Rethinking Segmentation for Better Security

Cloud services and their related security challenges will continue to grow

One of the biggest shifts in the enterprise computing industry in the past decade is the migration to the cloud. As more and more organizations discover the benefits of moving their data centers to private and public cloud environments, this trend is expected to continue dominating the enterprise landscape. Gartner projects cloud services will grow exponentially from 2019 through 2022, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) being the fastest growing segment of the market, already showing an increase of 27.5% in 2019 compared to 2018.

So what’s the big challenge?

The added agility of cloud infrastructure comes with a trade-off, in the form of increased complexity of cyber security. Traditional security tools were designed for on premise servers and endpoints, focusing on perimeter defense to block the attacks at the entry point. But the dynamic nature of hybrid cloud services meant that perimeter defense became insufficient. When the perimeter itself is constantly shifting, as data and workloads move back and forth among public and private clouds and on premise data centers, the attack surfaces became much larger and required network segmentation to control lateral movement within the perimeter.

From the early days of clouds, segmentation became a popular concept. Traditionally, businesses were looking to divide the network into segments and enforce some sort of access control between the segments. In practice, the way it worked was that relevant servers were put into a dedicated VLAN and routed through a firewall. The higher level of segmentation meant smaller segment size, which reduced the attack surface and limited the impact of any potential breach.

Then – the rules of the game changed! Moving from one static cloud to dynamic, hybrid cloud-based data centers

Simple segmentation by firewalls used to work in the past, when the networks were comprised of relatively large static segments. However, the “rules of the game” have changed significantly in recent years. Dynamic data centers and hybrid cloud adoption have created problems that cannot be solved with legacy firewalls, and yet achieving segmentation is now more vital than ever before. The cadence of change to the infrastructure and application services is very high, accentuating the need for granular segments with an understanding of their dependencies and impacting their security policy.

Take, for example, the 2017 Equifax breach. The US House of Representatives report on this incident pointed directly to the lack of internal segmentation as one of the key gaps that allowed the breach impact to be so big, affecting 143 million consumers.

Regulation is another driver of segmentation. One of Guardicore’s customers, a global investment bank, needed to comply with a new regulation of SWIFT – which requires all SWIFT servers to be put into a separate segment and whitelist all connection allowed in and out of this segment. Using traditional methods, it took the bank 10 months and a costly labor-intensive process to complete this change, spurring them on to find smarter segmentation methods moving forward.

The examples above demonstrate how although segmentation is a known and well understood security measure, in practice organizations struggle to implement it properly in a cost-effective way.

Adapt easily to these changes and start micro-segmentation

To deal with these challenges, micro-segmentation was born. Micro-segmentation takes enterprise security to a new level and is a step further than existing network segmentation and application segmentation methods, adding visibility and policy granularity. It typically works by establishing security policies around individual or groups of applications, regardless of where they reside in the hybrid data center. These policies dictate which applications can and cannot communicate with each other.

Micro-segmentation includes the ability to fully visualize the environment and define security policies with Layer 7 process-level precision, making it highly effective at preventing lateral movement in a hybrid cloud environment.

Take the first step in preparing your enterprise for a better data security

Want to learn more? Listen to Guardicore’s CTO and Co-founder, Ariel Zeitlin, as he walks through the challenges and the solutions to better secure your data in his latest interview with the CIO Talk Network. In this podcast, Ariel discusses the new approaches to implementing segmentation, the key aspects you need to consider when comparing different vendors and technologies, and what comes ahead of the curve for security leaders in this space.

 

Want to learn more about how to first think through, then properly implement micro-segmentation? Read our white paper on operationalizing your segmentation project.

Read More

NSX-T vs. NSX-V – Key Differences and Pitfalls to Avoid

While working with many customers on segmentation projects, we often get questions about alternative products to Guardicore. This is expected, and, in fact, welcome, as we will take on any head-to-head comparison of Guardicore Centra to other products for micro-segmentation.

Guardicore vs. NSX-T vs NSX- V

One of the common comparisons we get is to VMware NSX. And specifically, we get a lot of questions from customers about the difference between VMware’s two offerings in this space, NSX-T vs NSX-V. Although many security and virtualization experts have written about the differences between the two offerings, including speculation on whether or not these two solutions will merge into a single offering, we think we offer a unique perspective on some of the differences, and what to pay attention to in order to ensure segmentation projects are successful. Also, regardless of which product variant an organization is considering, there are several potential pitfalls with NSX that are important to understand and consider before proceeding with deployment.

NSX-T vs. NSX-V: Key Differences

NSX-V (NSX for “vSphere”) was the first incarnation of NSX and has been around for several years now. As the name suggests, NSX-V is designed for on-premises vSphere deployments only and is architected so that a single NSX-V manager is tied to a single VMware vCenter Server instance. It is only applicable for VMware virtual machines, which leaves a coverage gap for organizations whose use a hybrid infrastructure model. The 2019 RightScale State of the Cloud Report in fact shows that 94% of organizations use the cloud — with 28% of those prioritizing hybrid cloud – with VMware vSphere at 50% of private cloud adoption, flat from last year. So, given the large number of organizations embracing the cloud, interest in NSX-V is waning.

