Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security

10:45 AM
Simon Marshall
Simon Marshall
Simon Marshall

Demisto Brings Bots to Security Noise

A Security Now company profile of security automation firm Demisto.

Security teams are over-stretched. It's no secret. The diversity and explosion in threats versus the skills shortage are making everyone sweat. The noise from threat warnings is increasing, prioritization is a struggle and sometimes knowledge and experience get lost along the way.

In the early 2010s, Slavik Markovich was VP and CTO of database security at McAfee. "I was happy with my products, but I saw how customers were trying to handle the warnings coming in, and they were being destroyed by number of alerts," he tells Security Now. Markovich graduated from Technion, Israel's institute of technology in Haifa, and also undertook national service in the military.

Demisto co-founder and CEO Slavik Markovich
Demisto co-founder and CEO Slavik Markovich

"I got two good things in the army," he says, "One is a great education about technology, and how large systems work, the other is responsibility at an early age and an understanding of command structure." It was time for some practical problem solving.

Along with Rishi Bhargava, a VP of product management at McAfee, in mid-2015 he founded Demisto, a Bay Area firm funded through two rounds totaling $26 million, and focused on security automation and orchestration. At least, that's what the label says on the box.

"The problem was not that we were hearing that people wanted automation or orchestration, but that their biggest challenge was all the noise from a lot of threat data," says Bhargava, Demisto co-founder and head of marketing. Companies trying to keep pace with threats were spending a lot of budget on security systems and then faced the dilemma of how to staff them. Even after having open recs for months, firms were unable to find the right people, or enough people.

"It's a meta-problem: people didn't realize at the time that by buying more security tools they would create a problem for themselves, but they felt they had to buy the tools because they're being attacked from all sides," explains Bhargava.

In response, Bhargava and Markovich decided to take a leaf out of the DevOps book, using the concept of constant collaboration and development as the inspiration for their solution.

Co-founder and CEO Markovich explains, "We knew that DevOps folks are very keyboard oriented, command line-oriented, and it sounded natural to us, faster and more interesting to have a bot to chat to rather than pointing and clicking" when security problem solving. "When you point and click, how is that knowledge captured? It's not."

Thus DBot was born. Central to the security orchestration process, so-called DBot provides a level of automation that frees limited team analyst experience to focus on the worthiest issue of the moment -– the decision-making. It interacts with analysts seeking information, and pulls other analysts into virtual war rooms where human experience solves the problem.

The bot acts as an assistant, documenting and indexing the whole process. Theoretically, the organization becomes intellectually stronger against future threat scenarios. Also, its knowledge builds, and human expertise is permanently documented.

"One of our customers calls this the bus factor," says Bhargava. "If an analyst works gathering knowledge and experience for years, but then gets hit by a bus, all of that is captured and not lost."

According to Demisto, DBot not only tracks information, but it educates itself as it goes along, employing machine learning that improves its experience base. The difference with this versus regular machine learning machine is that it is not just text or data-based learning, it also learns from the actions that the security analysts take.

"What we're trying to do is replicate the real life of an analyst in a SOC, so it's not only automation, or chat or case management, it's everything together," explains Markovich.

Silicon Valley collaboration giant Slack is one of Demisto's funders and partners. The security firm's next goal is to extend the concept of collaborative security out into a number of other enterprise applications, using the collaborative type of framework employed by Slack. Demisto also works directly with Slack using a free open source tool that aims to stop the sharing of malicious content on the platform.

This is the first in an occasional series of company profiles that explain how young companies are providing new approaches to security threats.

Related posts:

— Simon Marshall, Technology Journalist, special to Security Now

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Concerns over supply chain vulnerabilities and attack visibility drove some significant changes in enterprise cybersecurity strategies over the past year. Dark Reading's 2021 Strategic Security Survey showed that many organizations are staying the course regarding the use of a mix of attack prevention and threat detection technologies and practices for dealing with cyber threats.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-18
Best Practical Request Tracker (RT) 4.2 before 4.2.17, 4.4 before 4.4.5, and 5.0 before 5.0.2 allows sensitive information disclosure via a timing attack against lib/RT/REST2/Middleware/Auth.pm.
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-18
An issue was discovered in Squid 5.0.6 through 5.1.x before 5.2. When validating an origin server or peer certificate, Squid may incorrectly classify certain certificates as trusted. This problem allows a remote server to obtain security trust well improperly. This indication of trust may be passed ...
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-18
myfactory.FMS before 7.1-912 allows XSS via the UID parameter.
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-18
myfactory.FMS before 7.1-912 allows XSS via the Error parameter.
PUBLISHED: 2021-10-18
Agents are able to lock the ticket without the "Owner" permission. Once the ticket is locked, it could be moved to the queue where the agent has "rw" permissions and gain a full control. This issue affects: OTRS AG OTRS 8.0.x version: 8.0.16 and prior versions.