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1/23/2014
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Startup Tackles Security Through Microsoft Active Directory

New company Aorato identifies potential threats by monitoring traffic from ubiquitous Active Directory

A startup company has developed a new technology that enables enterprises to identify potential threats by monitoring the traffic between Microsoft's widely used Active Directory (AD) and the network devices it manages.

Aorato, based in Israel, Tuesday launched its Directory Services Application Firewall (DAF), a new technology that leverages AD, which is used in all Windows environments to store information about users and their access privileges. The new technology will enable enterprises to monitor the behavior of end users and their devices, revealing anomalies that might indicate security issues.

"Active Directory is the Achilles heel of most enterprises," says Idan Plotnik, founder and CEO of Aorato. "Virtually all traffic goes through it, and it provides the main components for authorization and authentication, yet most enterprises don't take full advantage of it from a security perspective."

Aorato monitors the network traffic between AD servers and the various network entities it controls, including end users and the devices they use. The technology then uses this traffic to build a model of the observed relationships -- the Organizational Security Graph (OSG) -- using the AD traffic and other visible information.

Once Aorato has established a baseline of behavior through the OSG, it uses the data to seek out anomalies that could represent attack behavior, as well as evidence of security policy violations, such as clear-text passwords or users who have been deleted or disabled. The DAF raises alerts on suspicious activities and uses them to build an Attack Timeline, helping security professionals to connect the dots between seemingly harmless activities that, together, might indicate an attack or data leak.

"It's a bit like Facebook -- it gives the story of what the user has been doing, establishes a context for that behavior, and recognizes when there are anomalies," Plotnik says.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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