Executive View

Balabit Blindspotter

Blindspotter is a real-time analytics solution, which identifies external and internal security threats by detecting anomalies in user behavior.

Alexei Balaganski

ab@kuppingercole.com

1 Introduction

Balabit IT Security is an international information security vendor headquartered in Luxembourg. Founded in 2000 in Hungary, the company still maintains their research and development centers there; however, with multiple sales offices in Europe, US and Russia and a large partner network it has a strong global market presence. Above all, the company is widely known for their flagship product syslog-ng, the de-facto standard log management tool for Unix-like platforms, which is used in over a million installations around the world, as well as its commercial counterpart syslog-ng Premium Edition. Another key area of Balabit’s expertise is Privilege Management (PxM), and the company offers a specialized privileged activity monitoring solution called Shell Control Box.

Blindspotter is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio, released in 2015 as a solution for real-time user behavior analysis to help identify unknown threats and suspicious activities within corporate networks. This development logically follows the latest information security trends, as well as Balabit’s own CSI (contextual security intelligence) concept, which states that additional levels of security controls that restrict business performance should be avoided and more efficient monitoring tools should be deployed instead.

With eroding network perimeters and an ever growing number of sophisticated attacks combining vulnerability exploits with social engineering, users (or rather their identities) have become the most critical part of a company’s security infrastructure. Since traditional pattern-based security tools cannot provide protection against such threat vectors like phishing attacks or actions of malicious insiders, utilizing correlation analysis to look for anomalies in user behavior and thus detecting previously unknown suspicious activities remains the only feasible approach to this problem.

The initial release, which we reviewed back in September 2015, already demonstrated great potential. Its flexible and extensible architecture enables both high scalability and integration with a large number of third party security solutions. Pluggable connectors along with an API stack for custom development ensure that data from a large number of sources can be correlated, and an impressive number of supported analysis methods goes far beyond a typical product based on a commodity framework like Apache Hadoop.

The latest version, released in March 2016, has incorporated several new developments in the field of real-time security intelligence, such as detection of scripted activities to reveal accounts hijacked by malware or hacking tools, as well as biometric analysis of mouse movements and keystroke dynamics, and improved screen content analysis to analyze user activities in Windows environments.

Naturally, Blindspotter is tightly integrated with Balabit’s own Log Management and Privileged Monitoring solutions and additionally supports a large number of other data sources, such as leading IAM solutions, cloud applications or any other source via a standard API or custom-developed plugin. Thus, Blindspotter is a key component of the company’s Contextual Security Intelligence Suite, an integrated Real-time Security Intelligence Platform providing detection and protection from advanced persistent threats, VIP account misuse and data leaks.

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