Start-up Click Security debuts with threat-detection product

Start-up Click Security launches today with a threat-detection product that analyzes and correlates intelligence gathered by sensors on network traffic and activity to provide real-time alerts or even automate defense response to network intrusions or other security threats.

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Click Security's product, called the Automated Security Analytics Platform (ASAP), is designed to detect a wide range of threats in real time. One example might be identifying compromised accounts by immediately recognizing that multiple logins have occurred in a timeframe that's not physically possible, says CTO Brian Smith, who founded Click Security with its CEO Marc Willebeek-LeMair. It's also possible, though not mandatory, to automate a response such as terminating access.

The ASAP product, described as modular in design, aggregates information from security and server sources for detection and investigation purposes as well as data-mining. Though this sounds much like security information and event management (SIEM), Click Security's co-founders reject being bracketed in the SIEM category, claiming ASAP is breaking new ground in threat detection.

"While some of the things they do are similar to what SIEM vendors claim to do, they are much more than a central repository for log data," agrees Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst with consultancy IT-Harvest. "Click Security has more in common with threat-intelligence services such as Unveillance, ShadowServer or Seculert, combined with NetWitness [last year acquired by EMC/RSA] or Solera Networks."

Click Security is trying "to make sense out of network-based attack traffic" and the ASAP product's strength is its ability to share and collaborate, "like Google Docs for threat intelligence," Stiennon says.

The start-up's co-founders Willebeek-LeMair and Smith are high-tech industry veterans, with Willebeek-LeMair recently serving as CTO of 3Com, which he joined after the acquisition of intrusion-prevention systems company TippingPoint. Smith co-founded TippingPoint in 2001 and served as chief architect and later CTO in 2009. HP later acquired 3Com. Click Security, based in Austin, Texas, is funded by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital for an undisclosed amount.

The ASAP product is in use by six customers, according to Click Security, and is expected to be made generally available in April under a licensing arrangement in which the ASAP appliance is leased for about $80,000 per year.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.

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