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.


06:35 AM

GTB Goes for Data Lockdown

Startup touts binary code for email security smackdown

The challenges of securing data between offices in the Ukraine and the U.S. led to the creation of security startup GTB Technologies, which now is ramping up efforts to lock down users' internal data.

The startup, founded back in 2004, is an offshoot of dial-up acceleration company Proxyconn. Uzi Yair, GTB's founder and CEO, says he saw that security hardware was a growth opportunity as the dialup business shrank. The challenges of securing data between Proxyconn's Newport Beach, Calif., headquarters and a development site in Kiev, Ukraine, made Yair realize that the future was all about security.

"Having an office in Kiev, halfway around the world, always makes you nervous about someone stealing your intellectual property," says the exec.

The end result was GTB's one-rack-unit-high Inspector device, launched a couple of months ago, which sits behind users' firewalls and checks outgoing emails and messages for data leaks. It costs about $30,000.

Although a number of vendors, including Vontu and Vericept, are also playing in the content monitoring space, Yair claims a new approach to the data leakage problem. (See Content Filtering Options Proliferate, Stop That Email!, and Security Startups Flood the Market.)

Instead of searching for keywords such as "confidential" and "customer list" within outgoing messages, GTB applies a hash algorithm to documents marked as confidential. The data about the docs resides in binary code in a database on the Inspector device. As messages are sent out across the network, the startup runs an algorithm on them and checks whether they match the record on its database. If the data matches, the device prevents the message from being sent, and notifies a preselected administrator.

According to Yair, using binary code is more accurate than checking for certain words, because it prevents the possibility of "false positives," which might occur when a word like "confidential" appears in a message that does not actually contain any sensitive data.

A drawback is getting users to assign their messages and documents a confidential status. Yair says this can be done by prompting them when a document or message is created, but the onus is still on the user -- a wild card in any security strategy.

At least one analyst thinks GTB faces an uphill challenge. "It’s going to he hard, they are a small company," says Jonathan Penn, principal analyst at Forrester Research. He warns that GTB may have some catching up to do with the competition. Although the startup is pushing its code-based approach to data leakage, other security vendors, such as Vericept and PortAuthority, have the edge when it comes to their systems' "learning capabilities." This means they can automatically create templates from sets of documents, such as financial contracts, that can be used to block messages and files.

Encryption, though, is the next priority for Yair and his team. Next week, the startup will take the wraps off an upgraded version of the GTB Inspector device, which, according to Yair, will monitor encrypted SSL data. "Oftentimes firms say that 'the data that I am sending out is encrypted so I don't have to worry [about a data leak],' but that's a fallacy," he explains.

The CEO warns that an unscrupulous salesman who is about to leave a firm, for example, could send an encrypted customer database to himself: "The question is not whether it's encrypted, it's whether it's supposed to go out."

Currently, the 30-employee startup has just three customers, according to Yair. Only one of these, Picatinny Federal Credit Union in Dover, New Jersey, has been announced, although the exec says that GTB is currently in discussion with a total of 70 "large enterprises."

Funding is not an issue for the startup, at least according to Yair. "We're totally independent, self-funded, and organically growing," he says, explaining that GTB uses the ongoing Proxyconn business as its "cash cow." GTB, he adds, should reach profitability sometime in the first quarter of next year.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Forrester Research Inc.
  • GTB Technologies
  • PortAuthority Technologies Inc.
  • Vericept Corp.
  • Vontu Inc.

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
    Hacking Yourself: Marie Moe and Pacemaker Security
    Gary McGraw Ph.D., Co-founder Berryville Institute of Machine Learning,  9/21/2020
    Startup Aims to Map and Track All the IT and Security Things
    Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
    How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
    The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
    In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, the login functionality does not contain any CSRF protection mechanisms.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
    In GLPI before version 9.5.0, the encryption algorithm used is insecure. The security of the data encrypted relies on the password used, if a user sets a weak/predictable password, an attacker could decrypt data. This is fixed in version 9.5.0 by using a more secure encryption library. The library c...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
    In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, the langSelection parameter is stored in the luci configuration file (/etc/config/luci) by the authenticator.htmlauth function. When modified with arbitrary javascript, this causes a denial-of-service condition for all other users.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
    In IgniteNet HeliOS GLinq v2.2.1 r2961, if a user logs in and sets the ‘wan_type’ parameter, the wan interface for the device will become unreachable, which results in a denial of service condition for devices dependent on this connection.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-09-23
    An integer overflow was discovered in YGOPro ygocore v13.51. Attackers can use it to leak the game server thread's memory.