Bruce Hafner, PresidentThe Beast in the Corner
“Cybersecurity threats are the beast in the corner, omnipresent and ever-threatening,” begins Bruce Hafner, President, ClearArmor Corporation. “The beast is often not evident until after silently achieving its goals.” He adds, “You have to understand the network before you can slay the beast. This includes everything— network, physical, virtual, logical, and application layers.” Mr. Hafner continues, “A mature and effective cybersecurity program requires that you see the entire network, all facets,” including connectivity, endpoints, operating systems, drivers, patches, applications, users, and utilization.
As we continued our conversation, he noted that ClearArmor believes that current tools and methods leave gaps at foundational levels. These gaps result in exposure to ever-expanding cyber threats, draining precious financial and human resources in an endless war of attrition. To break the cycle, organizations require accurate, cost-effective tools that are advanced, simple to implement, simple to manage, and easy to adopt. He paused here to reinforce a key point: “and, you better be able to speak at a CEO, executive, business, and technical level.” Mr. Hafner said that too many cybersecurity programs fail due to lack of executive level buy-in, protracted adoption, and complex installation. ClearArmor believes you need a top-down approach to succeed, and this means starting with the CEO.
Why the Top-Down approach? Mr. Hafner explained, “The Board of directors, shareholders, partners, clients, and regulatory agencies demand it.” Failed cybersecurity programs lead to lost IP, eroded shareholder value, battered reputation, reduced revenue, and even legal action.” We discussed how the CIO faces a never-ending onslaught of IT initiatives, requiring the CEO as a partner to prevent loss of focus or funding. “Just as important to organizational survival as a DR program, cybersecurity cannot take a subordinate position to the technology Du Jour or other important but non-critical initiatives.”
Mr. Hafner noted that for CEO buy-in, cybersecurity must not only speak to technologists, but must also provide the executive level with business-relevant information. “The key to slaying the beast is systems that present information that can be consumed by senior executives and continue to the CIO, CISO, SecOps and others.” This empowers the CIO with advocates, systems, and information to drive a successful cybersecurity program.
To set the stage, we discussed ClearArmor's patent-pending Intelligent Cybersecurity Platform (ICSPTM), which uses methods adopted worldwide by Fortune 500, military, and other organizations, as its starting point. Underpinning the core functional structure of ICSP is a swarm of intelligent discovery bots (InDiBots). These InDiBots constantly comb through and catalog the network, from routers to switches, servers to workstations, tablets to smartphones, OS to driver, applications, and even IoT devices. They acquire up-to-the-minute, highly detailed, and highly accurate information. From the first baselining of a device and continuing through device changes, InDiBots collect intricately detailed and current information, which is relayed and processed for automated and manual analysis. Mr. Hafner presented that, “In a prevailing cybersecurity scenario, where the ICSP can rapidly leverage on-the-fly information, our platform provides endpoint information that approaches zero latency.” Mr. Hafner delineates, “At ClearArmor, we call this ‘Cyber security through visibility, at the speed of now.’ ”
‘Fire’ in the ‘Wall’
In the process of data acquisition from the diverse endpoints, every network security solution provider runs the risk of becoming a channel for data theft.
ICSP can rapidly leverage on-the fly information, providing endpoint information that approaches zero latency
By drilling an aperture through the firewall for data flow, the security platform can unintentionally allow any malignant eavesdropper to transport information through that aperture. “To solve the problem of migrating data out of a secure VLAN or subnet, ClearArmor’s ICSP can leverage sophisticated ‘collectors’ inside a specific subnet,” affirms Mr. Hafner. This ensures that data is transacted only through the ‘collectors’, reducing the risks associated with opening a much bigger window through the firewall.
The ICSP provides current and historical information for active and inactive devices, and even devices in isolated networks using alternate acquisition methods. Analytics are available on all devices, from first detection to decommissioning. Additionally, analytics are available on the current state of the device or network and at any previous point in time. Teams use this data to understand risk, progress in remediation, identifying interactions, end-of-life/support, and a multitude of other uses. “A Top-Down approach enables the CEO, CIO, CISO, and IT teams with the ability to see the level of detail they need.” ClearArmor achieves this by employing interactive and customizable dashboards and audience-specific data as a starting point. Now the CEO can discuss cybersecurity with the Board, the CIO and CISO, or other internal teams. Information can be aggregated, hyper-detailed, and relevant to many different audiences. Facilitating role-based access, the platform populates context-sensitive and relevant information on a user’s dashboard. The flagship product can effectively present aggregated data, prioritized risk information, and continue down to hash mismatches, processor utilization, geographic details, and more.
A Never-ending War
Mr. Hafner views fighting cybercrime as a series of battles in a never-ending war. Substantiating the analogy, he says that, “the ICSP offers a continuously-updated model of the organization’s battlefield.” The perennially operating discovery process gives deeper insight into an enterprise network. He goes on to presents that stagnation is not an option, “ClearArmor has a program in place to stay ahead of client needs by leveraging brainstorming sessions, client interviews, and targeted research and development. Cyber terrorists do not wait for you to catch up.”
With more promising ventures into cybersecurity automation, the company is preparing to empower the platform with deep learning and autonomous capabilities, leading to proactive network protection. “We believe the future must include more intelligent automation as organizations will never be able to sufficiently staff,” assures Hafner. “The only plausible and sustainable route is to accept intelligent and autonomous robotic process automation.” With the rapid progression in technology, and increases in inventive methods to exploit network vulnerabilities, strategic weapons become a logical imperative. Savants such as ClearArmor remain focused on driving innovation with intelligent security capabilities, putting a strong line of resistance, guarding enterprises at times of adversities. “After all, the best defense is a strong offense,” says Hafner.