CRN Exclusive: Avnet, SentinelOne Team Up To Provide Next-Gen Endpoint Protection

The crowded security market and increased security threats make it an especially good time to see vendor partnerships that provide a clear channel benefit.

Avnet Technology Solutions is adding SentinelOne's endpoint protection product to its portfolio, acknowledging the demand for an alternative to traditional antivirus in an increasingly complex security landscape.

"I think this deal is a good one for solution providers working in a security space that is murky," Justin Tibbs, chief security officer for Draper, Utah-based IT Consultant RedSky said, adding that the security marketplace is crowded with solutions that can lose providers deciding what solution fits them best.

However, he said, with this deal, those channel companies can look at Avnet, which has a track record of picking "good solutions and partners," and be confident about adding SentinelOne to their portfolios.

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[Related: Avnet TS Misses Big In Q1, But Proposed Buyer Tech Data Is Not Shaken By The Earnings Shortfall]

SentinelOne's product, Tibbs said, is an alternative solution to traditional antivirus software that saves the end-user time by providing feedback and insight about security alerts, giving the user a deeper understanding of their security environment.

"This is a strong move on Avnet’s part away from the traditional anti-virus solutions and towards a next-gen approach to endpoint security ... this is going to be a big warning call to [traditional antivirus vendors] who have relied on distribution relationships to maintain their growth in the market," Scott Gainey, SentinelOne senior vice president and chief marketing officer, told CRN.

He said the importance of SentinelOne striking a deal with a large distributor like Avnet is a "proof-point" that signals how important giving solution providers an alternative to traditional antivirus is.

"People are crying for some sort of alternative to antivirus ... And although we have been hearing these rumblings, this deal now gives [solution providers] some new opportunities that they can take advantage of," Gainey said.

Recognized as one of the top endpoint providers in CRN’s 2016 Security 100 list, SentinelOne’s product is an endpoint security tool that uses machine learning, static analysis, behavioral-based detection and automated mitigation actions to keep a client’s environment safe from malware, exploit and script-based attacks.

The product’s forensic and remediation functions provide teams with tools to make real-time decisions to protect their organizations from further risk.

Gainey said that this move would open up a lot of opportunities for SentinelOne as it opens the 100 percent channel focused security vendor up to Avnet’s distribution channel.

"This gives us a strong, reputable distribution partner," he said.

The deal, however, is also a good one for Avnet, Tibbs said, noting that the IT provider market is continuing to move toward an importance of offering solutions like SentinelOne’s next-gen security platform instead of more traditional offerings.

"It would be a smart move to see more deals like this," he said.

The deal was announced Tuesday, more than a month after Clearwater Fla.-based distribution powerhouse TechData said it will purchase Avnet’s Technology Solutions Business for $2.6 billion, creating a $450 billion company.

Gainey said he is excited about the acquisition and the potential for a channel presence boost for SentinelOne, once TechData closes its acquisition of Avnet TS.

’I think it has the potential to expand the channel even further for us and give us a strong, reputable distribution partner that we can work with across the region,’ he said.