VMblog: Provide a little background on Portnox. Where is the company headed into 2023?
Denny LeCompte: Portnox offers cloud-native zero trust access control and cybersecurity essentials that enable agile, resource-constrained IT teams to proactively address today's most pressing security challenges: the rapid expansion of enterprise networks, the proliferation of connected device types, the increased sophistication of cyberattacks, and the shift to zero trust.
The company experienced rapid growth in 2022 after closing a Series A round of $22 million with Austin-based VC firm Elsewhere Partners in late 2021. With that investment, the company was able to expand operations in the US, particularly in sales and marketing - helping to greatly bolster demand and increase year-over-year revenue. As we look ahead at 2023 and beyond, Portnox is committed to further innovation and bringing new powerful, zero trust access control solutions to market that meet the modern security demands put on IT teams.
VMblog: What specific problems are being solved by Portnox
LeCompte: Your security posture is only as strong as the most vulnerable device in use across your organization. To that end, Portnox delivers today's network and endpoint security essentials, which combat today's biggest cyber threats, including increasingly sophisticated ransomware that seeks to break through into corporate networks via vulnerable connected devices.
Our zero trust platform's core functionality includes network authentication, access control, continuous endpoint risk posture assessment, and compliance enforcement automation.
VMblog: What are two or three things that make the Portnox Cloud unique?
LeCompte: The Portnox Cloud delivers a multitude of unique features. First, it is cloud-native, so there is no on-premise hardware to install or maintain in order to use the product. We've eliminated maintenance altogether - customers enjoy the latest and greatest access control service day in and day out and are free from the hassles of upgrades and patches.
Second, it's zero trust. The Portnox Cloud prevents any user and their device from accessing a network, network hardware, or cloud application without first authenticating their identity and complying with pre-defined device risk policies. The platform then dictates the degree of access and administrative privileges to those resources based on the user's role and compliance state of the user's device.
Third, it's multi-tenant. This means organizations and managed service providers (MSPs) can configure and enforce access control and security policies for all their individual business units or customers from a single pane of glass. This is an enormous time saver, as it reduces complexity by eliminating repetitive installations and security policy configurations.
VMblog: Is there a way for people to trial the Portnox Cloud before they purchase?
LeCompte: Yes, we offer free 30-day trials of all our zero trust security solutions, including NAC-as-a-Service, RADIUS-as-a-Service and TACACS+-as-a-Service. Users can create their instance quickly and begin self-guided configuration and deployment. We see many users deploy Portnox's security solutions across their environments in as little as 30 minutes. This speaks to the ease and simplicity of Portnox's cloud-native platform.
For organizations looking for a more "white glove" experience, we offer collaborative proof of concepts of our solutions, where prospective customers can work closely with our product engineers to test our services across their environments while building up to full deployment.
VMblog: How is Portnox different from its competitors and why would a company choose Portnox?
LeCompte: Traditional on-premise solutions for access control require significant on-going maintenance such as hardware upgrades and software patches. This type of work prohibits IT from accomplishing other security priorities and puts a strain on the many companies whose IT departments are experiencing staffing shortages, skillset gaps, and budget constraints.
Today, Portnox offers the only cloud-native solution for zero trust access control that can effectively meet the needs of all organizations. As an easy-to-use, manage, and scale zero trust access control solution, the Portnox Cloud is purpose-built for increasingly distributed workforces, diverse device types, and for the determent of sophisticated cyberattacks.
VMblog: How does Portnox fit into a zero trust security model?
LeCompte: As the network edge continues to sprawl beyond physical enterprise perimeters thanks to the continued acceleration of at-home, mobile, and hybrid work environments, access control - for both networks and enterprise cloud applications - remains an enabling technology for zero trust security approaches.
If we step back and look at the full spectrum of zero trust coverage areas - which includes identity, endpoints, data, apps, infrastructure and networks - the Portnox Cloud provides support across all six of the key areas of a zero trust security model.
Our NAC-as-a-Service provides zero trust security coverage in the areas of identity, endpoints, data...and of course, the network. While our cloud-native TACACS+ solution provides AAA services to bolster administration and security for network infrastructure. For cloud applications, Portnox delivers zero trust access control through our integration with OKTA. Customers that have OKTA can leverage this functionality today. Coming soon, we'll offer cloud application access control for everyone, including non-OKTA users. This will enable companies to enforce universal zero trust access control across both their networks and enterprise cloud applications.