Musings on predictive cyber risk and resilience.


A big day for Balbix, and a critical step against cyber-breaches


Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
- Galileo Galilei


If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
- Sun Tzu

Today is a proud day for Balbix, the general availability of our first product— a predictive risk platform that provides a comprehensive and real-time risk heat map for the enterprise and measures your resilience against cyber-breaches.  

The thesis behind Balbix is simple— the attack surface of the enterprise is massive and growing, with hundreds of ways that the network can be compromised. It is very hard for security teams and executives to get a good handle on this. Our cyber-armor fails routinely, with each new breach surfacing some previously unknown slice of the attack surface.

If only we could proactively and comprehensively understand the enterprise attack surface, measure it, then we could validate our defenses, prioritize and pick mitigations, and limit the impact of attacks. We might even get ahead of the adversary.


Figure 1. The Enterprise Attack Surface


The hyper-dimensional and growing enterprise attack surface.

Figure 1 is a visualization of the enterprise attack surface. The x-axis plots the various parts of your network where things can go wrong from a security standpoint, and the y-axis depicts different methods of attacks. Each point in this graph is an attack vector. Both axes are very large, growing sets—practically infinite. For example, programmers inadvertently introduce a security bug every few thousand lines-of-code and this guarantees a constantly churning set of zero-days and unpatched vulnerabilities in your environment. Similarly, the cardinality of the x-axis is in hyper-growth as we adopt new technologies in the digital transformation of our businesses.

Software may be eating the world, but cyber-insecurity is the sh*t of software!

Measure, measure, measure…

There is an adage— without measurement there can be no improvement.

Security teams today have no way to measure the enterprise’s breach risk, or to predict how and where you are most likely to be hit next. Even with an army of people, analyzing the myriad of attack vectors is very difficult. Security operations are mostly reactive, preoccupied with a constant stream of indicators of attacks (IoAs) and compromise (IoCs) relating to past security attacks— a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. To get ahead, we need an automated and intelligent way to map our changing attack surface. Also, given the fragility of software, we need to constantly evaluate our cyber-resilience, the ability to limit the overall impact of security attacks— and focus on improving it by deploying the right mitigations.

 Imagine … if you could use automation and self-learning techniques to discover all risk related attributes about each network entity, including their business impact. Also, imagine if you could reason about all that could possibly go wrong in the enterprise, understanding your massive attack surface with AI algorithms that closely mimic how human experts analyze risk and mitigations. You would then be able to understand your risk, and organize security activities to improve cyber-resilience, and stop attacks.

bx_on_ipad.pngFigure 2. Balbix

 This is Balbix! Our sensors continuously observe your network to build a bottom-up model of breach likelihood and business impact for each network entity. Our system predicts likely breach scenarios and prescribes mitigations that increase your cyber-resilience. Ultimately, the Balbix platform is the foundation of a self-healing and self-defending network— you can use risk measurements to drive your security mechanisms across the enterprise.

 Balbix is the product of eighteen months of hard work by an expert team of dedicated engineers and scientists. My team is a unique group – a few are whitehats, and have previously built and broken many security products. Some are AI scientists, trying to make computer systems smarter, while others are visualization gurus – artists carrying special empathy genes. We also have an ex-CISO of a billion-dollar company. This team has had the vision to boldly imagine, and the skill and perseverance to produce a product that is a leap ahead in the fight against cyber-insecurity. 

 I would like to invite you to adopt this new approach to enterprise security— one where we continuously measure risk and resilience to drive security forward. Balbix is committed to this journey, and will do everything in our power to make it successful for you.