HPE acquires behavioral analytics firm Niara to better detect IoT threats
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HPE acquires behavioral analytics firm Niara to better detect IoT threats

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Aruba has this week acquired behavioral analytics firm, Niara, to help businesses detect and prevent cyber-attacks on IoT devices used in the workplace.

Niara provides a solution that employs machine learning and big data analytics to discover advanced cyber threats that have breached perimeter defenses, such as firewalls.

HPE Aruba has integrated this software with its own ClearPass Policy Manager – a multi-vendor Network Access Control (NAC) platform that secures internal network access – to enhance its network security portfolio for wired and wireless network infrastructure.

Related: Industry report urges vendors to act on IoT security flaws

UEBA meets HPE

According to Gartner, UEBA or User and Entity Behavior Analytics is a new category of security that “offers profiling and anomaly detection based on a range of analytics approaches, usually using a combination of basic analytics methods and advanced analytics.

“Examples of these activities include unusual access to systems and data by trusted insiders or third parties, and breaches by external attackers evading preventative security controls.”

The Niara behavioral analytics software automates the detection of attacks and risky behaviors inside an organization, and supposedly reduces the time required to investigate a security incident from 25 hours to less than a minute.

According to HPE, Niara’s solution seamlessly integrates with the ClearPass network security platform to provide a complete visibility and attack detection system.

Related: IoT devices weaponized as manufacturers ignore security

Better protection for customers

HPE said that, once an incident is discovered by Niara, a ClearPass network access policy can be automatically triggered to isolate or disconnect the user or device from the network to prevent access to sensitive information, such as credit cards or other customer and corporate information.

The company’s executive vice president and general manager, Antonio Neri, claimed in a blog post that this integration will “create a powerful network security offering to better protect our customers’ data as IoT applications become increasingly central to the way they run their businesses.”

Sriram Ramachandran, CEO and co-founder of Niara, said the integration was “a natural extension that will now deliver network-wide, real time visibility and predictive assessment of potential risks inside the enterprise.”

“An intriguing acquisition”

In a white paper, analysts at 451 Research assessed the significance of this deal.

The company’s take is that “There is not a lot of overlap in capabilities between HPE Aruba and Niara, making this an intriguing acquisition.

“Security strategies cannot assume that mobile devices, IoT products or specialized containers are free from security issues, leading us to believe that analytics in the network will be essential in preventing threats from causing harm.

“HPE Aruba ClearPass has the ability to contribute endpoint intelligence upon connection requests and we would not be surprised to see ClearPass play a prominent role enforcing automated responses from analytics results.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Related: Consumers unaware of the security risks posed by IoT devices, says report