Google acquires Mandiant for cloud security services

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: What Google plans to do with its $5.4 billion purchase of Mandiant, a troubling new Linux vulnerability and using light bulbs as WiFi routers.

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Google’s mandate for Mandiant

Google’s proposed acquisition of Mandiant for $5.4 billion will help strengthen Google Cloud’s security posture as it pushes to more enterprise customers in an increasingly challenging environment.

Mandiant, which sells an extended detection and response SaaS platform called Mandiant Advantage, will fill gaps in Google Cloud’s security technology stack that aren’t covered by its own proprietary products. These currently include Google Cloud Armor, its network security service that provides defenses against DDoS and application attacks; Chronicle, its security analysis platform; and BeyondCorp Enterprise, its zero-trust identity and security platform.

  • “The essential piece for [Google Cloud] is really being able to get closer to feeling like a full-service entity across the vast security technology landscape,” said Miles Ward, chief technology officer for SADA, a business and technology consultancy, in an interview after Google’s announcement.
  • “Security isn’t a category anymore, it’s like 20. Google has made some great individual products and bought a few more, but Mandiant is just a lot more comprehensive. It has real reach across different parts of the technology stack,” he said.
  • “It allows a Google seller and partners like us to approach a customer and be able to say you can get everything you need efficiently from Google at that point.”

Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia to join Google Cloud in an unspecified role. The company currently has 2,200 employees, including 600 consultants and 300 intelligence analysts who respond to security breaches.

  • Cloud providers have increased security efforts in the wake of growing and evolving cyberattacks, such as the recent Log4j exploit, ransomware demands, the SolarWinds hack by suspected Russian attackers, and platform attacks. – form Microsoft’s on-premises Exchange Server. to hackers from Chinese nation states.
  • Cyber ​​threat activity by allegedly state-sponsored Russian organizations has also increased during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
  • The acquisition of Mandiant will strengthen Google Cloud’s defense in the race against competitors AWS and Microsoft. Bloomberg reported last month that Microsoft was also suing Mandiant.

“This agreement concerns the integration of Mandiant into Google Cloud with increasing cyber threats facing businesses/governments as they transition to the cloud and Mandiant has established itself as ‘the Navy Seals of cybersecurity’ over the past decade,” wrote analyst Dan Ives. at Wedbush Securities, in a research note today.

  • The deal follows Google’s January purchase of Israeli cybersecurity startup Siemplify, a security orchestration, automation and response provider, for $500 million.
  • Google Cloud has boasted that one of its selling points is infrastructure designed from the ground up with built-in security based on so-called zero-trust principles, rather than “bolt-on” security, with its own security chips. on its servers and data. encrypted by default at rest and in transit.

Mandiant’s deal with Google is expected to have a major ripple effect in the cybersecurity space, as AWS and Microsoft will now be forced into mergers and acquisitions to further strengthen their cloud platforms, according to Ives.

  • He cited CyberArk, Ping, Qualys, Rapid7, SailPoint, Tenable and Varonis as possible targets given their focus on protecting cloud workloads.
  • “Amid massive cybersecurity growth and other tailwinds seen in this Russian invasion of Ukraine[n] bad actors/nation state attacks, we believe today’s agreement is just the tip of the iceberg towards a massive phase of consolidation potentially ahead for the cloud space,” Ives said. .

— Donna Goodison (E-mail | Twitter)


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It’s time to patch Linux servers

As the world watches for a new wave of cybersecurity attacks, a new Linux vulnerability was identified and disclosed on Monday night that could allow attackers to elevate their privilege level on certain servers. This means they could potentially run their own code, and the vulnerability could also compromise Linux containers.

Max Kellerman discovered the bug last month and reported it to the Linux security team, which coordinated with Kellerman to release a patch at the same time the flaw was discovered. Newer versions of Linux are unaffected by the vulnerability, but outdated versions of the operating system work worldwide at all times.

Cloud customers should be protected against this flaw, but companies running their own Linux servers have been urged to patch their systems now. Go ahead; you can come back to the rest of this overview in a few hours.

—Tom Krazit (E-mail | Twitter)

See data coverage by bulb light

By using light bulbs to transmit data through light, they emit some wacky sounds. But a company now known as pureLiFi has been working since 2012 to figure out how to do it.

Using a technology it calls Light Fidelity, or LiFi, the company says it can use LED lights to transmit data to smartphones and other gadgets equipped with a LiFi chip and demonstrated the technology at Mobile World Congress the last week. LED lights are semiconductors, which allows the light passing through them to change at high speed. By modulating light at different rates, sensors in a phone, for example, can interpret signals as data.

Compared to radio transmissions such as Wi-Fi or 5G, data transmission on the invisible light spectrum has advantages: it is very fast, secure and low latency. However, it won’t transmit data through walls or reach a smartphone in someone’s pocket.

— Max A. Cherney (E-mail | Twitter)


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