VMware and Carbon Black Transform Current Approaches to Data Center and Cloud Security

New joint, cloud-based security solution combines enforcement of “known good” application behaviour

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VMware, Inc. and Carbon Black announced an expanded partnership that will help transform current approaches to cloud and data center security. The companies have developed a new joint solution that will dramatically shrink an organisation’s attack surface, while empowering security teams with automated threat detection and remediation to react faster and more effectively to attacks.

This expands on a collaboration announced earlier this year, giving VMware AppDefense customers the ability to leverage Carbon Black’s Predictive Security Cloud (PSC) reputation services.

As applications become more distributed and dynamic, they have also become more difficult to secure. Traditional security solutions are not flexible enough to keep up with applications as they change over time, leading to breakdowns in security.

The majority of attacks causing damage today are not simple malware easily rooted out with “known bad” signatures. They require watching behaviour of applications for any deviation from the norm. They hinge on attackers manipulating the executables, processes, and operating system of the endpoint itself. Identifying these threats requires a deep understanding of both application behaviour and threat behaviour, something that traditional endpoint security products don’t possess.

The newly jointly-developed solution will combine VMware AppDefense and Cb Defense’s advanced threat protection to provide a unique one-two punch for stopping threats to applications inside the data center. VMware AppDefense leverages the power of the virtual infrastructure to create least privilege environments around applications. It enforces system integrity using the hypervisor, provides visibility into the intended state and behaviour of applications, and monitors state and behaviour from a protected position.

Cb Defense, running on the Predictive Security Cloud, provides a next-generation endpoint protection solution that applies behavioural approaches to detect threats. It uses streaming prevention to monitor for malicious behaviour on a machine to protect against malware and non-malware based attacks. The solution combines three key elements to advance cloud and data center security:

Enforcing Known Good Application Behaviour: By leveraging the virtual infrastructure, the solution will have an authoritative understanding of how data center endpoints are meant to behave and is the first to know when changes are made. This contextual intelligence will remove the guesswork involved in determining which changes to processes, executables, and operating systems inside a given data center endpoint are legitimate and which indicate real threats.

Detecting Unknown Threats: The solution will leverage application context to perform advanced behavioural threat detection to provide additional protection beyond least privilege. Any threat that isn’t prevented by locking down the application’s behaviour will be picked up by Carbon Black’s Streaming Prevention – a next-gen threat detection technology that uses event stream processing to correlate multiple events over time to indicate the presence of a threat. Users will see threat activity in real time, visualise the attack chain to see exactly what attackers are trying to do, and respond immediately to shut down attacks in progress.

Automating and Orchestrating Response: Once a threat is identified, the solution will allow for the full understanding of application context during investigation, and again, will use the virtual infrastructure to deliver a library of responses, ranging from suspending or snapshotting a VM, to quarantining the compromised machine and performing forensic analysis.

“CISOs understand that decreasing the attack surface is synonymous with risk reduction, but many organisations don’t have the resources to assess, plan, deploy and operate application controls,” said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst and the founder of ESG’s cybersecurity service. “AppDefense applies machine learning algorithms to alleviate this operational burden while delivering the risk-mitigating goodness of least privilege. Through this new joint solution from Carbon Black and VMware, the companies will be able to provide customers with Cb Defense to detect and respond to application threats that may evade least privilege.”

“Cloud and virtualisation provides enterprises with new security opportunities that go beyond traditional approaches,” said Patrick Morley, CEO of Carbon Black. “Carbon Black and VMware are uniquely capable of moving beyond point security solutions to give enterprises a more robust and holistic approach to securing mission critical applications running in the data center. We are looking forward to the opportunity to help businesses around the world running more than 60 million VMs achieve the highest levels of security.”

“Carbon Black and VMware will deliver a new model for security that marries complementary components, combined in ways that fully leverage the unique properties of virtualisation and cloud to help protect organisations that was previously not possible,” said Tom Corn, senior VP, Security Products at VMware. “With this new joint solution, data center endpoints can be strengthened with system integrity and least privilege, critical applications and data are safe from both non-malware and malware attacks and Security Operations will be empowered to react faster and more effectively than before.”

The new joint solution will be generally available from Carbon Black in VMware’s Q4 FY 2018, which ends on February 3, 2018.


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