Armor is a leading innovator and cloud computing security provider offering both public and private managed cloud services. Based in Richardson, Texas, Armor has approximately 240 employees and operates globally with data centres in Dallas, Phoenix, Singapore, Amsterdam, and London. The company’s unique approach to cloud security has resulted in its rapid expansion to almost 1,500 customers.
From the beginning, Armor protected its hosting environments with micro segmentation and a zero-trust security model. “We put security at the front of every decision we make,” said Jeremy Droege, Vice President of Cloud Operations at Armor. “That’s essential if we’re going to keep our customers secure.”
In addition to cloud security and managed cloud services, Armor also offers dedicated compliance solutions to help companies meet the requirements of PCI, HIPAA, and other regulations. Armor is currently developing, designing, and implementing a next-generation cloud product based on VMware NSX.
More companies today use private and public clouds to attain greater IT agility, but want assurance that their data and applications are secure. Customer agility and security are two areas that Armor takes very seriously. When it comes to protecting Armor’s multi-cloud environments, delivering end-to-end security is a key challenge. For example, with a prior security vendor, Armor was challenged in rolling out security agents that would sometimes create disruption for its customers. “Operating systems must get updated all the time and we struggled with new upgrades and patches,” said Droege.
Many of Armor’s customers want multi-cloud solutions where they can put their most secure workloads in a virtual private cloud (VPC) environment and non-critical workloads in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure public cloud—all managed by one vendor. “Our customers want us to protect them in the Armor environment as well as anywhere in the cloud ecosystem,” said Jeff Schilling, Chief Security Officer at Armor. “It was becoming challenging to manage security across multi-cloud environments with our existing tools.”
Chief Security Officer, Armor
As an innovative multi-cloud provider to customers with a wide range of use cases, Armor must secure credit card data subject to PCI regulations, healthcare data regulated by HIPAA, e-commerce data, and other sensitive information. “When we evaluated security solutions, we found vendors that were strong in one area, but didn’t meet our needs for an end-to-end security platform to run on any workload. Trend Micro Deep Security provided that platform,” said Droege.
Armor was also looking for security automation, such as rolling out new agents, updates, and patches to virtual machines (VM) automatically. “Trend Micro provided the automated capabilities necessary to make security as easy as possible for our customers, while not compromising its effectiveness,” said Droege.
With customers requesting multi-cloud solutions that included AWS and Azure, Armor needed a solution that worked across those environments without adding complexity to the system. They also wanted a security solution that integrated with its next-generation VMware NSX-based cloud product. “The Trend Micro agent is flexible enough for us to manage in multi-cloud environments and bring it under one security team to monitor,” said Schilling. “As partners, VMware and Trend Micro have seamlessly integrated Deep Security with NSX.”
Finally, Trend Micro’s threat intelligence network was a key factor in Armor’s selection of Deep Security. “Unlike many AV vendors that rely on known signatures, Trend Micro collects real-time information about viruses and malware from around the world, then leverages that intelligence across its customer base, no matter where they are,” said Schilling. “That gives us a huge competitive advantage when protecting our customers.”
Chief Security Officer, Armor
Massive antivirus or security agent rollouts can be challenging for any large company, but Armor effectively deployed Deep Security to all customer environments in a six-month period without any major issues. As they rolled out Deep Security, Armor immediately saw a marked uptick in the number of viruses and malware they were finding on their systems. “For us, that’s an important proof point that Trend Micro’s threat intelligence is truly world class,” said Droege.
Trend Micro Deep Security has also helped to secure Armor’s next-generation VMware NSX cloud offering. “NSX allows us to take our security commitment to the next generation. The full-featured APIs in both NSX and the Deep Security platform lets us remove the burden of complexity away from customers and keep the bad guys on the other side of the fence,” said Droege.
Deep Security allows Armor to secure virtual private cloud VMs—as well as Azure virtual machines and AWS instances—to provide customers with a single view of security. Armor relies heavily on Deep Security’s APIs and security automation functionality to ensure security is in place and working. “Armor’s primary goal is to provide security in a multi-cloud world. Trend Micro Deep Security helps us deliver that vision and keep our promise to customers,” said Droege.
In addition to providing security across virtualised environments, including Windows and Linux, Armor leverages Deep Security for all workstations inside their corporate environment. “With Deep Security, we have one platform that allows us to synchronise the host level security across both our customer and our own IT environments,” said Schilling.
VP of Cloud Operation
Delivering effective security across multi-cloud environments is not for the faint of heart. In addition to securing a variety of cloud environments and simplifying management for Armor and its customers, Trend Micro Deep Security enables Armor to offer more security features and functions. For example, monitoring the integrity of files and system processes was challenging. “With the Deep Security agent on all of our VMs, it’s a relatively easy task to enable file and system integrity monitoring and management,” said Droege. Schilling added, “When you think about protecting from the inside on the host level, a tool like system integrity management is going to be a huge force multiplier for our customers.”
Through the entire process of rolling out Deep Security, Armor has been pleased with its growing relationship with Trend Micro. “Our partnership with Trend Micro has been critical to our success. Deep Security’s tools and capabilities are critical to limiting the time threat actors spend on our networks—and the threat intelligence that’s included in the solution’s framework gives us visibility into attacks that we haven’t had before,” said Schilling.
One example of threat intelligence has been using the Deep Security management console on Armor’s customer mail servers. Once the Deep Security management console was turned on they found malware from email attachments, that they previously didn’t have visibility to. “To have that kind of granular visibility into our environment gave me a real sense of security I didn’t have before,” said Schilling.
With Trend Micro Deep Security protecting its customers’ vital data and applications across multi-cloud environments, Armor sees more opportunity for the two companies. “The Internet of Things is here. Soon, we’re going to have to protect our data and applications with more rigor than in the past. We have a passionate belief that security requires a multi-dimensional, multilayer approach,” said Schilling. “With Trend Micro Deep Security, we have a great security solution for our virtualised and cloud environments.”