VMware Partners With Carbon Black on App Security


By: Michael Vizard

VMware has been quietly pouring a lot of resources into making use of the technology known as microsegmentation, which virtualizes network connections, to better secure applications. Today VMware and Carbon Black jointly announced that the threat detection software created by Carbon Black can now be used to inform VMware AppDefense of new strains of malware appearing on endpoints.

The deal shows how increased integration between networking infrastructure vendors and endpoint security vendors will be needed to provide added layers of security. VMware AppDefense combines VMware vSphere and VMware NSX software to create a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering to secure application environments. Carbon Black has carved out a segment of the highly-competitive endpoint security space by making use of a cloud service and endpoint software to better protect organizations against unknown forms of malware, also known as zero-day threats, and forms of advanced persistent threats (APTs) that rely on behavioral analytics.

By integrating both of these efforts, the companies hope to make it easier for applications residing in a datacenter to discover new threats using the Carbon Black Reputation Services offering, accessed via VMware AppDefense.

Chris Corde, senior director of product marketing for the Networking and Security Business Unit at VMware, says the integration with the Carbon Black service is being enabled via a feed based on an application programming interface (API) that VMware AppDefense can now invoke.

"It provides some much-needed context to better understand the nature of a threat," says Corde.

Tom Barsi, vice president of business Development at Carbon Black, says the two approaches to IT security are clearly complementary.

"We see this as both providing more visibility and helping to reduce the size of the potential attack surface on the hypervisor," says Barsi.

VMware aims to build a security ecosystem around VMware AppDefense as part of an effort to improve applications security. Most of the focus on IT security has historically been on the network perimeter. But as network and endpoint security have become more porous over the years VMware is making the case for employing microsegmentation to limit the amount of damage any malware can inflict. The idea is to segment each application workload on its own virtual network that includes a dedicated virtual firewall.

It's still unclear what level of traction VMware will achieve with this approach. But as interest in all things relating to application security increases as part of the rise of DevSecOps processes, it's more than apparent that IT organizations need to rethink their approach to defense-in-depth security strategies.