Layered Insight Takes Aim at Container Security

Startup joins crowded competitive market for container security technologies.

Layered Insight

The market and competition for container security technology is continuing to grow. Among the newest entrants in the space is Layered Insight which announced its new CEO Sachin Aggarwal on Feb. 5.

Layered Insight got started in January 2015 and has been quietly building its technology and a business ever since. The company has not announced any funding yet, though Layered Insight does already have product in-market as it aims to help organizations gain better visibility and control of container environments.

"We'll be announcing funding soon," Aggarwal said. "We're already working with more than 24 customers, across different stages of deployment."

The Layered Insight platform integrates multiple container security capabilities including assessment, compliance and control features. Aggarwal said that his company provides insight into containerized environments including edge, Internet of Things (IoT) deployments.

"Customers want to know what's inside of a container image and how it was composed," Aggarwal said. 

Application container images can often include multiple layers of components, any one of which could include potential vulnerabilities. Aggarwal said that Layered Insight does a full software composition analysis and software fingerprinting to fully understand what all the layers of a container image include. With the understanding of container applications complete, Layered Insight then matches container usage against an organization's compliance requirements.

Going a level deeper, Aggarwal explained that the Layered Witness component of the Layered Insight platform provides visibility and behavior profiling for application containers runtime operations. The final piece of the Layered Insight platform is called Control, which is an automated enforcement module.

"It's a single platform and the idea is to provide an end-to-end experience for our customers for container security," Aggarwal said.

Deployment

When Layered Insight was first being develped in 2015, the market for container orchestration technologies had not yet consolidated. In 2017 and now in 2018, the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration has emerged to become the leading platform. Aggarwal noted that at this point most of his customers are using Kubernetes.

From a deployment perspective, Aggarwal noted that a common way for security technologies to work is to monitor traffic at the network layer. With Layered Insight the security is layered into the application containers.

"We have a machine learning engine that understands what an application image is supposed to do," Aggarwal said. "Then we apply the probes into the various layers of the container image."

Though most Layered Insight customers are currently running Kubernetes, Aggarwal noted that the deployment model is independent of the orchestration system and can also be deployed into a Docker Swarm cluster as well.  The dashboard piece of Layered Insights platform is called the Command Console, which can be run as a service in the cloud or on-premises.

The market for container security technologies is a competitive one, with multiple vendors in the market already including Aqua Security, Twistlock, Capsule8, StackRox and NeuVector among others. Aggarwal sees Layered Insight as differentiating from its competitors in multiple ways .In his view the deployment model used by Layered Insight enables improved agility and scale over other container security technologies.

"We want to be a market leader in the container security space," Aggarwal said.

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.