Sophos acquires Braintrace, banks on its NDR technology

Sophos

Mumbai: Sophos has acquired privately-held Braintrace – a sole security provider. Leveraging Braintrace’s proprietary Network Detection and Response (NDR) technology, Sophos is enhancing its Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem.

Braintrace’s developers, data scientists and security analysts have joined Sophos’ global Managed Threat Response (MTR) and Rapid Response teams. This has helped Sophos expand its MTR and Rapid Response services business rapidly with over 5,000 active customers.

Braintrace’s NDR provides deep visibility into network traffic patterns, including encrypted traffic, without the need for Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) decryption. Salt Lake City, Utah based Braintrace was launched in 2016.

Braintrace’s NDR technology will support Sophos’ MTR and Rapid Response analysts and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) customers through integration into the Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, which underpins all Sophos products and services.

The Braintrace technology will also serve as the launchpad to collect and forward third-party event data from firewalls, proxies, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other sources. These additional layers of visibility and event ingestion will significantly improve threat detection, threat hunting and response to suspicious activity.

“We are particularly excited that Braintrace built NDR technology specifically to provide better security outcomes to their Managed Detection and Response (MDR) customers. It’s hard to beat the effectiveness of solutions built by teams of skilled practitioners and developers to solve real world cybersecurity problems,” said Joe Levy, CTO – Sophos.

Sophos will deploy Braintrace’s NDR technology as a virtual machine, fed from traditional observability points such as a Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) port or a network Test Access Point (TAP) to inspect both north-south traffic at boundaries or east-west traffic within networks.

These deployments help discover threats inside any type of network, including those that remain encrypted, serving as a complement to the decryption capabilities of Sophos Firewall.

The technology’s packet and flow engine feed a variety of machine learning models trained to detect suspicious or malicious network patterns, such as connections to Command and Control (C2) servers, lateral movement and communications with suspicious domains.

Since Braintrace built its NDR technology specifically for predictive, passive monitoring, its engine also provides intelligent network packet capture that IT security administrators and threat hunters can use as supporting evidence during investigations. The novel NDR analysis and prediction technique is patent pending.

According to Gartner, instead of only inspecting traffic against a list of known bad payloads or behaviours, NDR also focuses on looking for unknown patterns in the network traffic, calculating a probability as to whether that anomaly is malicious.

“NDR is critical to successful threat hunting. Braintrace’s competitive differentiation is its unique NDR technology that our MDR analysts leveraged for finding, interrupting and remediating cyberattacks,” said Bret Laughlin, CEO and Co-Founder – Braintrace.

“We built Braintrace’s NDR technology from the ground up for detection and now, with Sophos, it will fit into a complete system to provide cross-product detection and response across a multi-vendor ecosystem,” added Laughlin.

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