Startup Adallom takes on SaaS security challenges

New cloud-based offering detects anomalies in employee cloud use across the enterprise, raises alerts on risky behavior

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Adallom helps organizations adopt the cloud while avoiding risks. According to the company, it conjoins discovery, detection, and prevention capabilities to secure cloud activities across all services and devices.

The company's offering has a number of key features, including analysis of user activity in each cloud service based on contextual heuristics and detection of abnormal activity; visibility to internal, external, and collateral malware threats to SaaS applications; and a centralized audit dashboard of SaaS applications used within the organization.

Adallom tightens security for its clients by monitoring and interpreting employee behavior and building up a user profile for each user based on individual usage. In this way, it can determine changes and unusual usage patterns, then inform the security manager when they occur.

Red flags can be set off, for example, if a user logs in from an unrecognized device or logs in from an unusual location (or perhaps logs in from two geographical locations at once). Addalom can even alert on signs of possible trouble caused by a user logging in from a previously unused browser or if the user is logging in during a time frame that is not typical for that individual.

Today, attackers may not waste their time trying to breach the cloud service's back end. Instead, they will more than likely focus their attack against the weakest link, which in this case is to go after the end-user.

More and more, cloud services are being used by companies -- often times without official support -- and accessed by employees across a variety of personal devices that may not be secure. Companies may not even be aware of what their employees are using or how they are using it. This is a major security gap that isn't being addressed enough.

According to research analysts at Gartner, the market for cloud security services is expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.1 billion in 2013. While Adallom may believe it has found the Holy Grail to help penetrate this market, it is not alone. Adallom will find itself competing with at least two other startups -- Netskope and Skyhigh Networks -- that are also interested in keeping a security watch on enterprise employees using cloud-based applications.

Adallom is sold on a subscription-basis with per-user pricing starting at $5 per month per user. The company is also making volume pricing available for private node deployments. The company is initially selling its software direct, but has plans to provide channel support for managed service providers and resellers down the road.

This article, "Startup Adallom takes on SaaS security challenges," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at

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