Armis, IoT Security Provider, Raises $17M for Channel Push

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Armis, an IoT security provider with a channel-first sales design, has emerged from stealth mode toting $17 million in venture capital for its platform to protect businesses from unmanaged, compromised or rogue devices and networks.

The startup is among a growing number of security providers lining up alongside IT heavyweights such as Cisco Systems to offer technology to secure devices on IoT networks. Right out of the gate the two-year old company said it will rely on channel partners, particularly its early signees JCS Consulting, a Solano Beach, CA-based social business design consultant, and RedSky, a Chicago-headquartered provider of on-premise and cloud-based E911 solutions, to drive sales.

Eliminating IoT Blind Spots

Armis wants to capitalize on what it sees as an open IoT security opportunity--eliminating so-called “blind spots” via its agentless technology that enables enterprises to see and control all devices, particularly compromised and unmanaged things, even before they connect to the network. Potential "blind spots" range from security cameras, routers and point-of-sale technology to printers, sensors and guest appliances connecting to a corporate network.

With the IoT expected to explode to some 20 billion connected things worldwide in the next three years, Armis is betting that IoT developers won’t bake security into their products in significant numbers anytime soon. It is also counting on the coming plethora of “things” precluding an organization’s ability to rely on endpoint agents.

“When I see the IoT, I see the huge security vulnerabilities that threaten the promise of these new connected devices...not designed with security in mind,” wrote Yevgeny Dibrov, Armis CEO and co-founder, in a blog posted on the company’s website.

Those devices “are the new target--the new attack landscape,” he said. “Traditional endpoint protection won’t work in a world where you can’t put an agent on most devices. That approach won’t protect smart TVs, phones, headsets, printers, VOIP phones, wireless peripherals, HVACs, security cameras and more.”

Overcoming Botnets

Armis said that initial deployments of its platform revealed businesses are unaware of 40 percent of the devices in their environment. The company said it can detect devices that are part of a botnet or contain vulnerable or infected malware and remove them from the network.

“We can stop devices from compromising corporate assets, regardless of whether those devices are managed by IT,” Dibrov said.

Dibrov’s background includes a stint on cloud security provider Adallom’s executive team ahead of that company’s acquisition by Microsoft in 2015. Armis’ initial customers include Samsung Research America and IDT. It maintains offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, Israel.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.