RSA Acquires Fortscale, Expands NetWitness SIEM Platform

RSA is acquiring privately held user and entity behavior analytics vendor Fortscale in a bid to bring enhanced visibility to the NetWitness security information and event management platform.

RSA NetWitness Fortscale

RSA, a Dell Technologies business, announced on April 5 that it is acquiring user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) security startup Fortscale. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

News of the acquisition of Fortscale, which has raised $23 million in venture funding since it was founded in 2014, comes the same day that RSA is announcing the 11.1 update to its NetWitness platform, which in the future will benefit from the integration of Fortscale's UEBA technology.

"The acquisition enhances RSA NetWitness Platform by adding UEBA to the evolved SIEM [security information and event management] capabilities, helping to uncover compromised and abused accounts, insider threats and other targeted attacks," Mike Adler, vice president for RSA NetWitness, told eWEEK.

NetWitness itself came to RSA via a 2011 acquisition and has been expanded in the years since with capabilities that enhance the SIEM platform. In July 2017, RSA announced NetWitness 11, providing improved security investigation capabilities. In the new NetWitness 11.1 update, RSA has included a capability it calls UEBA Essentials, which Adler said is different from what the future Fortscale integration will provide. The Fortscale technology is set to become rebranded as RSA NetWitness UEBA.

"RSA NetWitness UEBA Essentials is a free content pack that enables any RSA NetWitness Platform customer to leverage advanced correlation rules to identify anomalies in user behavior," Adler said. "RSA NetWitness UEBA will be sold as part of the RSA NetWitness SIEM Platform, providing machine learning and data-driven UEBA to complement the free content pack."

NetWitness Orchestrator

NetWitness 11.1 also introduces a new Orchestrator component to help automate security incidence response and investigation procedures. Orchestrator enables organizations to automate investigations, so that the things that are repetitive and routine can be completed quickly by the system, Adler said. 

Orchestrator makes use of machine learning to help understand what analysts are doing to suggest possible areas for automation, Adler said. He added that a key goal for Orchestrator is to give analysts more time to deal with alerts by automating the common repetitive tasks.

"I think the Orchestrator will help to make the entire SoC [Security Operations Center] more efficient, " Adler said.


Another new addition to NetWitness is the Endpoint Insights agent. Adler said that the endpoint agent provides visibility into what is happening on endpoint devices. The NetWitness platform now also includes a specific endpoint experience, such that an analyst can get a complete view of endpoint activity, ranging from things coming from the network layer and servers, all correlated with insight from the endpoint including system processes, he said.

Looking forward, Adler said the RSA will continue to build out and improve the NetWitness platform. He noted that RSA is set to introduce some new scaling capabilities in future updates to help make the platform simpler to manage and install.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and 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.