Last week I met with a new company to the UK, who offered the above guarantee which I suspect may raise more than a few eyebrows.
Founded by the team behind the open source Xen Hypervisor, Bromium are company bringing their virtualisation solutions with them to offer the 'micro virtual machine' (MVM) vSentry to desktops which it claimed, could eliminate infections by surfing and malicious document by opening and viewing inside the virtual environment. Now with research and development, sales and support established in Cambridge, they are ready to take on the UK market.
Meeting with co-founder and senior vice president of products Ian Pratt and vice president of marketing Franklyn Jones, they told me that users get zero value and worth from endpoint security 'and the area needs innovation and reinvention'.
Jones, who previously worked Palo Alto Networks on its launch into the UK five years ago, said that the reality of the endpoint is that users have given up on trying to secure it, and a renewed vision is needed.
He said: “There are options out there: for anti-virus signatures are broken; for whitelisting you need to decide what is allowed on it and what is not; sandboxing is good at detecting but there are are vulnerabilities to find your way out; for threat forensics this is false positive hell, so there is not a solution.
“What we offer is not detection, we focus on protection and do it by isolating the threat and activity and treat it like an isolated task. We leverage the Intel VT to offer a layer of isolation, so it is 100 per cent protection.”
Pratt told SC Magazine that said that what he and fellow Xen Hypervisor co-founder Simon Crosby wanted to transform the client impact on security. “A user can go about their business, opening emails and they do not compromise the network,” he said.
“Existing technology is useless at this; it requires the system to detect and incidents show that it is impossible to do detection. There are many different ways to get on to an endpoint: email; USB; vulnerabilities, this is what we deal with. We isolate the threat using virtualisation, we believe we can transform the client.”
The concept involves putting the MVM on to the device, therefore everything you open opens in the virtual environment which is built into the operating system. “We created the MVM to make endpoints immune to malware as it throws it away,” Pratt said.
I asked them that if the session secures the activity, then what if the session is compromised, and how long does it last for? They said that it will exist for the length of the life of activity, so for example if (like me) you start your computer and open three or browser tabs which are open for the entire working day, that session is always open as long as you keep it open, the same with any Office document or PDF file.
Pratt said: “It is a different approach from what everyone else is doing. We are working with Intel and Arm and every device that has an Intel chip has this built in. Also ARM devices such as the Nexus 10 and Samsung Galaxy S4 have virtualisation capabilities built-in too. This is the same hardware capability built-in and this will revolutionise endpoint security as it leverages protection through hardware.”
I asked them how this can be managed from a business perspective, as it is one thing to say you can stop all infections and be immune to attacks, but what visibility are IT managers given? Pratt said that a management console shows the footprint trail of an attack and how it would have infiltrated the enterprise.
So will this remove the need for anti-virus too? “This is running in an isolated environment. You can install anti-virus alongside it, but those who see our vision will realise security tools are no longer required,” Pratt said.
Finally what about that '100 protection' claim, Pratt said that he appreciated that some would sneer at this, but what Bromium is doing is 'making it methodically better', while Jones said that this will also remove the rush to patch as the 'security body is the Hypervisor and outside of that, you don't care'.
Some will not have read all of this article, while others will have seen the headline and possibly read for the disbelief of the claims. Whichever, some will read this and realise that something different is being done by Bromium which is what security has cried out for; rather than reinventing, they have taken their original concept of virtual containers and applied it to create a secure environment.
As for that 100 per cent protection claim, we'll see how that holds up if the worst should happen.