Security Startup Skyfence Targets Cloud Vulnerabilities

Skyfence Networks has emerged from startup stealth mode and announced the Skyfence Cloud Gateway, which  integrates threat prevention, activity monitoring and compliance management to secure and prevent data theft on any cloud app. The company will make the product available via channel partners.

Founded by former executives from Imperva and Websense, Skyfence enables organizations to protect against the threats identified by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA): account/service traffic hijacking and malicious insiders. It’s available on a per-user, per-year basis.

“There are many benefits to moving enterprise applications to the cloud, however there are also inherent and constantly evolving risks: We need to enable cloud initiatives while maintaining our rigorous security standards,” said Kelly White, vice president of security architecture and assurance for Salt Lake City-based Zions Bank. “We are excited about Skyfence’s ability to provide complete visibility into user activity in the cloud along with automated, real-time analysis in order to identify cyber-attacks and inside threats as soon as they occur. This is what we need to keep up with the adoption of SaaS applications by the business.”

To protect cloud apps against the theft of legitimate user credentials by hackers or their abuse by malicious insiders, Skyfence has developed Dynamic User Fingerprinting technology. The company said that it can detect and block security breaches in real time without human intervention or the need to define any security policies. Dynamic User Fingering automatically analyzes network traffic and learns user activity without directly accessing the application. It creates a profile of each user based on access location, devices, recent activity, usage patterns and other parameters. This enables Skyfence to detect and prevent account hijacking due to stolen credentials, man-in-the-middle attacks from a compromised endpoint and insider attacks.

“As a rapidly growing airline with a mobile workforce using cloud apps that can be accessed anywhere we need visibility into account access and to make sure user accounts are not being hijacked. Skyfence provides that visibility with automatic anomaly detection,” said Robert Markel, director of information security for Virgin America.

In addition to its automated threat prevention capabilities, Skyfence enables security teams to set policies defining how, when and where SaaS users can access data. With multiple cloud apps being deployed across most organizations, it’s impossible for IT departments to manually monitor user activity. Skyfence serves as a single gateway for all SaaS apps that provides the visibility and security businesses need to embrace, not block, cloud usage. Since Skyfence monitors activity down to individual data objects, not just at the URL level,

“All of the organizations we have spoken with know that their confidential data in cloud apps is at risk if a user’s credentials are stolen and they lack the ability to monitor  activity in any meaningful way. And they are concerned,” said Ofer Hendler, CEO of Skyfence. “Using our expertise in deep protocol analysis, we have built a transparent product that can just as easily detect attacks that come from inside or outside  organization, and is able to monitor and capture all activity in any cloud app. The response we are hearing from customers is a sigh of relief.”

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