Why Cortex

Fail Faster, Succeed Sooner

Cybersecurity startups provide continuous innovation to stay on top of malicious actors and protect customers against attacks. In the early stages, startups will focus on proving their idea and building the best product for an initial few customers:

  • Time to market and avoiding plumbing work are key. The secret sauce is probably 10% of your product in terms of code and effort. A lot of time is spent building the plumbing that enables access to the data required to apply their products’ intelligent algorithms. Agents, network probes and decoders must be completed before your product shows its value; building them will slow you down and make your runway shorter.

  • Get access and deploy to early customers, "design partners": finding the right clients to prove and, ultimately, adopt your technology is hard work. Even when access to design partners is facilitated by investors, it takes time and effort to enable the technology in production and get access to real data in a complex environment.

Through Cortex, you can get access to the data without having to build and support the plumbing. Customers can grant access to network, endpoint and cloud data in a couple of clicks. When an ISV builds an app on Cortex data, their efforts can focus on the product itself, iterate quickly, fail faster and succeed sooner. Additionally, being listed on Cortex hub allows ISVs to access a huge set of potential customers that might want to try out the product without the burden of supporting complex deployments.

Access to Customers

After a company ships a successful product to a real customer, the focus shifts to building the features that will make the product stickier to drive sales and customer adoption. To achieve that fit, ISVs spend a lot of effort in the following areas:

  • Ease of use: Cybersecurity customers are overwhelmed with new products; some clients leverage more than 50 different vendor point products. All offer some unique value, but introducing and managing them requires a lot of effort, from deployment to training to operations. Product adoption must be as frictionless as possible for deployment by the majority of our customers.

  • Ecosystem: Your product must integrate well with the technologies our customers have already deployed in their environments, and the signals (i.e., alerts) products create should be easily actionable.

Palo Alto Networks has more than 60,000 customers around the world and growing constantly with the power of our massive global sales force. Having an app listed on the Cortex hub means that all customers visiting the marketplace will see your logo and be able to instantly activate your app and ask for a demo. The activation process is seamless: customers can grant access to their data in a couple of clicks, and you can provide immediate value, taking actions using Palo Alto Networks devices and agents as enforcement points.

Better Together

Whether you’re part of a small or large organization, integrating with Cortex will allow our two companies to provide better security to mutual customers, each being free to choose the offerings that fit their requirements and achieve the best value out of them. When each product operates as a stand-alone environment, customers will struggle to:

  • Operate, manage and troubleshoot too many products: Ultimately, this reduces the number of technologies they can adopt and the amount of attacks they can successfully prevent.

  • Make sense of the outputs: If every product generates logs, alerts, security insights, and threat intel that cannot be easily integrated or correlated, customers will find themselves with more information than they can handle. In some cases, events can be successfully detected but discarded as part of the noise.

Building an app for Cortex allows organizations to enable your customers’ security teams to focus on what really matters to them. Instead of spending their cycles managing and troubleshooting too many network devices and agents, they will be able to focus on enabling additional features and deliver better value as a result. Products that leverage Cortex become strongly integrated with the customer’s environment, as they provide more value as part of an ecosystem rather than as stand-alone offerings. Integrating the information and leveraging the insights Palo Alto Networks provides can improve the level of security joint clients achieve, which is, ultimately, the goal of all cybersecurity companies.

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Last updated on by Steven Serrata