Canary box is a trap for hackers

A South African security firm is looking to resurrect an old approach to digital security, one which would see hackers trapped before they could steal any sensitive data.

Security breaches are among the biggest threats to businesses worldwide, and as we've seen with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Target or Anthem, getting hacked and getting your data stolen can mean millions of dollars in loss.

And the biggest issue with today's security efforts is that they're trying to keep hackers out of their systems, and often fail. But when the hackers get inside, they can roam around for days, weeks, accessing other systems and computers on the same network, discovering new sets of user credentials to gain further access to their victims, and finding valuable information to steal.

This is called „lateral movement“.

The voices calling for a different approach are getting louder – don't let the hackers roam around your system freely, once they get in. That's exactly what Thinkst company is hoping to achieve with its new Canary box product. Canary is a trap, a honeypot, it presents the hackers with a juicy target that will ring the alarm bell whenever they access it.

Hackers will inevitably discover and explore the honeypot systems, unwittingly alerting their victims to their intrusion.

This is not a completely fresh idea, as it was discussed before, but creating and maintaining an authentic-looking trap is hard, and most organizations don't bother. That's what Canary wants to solve, saying its configuration only takes a couple of minutes.

Two Canary devices and management through an online console costs $5,000 a year (£3,250).