Mahdi, Shamoon finder Seculert says cloud is future of security

Israeli security firm Seculert says cloud-based intelligence systems are the key to modern security, as ITProPortal talked to company bosses this week.

The Seculert chiefs were speaking ahead of the firm’s launch of Seculert Sense - an analysis engine that detects advanced persistent threats (APTs) and unknown malware. The company will be hoping its services capture further attention in the industry, with Seculert rising in prominence during 2012 through the discovery of the well-publicised Mahdi and Shamoon malware.

Ziv Ambar, customer success manager, and Gil Raviv, VP of products, admitted that awareness of the company had increased since the notable detections earlier this year, but pointed to the number of high-profile clients who had already been taking advantage of Seculert’s entirely cloud-based security models.

The likes of BP, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, GlaxoSmithKline and the US Department of Homeland Security have used Seculert services before, and Ambar said customers are attracted to the versatility and efficiency offered by cloud-based security solutions. “Using the cloud we overcome the need for hardware and software set-up and upgrades. By using cloud services companies can overcome all of these changes [in the industry] and profit from the elastic benefits of cloud.”

Raviv was keen to emphasise the vast banks of intelligence and data collected by the firm, which he says broadens its service and helps set Seculert apart from rival vendors. “Having the ability to provide important information and intelligence to our customers is invaluable,” he said before reiterating the ‘elastic’ metaphor for cloud solutions. Hardware and software products require in-house expertise and expensive maintenance, he said, but thanks to the cloud, Seculert can remotely “scale up any of our services” so customers can instantly adapt their defences according to new threats and requirements.

This, in turn, helps cost-effectiveness said Raviv, which is why Sense is “aiming both ways” at medium-sized businesses as well as large corporations. Deploying Sense saves money on buying appliances and dealing with upkeep, meaning the high-order capabilities of such a solution remain accessible to a wide client-base, he said.

Sense, which became available on Thursday, combines the use of a customer’s on-premise logs with Seculert’s intelligence gathered from live botnets to trace APTs. Users can upload log files using a secure FTPS tunnel or directly from a web gateway, while Sense launches a ‘big data analysis cloud’ to scrutinise the information and compare it against the thousands of malware samples collected by its team. The company bosses told ITProPortal that the firm’s data banks are now so exhaustive that it is becoming able to stop zero day attacks.

Seculert says it hopes to digest increasing amounts of data over time so it can identify attacks that are persistently bypassing standard anti-bot and secure web gateways. So in order to dig deep enough to collect this information and strengthen our online safety, does Raviv agree with RSA chief Art Coviello’s recent assertion that privacy advocates need to step back and allow the industry experts to do their jobs? In essence, yes, as he claimed the public should be willing to “share private information with them [researchers] because they are doing a great service for you.”

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