On the Radar: Pulse Secure

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1 Secure access management for corporate and personal endpoints on company networks Publication Date: 17 Jul 2015 Product code: IT Rik Turner

2 Summary Catalyst Pulse Secure is a developer of secure access technology for both corporate-owned and bring your own device (BYOD) endpoints. It relies on client software for the former and containerization for the latter, with plans to move its back-end server functionality into the cloud to offer secure access management as a service. It is not a start-up, having been spun out of Juniper Networks as a mature business. It is, however, a new name in the access management and endpoint security space. Key messages Pulse is the virtual private network (VPN) and network access control (NAC) business spun out of Juniper. It added BYOD security by acquiring MobileSpaces, which brought it containerization technology. Pulse is working on integration with the leading security incident and event management (SIEM) platforms, the first of which will be IBM QRadar. It is moving its back end into the cloud, offering it as a service from Microsoft Azure later this year. Ovum view Pulse will be a significant player in secure access management as that market evolves beyond laptops and remote desktops to support smartphones and tablets, with BYOD further complicating matters. Its challenge will be to stand out from the crowd with the breadth of its portfolio. Recommendations for enterprises Why put Pulse Secure on your radar? Pulse Secure has proven VPN and NAC technology that is used by its extensive customer base. It has added mobile containerization to address the BYOD challenge, with plans to offer its entire portfolio as cloud-based services later this year. It should be on your list of vendors to consider when choosing a secure access management platform. Highlights Pulse delivers VPN and NAC functionality via a software client downloaded to the endpoint, with support for Android, ios, and conventional laptop operating systems. When an endpoint logs onto a corporate network its technology checks whether it is compliant and imposes security policy based on its conclusion. For endpoints that do not belong to a company but are introduced into the work environment by an employee (i.e. in the BYOD scenario), MobileSpaces containerization technology enables it to separate personal and professional environments on the device and, if necessary, carry out a remote wipe of all corporate data, without affecting the user s personal information, contacts, Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 2

3 photos, and so on. It offers a single console from which companies can view their entire endpoint estate, both corporate and BYOD, called Pulse One, and is also working on integrations with SIEM platforms for customers who prefer to manage endpoint security and access from a broader, overarching console. Background Pulse Secure is the result of private equity firm Siris Capital s October 2014 acquisition of the VPN and NAC business from Juniper Networks. Pulse immediately acquired mobile endpoint security vendor MobileSpaces to add a BYOD security capability to its arsenal. As one might expect, Pulse s management team includes a number of former Juniper executives, but it is led by CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna, who was previously senior vice-president and general manager for the Enterprise and Service Provider Division at Citrix, prior to which he held management positions at Polycom, Motorola, 3Com, and US Robotics. Current position Pulse debuted as an independent company with $100m in revenue, 20,000 enterprise customers, and some 20 million endpoints under management. It continues to leverage Juniper as a key route to market for its VPN technology. The company s roadmap features plans to offer what it terms its next-generation secure access technology as cloud-based services, with the Microsoft Azure cloud as the first target from which to launch later this year. It also plans integration with leading security incident and event management (SIEM) platforms, with IBM s QRadar scheduled for the next release of the Pulse platform. The challenge Pulse faces is not, of course, that of a start-up, in that it debuts with a major client base and a healthy run rate. Rather it is the need to differentiate itself in the crowded market for enterprise mobility management (EMM) and, more generally, for endpoint security and network access technology (see Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Endpoint/Mobile Security Solution, for a selection of the leading providers in this market). The issue is liable, at least in part, to be one of market education; there is currently a confusing plethora of vendors, with some offering conventional VPN technology (e.g. F5 and Citrix), some NAC (such as ForeScout), and some EMM platforms (such as AirWatch and MobileIron). Pulse needs to inform potential new customers that it competes with all these companies, but with a broad portfolio that can also collaborate with their technologies if the customer already has one of them in its infrastructure. Data sheet Key facts Table 1: Data sheet: Pulse Secure Product name The Pulse Secure solution suite includes Pulse Connect Secure (VPN), Pulse Policy Secure (NAC), Pulse Workspace (Mobile Container), Pulse One Product classification Next-generation secure access Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 3

4 (Management) Version number Pulse Connect Secure 8.1; Release date Pulse Policy Secure 5.2; Pulse Workspace 1.3; Pulse One 1.0 Currently in general availability Industries covered All markets Geographies covered Global Relevant company sizes Small, medium, and large enterprises Licensing options Perpetual and subscription URL Routes to market Channel and direct Company headquarters San Jose, California, US Number of employees 300 Source: Ovum Appendix On the Radar On the Radar is a series of research notes about vendors bringing innovative ideas, products, or business models to their markets. Although On the Radar vendors may not be ready for prime time, they bear watching for their potential impact on markets and could be suitable for certain enterprise and public sector IT organizations. Further reading Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Endpoint/Mobile Security Solution, , IT (August 2014) Author Rik Turner, Senior Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions Ovum Consulting We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at Copyright notice and disclaimer The contents of this product are protected by international copyright laws, database rights and other intellectual property rights. The owner of these rights is Informa Telecoms and Media Limited, our affiliates or other third party licensors. All product and company names and logos contained within or appearing on this product are the trademarks, service marks or trading names of their respective owners, including Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. This product may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 4

5 Whilst reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the information and content of this product was correct as at the date of first publication, neither Informa Telecoms and Media Limited nor any person engaged or employed by Informa Telecoms and Media Limited accepts any liability for any errors, omissions or other inaccuracies. Readers should independently verify any facts and figures as no liability can be accepted in this regard readers assume full responsibility and risk accordingly for their use of such information and content. Any views and/or opinions expressed in this product by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Informa Telecoms and Media Limited. Ovum. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Page 5

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