By Adedapo Adesanya
Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, has announced the acquisition of Braintrace to manage cyber threats and provide responses to its customers.
This further enhances Sophos’ Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem with Braintrace’s proprietary Network Detection and Response (NDR) technology.
Braintrace’s NDR provides deep visibility into network traffic patterns, including encrypted traffic, without the need for Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) decryption. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Braintrace launched in 2016 and is privately held.
As part of the acquisition, Braintrace’s developers, data scientists and security analysts have joined Sophos’ global Managed Threat Response (MTR) and Rapid Response teams.
Sophos’ MTR and Rapid Response services business has expanded rapidly, establishing Sophos as one of the largest and fastest-growing MDR providers in the world, with more than 5,000 active customers.
Braintrace’s NDR technology will support Sophos’ MTR and Rapid Response analysts and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) customers through integration into the Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, which underpins all Sophos products and services.
The Braintrace technology will also serve as the launchpad to collect and forward third-party event data from firewalls, proxies, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other sources.
These additional layers of visibility and event ingestion will significantly improve threat detection, threat hunting and response to suspicious activity.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mrs Joe Levy, chief technology officer, Sophos said, “You can’t protect what you don’t know is there, and businesses of all sizes often miscalculate their assets and attack surfaces, both on-premises and in the cloud. Attackers take advantage of this, often going after weakly protected assets as a means of initial access.
“Defenders benefit from an ‘air traffic control system’ that sees all network activity, reveals unknown and unprotected assets, and exposes evasive malware more reliably than Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS).”
“We’re particularly excited that Braintrace built this technology specifically to provide better security outcomes to their Managed Detection and Response (MDR) customers.
“It’s hard to beat the effectiveness of solutions built by teams of skilled practitioners and developers to solve real-world cybersecurity problems,” he added.
Sophos will deploy Braintrace’s NDR technology as a virtual machine, fed from traditional observability points such as a Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) port or a network Test Access Point (TAP) to inspect both north-south traffic at boundaries or east-west traffic within networks.
These deployments help discover threats inside any type of network, including those that remain encrypted, serving as a complement to the decryption capabilities of Sophos Firewall.
The technology’s packet and flow engine feed a variety of machine learning models trained to detect suspicious or malicious network patterns, such as connections to Command and Control (C2) servers, lateral movement and communications with suspicious domains.
Since Braintrace built its NDR technology specifically for predictive, passive monitoring, its engine also provides intelligent network packet capture that IT security administrators and threat hunters can use as supporting evidence during investigations. The novel NDR analysis and prediction technique is patent pending.
On his part, Mr Bret Laughlin, CEO and co-founder of Braintrace said, “NDR is critical to successful threat hunting. Braintrace’s competitive differentiation is its unique NDR technology that our MDR analysts leveraged for finding, interrupting and remediating cyberattacks.
“With our own NDR technology, the team responds faster and more accurately because of the real-time, automated visibility and threat verification they have into encrypted traffic.
“We built Braintrace’s NDR technology from the ground up for detection and now, with Sophos, it will fit into a complete system to provide cross-product detection and response across a multi-vendor ecosystem.”
Braintrace’s NDR technology is a key component for defending against cyberattacks today and in the future.
Sophos research demonstrates how adversaries aggressively and constantly change tactics to evade detection and execute their attacks.
Braintrace’s technology helps uncover malicious C2 traffic from malware, such as ColbaltStrike, BazaLoader and TrickBot, as well as zero-days, that could lead to ransomware and other attacks. This visibility allows threat hunters and analysts to pre-empt any potential ransomware attack, including recent strikes by REvil and DarkSide.
Sophos plans to introduce Braintrace’s NDR technology for MTR and XDR in the first half of 2022.
Nigerian Start-ups Jostle for #StartupSouth’s $30k Equity Pool
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Start-ups in Nigeria have been given an opportunity to pitch for a pre-seed equity pool of $30,000 offered by an SSE Angel Network known as #StartupSouth.
The firm is organising a boot camp later in the year and it has opened applications for entries, which close on Thursday, September 30, 2021, a statement made available to Business Post read.