NSX-T (NSX “Transformers”) was designed to address the use cases that NSX-V could not cover, such as multi-hypervisors, cloud, containers and bare metal servers. It is decoupled from VMware’s proprietary hypervisor platform and incorporates agents to perform micro-segmentation on non-VMware platforms. As a result, NSX-T is a much more viable offering than NSX-V now that hybrid cloud and cloud-only deployment models are growing in popularity. However, NSX-T remains limited by feature gaps when compared to both NSX-V and other micro-segmentation solutions, including Guardicore Centra.

Key Pitfalls to Avoid with NSX

While the evolution to NSX-T was a step in the right direction for VMware strategically, there are a number of limitations that continue to limit NSX’s value and effectiveness, particularly when compared to specialized micro-segmentation solutions like Guardicore Centra .

The following are some of the key pitfalls to avoid when considering NSX.

  • Solution Complexity
    VMware NSX requires multiple tools to cover the entire hybrid data center environment. This means NSX-V for ESXi hosts, NSX-T for bare-metal servers, and NSX-Cloud for VMware cloud hosting. In addition, it is a best practice in any micro-segmentation project to first start with visibility to map flows and classify assets where policy will be applied. This requires a separate product, vRealize Network Insight (vRNI). So, a true hybrid infrastructure requires multiple products from VMware, and the need to synchronize policy across them. This leads to more complexity and significantly more time to achieve results. In addition, vRNI is not well-integrated into NSX, which makes the task of moving from visibility to policy a long and complex process. It requires manual downloading and uploading of files to share information between tools.But don’t just take our word for it. A recent Gartner report, Solution Comparison for Microsegmentation Products, April 2019, stated that VMware NSX “comes with massive complexity and many moving parts”. And, when considering NSX for organizations that have implemented the VMware SDN, there is additional complexity added. For example, the network virtualization service alone requires an architecture that consists of “logical switches, logical routers routers, NSX Edge Nodes, NSX Edge Clusters, Transport Nodes, Transport Zones, the logical firewall and logical load balancers,” according to Gartner. Not to mention all the manual configuration steps required to implement.
  • Overspending on Licensing
    For many organizations, segmentation requirements develop in stages. They may not even consciously be beginning a micro-segmentation project. It could start as a focused need to protect a critical set of “digital crown jewels” or subsets of the infrastructure that are subject to regulatory requirements. VMware’s licensing model for NSX does not align well with practical approaches to segmentation like these. When deploying NSX, an organization must license its entire infrastructure. If a segmentation project only applies to 20 percent of the total infrastructure, NSX licenses must be purchased for the remaining 80 percent regardless of whether they will ever be used.
  • Management Console Sprawl
    As mentioned above, detailed infrastructure virtualization is a critical building block for effective micro-segmentation. You can’t protect what you can’t see. While micro-segmentation products integrate virtualization and micro-segmentation into a single interface, NSX does not include native visualization capabilities. Instead, NSX requires the use of a separately licensed product, vRealize Network Insight, for infrastructure visibility. This adds both cost and complexity. It also makes it much more difficult and time-consuming to translate insights from visualization into corresponding micro-segmentation policies. The impact is significant, as it puts additional resource strain on already over-taxed IT resources and results in less effective and less complete segmentation policies.
  • Limited Visibility
    Even when NSX customers choose to deploy vRNI as part of an NSX deployment, the real-time visibility it provides is limited to Layer 4 granularity. This does not provide the level of visibility to set fine-grained, application-aware policies to protect against today’s data center and cloud infrastructure threats. As environments and security requirements become more sophisticated, it is often necessary to combine Layer 4 and Layer 7 views to gain a complete picture of how applications and workloads work and develop strategies for protecting them.Also, while real-time visibility is critical, historical visibility also plays an important role in segmentation. IT environments – and the threat landscape – are constantly changing, and the ability to review historical activity helps security teams continuously improve segmentation policies over time. However, NSX and vRNI lack any historical reporting or views.
  • Enforcement Dependencies and Limitations
    As with visualization, it is important to be able to implement policy enforcement at both the network and process levels. Native NSX policy enforcement can only be performed at the network level.It is possible to achieve limited application-level policy control by using NSX in conjunction with a third VMware product, VMware Distributed Firewall. However, even using VMware Distributed Firewall and NSX together has significant limitations. For example, VMware Distributed Firewall can only be used with on-premises vSphere deployments or with VMware’s proprietary VMware Cloud for AWS cloud deployment model. This makes it non-applicable to modern hybrid cloud infrastructure.
  • Insufficient Protection of Legacy Assets
    While most organizations strive to deploy key applications on modern operating systems, legacy assets remain a fact of life in many environments. While the introduction of agents with NSX-T broadens platform coverage beyond the VMware stack, operating system compatibility is highly constrained. NSX-T agent support is limited to Windows Server 2012 or newer and the latest Linux distributions. Many organizations continue to run high-value applications on older versions of Windows and Linux. The same is true for legacy operating systems like Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX. In many ways, these legacy systems are leading candidates for protection with micro-segmentation, as they are less likely than more modern systems to have current security updates available and applied. But they cannot be protected with NSX.
  • Inability to Detect Breaches
    While the intent of micro-segmentation policies is to proactively block attacks and lateral movement attempts, it is important to complement policy controls with breach detection capabilities. Doing so acts as a safety net, allowing security teams to detect and respond to any malicious activities that micro-segmentation policies do not block. Detecting infrastructure access from sources with questionable reputation and monitoring for network scans and unexpected file changes can both uncover in-progress security incidents and help inform ongoing micro-segmentation policy improvements. NSX lacks any integrated breach detection capabilities.

