Dan Wilbricht, vice president of Ivanti‘s public sector business in the Americas, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the internal advancements of automation, cloud and managed services.
He also discussed external technology initiatives, including Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and Certified Information Systems Auditor“™s (CISA) Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) policy 3.0, and the potential future of the technology sector.
“Ivanti is the only vendor in the market that can discover, secure and service the endpoint. There is no other vendor in the market that can do all three.“
ExecutiveBiz: How has Ivanti IT integrated automation into its platforms to manage IT networks and have you faced any challenges as you continue to innovate solutions?
“Ivanti uses automation across the board. Typically, there are routine manual tasks that consume it and service desk resources, and it limits the ability to move ahead at higher impact on strategic projects. That is why automation is a key component of Ivanti solutions.
With Ivanti Automation, you can streamline the management of complex hybrid environments by automating infrastructure, cloud and workspace processes required to support and deliver IT services to the business.
Ivanti has more than 300 out-of-the-box tasks and queries to maintain on-premises infrastructure, as well as cloud services. We also have a powerful API capability to integrate with other third-party technologies allowing you to get more out of your IT investment. Obviously, bringing that automation into our capability is a double whammy.
There can always be challenges in that process in identifying what the process needs to be before you can automate that, and that’s really one of the benefits we have is because you can customize those workflows and that automation, we’ve made it so that each individual agency can do that.
But I think, initially, when we first started building what automation means to us, making sure that we allowed the flexibility in the automation was key and that took some time originally.“
ExecutiveBiz: How will DoD“™s CMMC guidelines shape your offerings? How will the company chance?
“Cybersecurity maturity is a journey. Specific objectives around security as detailed in CMMC and NIST 800-171 are supported by Ivanti products. Ivanti Service Manager comes with an out-of-the-box NIST-compliant workflow, enabling the user organization to quickly move to the managed, or level 3 maturity.
Additional capabilities in our products support many of the initiatives required for Level 2-4 maturity including Asset Discovery and Lifecycle Management, Vulnerability, Patching, Configuration Management, Endpoint Management and Service Management.
By integrating all these different pieces and parts of our platform is how we get there. That brings us back to automation and processing. By minimizing the manual requirements, you eventually get things replaced by intelligent process automation, which will in turn minimize your risk.
The biggest challenge I see across the board is that a lot of organizations have a very low maturity. You first have to identify where they are in that maturity model so that then you can apply it to the right spots to get a plan in place.
There are a couple of ways Ivanti automate processes. For example, we have a call center help desk. The ability for us to do voice recognition and make sales processes, based on what people are requesting makes those cases come to resolution much quicker. We“™ve automatically patched machines so that we can quickly get on the network while increasing the security.“
ExecutiveBiz: In what ways does Ivanti manage endpoints to detect and combat against vulnerabilities? How do you maintain your software to keep up with threats?
“Ivanti Endpoint Security prevents, detects and remediates even the most sophisticated threats including ransomware. Powerful, multi-layered protections automate discovery, inventory, and patch management, and prevent malware from running or spreading.
When combined with Ivanti Unified Endpoint Manager, the solution uniquely enables you to isolate a device, remote control while it is isolated and remediate or re-image the infected system. This integration with Ivanti Unified Endpoint Manager increases efficiency and control over your IT environment. This integration with Ivanti Unified Endpoint Manager increases efficiency and control over your IT environment and remote workers.
We do this internally quite often but being able to do that from a remote perspective is key. We can also take the machine that’s out in the wild, and if it“™s lost and someone tries to log on to it we can break it remotely so that they don“™t have access to the data once they try to turn it on.
We do everything from discover to secure it. Then we maintain it, track it and configure it to make sure that it’s secure. We evolve with ransomware by creating our own lists. Ivanti develops whitelisting and blacklisting based on what we’re seeing in our SAS environment, as well as what’s going on in the world.
We also integrate very well with Microsoft and all the things that they’re doing from their patching side. Ivanti has one of the largest patching catalogs available to ensure that our customers are more secure by providing updates/patches to keep their 3rd party vendors software patched and secure.
We have SLAs in place that ensure that if it’s a very high threat, we get an update within a very short time period, so we can then share that with our workforce that uses our patching tool to track threats.
