Technology: Appliance that provides a “clean internet” by applying millions of rules to fast-moving network traffic.
Why It’s One to Watch: The appliance has the potential to detect and deter rapidly changing cybersecurity threats on the fly.
The internet is in danger of flying apart because security was not built into it from the beginning, asserts Steven Rogers, CEO of Centripetal Networks. He named his security company after the force that holds spinning objects together. “If we can’t solve cyber and security issues around the internet, we may lose trust in the whole thing,” he says.
Most large companies with big security teams are not able to adequately protect their networks, Rogers says. “In the testing we’ve done, in every case, everybody is hacked and multiple times,” he says. “It’s worse than they realize. It’s growing and a serious problem. The industry has been working on it for a decade, it hasn’t been solved.”
Centripetal’s RuleGate technology, a high-speed computer combined with proprietary software, is meant to catch cyberattacks of all kinds: malware (“by far the biggest problem of cybersecurity today,” Rogers says), distributed denial of service (which Rogers terms a “very expensive annoyance”) and insider attacks, where a bad employee or malware disrupts business operations.
The RuleGate appliance, Rogers says, can protect and prevent such attacks at scale. “Cyberattack is essentially a scale problem,” he says. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems do not scale sufficiently, he argues.
The RuleGate software uses standard multicore chips and parallel processing combined with proprietary algorithms, Rogers says, to achieve the scale needed to keep up with fast-moving data.
“Today we’re running over a million complex rules at full line rate for 64 byte packets at 10 gigabytes. No one else in the planet can come close to that.”
The technology compares incoming traffic against millions of rules and policies informed by analytics on known “bad guys.”
Centripetal introduced clean internet in July. Since then it’s signed up its first internet service providers and has received trial requests from 15 of the 20 largest banks, Rogers says.
Large service providers will likely be the ones to buy RuleGate and offer clean internet services to banks and other customers. They are compelled to rid their networks of attack traffic. “When you get a glass of water from your water spigot at home, you expect to be able to drink it, not fall down sick,” Rogers observes.