Forcepoint is hunting consulting-led partners that can sell to the C-suite following its reinvention as a ‘human-centric' security vendor.
The Austin-based vendor, which rebranded from Websense in 2016 following its acquisition by Raytheon, bolstered its user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA) prowess last August by acquiring RedOwl, and human-centric security is now at the heart of its strategy, Neal Lillywhite (pictured) told CRN.
"We are looking for partners that are aligned to where we are going as an organisation," said Lillywhite, who was promoted to the newly created role of Forcepoint's VP of channel EMEA in January.
"Human-centric security is a C-level conversation. There is a different dynamic there to the traditional [security], so my expectation is we will be more engaged with organisations that are more consulting led."
Although cloud-based content security still generates the majority of its business, UEBA now underpins everything Forcepoint does, Lillywhite said.
Security traditionally revolved around a defensive, threat-based approach, before progressing to one based around security events, he explained.
"Now it's moving to human-centric cybersecurity rather than an event or a threat," he said.
"It's about identifying the behaviour of individuals and qualifying whether they're a compromised user. How do I identify risk ahead of it becoming a problem? That's a significant step change."
Lillywhite said Forcepoint's reinvention mirrors how the analysts see the security market evolving, including Gartner's view that security has moved from a threat-centric to a data-centric to a risk-adaptive approach.
"The difference between us and the other vendors is that that move from to a behavioural-based rather than threat-based risk is driving everything we do," he said. "It's about adapting the security policy based on what is happening, rather than a policy that is one size fits all and then having to adapt to the threats that are taking place."
Forcepoint is an amalgam of Websense, McAfee's Stonesoft firewall arm and Raytheon's cyber products. Last year it bolstered its next-generation security capabilities by gobbling up RedOwl and CASB vendor Skyfence.
"Forcepoint absolutely isn't a Websense rebrand," said Lillywhite.
"Our expectations are for significant growth and a change in the market dynamic, so we are qualifying where we are in terms of whether we have the right engagement with partners."
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