Check Point, Stellar Cyber Target ML for Cybersecurity

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By: Mary Jander

Startup Stellar Cyber has teamed with Check Point Software Technologies (NASDAQ: CHKP) in a move that demonstrates a strong market trend toward API-fueled alliances in cybersecurity as well as other cloud-enabled functions.

Stellar Cyber is one of a crop of new companies deploying machine learning to collect, parse, and aggregate multiple security alerts from sources throughout legacy and cloud-based networks. It claims to facilitate integration with products that act on the data its hardware and software agents collect.

For instance, by partnering with Check Point and using that vendor’s security APIs, Stellar Cyber’s software can not only fully correlate and analyze all data from Check Point logs, but act to automatically thwart data breaches, nab malicious actors, disable infected users, etc.

Combating “Alert Fatigue”

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Unifying solutions like Stellar Cyber’s with Check Point’s is supposed to help enterprises improve security by selectively parsing key security alerts that are actionable, versus the millions of alerts that firewalls report daily. Stellar Cyber’s machine learning also helps identify normal and abnormal activity on a particular network, eliminating false alarms and allowing enterprises to trim up their policies. This should allow IT to ensure that security tech doesn't consume precious network resources needlessly.

“Through our partnership, we are excited to deliver superior threat prevention and simplified security across all environments,” said Jason Min, head of business development at Check Point, in a statement.

Whether this actually results in better management and performance that is quantifiable must be proven in the field. And it's not yet clear exactly how Stellar Cyber's solution with Check Point would interact with its other integrated wares. But the move and the thinking behind it is surely attractive to enterprises looking for ways to improve security amid a growing roster of threats.

Rivals No More

Interestingly, Stellar Cyber was initially perceived by some as a competitor to Check Point. That kind of limited thinking is now crumbling as vendors realize they can’t succeed alone in an enterprise market teeming with new requirements. Among those are the needs to connect, streamline, and protect networks comprised of legacy sites as well as clouds both public and private. And only by reaching out via APIs and other integration enablers can vendors hope to meet the growing challenge.

Check Point Software has made clear its mission to be an ally for SD-WAN, cloud, and other security vendors with a range of partnerships that build on its APIs. These include integrations with Silver Peak, Aryaka, VMware Velocloud, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and many others.

Stellar Cyber is now part of that equation, and the startup is featuring its own “Open XDR platform” to engage partners. Besides Check Point, Stellar Cyber's partnered with AWS, VMware, Proofpoint, Elasticsearch, and Red Hat, among other technology vendors. The vendor is also aiming for the growing market segment in managed services through alliances with providers such as Tech Titan and CyFlare.

Off to a Good Start

Stellar Cyber started life as Aella Data back in 2015, then rebranded with $13.2 million in Series A funding at the start of 2019. Backers include Susquehanna International Group, Valley Capital Partners, Northern Light Venture Capital, and Digital Hearts, among others. Northern Light founder Feng Deng, who also cofounded NetScreen Technologies back in 1997, was the original investor in Stellar Cyber.

So far, it looks like it’s been a good bet. If Stellar Cyber can keep ramping its roster of partners and customers, it could be one to watch this year.