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Palo Alto Networks CEO: Demisto Is MSSP, Channel Partner Play

Palo Alto Networks' acquisition of Demisto, announced Tuesday, has significant upside for both channel partners and MSSPs, Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora asserts.

Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora
Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora

"Demisto is a channel play, it's a partner play and it's an MSSP play," Arora said during a call with Wall Street analysts. "We anticipate getting even more engaged and involved with our MSSP partners and to be able to make this sale happen in the market."

Demisto’s SOAR(security orchestration, automation and response) platform allows MSSPs and corporate security teams to accelerate incident response, standardize and scale processes, and learn from each incident while working together, the company asserts.

Palo Alto Networks Acquires Demisto: Simplifying SOAR?

Still, there's considerable work t be done on the partner and customer fronts. Palo Alto Networks concedes that some customers and partners are struggling with the complexity of today's cybersecurity products -- from EDR (endpoint detection and response) to SOAR and more.

"If you look at SOAR, the degree of sophistication that we're deploying in the artificial intelligence, in the machine learning and the automation, it becomes harder and harder for SOC analysts to be able to go ahead and figure out what's going on with 35 different vendors deployed in there and everyone's a different way of analyzing the data," Arora concedes. "We are working really hard with some of the cybersecurity MSSP partners and some of the partners who are deploying more resources to put on customers' side, because we want to make sure that people are well trained to be able to deploy these tools."

More Automation on the Way?

Over time, increased automation will simplify the tools, he adds. "But I think in the short term, the only way to deploy these for our customers to get the full value of this, we have to have some sort of a managed part of the service to get mass adoption," Arora says.

Palo Alto Networks EVP Lee Klarich

"We will be very focused on continuous improvement and how we can make this simpler and simpler for customers to consume and use this," adds Lee Klarich, chief product officer at Palo Alto Networks. The march toward simplicity will leverage the company's Application Framework and partnerships.

"We have a great set of system integration and MSSP partners, many of which, we believe, will be very interested in partnering with us," says Klarich. "With Demisto, as a key component of their service offerings" customers will more easily consume partners' security services, he predicts.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.