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Looking to make it simpler for partners to resell agentless security software and employ it to deliver managed services, network security specialist ForeScout Technologies forged distribution agreements with Arrow Electronics and Westcon. Previously, ForeScout sold its software via only direct relationships with a limited number of channel partners.

With the increasing popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices and the rapid growth of the Internet of things (IoT), organizations are severely challenged when it comes to managing security, said Brian Gumbel, vice president of Americas sales for ForeScout Technologies. He offers two reasons for these challenges.

First, in the case of BYOD, the organization doesn’t own the mobile device being connected to the network, so it may not be able to deploy agents on that device, Gumbel said. Second, the small footprint of devices being deployed in IoT scenarios simply won’t support the deployment of agent software.

In contrast, the ForeScout CounterACT software is designed to immediately discover any device that gets connected to the corporate network. ForeScout CounterAct takes advantage of network access control (NAC) software that connects to a ControlFabric architecture to enable solution providers and the customers they serve to apply policy controls and collect real-time intelligence on events occurring on any given endpoint.

Via the alliances with Arrow and Westcon, ForeScout is now committed to providing training tools and certifications to enhance pre-sales and post-sales support as well as best practices for integrating ForeScout CounterACT software with security products and technologies from FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Splunk and Intel Security, Gumbel said.

In general, IT security requirements are rapidly evolving. The days when organizations could define a perimeter they could focus on defending are long since over. As a result, many of them are looking for ways to secure endpoints regardless of where they are located or who actually owns them.

Historically, the debate between agent and agentless approaches to securing and managing endpoints has been going on for years. But as the number and types of devices that need to be secured continues to grow exponentially, it’s clear that trying to put agent software everywhere is becoming less practical every day.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.