With the introduction of NSX-T, VMware took an important step away from the proprietary micro-segmentation model it originally created with NSX-V. But even NSX-T requires customers to lock themselves into a sprawling collection of VMware tools. And some key elements, such as VMware Distributed Firewall, remain highly aligned with VMware’s traditional on-premises model.

In contrast, Guardicore Centra is a software-defined, micro-segmentation solution that was designed from day one to be platform-agnostic. This makes is much more effective than NSX at applying micro-segmentation to any combination of VMware and non-VMware infrastructures.

Centra also avoids the key pitfalls that limit the usefulness of NSX.

For example, Centra offers:

  • Flexible licensing that can be applied to a subset of the overall infrastructure if desired.
  • Visualization capabilities that are fully integrated with the micro-segmentation policy creation process.
  • Visibility and integrated enforcement at both Layer 4 and Layer 7 for more granular micro-segmentation control.
  • Extensive support for legacy operating systems, including older Windows and Linux versions, Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX.
  • Fully integrated breach detection and response capabilities, including reputation-based detection, dynamic deception, file integrity monitoring, and network scan detection.

Don’t Let NSX Limitations Undermine Your Micro-Segmentation Strategy

Before considering NSX, see first-hand how Guardicore Centra can help you achieve a simpler and more effective micro-segmentation approach.

Interested in more information on how Guardicore Centra is better for your needs than any NSX amalgam? Read our Guardicore vs. VMware NSX Comparison Guide

Read More

What is AWS re:Inforce?

AWS re:Inforce is a spin-off of AWS re:Invent. Why the need for a spinoff? Legend has it that the security tracks during re:Invent got so crowded that AWS decided that the security track should have a conference of its own.

AWS re:Inforce is a different kind of conference, a highly-technical conference of curated content meant for security professionals. This is a conference where knowledge runs deep and conversations go deeper, with few marketing overtures and high-level musings. Even the vendor-sponsored presentation were very technical with interesting takeaways. If your organization is invested in AWS at any level, it’s a great conference to attend. You get two condensed days of dedicated security content for the different services, architectures, and platforms offered by AWS. The content is available for multiple levels of expertise. You also get access to the top-tier AWS experts, with whom you can consult with on your different architecture dilemmas. Being that this conference turned out to be very popular, one tip I’d give next year’s attendees is to book your desired sessions as far ahead of time as you can (at least a few weeks, if possible). In conversations with colleagues, I learned that there were many who couldn’t get into all the sessions they had wanted. So I suggest you plan well for next year.

Here are some of the takeaways from the conference that I’d like to share with you:

  1. Humans don’t scale – This is not a revolutionary new thought, it’s common knowledge in the DevOps world. However the same understanding is becoming prevalent in the security industry as well. Organizations are starting to understand that as they move to the cloud, managing security for multiple dynamic environments just doesn’t scale- both from the configuration and IR perspectives. Organizations are moving away from complaining about security personnel shortage, and instead are looking to converge their multiple security platforms into 2-3 systems that provide a wide coverage of use cases and allow a high level of automation and compatibility with common DevOps practices.
  2. Security platforms converge – Organizations are transforming their IT operations to be efficient and automated. Security has to follow suit and be an enabler instead of a road block. The end goal from a CISO perspective is to achieve governance of the whole network, not just the cloud deployments or just the on-prem ones. Vendors can no longer have separate solutions for on-prem and cloud. A single unified solution is the only viable, sustainable option.
  3. Migration is hard – Migrating your workloads to the cloud is hard, migrating your security policy is even harder. Organizations moving all or some of their workloads to AWS find it very hard to keep the same level of security posture. Running a successful migration project while not compromising on security requires changing controls that do not exist any in the cloud. The existing security tools these organizations are using are not suitable or sufficient for enforcing the same security posture in the cloud.
  4. Hit F5 on your threat model – One of the main takeaways for security practitioners on AWS is to have a fresh approach to what actually needs to be secured. Make sure that as new cloud constructs and services are adopted by the organization, you actually have the right tools or policies in place to secure them. For example, solutions like AWS Control Tower (announced GA at the time of the conference), which helps you govern your AWS environment and accounts policy. When looking at the hybrid or cloud-only topologies that require a complex network model, you realize that you would need a hybrid solution to provide an overlay policy for both your cloud and on-prem assets.
  5. API is king – As our architectures and networks become more complex the ability of a human to monitor or maintain a network is becoming unrealistic. A great example is the SOAR (security automation and remediation) space. Organizations are moving away from shiny SOCs (security operation centers) with big TVs and hordes of operators. Human operators are not an effective solution over time and especially at scale. The move to automated playbooks solves both the staffing issue and the variable quality of incident handling. Each incident is handled according to a premeditated script for that scenario, with no need to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it’s smart to allow automation to be our friend, and make our lives easier.

