Ivanti this week announced it has entered into a pair of agreements to acquire MobileIron and Pulse Secure as part of an effort to create a zero-trust platform that can be delivered as a service.
Nayaki Nayyar, chief product officer for Ivanti, said at a time when network perimeters are dissolving in the wake of increased reliance on remote networking to access applications from home, a different approach to cybersecurity is required.
Acquired for $872 million, MobileIron gives Ivanti access to a set of tools for securing mobile computing applications deployed on devices running Apple iOS or Google Android. Integrating MobileIron with Ivanti’s endpoint management software for desktop and laptop systems will be relatively straightforward, said Nayyar.
The cost of acquiring Pulse Secure, a provider of software-defined perimeter (SDP) software was not disclosed. Interest in SDP software, which extends security perimeters to endpoints, has risen sharply in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than relying on end users to remember to employ virtual private networks (VPNs) to access applications through holes created in firewalls, Pulse Secure automatically spins up VPNs each time an end user accesses an application regardless of whether it resides in a public cloud or on-premises IT environment. That capability can be accessed as either software deployed by an internal IT team or via a service provided by Pulse Secure.
Longer-term, Nayyar said it’s clear security will increasingly be consumed as a service. The challenge Ivanti now faces is integrating its existing endpoint management tools with the tools from Pulse Secure and MobileIron to make its offerings available as a set of integrated of microservices that can scale up and down as required.
It may take a while for all the security appliances currently strewn across an enterprise to give way to platforms that deliver security functions as a service. However, at a time when many organizations are looking to reduce total cost while simultaneously securing digital business processes that now span more endpoints than ever, current approaches to IT security won’t scale. That becomes especially challenging now that it also appears end users will not be returning to traditional network perimeters anytime soon.
In the meantime, cybersecurity professionals should expect to see a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the months ahead as security vendors look to include a wider array of functions within the same integrated service. Arguably, the need to collect massive amounts of data to train artificial intelligence (AI) models based on machine and deep learning algorithms will force further consolidation. Ultimately, that shift should reduce the number of IT security vendors with which an organization engages.
Naturally, it will be up to each cybersecurity team to determine how best to mix and match security services. The more vendors involved, potentially the more complex that task can become. Of course, security continually evolves, which means the solutions that are in place today may not always stand the test of time as the threats continue to increase in terms of both size and sophistication.