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Artificial Intelligence Emerges As The Best Approach To Database Security

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DB Networks is an innovator of database security appliances. DB Networks works with customers in a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and government. Below is our recent interview with Brett Helm, CEO and Board Chairman at DB Networks:


Q: Brett, could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to DB Networks and the specific customer problems you address?

A: Sure, I’d be happy to. DB Networks is an innovator of database security appliances. Our customers include many of the world’s largest financial institutions, healthcare providers, manufacturers, and governments. In a nutshell our technology non-intrusively assesses and identifies attacks in the database infrastructure through deep protocol extraction and artificial intelligence-based analysis. Our customers gain critical insights through a comprehensive assessment, including discovering all active databases, identifying tables being accessed, and detecting the specific applications accessing each database. In addition, through our machine learning and behavioral analysis technologies we’re able to immediately identify compromised credentials and database attacks.

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Q: So when you say DB Networks security products are based on artificial intelligence technology, can you give us more insights into your technology and why you decided to go in that direction?

A: Probably the best way to explain this is to provide you an example. Let’s say you’re using an on-line banking website. That website will likely be driven by a database connected application. The application may produce dynamic and often extremely complex SQL. However it turns out the application behavior regarding the SQL it creates can be modeled. Essentially DB Networks technology applies deep protocol extraction to analyze all SQL statements that have been created by the database application. DB Networks then uses artificial intelligence-based machine learning to construct a unique multi-dimensional behavioral model of each application. Using this unique behavioral model, each SQL statement is then subjected to a thorough lexical analysis and SQL semantic analysis. Any rogue SQL statements are immediately identified because they simply won’t conform to the model of normal behavior. At that point the organization’s pre-defined alarm procedures will be invoked. This approach has proven to be extremely accurate in many of the world’s largest database infrastructures.

There are two reasons why we elected to develop our database security products on AI rather than traditional approaches, such as signature matching technologies. First, security professionals know that signature matching is no longer an effective means to identifying modern attacks. Cyber criminals easily obfuscate their attacks to be unrecognizable and bypass signature matching security systems. Cyber criminals also automate their attacks to continuously test endless combinations of obfuscated attacks, and with enough time they eventually penetrate the perimeter.

Second, IT security teams are severely understaffed. There is presently a shortage of more than 200,000 security professionals in the U.S. alone. Security operation centers are deluged with alerts each day and are able to respond to only a small fraction of them. AI based security has been proven to be extremely accurate at identifying actual attack without false positive alerts. Without chasing down false positive scare staff resources are freed up to address press issues.

These two dynamic forces are causing security teams across all industries to look to AI to alleviate the distress their organizations are facing today.

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Q: What geographic markets are you focusing on currently?

A: DB Networks is predominately focused on North American markets. We work with customers in a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and government. We have some deployments in Europe that were a result of our international customers requiring deployments into their datacenters in the EU. We will be expanding throughout Europe in the next few years.

Q: What are the key customer benefits and features of DB Networks DBN-6300?

A: We like to say the DBN-6300 can “shine a light” on your database infrastructure. What we mean by this is that it can assess the database infrastructure to uncover hidden attack surfaces as well as identify on-going database attacks like no other product on the market. As I said, we use deep protocol analysis to provide our customers new insights along and a situational awareness of their database infrastructure. So above and beyond “shining a light” our customers also receive real-time database security to immediately identify database attacks and compromised credentials.

Armed with these new insights our customers are now able to establish a defensive layer for their database infrastructure. They can confidently take the proper actions necessary to significantly reduce their attack surfaces and reduce the risk of a data breach.

The DBN-6300 will immediately identify any undocumented databases, identify traffic to/from restricted segments, identify advanced database attacks, and pinpoint the use of compromised credentials. When rogue SQL statements are present at the database tier it means the customer’s perimeter defenses have been breached and their application has also been exploited. The DBN-6300 would stand as their final defense for their database defense-in-depth strategy.

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Q: What makes DB Networks a good choice?

A: DB Networks is a good choice because we protect organizations’ “crown jewels”, the databases. The first thing we do is enable organizations to get a handle on the number and types of databases that are active on the network. Being non-intrusive ensures the DBN-6300 won’t interfere with existing security measures. Next we visually depict which applications and administrators are conversing with each database. Finally, we enable customers to begin to move away from legacy security solutions based on signature files and white/black lists into true AI-based database security.

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