As CISOs need to be able to secure their entire network, and not just the cloud elements, the same concepts should apply more widely to network security. These have been the cornerstones of building Guardicore Centra, a micro-segmentation solution that works across all environments, and can complement and secure your AWS strategy. Modern infrastructures are dynamic and can change thousands of times over a span of a day. Security policies should be just as dynamic and be applied just as fast and be able to adhere to the same cadence. Guardicore enables security practitioners to integrate with APIs and move at the speed of the organization. Tools that require your security and network engineers to define security policy only through the UI and do not provide a way to script and automate policy creation are not transitioning to the cloud.

We believe that security shouldn’t be an obstacle or a cause for delay, and so one single, unified solution is a must-have. This obviously needs to work in a hybrid and multi cloud reality, without interfering with AWS best practices for it to be beneficial and not slow you down.

Want to learn more about hybrid-cloud security? Watch this video about micro-segmentation and breach detection in an increasingly complex environment.

 

Interested in cloud security for hybrid environments? Get our white paper about protecting cloud workloads with shared security models.

Read More

Guardicore Achieves AWS Security Competency Status for Micro-Segmentation and Zero Trust

Guardicore Centra Security Platform Provides Segmentation for Applications, Flows and Processes, Providing Granular Policy Controls to Establish Zero Trust Micro-perimeters

Boston, Mass. and Tel Aviv, Israel – June 28, 2019 – Guardicore, a leader in internal data center and cloud security, today announced that its Centra Security platform is one of the first cloud and data center micro-segmentation solutions in the market to achieve Amazon Web Service (AWS) Security Competency status. This designation recognizes that Guardicore has demonstrated proven technology and deep expertise that helps customers achieve their cloud security goals.

“By implementing Guardicore Centra combined with the range of powerful tools from AWS, our customers are able to gain the highest level of visibility and implement micro-segmentation for enhanced security. And they can do it faster and more effectively than traditional firewall technology with our simple-to-deploy overlay that can go to the cloud, stay on-premise, or do both at the same time,” said Pavel Gurvich, CEO and Co-founder, Guardicore. “Achieving AWS Security Competency status demonstrates our ability to deliver innovative solutions that help our forward-thinking enterprise customers quickly secure their business-critical applications and data, reduce the cost and burden of compliance and secure cloud adoption.”

Moving applications and workloads to the cloud, or between clouds, is now a common attribute of the modern IT environment. However, the current security controls of such environments are still not adequate, and cloud migration presents multiple challenges for IT teams, including the loss of visibility and control over their assets.

Isolation is the solid foundation for cloud workload protection and compliance. Segmentation of network applications and their components can ensure isolation and reduce the attack surface. Guardicore Centra enables deep application dependency mapping and policy enforcement, ensuring an ongoing management process for the creation and maintenance of micro-segmentation policies. Guardicore Centra delivers a complete and flexible solution for micro-segmentation.

Achieving the AWS Security Competency differentiates Guardicore as an AWS Partner Network (APN) member that provides specialized software designed to help enterprises adopt, develop and deploy complex security projects on AWS. To receive the designation, APN Partners must possess deep AWS expertise and deliver solutions seamlessly on AWS.

AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the AWS Competency Program to help customers identify Consulting and Technology APN Partners with deep industry experience and expertise.

About Guardicore

Guardicore is a data center and cloud security company that protects your organization’s core assets using flexible, quickly deployed, and easy to understand micro-segmentation controls. Our solutions provide a simpler, faster way to guarantee persistent and consistent security — for any application, in any IT environment. For more information, visit www.guardicore.com.

Want to know more about securing workloads in AWS? Get our white paper about Protecting Cloud Workloads with Shared Security Models.

Read More

Are You on Top of the Latest Cloud Security Trends?

As enterprises embrace public and private cloud adoption, most find themselves working in a hybrid environment. Whether a hybrid architecture is a step towards becoming a fully cloud-enabled business, or an end-goal choice that allows you more freedom and flexibility over your business, you need the ability to protect your critical applications and assets across multiple environments while reducing your overall attack surface.