The StartupBootCamp by #StartupSouth is a two-week virtual acceleration programme aimed to identify early-stage start-ups within the South-South and South-East regions of the country with competent teams, high growth potential, signs of traction, and the ability to create jobs.
It was stated that the start-up teams while undergoing the training, will receive support to revalidate their business model, prepare for pitching and linkages with potential investors at a DealDay Session during #StartupSouth6 in Enugu.
According to the statement, the top five teams will slug it out for a share of up to $30,000 equity pool made available by SSE Angel Network.
“For the last 7 years, #StartupSouth has consistently pushed for a more democratized tech and innovation ecosystem where founders, especially within the South-East/South-South regions, can access funds and support, thereby giving investors more deals.
“We are excited to open the call for the StartupBootCamp by #StartupSouth,” one of the representatives of the firm, Owen Shedrack, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Interested teams have been advised to apply via https://bit.ly/ss6-pitch.
Sigma Pensions Trains 100 in Digital Marketing, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), Sigma Pensions, in collaboration with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), recently trained 100 youths in Digital Marketing, Web Development and Graphics Design.
The 5-day Digital Bootcamp was part of Sigma Pensions’ Corporate Social Responsibility to equip young people with digital skills that will add value to them, improve their employability, create businesses and in extension grow the Nigerian economy.
As a business that has experienced the power of digital technology and its exponential impact on growth, the project is timely and relevant especially in these times when STEM skills are in high demand.
Held from September 6-10, participants ranging from age 18 – 25 came together for the live event which was held at John Centre Hall, Peb 04 Plaza, Dalaba Street, Behind Shoprite, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.
Day 1 of the intensive digital boot camp introduced participants to data analysis, and digital marketing fundamentals.
The Sigma team was available on Day 2 to educate participants briefly on financial literacy after which a deep dive into the web development and graphics sessions commenced.
The graphics sessions covered the technical know-how of graphics design; visual hierarchy, page layout techniques, design use typography.
Web development classes covered the practical and theoretical aspects of web development, which involved developing a website for the Internet (World Wide Web) and also Content Management System (CMS).
The 5-day event closed with an exhibition where participants showcased their ideas, websites and designs where the most outstanding group was rewarded with a cash prize of N200,000.
Mr Afolabi Folayan, the Executive Director, Operations Sigma Pensions, stated that, “In 2016, we embarked on a digital transformation journey which has resulted in a radical transformation in our business and service delivery to both internal and external customers.”
He noted that by leveraging technology, Sigma Pensions had little or no negative impact during the pandemic as seamless customer service was achieved with minimal interruptions.
Through this bootcamp and subsequent ones, Sigma Pensions hopes to equip young Nigerians with relevant digital skills which will serve as a springboard for a career in any preferred field in tech.
Tiktok Limits Kids to 40 Minutes Per Day in China
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
As China continues to cut down on accessibility to video games for younger children, the Chinese version of Tiktok called Douyin has said that all its authenticated users under the age of 14 can only access the app for up to 40 minutes a day, which must be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In a statement issued by the Chinese short video app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, users under the above age bracket will now access the app in a “youth mode” in its mission to moderate the exposure of young ones from inappropriate video content.
“The measures would apply to all users registered with their real names and as being under 14 years old. The mandatory measures are designed to protect younger users from harmful content.
“Up to 40 minutes, a day of Douyin for younger users will henceforth serve up edifying content such as science experiments, museum exhibitions, and history lessons,” the statement read.
Authorities have directed game companies and platforms like Douyin to use real-name identification for all its users; the process requires users to provide a phone number and other identification to access online games.
ByteDance, the parent company, said the content available to users in youth mode will now include educational material like “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.”
This is coming barely 21 days after the Chinese Government placed restrictions and limits on the gaming time for minors to three hours per week (8:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.) on Fridays and weekends as a bid to stop gaming addiction facing the country.
In recent times, Chinese regulators have strictly push against minors being exposed to online dangers such as “blind” and “chaotic” worship of internet celebrities which has been posing violations of core socialist values.
In the same vein, it has recently launched a six-month-long national campaign to address what it perceives as major issues in the digital industry such as disturbing market order, infringing users’ rights, threatening data security, and unauthorized internet connections.
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