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Product Watch: New RedSeal App Lets Enterprises Benchmark Security Risk, Attack Surface

RedSeal 5 offers a way to deliver dashboards on security posture, company says
One of the most common problems faced by enterprise security departments is how to measure the job they're doing. This week, an upstart company is rolling out a new application that it says will help enterprises build a "security dashboard" that shows top executives how their defense initiatives are holding up.

RedSeal 5 gives enterprises a way to measure their performance in protecting critical business assets, the company says. It offers intelligence and visibility into the current state of network security controls, the efficiency of security remediation efforts, and ongoing policy compliance. It also offers a quantitative method for measuring the effectiveness of existing security controls and communicates risk clearly across the whole organization, according to the firm.

With the new dashboards, security teams can graphically represent hard-to-measure concepts, such as how exposed the company is to threats ("attack surface") and how serious the risk of penetration might be, says Mike Lloyd, chief scientist at RedSeal.

"Concepts like attack surface and overall risk can be very difficult for security to explain to top management, much less measure," says Lloyd. "We're giving them some tools to help do that."

RedSeal 5 layers an entirely new metrics and performance assessment engine on top of the company's existing tools for analyzing every potential pathway of access to the network, the company says. To visually demonstrate how attackers could compromise the enterprise's networks and where exposures exist, RedSeal 5’s metrics include key risk indicators for network security, vulnerability exposure, and policy compliance –- presented in a variety of customizable dashboards and ad-hoc reports, all available via a new Web portal.

"Before we had RedSeal 5, we didn’t have strategic metrics for tracking risk mitigation; the numbers we had from tools like scanners weren’t actionable," says Ethan Steiger, vice president and CSO of automotive market analysis company Polk, an early user of the new software. "Today we use RedSeal to demonstrate progress to our CIO in a way that allows him to truly understand the impact of changes such as deploying new business services."

"With much of risk assessment becoming vague and abstract, enterprises need meaningful security metrics that clearly demonstrate how well their security infrastructure and staff are performing to give them a more quantitative way of measuring success," says Greg Young, research vice president at Gartner. "Operators are buried in uncorrelated data produced by vulnerability scanners, IDS, SIEM, and DLP platforms. Better correlation, context, and visualization of that information layered on top of metrics can make practical and dramatic changes to security."

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