Understanding the Effect of Cloud Security Future Regulations

Achieving compliance can feel like an uphill struggle, with regular updates to existing regulations, as well as new regulations being written to handle the latest issues that enterprises face. While compliance doesn’t guarantee security, it’s tough to be secure without being compliant as a minimum foundation. The EU’s GDPR, for example, was created in response to the large amount of data breaches that businesses are facing, protecting PII (personally identifiable information) from attackers who would use it for identity theft, crime, and fraud. Another example is the new California Privacy laws that will go into effect in 2020. These are supposedly as strict as GDPR regulations and will affect all companies who have customers living in California, both businesses in America and internationally.

As fines and consequences for non-compliance get up and running, (GDPR fines for instance have totaled €56 million in its first year) it’s likely that businesses will start uncovering their own limitations. This will include their legacy architecture and security techniques, and prompt the companies to make changes to include public cloud services that have been built with GDPR or California Privacy compliance in mind, and extending their networks to include cloud as well as on-premises assets. It’s more important than ever that businesses put security first when making this kind of change, or they may be solving the problem of compliance at the expense of overall security and visibility.

Visibility is More Important than Ever as Businesses Adopt New Cloud Security Trends

All three main public cloud providers, AWS, Azure, and Google use the shared responsibility model. Simply put, the cloud providers manage infrastructure, and you as a customer are fully responsible for all customer data, access management, and network and firewall configuration. Each enterprise will have its own unique needs in terms of governance, SLA requirements and security overall, and in a multi-cloud environment, staying on top of this can be complex.

The bottom line is that customers often experience a lack of visibility and control when they consolidate their IT on the cloud, exactly where they need that insight and attention the most. If you have specific regulatory or industry needs, you will need more assurance that you have control over your workloads and communication flows.

Cloud-Native Environments are the Cloud Security Future

Improving your visibility across a hybrid IT ecosystem limits the chances of you falling victim to attacks on vulnerable or poorly authenticated infrastructure. Guardicore Centra offers automatic asset and dependency mapping down to the process level, allowing IT to quickly uncover and manage misconfigurations or dangerous open communications, providing early value to your business.

Once these are dealt with, a continuous view of all communication flows and assets moving forward puts your business in a strong position as attackers begin launching more sophisticated campaigns in the cloud. As cloud adoption continues to grow, future-focused businesses need to be on the lookout for cloud-native attacks that take advantage of container vulnerabilities and architectures, for example.

Shift-Left on Cloud Security

Enterprises are realizing that cloud providers are not responsible for their workload or application security, and that cloud solutions do not remove a business’ own responsibility when it comes to data security and compliance. One of the popular cloud security trends is that businesses are looking to adopt an early and continuous security solution to meet this challenge head-on. The latest micro-segmentation technology is smart and modern, robust enough to take control of an increasingly complex environment, while accomplishing early value use cases when it comes to solving infrastructure problems. As a built-in security method, the strongest micro-segmentation technology can handle a heterogeneous data center, covering legacy solutions, bare-metal, VMs, hybrid, containers, server-less and multi-cloud. One security vendor reduces complexity, which explains why many companies are opting for solutions that include strong complementary controls such as breach detection and incident response.

‘Application-Aware’ is a Cloud Security Future Must-Have

Moving to the cloud is all about businesses being able to be more flexible, scale faster and larger, providing and benefiting from new and exciting services. Your micro-segmentation solution needs to be able to keep up. Application-centric security takes over from traditional manual implementation, providing deep visibility, smart policy creation and airtight governance, protecting against threats in a holistic way. Cloud security future success is dependent on security that is built both for the cloud and all its vulnerabilities, at the same time as effortlessly managing legacy systems and everything in between.

Want to learn more about cloud security trends and how to manage a heterogeneous environment? Check out this white paper.

How to Establish your Next-Gen Data Center Security Strategy

In 2019, 46 percent of businesses are expected to use hybrid data centers, and it is therefore critical for these businesses to be prepared to deal with the inherent security challenges. Developing a next gen data center security strategy that takes into account the complexity of hybrid cloud infrastructure can help keep your business operations secure by way of real-time responsiveness, enhanced scalability, and improved uptime.

One of the biggest challenges of securing the next gen data center is accounting for the various silos that develop. Every cloud service provider has its own methods to implement security policies, and those solutions are discrete from one another. These methods are also discrete from on-premises infrastructure and associated security policies. This siloed approach to security adds complexity and increases the likelihood of blind spots in your security plan, and isn’t consistent with the goals of developing a next gen data center. To overcome these challenges, any forward-thinking company with security top of mind requires security tools that enable visibility and policy enforcement across the entirety of a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

In this piece, we’ll review the basics of the next gen data center, dive into some of the details of developing a next gen data center security strategy, and explain how Guardicore Centra fits into a holistic security plan.

What is a next gen data center?

