Bridging the Cybersecurity Divide, Why Security Innovation Must Lead the Way

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Francis Cianfrocca

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Despite years of engineering, programming, reverse engineering, product development and a generous amount of FUD-driven marketing, the information security industry (loosely defined as representing the forces of good) lags far behind the innovation and sophistication of modern malware perpetrated by the forces of evil. Ultimately, the gap between good and evil has to narrow before we can lay claim to any real advancement in securing our most critical assets.

Since I founded Bayshore Networks, the focus on achieving innovation superiority has been paramount to our success in developing some of the most powerful next generation application firewalls to secure applications and other mission-critical assets at the network core. We've gained a solid following in what's called the 'Serious' security market: defense, critical infrastructure SCADA and industrial control system environments, and large enterprise networks. Our success, however, must be perpetual and in a continuum in order to keep proving our metal and resilience in combating modern malware. 

In early April, we announced the development and integration of a new and powerful security policy-expression language into all Bayshore firewall product lines. We call it Pallaton, meaning warrior according to Native American folklore, and a fitting descriptor for the ongoing war against modern malware perpetuation.

What makes Pallaton unique and powerful? It enables network and security administrators unparalleled control and protection of enterprise and SCADA applications down to the level of individual data elements and transactions. Pallaton also is easy to learn and use and it seamlessly scales to express access-policy and behavioral constraints, from entire global networks down to individual applications.

Pallaton also offers extremely granular controls, enabling access to actual parts of protected data streams. Pallaton's dynamic XML editor enables customers to block traffic by IP address, geographic location, timing, and other sensitive controls. Beyond its control savvy, Pallaton is protocol-aware, spanning SCADA-specific to web application protocols.

But this piece is not about plugs; it’s about recognizing the role of corporate responsibility in delivering new innovation to market, and being cognizant of the need to never rest when engaged with adversaries who have clearly mastered the art of staying ahead of the game.

Mandiant’s February APT1 report was a groundbreaker, not just because it identified a physical location where a specific and powerful nucleus of APT attackers launch 24/7 assaults, but because they used their innovation, experience, research and talents to do government-level intelligence gathering and then let the world know about it.

We believe the private sector, and more specifically vendors of information security products and services, must have a dedicated focus on innovation in order to remain competitive and relevant. Information security buyers today remain invested in heavy enterprise risk management solutions to meet compliance obligations, but we are seeing a surge in CISOs we meet who are sounding the drumbeat for more investment in tools and technologies that don’t just perform, but outperform through solid innovation.

Pallaton is just a small piece of the overall puzzle and a great example of security innovation aimed at narrowing the malware sophistication gap. We at Bayshore innovate for all the expected reasons: to sell more products, to make a measurable difference and become a truly required technology our customers can depend on for the long term. Yet we go beyond the norm by embracing innovation as a company value and instilling a culture of innovation in the talented people we hire.

We look forward to seeing more security innovation that’s aimed at narrowing the technology divide and advancing us all one step closer to security nirvana.

About the Author: Francis Cianfrocca is the founder and CEO of New York City-based Bayshore Networks, Inc.

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