Cyber Crucible helps companies get specific about network security threats - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Dec. 21, 2018 3:33 pm

Cyber Crucible helps companies get specific about network security threats

The Severna Park–based cybersecurity company recently added CollectiPede to the tools it offers to provide details about threats.

Cyber Crucible seeks to automate network security processes.

Photo by Flicker user Christiaan Colen

Maryland’s Cyber Crucible released a new product called CollectiPede to ensure that companies can have access to an end-to-end cyber security solution, even while protecting against holiday cyber threats.

“Vulnerability to cyber attacks can be especially high during the holiday season,” said Cyber Crucible Founder Dennis Underwood. “There is typically a higher number of customers than the rest of the year, and higher numbers of IT staff on break. But hackers don’t take holiday.”

The network packet capture solution provides the ability to search historical network traffic for signs of a breach, according to the company. While CollectiPede is now industry agnostic, it was originally created for clients in the healthcare space that did not have a budget for the typical enterprise-grade network capture software, which is the first critical step in the comprehensive product offering of Cyber Crucible.

Used along with Cyber Crucible’s flagship product, Collectipede is designed to speed up the monitoring process, aligning with Cyber Crucible’s vision to help automate a long and labor-intensive process.

“We took a step back and said, ‘Is there a way we can do things using [machine learining], AI, faster and better while providing CIOs the answers to the questions they have?” Underwood said of the early stages of Cyber Crucible.

Underwood originally started working in IT to pay for his living expenses while he finished his bachelor’s in computer science, and found he had a knack for cybersecurity. He was able to combine the strategic thinking gained during his military experience with his new skills in software. Shortly after winning the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition as part of a team of students, Underwood was recruited by the NSA, where he worked for several years. He then transitioned, first as a DoD civilian, then as a contractor, where he continued to experience the challenges face by CISOs and CIOs, who did not have access to market solutions available to satisfy their needs. It was after this that Underwood explored a new approach to these challenges.

The myriad of questions that CISOs and CIOs would ask following a cyber attack regarding the impact of the intrusion, combined with a lack of qualified staff to find the attackers and their impact drove Underwood to start Cyber Crucible.

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He determined what was needed was a higher grade of cryptographic analysis using machine learning techniques that could have more impact on cybersecurity – a tool that could both speed up the analysis of these alerts to mitigate false positives while simultaneously offering insight into the what the implications of those actual alerts would be. This provides a rapid response that also gives immediate insights into where the biggest vulnerabilities are, what the security breach has impacted and why it matters, Underwood said.

Cyber Crucible is now a Severna Park–based team of 12 people. The company’s patented, cloud-based, technology inspects suspicious network traffic for confirmed cyber attacks. Machine learning and AI techniques are applied to come back to the client within minutes with the exact records stolen and commands being given by an attacker.

“It’s like we are looking over the shoulder of the hacker,” Underwood says, “and can pass those insights on to the CISO within minutes.”

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