The idea of hybrid cloud has been around for a while now, so what’s the difference between what we’re used to and a next gen data center? In short, next gen data centers are hybrid cloud infrastructures that abstract away complexity, automate as many workflows as possible, and include scalable orchestration tools. Scalable technologies like SDN (software defined networking), virtualization, containerization, and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) are hallmarks of the next gen data center.

Given this definition, the benefits of the next gen data center are clear: agile, scalable, standardized, and automated IT operations that limit costly manual configuration, human error, and oversights. However, when creating a next gen data center security strategy, enterprises must ensure that the policies, tools, and overall strategy they implement are able to account for the inherent challenges of the next gen data center.

Asking the right questions about your next gen data center security strategy

There are a number of questions enterprises must ask themselves as they begin to design a next gen data center and a security strategy to protect it. Here, we’ll review a few of the most important.

  • What standards and compliance regulations must we meet?Regulations such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and SOX subject enterprises to strict security and data protection requirements that must be met, regardless of other goals. Failure to account for these requirements in the planning stages can prove costly in the long run should you fail an audit due to a simple oversight.
  • How can we gain granular visibility into our entire infrastructure? One of the challenges of the next gen data center is the myriad of silos that emerge from a security and visibility perspective. With so many different IaaS, SaaS, and on-premises solutions going into a next gen data center, capturing detailed visibility of data flows down to the process level can be a daunting task. However, in order to optimize security, this is a question you’ll need to answer in the planning stages. If you don’t have a baseline of what traffic flows on your network look like at various points in time (e.g. peak hours on a Monday vs midnight Saturday) identifying and reacting to anomalies becomes almost impossible.
  • How can we implement scalable, cross-platform security policies?As mentioned, the variety of solutions that make up a next gen data center can lead to a number of silos and discrete security policies. Managing security discretely for each platform flies in the face of the scalable, DevOps-inspired ideals of the next gen data center. To ensure that your security can keep up with your infrastructure, you’ll need to seek out scalable, intelligent security tools. While security is often viewed as hamstringing DevOps efforts, the right tools and strategy can help bridge the gap between these two teams.

Finding the right solutions

Given what we have reviewed thus far, we can see that the solutions to the security challenges of the next gen data center need to be scalable and compliant, provide granular visibility, and function across the entirety of your infrastructure.

Guardicore Centra is uniquely capable of addressing these challenges and helping secure the next gen data center. For example, not only can micro-segmentation help enable compliance to standards like HIPAA and PCI-DSS, but Centra offers enterprises the level of visibility required in the next gen data center. Centra is capable of contextualizing all application dependencies across all platforms to ensure that your micro-segmentation policies are properly implemented. Regardless of where your apps run, Centra helps you overcome silos and provides visibility down to the process level.

Further, Centra is capable of achieving the scalability that the next gen data center demands. To help conceptualize how scalable micro-segmentation with Guardicore Centra can be, consider that a typical LAN build-out that can last for a few months and require hundreds of IT labor hours. On the other hand, a comparable micro-segmentation deployment takes about a month and significantly fewer IT labor hours.

Finally, Centra can help bridge the gap between DevOps and Security teams by enabling the use of “zero trust” security models. The general idea behind zero trust is, as the name implies, nothing inside or outside of your network should be trusted by default. This shifts focus to determining what is allowed as opposed to being strictly on the hunt for threats, which is much more conducive to a modern DevSecOps approach to the next gen data center.

Guardicore helps enable your next gen data center security strategy

When developing a next gen data center security strategy, you must be able to account for the nuances of the various pieces of on-premises and cloud infrastructure that make up a hybrid data center. A big part of doing so is selecting tools that minimize complexity and can scale across all of your on-premises and cloud platforms. Guardicore Centra does just that and helps implement scalable and granular security policies to establish the robust security required in the next gen data center.

If you’re interested in redefining and adapting the way you secure your hybrid cloud infrastructure, contact us to learn more.

Want to know more about proper data center security? Get our white paper about operationalizing a proper micro-segmentation project.

Read More

Have You Heard the News? Guardicore Employees Making Waves in Cybersecurity

Here at Guardicore, our employee successes are always a cause for celebration. We love seeing their names up in lights when they gain media attention for their achievements in cybersecurity and beyond.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of our Guardicore family who have hit the headlines recently, and understand why the Guardicore culture promotes and attracts this kind of success.

Encouraging our Diverse Voices

Ola Sergatchov, our Vice President of Corporate Strategy, was recently recognized as one of The Software Report’s Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity for 2019. An Executive Leader at Guardicore, Ola encourages women in technology to pursue both technical and leadership positions with creativity, integrity, and determination. Ola has more than 20 years in the industry, and combines technical knowledge with strategic business experience and an innovative flair.

On the topic of awesome Guardicore women who are gaining press attention, check out Danielle Kuznetz Nohi, Guardicore’s Information Security Researcher and Team Leader, featured in this article on female voices that are making a difference in cybersecurity. She talked about how she looks for the right skill set and personality when she is hiring for her team, applicants who show creativity, communication, organization and superb management ability.

