Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

12/7/2006
06:35 AM
50%
50%

GTB Goes for Data Lockdown

Startup touts binary code for email security smackdown

The challenges of securing data between offices in the Ukraine and the U.S. led to the creation of security startup GTB Technologies, which now is ramping up efforts to lock down users' internal data.

The startup, founded back in 2004, is an offshoot of dial-up acceleration company Proxyconn. Uzi Yair, GTB's founder and CEO, says he saw that security hardware was a growth opportunity as the dialup business shrank. The challenges of securing data between Proxyconn's Newport Beach, Calif., headquarters and a development site in Kiev, Ukraine, made Yair realize that the future was all about security.

"Having an office in Kiev, halfway around the world, always makes you nervous about someone stealing your intellectual property," says the exec.

The end result was GTB's one-rack-unit-high Inspector device, launched a couple of months ago, which sits behind users' firewalls and checks outgoing emails and messages for data leaks. It costs about $30,000.

Although a number of vendors, including Vontu and Vericept, are also playing in the content monitoring space, Yair claims a new approach to the data leakage problem. (See Content Filtering Options Proliferate, Stop That Email!, and Security Startups Flood the Market.)

Instead of searching for keywords such as "confidential" and "customer list" within outgoing messages, GTB applies a hash algorithm to documents marked as confidential. The data about the docs resides in binary code in a database on the Inspector device. As messages are sent out across the network, the startup runs an algorithm on them and checks whether they match the record on its database. If the data matches, the device prevents the message from being sent, and notifies a preselected administrator.

According to Yair, using binary code is more accurate than checking for certain words, because it prevents the possibility of "false positives," which might occur when a word like "confidential" appears in a message that does not actually contain any sensitive data.

A drawback is getting users to assign their messages and documents a confidential status. Yair says this can be done by prompting them when a document or message is created, but the onus is still on the user -- a wild card in any security strategy.

At least one analyst thinks GTB faces an uphill challenge. "It’s going to he hard, they are a small company," says Jonathan Penn, principal analyst at Forrester Research. He warns that GTB may have some catching up to do with the competition. Although the startup is pushing its code-based approach to data leakage, other security vendors, such as Vericept and PortAuthority, have the edge when it comes to their systems' "learning capabilities." This means they can automatically create templates from sets of documents, such as financial contracts, that can be used to block messages and files.

Encryption, though, is the next priority for Yair and his team. Next week, the startup will take the wraps off an upgraded version of the GTB Inspector device, which, according to Yair, will monitor encrypted SSL data. "Oftentimes firms say that 'the data that I am sending out is encrypted so I don't have to worry [about a data leak],' but that's a fallacy," he explains.

The CEO warns that an unscrupulous salesman who is about to leave a firm, for example, could send an encrypted customer database to himself: "The question is not whether it's encrypted, it's whether it's supposed to go out."

Currently, the 30-employee startup has just three customers, according to Yair. Only one of these, Picatinny Federal Credit Union in Dover, New Jersey, has been announced, although the exec says that GTB is currently in discussion with a total of 70 "large enterprises."

Funding is not an issue for the startup, at least according to Yair. "We're totally independent, self-funded, and organically growing," he says, explaining that GTB uses the ongoing Proxyconn business as its "cash cow." GTB, he adds, should reach profitability sometime in the first quarter of next year.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Forrester Research Inc.
  • GTB Technologies
  • PortAuthority Technologies Inc.
  • Vericept Corp.
  • Vontu Inc.

     

    Recommended Reading:

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 7/6/2020
    Another COVID-19 Side Effect: Rising Nation-State Cyber Activity
    Stephen Ward, VP, ThreatConnect,  7/1/2020
    Lessons from COVID-19 Cyberattacks: Where Do We Go Next?
    Derek Manky, Chief of Security Insights and Global Threat Alliances, FortiGuard Labs,  7/2/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
    This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-15600
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
    An issue was discovered in CMSUno before 1.6.1. uno.php allows CSRF to change the admin password.
    CVE-2020-15599
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
    Victor CMS through 2019-02-28 allows XSS via the register.php user_firstname or user_lastname field.
    CVE-2020-8916
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
    A memory leak in Openthread's wpantund versions up to commit 0e5d1601febb869f583e944785e5685c6c747be7, when used in an environment where wpanctl is directly interfacing with the control driver (eg: debug environments) can allow an attacker to crash the service (DoS). We recommend updating, or to res...
    CVE-2020-12821
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
    Gossipsub 1.0 does not properly resist invalid message spam, such as an eclipse attack or a sybil attack.
    CVE-2020-15008
    PUBLISHED: 2020-07-07
    A SQLi exists in the probe code of all Connectwise Automate versions before 2020.7 or 2019.12. A SQL Injection in the probe implementation to save data to a custom table exists due to inadequate server side validation. As the code creates dynamic SQL for the insert statement and utilizes the user su...