms of effectiveness."

Wasson said the solution also includes remediation features, such as a block and kill verdict, to help SMB customers to quickly make decisions on suspicious files. If a file is found to be malicious, she said, a signature is created and immediately sent to all other appliances in the network.

Other differentiators include no file size limit for the cloud sandboxing service and scanning of encrypted, as well as unencrypted, traffic, Wasson said.

The solution hits on multiple demands from the SMB market. First, it helps them meet the demands of SMBs for security automation, as many of them face a severe talent shortage in security, said Dmitriy Ayrapetov, director of product management. However, despite that shortage, SMBs see many of the same threats that their enterprise peers face, such as ransomware, and therefore need just as robust an ATP solution, he said.

"This is an opportunity to go back to customers who are not as forward-leaning on security," Ayrapetov said. "Security keeps evolving. … This gives them an opportunity to go back to customers."

Wasson said partners she has talked to during the product's beta test period are very excited about the new release.

"At the end of the day, our partners whose customers are SMBs, they really rely on them to be trusted advisers … and zero-day threats are becoming much more of an issue," Wasson said. "We're seeing a lot of excitement from our partners."

One partner involved in the beta test is Michael Gray, director of network operations at Tewksbury, Mass.-based Thrive Networks. While he was skeptical at first, Gray said, his expectations were "blown away" during the past few weeks.

"I wasn't expecting to get much peace of mind from this, but this is actually going to be a pretty big benefit," Gray said. "My expectations are much higher now for what it can do."

Gray said the ATP solution fills a gap in the Dell SonicWall portfolio, as many of its competitors already have a foothold in the space. However, he said, his tests of the product have shown him that they shouldn’t count Dell out of the running just yet.

"The thing that is dogging SonicWall right now is that other vendors have this and they don't," Gray said. "Just because they're late to the party doesn’t mean they're not good at it."

Gray said if Dell prices the solution in an affordable way for the small business market, he plans on "blasting it out to customers as soon as it is available."

Dell said the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection Service is in beta and is expected to be generally available in mid-2016. It said it will be available through partners as well as directly through Dell.