Then, we also integrate with third party products that also focus on security. We don“™t try to rule the world. We want to take as much data as we can and promote their products and incorporate them into our patching, as well as our security. We certainly want to take advantage of everyone else’s protection that they’re providing as well.“
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the short-term and long-term goals Ivanti has set to advance its cloud computing?
“By achieving the FedRAMP Authorized designation, we are able to offer innovative and secure cloud-enabled service and asset management technology so that our public sector customers can realize the same IT efficiencies our commercial customers appreciate, while maintaining the high degree of information security that is required through the FedRAMP program.
Ivanti continues to invest in delivering secure and scalable cloud-based solutions that help IT organizations manage, secure and deliver critical IT services. This includes our recently launched Ivanti Cloud, which provides organizations with a real-time view into device analytics, offering prescriptive recommendations and the ability to take action in their environment within seconds.
From an overall perspective of cloud, Ivanti is cloud enabling all our products as we go through our roadmap. We have a SaaS offering today that goes beyond just our FedRAMP ESM product line, and that information is available in the wild today.
It’s a subset of our products. While we’re still keeping our on-prem products for people that want to go down that road, we are also adding all that same functionality out into our Ivanti cloud. What this has done is driven our state and local customers. In addition, it has supported our foreign customers, as well as our commercial customers.
When they see that we have a FedRAMP authorized solution, they feel much better about using us inside of their cloud environments. They may not use our FedRAMP cloud, while they certainly have the option to do so, but the fact that we have it gives us credibility. Our next goal is to get to the higher levels within that.“
ExecutiveBiz: With the recent launch of CISA“™s TIC 3.0 guidance, how will Ivanti shape its remote work and shift its business strategy as a result of COVID-19?
“The key feature of TIC 3.0 is to Modernize the network infrastructure at DoD through the use of Cloud Smart service providers, but still emphasizing the importance of security through these service providers.
Ivanti continues to make advances and investments in this strategy. Ivanti is a FedRAMP authorized service provider for Ivanti Service Management and continues to invest heavily in security-focused solutions for the federal government, including Remote Security/Patching, Remote Control and Remote Asset Tracking.
We also offer Self Service Portals so that our workforce can request things, whether it’s a new PC or update their personal information. They can talk to their HR through that portal.
During COVID-19, they can also provide an update on their personal code status to tell HR of any issues they are experiencing due to the pandemic.
Additionally, Ivanti has a lot of customers who are starting to use self-service portals in a way that it’s focused on an emergency tracking system. That is one way our workflows and our automation are being utilized today. I see it being used by other agencies like FEMA or the National Guard for any emergency, whether it’s something remote or something that you control at the corporate level, but you want a remote workforce to be able to access it.
With the pandemic, we“™ve certainly changed the way we do our day-to-day business and changed the way we communicate with our customers. We have done a lot of video calls for the past few months. We’ve really had to change the way we promote ourselves.“
ExecutiveBiz: With the competition in the field of emerging technologies, how does Ivanti maintain its advantage in the marketplace?
“I think there are a couple key objectives. We“™ve been adding to our leadership and our product engineering team, as well as growing that team at the engineer level because of what we’re trying to do from having an end-to-end story. We“™re also in acquisition mode as well right now. We’re looking at technologies weekly, if not daily to see how we can enhance some of the stories that fit in and extend where our platform is today.
At Ivanti, we see a large opportunity to extend beyond the traditional endpoints we think of to adjacent edge. From a position of strength, Ivanti is the only vendor in the market that can discover, secure and service the endpoint. There is no other vendor in the market that can do all three.
If you look at the ESM/ITSM vendor landscape, none of them have a UEM or a security portfolio. Conversely, if you look at the UEM vendors, they do not have the ESM portfolio. This convergence of these two worlds coming together, and then applying automation and action on top of it. We have a massive opportunity for us to leapfrog the market because we have both automation and action to be competitive in the market today.
I think the next wave is really, around the continued push towards digital transformation and IT modernization, as well as artificial intelligence and the next wave of IT modernization. I think silos are going to be eliminated to support this artificial intelligence. Going forward, this whole process automation is going to be important, as we talked about it from a larger perspective.
Also enhanced self-service, providing a one stop shop to everything IT related or that isn“™t IT related. I want to go to one place to say, “˜I need a new PC and oh, by the way, can you help me with my HR application for x, y, and z?“™ I think that’s going to become more common across the board.“