Evident.io: Continuous AWS Security

Tim Prendergast, Founder & CEO As the current rate of change in enterprise infrastructure reaches an unprecedented high, security vulnerabilities are also at an all-time high. This is even more true as enterprises deploy cloud technologies at a furious pace. The cloud is expanding the boundaries of the corporate perimeter to include every browser, device, and application that touches the Internet, leaving organizations more exposed to cyber-attacks than ever.

Through a powerful combination of knowledge and experience in AWS infrastructure security, Dublin, CA-based company, Evident.io has pioneered a new approach to delivering security capabilities directly to cloud-savvy companies. Evident.io brings a new paradigm to vulnerability management, empowering customers to continuously monitor their mission-critical cloud deployments so that threats can be identified and addressed before they turn into breaches. Combined with their highly-accurate and easy-to-use technology platform, customers are now fully in control of their AWS security practice at all times, in record time.

As most enterprises that leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) demand fast, nimble, and user-friendly security platform, Evident.io, an agentless service offering for Amazon customers, introduces a platform that engages the cloud API to help customers understand and manage the security risks. According to Tim Prendergast, CEO of Evident.io, finding and fixing AWS security risks as they occur results in a significantly safer Amazon cloud experience. The company provides cloud security services that spans but not limited to vulnerability assessments, notifications, alerts, and compliance services. Prendergast strongly believes that the only way one can have a truly successful security program is by having critical security data displayed in a ‘totally transparent’ way.


A customer does not require any customization and can connect easily to the Evident platform using a secure Amazon IAM role to provide limited access their account APIs


The New Paradigm

“Evident.io was formed with a mission to enable customers to maximize their use of the most secure computing platform in the world. My co-founder, Justin Lundy, and I spent 3 years successfully defending one of the largest infrastructures ever built on Amazon Web Services. We spent many long days, nights and weekends learning about the intricacies of AWS’s powerful security mechanisms, constantly striving to exceed industry best practices and security standards.” recalls Prendergast. “As a result of our hard work, the products built on that infrastructure have been a breakout success that has continued to grow as one of the world’s largest and most secure AWS infrastructures.”
“Tim and I decided to store our many years of AWS security experience into a cloud service that other AWS customers could take advantage of. However, developing a new security platform designed for the cloud first was a big challenge. The vast majority of solutions we had used and evaluated for AWS cloud security initiatives failed to address key cloud security concerns, so we set out to build a next generation platform for customers like ourselves.” says Justin Lundy, Chief Technology Officer, Evident.io. “In many leading technology companies today, AWS and other cloud deployments are continuous and they need a tool that works well with that paradigm.”

Securing through Automation

Evident’s security platform constantly scans and quickly enumerates threats that pop up. “We have taken up the approach of automating security procedures and process the way attacks happen. We are using automation to help companies close their vulnerabilities before an external attack causes further risks for the enterprise,” asserts Prendergast.

“A customer does not require any customization and can connect easily to the Evident platform using a secure Amazon IAM role to provide limited access their account APIs,” says Prendergast. Evident is an agentless service offering for the Amazon customers—the platform engages the provider’s Application Programming Interface (API) and helps the clients understand the security risks and access details across global organizations. The customers can mix, match, and structure their accounts based on personal requirements. “We believe that everything in the world is going to be API-driven, so we have moved away from traditional security methods and into automated security capabilities. This has enabled people to be more responsible, efficient, and intelligent in the work they do. With Evident, everything that you can do in the product can be done in the API as well, letting customers decide how they want to embed security automation into their own workflow,” Prendergast explains.

The Platform

The Evident Security Platform (ESP) identifies over 130 critical AWS vulnerabilities across all AWS accounts in an organization. Security risks are color-coded and displayed on the ESP risk assessment dashboard intuitively, facilitating instantaneous problem identification. Firstly, it serves as a continuous security engine that constantly monitors all activities happening in the AWS account and identifies the risks across multiple platforms. Secondly, the company’s security control compliance platform contains more than 130 industry standards and AWS security controls that are measured and enforced against customer accounts. “This enables users to have an ongoing assessment of security, which aligns tightly with their continuous approach to delivering services and software to customers” mentions Prendergast. With near real-time dashboards and zero performance impact on applications or services, the company’s sophisticated Roll- Based Access Controls (RBAC) support a common three-tier risk management model.

For instance, a software company faced the challenge of ensuring consistent compliance and complete security across its accounts. “We seamlessly integrated ESP with the client’s systems and within minutes, they had a ‘global risk and threat’ dashboard showing them all the security controls they cared about,” explains Prendergast. Even in cases where clients have different needs such as network traffic and hosted firewall, ESP offers broadest coverage and the security controls they require.
“Our development expertise and capabilities are unmatched in the industry, so we welcome competition, as it makes us more vicious,” Prendergast adds.

Security Posture in the Cloud

In a legacy system, there are multiple IPs, firewalls, and routers, whereas in the cloud, “there are hundreds of developers manipulating, creating, and destroying resources,” he adds. This results in a dynamic environment where security controls are all over the place, and “we help counter this by giving developers flexibility to create secure resources in an agile way,” says Prendergast. Evident has a new cloud security platform that is partitioned into continuous monitoring and active defense. This includes detecting malicious activities and providing active remediation for the same.

“We seamlessly integrated ESP with the client’s systems and within minutes, they had a ‘global risk and threat’ dashboard showing them all the security controls they cared about”

The fact that ESP operates entirely within the domain of the AWS API, gives Evident a clear edge over the competition. Moreover, Evident is a next-generation ‘cloud first’ security company. “We are the only company to build security solely for the cloud’s unique challenges and capabilities, and not for any other environment,” emphasizes Prendergast. By entrusting security capability in the hands of developers, the product team developing infrastructure effectively manages cloud security posture without needing complicated and expensive training.

Prendergast also notes that most cloud security solutions were actually made for data centers and they are just rebranded for the cloud environment. This can be quite frustrating because, capabilities like security automation, which can ensure that everything is in compliance and is falling in the same security controls, are not being embraced and leveraged to the fullest.

The Driving Force

“Level-headed, motivated, and creative staff are undoubtedly the backbone of a company’s success,” reckons Justin Lundy, Co - Founder & CTO, Evident, who steers a team of engineers that have deep expertise and extensive knowledge in AWS infrastructure security, proving the core competency of the company. Having embedded several years of real-world security experience into the ESP for AWS, the company’s knowledge base facilitates its clients to quickly secure their AWS infrastructures.“With regard to security of new applications, we instill a sense of confidence in our customers,” comments Prendergast. This certainty has also enabled existing Amazon customers to verify their compliance of AWS security best practices.

Besides implementing a new platform for detecting and blocking malicious activities, Prendergast is intent on delving into more exciting things—AWS CloudTrail and AWS Config. Evident will be introducing new services that compliment these audit trails, helping customers synthesize information about their organization’s use of AWS resources.

“We will also be supporting a broad sector of applications and security services with our API model—maneuvering around the customer’s expectations. With a number of continuous compliance features, we are a proof that automation and security is the key to success of this cloud enabled world,” Prendergast concludes.

Company
Evident.io

Headquarters
Dublin, CA

Management
Tim Prendergast, Founder & CEO and Justin Lundy, Co - Founder & CTO

Description
Providing continuous cloud security for AWS