March Newsletter 2019

Quote of the Month

“Look at risk as more of a compass than a watch.”

– Steve Katz, Owner, Security Risk Solutions, LLC

The Backstory

We love the RSA Conference! We had a great week at RSAC 2019, and a highlight of the week was a well-attended CISO roundtable moderated by the original CISO, Steve Katz. We can’t divulge what was discussed, but we can tell you there was a heated conversation about risk. At some point during the conversation, Steve made the comment, “Look at risk as more of a compass than a watch.” A wise observation. Do you know where you’re headed as you map out your risk mitigation strategy?

Start with the Highest Risk Users and Entities

The biggest opportunity to reduce risk is to focus on securing your highest risk users and assets. Privileged users and accounts have the “keys to the kingdom” so you absolutely need to lock them down. If you don’t have a privileged access management (PAM) product, get one. PAM puts privileged accounts in a vault and requires privileged users to check in and check out passwords. You have an audit trail for compliance purposes, but you still need to monitor what privileged users are actually doing. Session recording does not scale, consumes an obscene amount of storage, and can’t catch malicious activity in real time. Luckily, new technologies leveraging data science and big data eclipse these solutions. You need a security analytics product since insider threats and zero day attacks cannot be detected without one.

Behavior based security analytics powered by machine learning will detect anomalous behavior associated with privileged users and assets in real time, and alert you to risky activity. In this way, you can stop data from being exfiltrated or corrupted. Security analytics also detects if privileged accounts have been compromised by cyber criminals. It will notice atypical behaviors – impossible to detect at scale without machine learning – so you can get ahead of the threat. Outsiders need to search for critical data and assets so their lateral movement will be uncharacteristic. Security analytics finds odd behaviors indicative of true risk and raises alerts so you can take immediate action.

Implement Risk-based Controls

Let’s take this to the next level. Let’s say you don’t have to take action. Instead, what if you could automate the action you would have taken manually? Here’s where security analytics gets really interesting and becomes a game changer. The premise behind Gurucul’s security analytics platform is to provide risk scores so you can implement risk-based controls. We take structured and unstructured data feeds from every possible security and identity product – SIEM, IAM, PAM, firewall, DLP, EDR, AD/LDAP, SAP, Salesforce, EPIC, etc. (even proprietary business applications) – and generate a unified risk score for every user and entity in your organization.

Do not discount the value of that unified risk score. Your disparate applications may perform analytics on their siloed data, but all that gives you is a distorted and incomplete view of risk. Your PAM solution may say user Monroe is a high risk user. Your IGA product rates him as medium risk. And, your SIEM sees him as low risk. Which platform are you going to believe? We aggregate all those disparate data feeds to give you a holistic view of that user (or entity) across all your applications and systems. We give you risk prioritized intelligence.

Why is that important? It’s important because you can focus on the highest risk users and entities in your organization. It’s all about risk and these unified risk scores are invaluable. We put a value between 1 and 100 on people and assets. Mind you, there’s a colossal amount of data science, machine learning and analytics that goes into generating that value or risk score, so it’s a number you can depend on. It’s the difference between maybe and definitely. You definitely know this risk score can be trusted. With that trust in place, you can confidently implement controls based on that risk score.

Remove Friction with Risk Based Authentication

Here’s an example, just one of hundreds. We have customers using our risk score to reduce friction for consumers. Everyone hates passwords. You use the same password or a version of that password for virtually everything. That’s definitely not a best security practice. But we can’t change consumer behavior. We can, however, mitigate consumer risk. Here’s where security analytics shines. Low risk consumers accessing low risk assets authenticate without friction. The consumer’s risk score is low. The asset risk score is low. Just let it go. On the other hand, high risk users accessing high risk assets are required to jump through flaming hoops to gain access – MFA, pin code, etc. The risk score dictates the control. So cool, so smart, and so easy to do with our security analytics platform. It’s called Risk Based Authentication. Check it out!

Execute Continuous Risk Mitigation

Risk is not something you stop. From an information security perspective, you can’t say, “our risk is over.” Risk isn’t a yes or no, it’s not something you can turn on or off. All you can do is put in place strategies and tactics to reduce risk. This is why you cannot have a point in time where you can accurately say, “we are risk free.” You must have a continuous risk mitigation strategy because there are always bad actors looking for new ways to infiltrate your borderless perimeter.

Acknowledge Time Is Not on Your Side

Right now, criminals and malicious insiders are executing cyber attacks at machine speed. You don’t have time to waste. You don’t have time, period. You need to act now, and you need the right products, people and processes. You also need a good partner. We are here to help. And, we offer an amazing process for quick starting your security analytics program. Give us five days and we’ll give you fast results. Contact us today to get started.

Gurucul Shortlisted for Best Behavior Analytics/Enterprise Threat Detection in SC Awards Europe 2019

Gurucul Risk Analytics Demonstrates Global Leadership in the Largest Ever Field of Competitors

Gurucul is a finalist in this year’s SC Awards Europe competition, one of the security industry’s most prestigious and competitive technology recognition programs. The Gurucul Risk Analytics (GRA) platform was shortlisted in the Best Behavior Analytics/Enterprise Threat Detection category.

“This year there have been more entrants to the SC Awards Europe than ever before, and the standard of entries has been exceptional, making the job of our judges even harder, putting in even more work than usual to choose the best of the best,” writes Tony Morbin, Editor-in-Chief at Haymarket Media Group, publisher of SC Magazine UK. “With the industry’s leading lights participating, it truly is an achievement to make the shortlist…”

machine learning models

Insiders are Biggest Security Problem for Companies Today: Cyber Security Expert

Saryu Nayyar, CEO and Founder, Gurucul

Insider threats are the biggest cyber security problem for companies today because they can cause the most damage and are much harder to detect and prevent. Insiders are just that—insiders with keys to the kingdom. They know where the sensitive company or customer data is and who has access to it, so they know exactly where to strike if they decide to take action. Cyber criminals use automated hacking tools continuously to attempt to breach an organisation. And, when they do break in, they still need to surveil the network to find the data worth exfiltrating. Insiders are already in the network and know where the proverbial gold bars are stored and who has the keys. All they need to do is find a way to access those keys or use the ones they have.

Read More

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A-Nut-Worth-Cracking A Nut Worth Cracking. We talk to a number of market research firms and meet with a lot of analysts. On this particular day, we met with an analyst who had a colorful vocabulary. We were talking about our Behavior Based Security Analytics platform and where we could make ground-breaking strides. In reviewing some opportunities, he got very excited about a particular strategy and said, “It’s a nut worth cracking.” We agree. Read More.
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Join Us

Oktane19. April 1​-4​, 2019​. San Francisco, CA. Join us at the annual Okta user’s conference for a glimpse at our Okta integration.

FS-ISAC Annual Summit. April 28​-May 1​, 2019​. Orlando, FL. As a gold sponsor, Gurucul will be presenting this year, “Closing the User Intelligence Gap Combining Identity with User Activity.” See you there!

Health-ISAC 2019 Spring Summit. May 13​-17​, 2019​. Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Gurucul will have a panel of healthcare customers presenting at this year’s Summit on “Behavior Based Security Analytics Best Practices”. Join us!


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