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Three unique security solutions to take note of

Oct 26, 20174 mins

A recent analyst and journalist event in Silicon Valley included a range of innovative solutions in the security space—here are three that might be worth taking a look at

As everything moves unequivocally online, security flaws also reveal themselves left, right and centre. While high profile security breaches—like Equifax—only place further pressure on organisations. A recent analyst and journalist summit in in Silicon Valley I attended included a number of innovative solutions in the space, below are three which seemed to offer something unique.

Stop an Active Directory takeover

What it is? Javelin Networks stops intruders from gaining deeper access to the corporate network by making it nearly impossible to gain IT administrator privileges via Active Directory.

Why it is interesting? “People are waking up to the fact—not that intruders have gained access—but that they have remained undetected,” explained Greg Fitzgerald, COO at Javelin Networks. Once a breach has occurred and something is inside a corporate machine, it is very easy (via standard Active Directory commands used by approximately 95% of Fortune 500 organisations) to gain access to the wider network.

This solution basically spoofs a version of Active Directory command lines to make it hard for an attacker to detect the real version. This makes it nearly impossible for the attacker to move within the organisation and limits the time it takes for the organisation to detect the malicious insider.

What else should you know? This was started in 2015 by Israeli hackers from Unit 8200—trained in how to use Active Directory to spy. Following all the problems Chinese Huawei has had in the US and the recent issues with Russian Kaspersky, a company like this could generate serious trust issues.

Safeguard mobile phones form live hacks

What it is? Zimperium uses machine learning to detect new malicious threats, in real-time, on a mobile device.

Why it is interesting? “Live detection of malware is damn important and we’re the only ones who are doing it,” said John Michelson CPO at Zimperium. In practice this involves an initial scan of the device followed by ongoing analysis of errors with minimal battery use. The latest malware—like Dirty Cow which began to impact Android in 2016—had already been stopped on Zimperium-protected machines before it had a name yet.

There is also an SDK for developers building mobile apps. Anecdotally Michelson told us that they did a broad test of 2,000 apps in the Google Play store and 20 were first reported as infected and two were eventually pulled from the store. This analysis, which would have taken trained threat researchers a week, was delivered in a matter of hours.

What else should you know? Despite the increased emphasis on security, it is still notoriously difficult in the mobile space. This is particularly important in the enterprise because these devices leave the network and aggressively attach to the strongest wi-fi signal available. In effect, this means for a bit of effort and not very much money devices can then be infiltrated incognito and used as a weapon against the organisation.

Providing better real-time fraud detection to credit cards

What it is? Ondot delivers improved fraud detection by linking credit card use to mobile phone location and providing virtual credit cards where appropriate.

Why it is interesting? “Most people have had a credit card denied for the wrong reason,” explained Gary Singh, VP of marketing at Ondot. This solution aims to limit this, via an app, which provides individuals with greater visibility and control on their card.

At first glance this sounds like a pure consumer solution but it could also provide safer financial management for organisations. For example it offers the possibility to limit a card to a particular geographical area and only allows card payments when they take place in the same location as an individual’s mobile phone. It also means if a card is breached a virtual card can be issued, even for a single transaction, and if the card has already been cancelled.

What else should you know? Some of this functionality is clearly already available in individual banking apps and this is yet another app to add to the vast existing arsenal on most phones. Solutions like this could also prompt criminals to ensure they always steal phones and payment details together, which just creates another problem.