Vendor Innovations in Cybersecurity: From Browsers to IoT to Mobile

By Tim Larkins, Senior Director, Market Intelligence and Corporate Development

Threats to network security have evolved and vulnerable attack vectors have expanded – from browsers to mobile devices to the increasingly interconnected appliances that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Vendors of cybersecurity solutions are now branching out beyond their initial niches to embrace wider aspects of security.

In immixGroup’s recent panel discussion during Cyber Ops Demo Day held earlier this month, six of industry’s most prominent vendors each described what they were doing to help prevent security breaches in this era of multiple security attack vectors.

Marlin McFate, federal CTO, Riverbed Technology, said his company has broadened its reach beyond network monitoring, application monitoring and user monitoring to security issues ranging from insider threat to exfiltration. Riverbed’s acquisition of FlowTraq has integrated that capability into its visibility solution. The technology allows for security problems to be analyzed from a behavioral perspective, to identify devices that are no longer acting like normal appliances or system users that are not actually part of the organization.

Felipe Fernandez, director of systems engineering, Fortinet Federal, emphasized the company’s revitalizing of network technologies. Fortinet has been providing capabilities to networks or network components through SD LANs or other connections, enabling users to reduce the time from a threat being detected to being mitigated. This gives enterprise customers new capability to detect insider threats, advanced persistent threats and more, in areas in the network where they had previously been limited.

Chris Jensen, business development executive for Tenable, emphasized the company’s “predictive prioritization.” Agencies have been using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to determine priorities for patching and vulnerabilities, a “blunt instrument” not designed for the purpose, Jensen said. Predictive prioritization uses real time data feeds to identify the top 3 percent of vulnerabilities likely to be exploited – a capability not possible through CVSS alone.

Lou Giglio, area manager for defense and intelligence sales for Check Point Software Technologies, emphasized the company’s focus on IoT. Visibility into IP-enabled devices that might otherwise go unrecognized is critical, Giglio said, especially because of vulnerabilities in HVAC or fire control systems, for example. CISOs in charge of a traditional security stack may not know about threats to building controls, and managing those threats is crucial to security today.

Ken Durbin, senior strategist for Symantec Global Government Affairs, invoked a moment from “The Karate Kid,” in response to the best way to defend against a punch – which is to not be there when it’s thrown. The browser is where cyber punches are landed most, Durbin said. For that reason, Symantec is focusing on “web isolation,” to execute and render web sessions remotely in a container. The result is delivery of safe outcome results down to the end user, without disturbing the user experience. This can be done on any device, any operating system and any browser, Durbin said.

Andrew Lehfeldt, enterprise mobility technical cyber security specialist for MobileIron identified the problem that extending endpoints to mobile devices had historically meant – extremely limited defense and security mechanisms. MobileIron has embraced mobile threat defense (part of the CDM Phase 3/Phase 4 program), integrating that capability with a time-based machine learning algorithm on its client. The company can now protect zero day, online, offline, airplane mode, device attacks, or mobile application attacks before they actually occur or result in productivity loss.

Taken together, the innovations made in identifying security breaches by these companies creates the broadest possible net to catch or prevent unwanted network intrusions by bad actors looking to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the federal IT infrastructure.


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About Tim Larkins
Tim Larkins is Senior Director of Market Intelligence and Corporate Development at immixGroup. He has 15 years of experience in business development, management, consulting, and market intelligence helping suppliers and partners with budget analysis, market trends, and opportunity identification. Tim received a Bachelor's Degree from Furman University and an MBA from Benedictine University.

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