Age is Just a Number

An open mind when it comes to hiring practices is an area where many companies fall short, often focusing on the age and experience of candidates rather than their skills and raw talent and potential to contribute. In contrast, at Guardicore we look for the right talent, no matter where it comes from. Rather than restricting ourselves to one ‘type’ of person, we look for interesting people with fresh ideas who can add to our teams. Omri’s story has attracted a lot of interest, as he was just 18 years old when he came to work for us. His high school teacher had sparked his interest by teaching him Scratch, and he began developing his own applications and programming websites.

When Omri applied to Guardicore, Daniel Goldberg, our Information Security Expert and Security Researcher, said that the decision to hire him was an easy one, although he knew that Omri could only join the team for a few months and then would leave for his army service. He saw the win-win nature of the situation, and said yes where others may have said no. Tangling with the bad actors and malicious hackers that only the top percentage of security experts ever grapple with is an unusual experience for any teenager, and one that Omri feels has prepared him for both his army intelligence unit, and an ongoing career in hi-tech.

Innovation and Fresh Thinking

A fresh voice shouting out from the frontlines of cybersecurity research, Ophir Harpaz is a reverse-engineering enthusiast, sharing her skills through her pet project, begin.re where even beginners can get some hands-on advice and knowledge. She was recently featured in 21 Cybersecurity Twitter Accounts You Should Follow for bestowing her insight and practical know-how to the masses. Innovative and exciting, it’s easy to see why she is such a good fit for Guardicore Labs.

Sharing her own story on her experience in cybersecurity, Product Manager, Avishag Daniely was recently featured in ITSP magazine, giving her fresh and unique perspective on how minorities in the workplace can fight their fear of failure.

We encourage our staff to work on their own unique personal goals, and then use these to excel in the workplace, too. Expanding the company’s global footprint and extending the search for talent to new markets is increasingly important. With this in mind, for Avishag, becoming confident in business Spanish, learning to present and hold meetings in this language helped her to close the culture gap, whether she was making new connections, presenting to large audiences, or building informal relationships while she temporarily relocated abroad.

The Best People for the Job

Despite the company experiencing great growth over the past few years, one unique element of Guardicore is that we still manage to keep a truly caring culture, the feeling of being one big family, celebrating one another’s successes.

I believe that this has a lot to do with our hiring practices, and how we create a strong, cohesive culture that runs through everything we do as a company. Tune in to my next blog to hear about the steps we put in place to make this happen.

The Nansh0u Campaign – Hackers Arsenal Grows Stronger

Guardicore Labs provided assistance in a ransomware investigation. We analysed the decryption process of the IEncrypt ransomware and provided a safe-to-use version of the attackers’ decryptor.

4 Insights about the Salesforce Outage

On May 17th, Salesforce announced a significant outage to its service, resulting in customers losing access to one of the most critical applications being used daily. The issue was acknowledged by Parker Harris, Salesforce’s chief technology officer and a co-founder, while the company worked together to try to resolve the critical outage as soon as possible.

At the center of the disaster was a faulty database script that was deployed in the production environment. Salesforce announced that “a database script deployment inadvertently gave users broader data access than intended.” This affected Salesforce customers who use Salesforce Pardot, a b2b marketing CRM, as well as any customers who have used Pardot in the past. The inadvertent access allowed users to both read and write permissions to restricted data.

Salesforce took initial steps to mitigate the problem by blocking access to all instances that contained impacted customers, and by shutting down other Salesforce services. This heat map below shows the extent of the blackout for Salesforce customers.

Salesforce outage map

The essential nature of the Salesforce application is self-evident, so these outages were extremely significant. Users who need Salesforce on a daily basis as part of their job found themselves idle, forcing many businesses to simply send them home.

As a data center company, focused on protecting the most critical applications, here are our essential four insights following the crisis:

  1. Think Further than Cyber-Attacks
    Always remember that cyber-attacks are not the only threats on your data center. When evaluating your data-center risks, it is important to take into account internal “threats” and implement the right controls that will protect your “digital crown jewels” – the most critical business applications and processes. For example, separating your production and development environments is foundational for strong security, ensuring that testing scripts cannot run in your production environment, even in the case of human error.
  2. Always Consider the Cloud
    Companies are increasing their presence on the cloud, for reasons such as a positive impact on cost, maintenance efforts, and flexibility. However, security needs to be considered from the outset of your cloud strategy. Some companies are unaware that cloud apps have a greater exposure to different threats due to lack of visibility and the difficulty to introduce policy and controls. On the cloud, your business is at greater risk in the case of a breach or an outage.
  3. Zero Trust
    You cannot trust your single point of configuration to control and isolate your environment. Best practice is to criticize your controls and simulate the situation of failures. Zero Trust, the approach of “never trust, always verify,” can be focused on lateral movement and breach detection attempts in internal vs. external networks. However, it can also be relevant for any security controls that are being used or updated. In many cases, your business is in danger from internal threats, misconfigurations, and innocent mistakes, all of which can be as catastrophic as a malicious cyber-attack. The zero trust approach helps to limit the damage.
  4. Be Ready for a Crisis
    Distributed controls are your strongest weapon to ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality. These will allow you to act quickly against the unexpected, especially in hybrid cloud environments where you need to manage multiple clusters and control planes. Make sure that you have the visibility and control of your entire environment that allows you to instantly isolate any affected environments. This will give you time to put your incident response plan into place, and protect your critical assets until a solution has been found.

