Check Point Acquires Dome9 to Advance Cloud Security

Check Point Technologies this week moved to extend the reach of its Infinity Architecture for implementing and maintaining cloud security policies by acquiring Dome9.

Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer for Check Point, said Dome9 provides a means to discover and remediate vulnerabilities that exist on a public cloud. That capability will enable Check Point to extend the policy management capabilities it provides today in on-premises environments out to a variety of public clouds.

The most common issue plaguing cybersecurity in the cloud is that developers misconfigure cloud services, which cybercriminals can now exploit in a matter of seconds. Check Point evaluated several options to address that issue, Alexander said, and the Dome9 approach was the only one that enabled cloud security issues to be remediated automatically.

The ability to resolve issues automatically will enable cybersecurity teams to remain relevant as DevSecOps processes continue to mature. Developers increasingly are being tasked with implementing cybersecurity controls within their applications. But there’s still plenty of room for human error. Cybersecurity teams now can automatically address those issues on-premises or in the cloud without necessarily having to wait for a developer to fix a problem, said Alexander.

The acquisition of Dome9 represents something of a homecoming for Dome9 CEO Zohar Alon, a former Check Point employee.

In general, Alexander said cybersecurity automation also will play a critical role at the network edge as internet of things (IoT) applications become more pervasive. It won’t be feasible to implement cybersecurity policies manually as the number of endpoints that need to be secured increases exponentially. In recognition of that new reality, Check Point has been investing in machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) that not only recognize when a device has been connected to an enterprise network, but also determines what policies should be enforced based on the characteristics of the endpoint. Those policies can be determined by comparing the attributes of the new endpoint to other devices on the network that share them, said Alexander.

Of course, the AI models required to provide those capabilities will need access to massive amounts of data to be trained properly, which Alexander said gives Check Point an significant competitive edge over startup companies that have access only to a limited amount of relevant cybersecurity data.

The Dome9 platform will be positioned as an extension of the current CloudGuard capabilities that Check Point already provides as part of a larger 5th Generation cybersecurity initiative, through which cybersecurity intelligence soon will be shared in real time.

It may take a while for cybersecurity to achieve automation nirvana. But it’s clear with each passing day that cybersecurity is becoming more automated. That’s critical, given the chronic shortage of cybersecurity professionals with advanced skills. The issue now, of course, will be defining where that line between man and machine needs to be both now and the years ahead, as machines inevitably become more intelligent.

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Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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