RSA CONFERENCE, SAN FRANCISCO -- Saying it was an inventive solution to a "massive problem," judges at the RSA Conference's Innovation Sandbox, today, awarded the title of Most Innovative Company to Waratek, creator of a runtime application self-protection solution for Java.
This was the 10th annual Innovation Sandbox; the first winner was Sourcefire, honored in 2005. This year's contest was restricted to privately held companies with less than $5 million in revenue in 2014 and a product that has been on the market for less than one year.
In addition to Waratek, the finalists included BugCrowd, Cybereason, Fortscale, NexDefense, SecurityDo, SentinelOne, TrustInSoft, Vectra, and Ticto, which was named runner-up. The judges have never named a runner-up in the Sandbox's 10-year history, but apparently the fight between Waratek and Ticto was so close, that the judges deemed it necessary.
The massive problem that Waratek aims to solve, is that applications, specifically Java apps, cannot test, diagnose, or protect themselves from vulnerabilities and exploits. Waratek's solution is to pack Java applications safely inside virtual containers, like bubble wrap.
Waratek AppSecurity for Java essentially deploys its own hypervisor, operating within Java's compilation and execution layer (JVM), adding a security rules engine to the standard Oracle HotSpot JVM. The rules engine makes it possible to protect applications, without making changes to the code. It is a runtime application self-protection (RASP) solution.
The tool supports "virtual patching," for legacy software that's not being supported or patched anymore. Waratek says it can also mitigate zero-day threats, because its rules engines "that prevent inappropriate behaviors can defeat zero-day attacks that seek to exploit these vectors, even with new attack methods.