Bill Harrod, federal chief technology officer for Ivanti, spoke with ExecutiveBiz for its latest Executive Spotlight interview discussing how the company’s recent acquisitions, including the recent purchase of RiskSense, have impacted the development of ransomware and cyber threat solutions, the challenges of merging company cultures and advancing zero-trust architecture.
“Automation is another component that’s absolutely essential for patching and solution updates. Automation, driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning engine, can respond to new devices showing up on a network, detect and remediate threats and enforce policy compliance quickly and without human intervention. Automation, coupled with AI/ML, is also significantly better at anomalous behavior detection and response — whether it’s by employees or by a device.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Bill Harrod below.
ExecutiveBiz: Congrats on the recent acquisition of RiskSense! Can you explain how the combining of your capabilities will allow your customers to have enhanced automated patch intelligence to address the latest vulnerabilities, ransomware and cyber threats they’re facing in today’s federal landscape?
“Today, agencies are being attacked with ransomware through vulnerabilities that are over 18 months old. Coupled with the transition to remote work at the height of the pandemic, employees have become accustomed to using a diverse set of technologies while working from home — in addition to their tablets and mobile devices. These new endpoints, unfortunately, are not being scanned or patched for vulnerabilities.
The fact is, there are innumerable vulnerabilities that cannot be detected across a typical enterprise. Of those thousands of vulnerabilities, hundreds can be exploited, but which ones are actually being targeted and actively attacked?
Ivanti brings value to their clients by providing insight into the vulnerabilities being exploited and prioritizing the risk accordingly. RiskSense’s vulnerability scanning, intelligence, and prioritization capabilities, coupled with Ivanti’s service management and real-time automation for self-healing capabilities, is a real game-changer for our federal clients.”
ExecutiveBiz: After announcing four major acquisitions for the company in the last year including Cherwell, MobileIron, Pulse Secure, on top of RiskSense, how would you describe your company and technological growth strategies to bring everything these companies bring to the table together?
“Ivanti has a vision to be the leading security software provider across the federal government, bringing together hyper automation, artificial intelligence, network discovery, device management, risk mitigation, threat intelligence, and patch management to self-heal and secure all of an agency’s data and resources.
Ivanti executes this vision by strategically adding solutions that integrate and complement each other to provide a joint solution that is greater than the sum of the individual parts.”
ExecutiveBiz: As you acquire these companies and their teams, what are the key values and challenges you face to merge company culture and unite under one roof? How does their unique expertise from each company bring more to the arsenal for Ivanti moving forward?
“Jim Schaper, Ivanti CEO, has said ‘There are two types of acquisitive companies in the tech space: consolidators and integrators. Ivanti is an integrator, which creates a whole that is more than the sum of its parts.’
I would add that Ivanti is also an innovator with a strategic vision for improving security and the services of IT. Ivanti’s company culture is something all of our colleagues — from the most recent acquisition to those who have been around for years — can rally behind. At the same time, we embrace the diversity of thought and background and welcome everyone’s voice with an equal place at the table.”
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ExecutiveBiz: With more and more companies enabling zero trust architecture and security, how have the recent collaborations with NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and Ivanti Neurons allowed you to improve your cybersecurity offerings to your clients and solidified the importance of zero trust to your organization?
“For Ivanti, the term ‘Zero Trust’ architecture encompasses a number of complementary technologies to ensure that authentication and authorization is always verified, and never inherited. Zero Trust is about consistently enforcing strong controls and policies to implement micro-segmentation on a network, validating that devices, users, and applications are all in compliance and enabling a software-defined perimeter to protect the most critical resources and data on the network.
Vulnerability scanning is another critical piece — and for Ivanti, the recommendation goes beyond what we typically think of for scan and patch. Ivanti recommends using an automated discovery tool to help identify everything on the network, including IoT devices, Bluetooth-connected devices, devices that may sit between your enterprise network, and your target cloud applications.
These devices may be a part of solutions that help to define your Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) components or your Cloud Access Security Broker. While some of those assets may not be ‘yours’ in the traditional sense, they are part of your overall enterprise and provide an avenue to gain entrance to your network. It is critical you’re able to scan and remediate vulnerabilities across all components of your enterprise.
Automation is another component that’s absolutely essential for patching and solution updates. Automation, driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning engine, can respond to new devices showing up on a network, detect and remediate threats and enforce policy compliance quickly and without human intervention. Automation, coupled with AI/ML, is also significantly better at anomalous behavior detection and response — whether it’s by employees or by a device.
Integrating all of these components into an effective IT services model is what enables the hyper-automation that will help agencies secure their network, data, and resources, and mature their ITIL model to meet the challenges of today and into the future.
Ivanti is very pleased to be a part of the NIST NCCoE Zero Trust Architecture project and we look forward to working with all of the collaborators to address the business cases that will be applicable for our Federal clients and our commercial clients as well.”
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