vArmour Emerges From Stealth With Real Virtual Security

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2014-09-16 Print this article Print

After raising $42 million in funding, the security startup reveals its technology platform to secure modern IT infrastructure.

Security startup vArmour today revealed details of its technology and its plans to help provide visibility and security for the modern IT landscape.

vArmour has raised a total of $42 million in funding to fuel its development and growth efforts. Tim Eades, CEO of vArmour, explained to eWEEK that the vArmour data center security platform spans both physical and virtual infrastructure.

"It is a distributed system that allows you to put enforcement point sensors next to enterprise assets that connect to our fabric," Eades said. "The sensors correlate information to understand the traffic flows."

The vArmour system also includes capabilities to detect attackers moving around in a network. Additionally, since the vArmour sensors are placed in the network path, the system can help protect against active attacks as well.

The ability to peek into virtual traffic to provide visibility is a capability that multiple vendors are now aiming to provide, including virtualization vendor VMware. Eades said his company works with VMware to plug into the vCenter system management product and can also work with the OpenStack Neutron network project.

vArmour is hypervisor-agnostic and will work with multiple technologies, including VMware's ESX, he said. Its goal is to be able to see all the data flows and potential threats as they move around a network, regardless of the underlying physical or virtual infrastructure.

A key challenge that Eades said his company is trying to solve is helping organizations quickly realize the value of the vArmour platform—that is, organizations get visibility into traffic that they are not used to seeing.

"You'll also see bad traffic and people doing stupid things on your network," he said.

The vArmour system also includes a policy directory for security that has already been proven in early deployments. Eades said that one of vArmour's early customers has its sensors deployed across a data center and is leveraging the OpenStack cloud platform for management.

"The customer had an internal denial-of-service [DoS] attack against one of their hosts," he said. "Today, you don't want to just stop an attack immediately; you want to first understand it."

So what the customer was able to do with vArmour was it moved the server host to another part of the data center to quarantine the traffic.

Another key part of the vArmour platform is visualization of traffic that can help identify what Eades referred to as "patient zero," or the initial point of exploitation in a network. To help better understand risks, vArmour also has its own team of threat analysts to make assessments of what is actually bad traffic.

Eades is no stranger to helping lead security companies, having previously been the CEO of Silver Tail Systems, which was acquired by EMC in 2013. The market is now different from what it was in 2010, when he first became CEO of Silver Tail, according to Eades.

"The biggest difference is that big companies are now fed up with their legacy vendors and architectures," he said. "Enterprises are now more open to dealing with smaller companies because big companies have not innovated."

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


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