Bromium Announces Protected App for Hardware-Isolated Security

Bromium is launching its new Protected App offering, which will help secure applications inside of a hardware-isolated virtualization hypervisor.

Bromium Secure Platform

Bromium is expanding its product portfolio with a new Protected App offering that it announced on Aug. 1.

Protected App provides a different capability than Bromium's flagship Secure Platform, which uses virtualization isolation to protect organizations against malware. Protected App provides a mechanism to protect apps from being manipulated or harmed, using hardware-based virtualization to isolate the app from the host operating system.

"The existing incumbent solutions around security that use a detect to protect strategy has failed enterprises," Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium, told eWEEK.

The core promise of Bromium since its creation in 2011 has been to enable the idea of Byzantine Fault Tolerance, which is a computer science concept for a system that is able to survive multiple and arbitrary forms of attack or failure of its component parts. Rather than attempting to detect new threats, Bromium's technology isolates assets to reduce the risk of a given threat.

Bromium's core product is the Secure Platform, which was last updated to version 4.1 in May. Gavin Hill, vice president of product and strategy, explained that the new Protected App offering is a different product that provides a hardware-isolated wrapper around whatever application an organization wants. Bromium is launching Protected App first with support for VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) applications.

With Protected App, Bromium will protect against man-in-the-middle, memory exploitation, registry updates and keylogging among other common attack vectors.

Virtualization

Bromium's founders had direct ties to the open-source Xen hypervisor community and used their expertise to develop what the company originally referred to as a microvisor that isolated processes. Hill said Bromium has moved on from its Xen roots, developing its own purpose-built hypervisor called AX that is at the core of both Secure Platform and Protected App. AX makes use of Intel- and AMD-based virtualization capabilities to deliver hardware-based virtualization that sits at a level below the host operating system.

For Secure Platform, Bromium uses AX to protect endpoints and help to ensure that an enterprise is not breached if a user executes a malicious binary.

"With Secure Platform, we're putting risky activities inside of an isolated environment, and we allow bad things to happen within that hardware isolation," Hill said.

Protected App flips the model to help protect against the risk that a host has already been compromised, Hill said. With Protected App, instead of worrying about the safety of the machine, Bromium is providing virtualized hardware isolation for applications.

"Protected App puts good applications and high-value assets inside a hardware isolation to protect it against risks in the environment," Hill said.

Quantifying Value

A key challenge for any security technology vendor is to help organizations measure the value that a given product or service provides. Webb said that the nature of Bromium's isolation approach enables improved visibility for organizations that can be demonstrated to both IT and business owners.

"The way we quantify value is through threat intelligence, given that we run in self-contained isolation, we get real-time kill chain analysis, increasing the time to value," Webb said. "So the business owner can quickly quantify value by showing how they can see attacks that they might not have been seeing before."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.