The Salesforce outage shows that mistakes can happen to anyone, and the best protection is always going to be preparation. Start by separating your environments, limiting the exposed surface, and then move on to using the zero trust model to keep your most critical assets safe from harm, even in a hybrid-cloud infrastructure. Remember that without adequate segmentation, you are exposing your applications to internal threats as well as external ones. With strong data center security, you are one step ahead at all times.

Want to learn more about micro-segmentation in the cloud? Read our white paper on how to secure today’s modern data centers.

Download now

Guardicore Raises $60 Million; Continues to Build Momentum in Cloud and Data Center Security

Led by New Investor Qumra, Funding Fuels Company Growth and Continued Disruption in Firewall and Data Center Markets

Boston, Mass. and Tel Aviv, Israel – May 21, 2019 – Guardicore, a leader in internal data center and cloud security, today announced it has raised $60 million in Series C funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $110 million. This more than doubles the total capital raised to date and represents an endorsement of Guardicore’s current momentum as the company continues to disrupt the broader firewall and data center markets.

“Any organization has critical IT assets that need to be secured. Our distributed, software-defined segmentation solution is the simplest way to secure these assets whether they reside in the cloud or on premises. The days of being chained to legacy firewalls are over,” said Pavel Gurvich, CEO and co-founder of Guardicore.  

New investor Qumra Capital led the round and was joined by other new investors DTCP, Partech, and ClalTech, Access Industries’ vehicle for Israeli technology investments. Existing investors Battery Ventures, 83North, TPG Growth, and Greenfield Partners also participated in the round. Guardicore will leverage the funds to fuel continued growth and accelerate investments in sales, marketing and customer service as it seeks to expand delivery of its Guardicore Centra security platform to enterprise organizations seeking to protect dynamic data center and cloud infrastructure environments. Ram Metser, Executive Chairman of Segterra, Inc., an innovative digital health analytics company, and former CEO of Guardium, Inc., a dominant database security company acquired by IBM, also joined the Guardicore board of directors.

Continued Gurvich, “Since our last round of funding, we have successfully been able to articulate our vision and demonstrate that the market is ripe for disruption. With consistent revenue growth the past three years and large-scale deployments with numerous Fortune 500 customers, we have proven that our product is more intuitive, flexible, and makes security easier to apply than traditional firewall technology currently being used to protect internal and cloud infrastructure. We are displacing incumbent players and newcomers alike as we strive to help our enterprise customers quickly secure their business-critical applications and data, reduce the cost and burden of compliance and secure cloud adoption.”

“Deutsche Bank is committed to the highest standards of security and a high priority for us is implementing tight network segmentation in our on-premise and cloud environments. Guardicore gives us an effective way to protect our critical assets through segmentation,” said Alan Meirzon, Director, Chief Information Security Office at Deutsche Bank, a Guardicore customer.

“Guardicore is changing the way enterprises approach data center security with modern segmentation capabilities that overcome the inherent inefficiencies of traditional techniques and results in stronger security for enterprise environments,” said Boaz Dinte, founding partner of Qumra Capital, investing in exceptional late-stage companies. “Guardicore is disrupting the market and is well positioned to capitalize on the broader opportunities this presents. We were compelled to invest as the lead in this round because we believe Guardicore will play a critical role in shaping the future of enterprise security, helping organizations better protect vital systems and data as we evolve our digital information society.”

“Guardicore is led by an exceptionally strong team with deep tech know-how and has demonstrated consistent growth and momentum since inception. With wide-spread adoption of distributed and hybrid infrastructures, we need a new paradigm for enterprise security outside of classic perimeters,” said Irit Kahan, Managing Director at DTCP, a global investment platform with c. $1.7 billion assets under management from Deutsche Telekom and other institutional investors. “The company’s unique market positioning and attractive roster of customers across the US and Europe, including some of the largest Fortune 500 names, have validated the value and scale of Guardicore’s approach and strong capabilities.”

Guardicore protects data centers of large and mid-sized enterprises across North America, South America, and EMEA in financial, healthcare and retail industries, including global, blue-chip brands.

About Guardicore

Guardicore is a data center and cloud security company that protects your organization’s core assets using flexible, quickly deployed, and easy to understand micro-segmentation controls. Our solutions provide a simpler, faster way to guarantee persistent and consistent security — for any application, in any IT environment. For more information, visit www.guardicore.com.