Our first #NoSalesPitch event of 2024 saw the KedronUK team heading north into central Manchester. The No Sales Pitch format was a great success last year, with ten-minute presentations from five security vendors to keep things moving and interesting. With Sixes Manchester as the venue, there was the chance for networking over food and drink, along with some virtual cricket fun after the presentations had finished.

Zero Trust – Forescout
Phil Swainson, KedronUK’s Head of Technology, was compere for the afternoon. After a brief overview of KedronUK, he introduced our first presentation from Keith Gilbert of Forescout. Keith talked about Zero Trust (ZT), focusing on the steps required to begin the journey to a ZT world. We know from speaking to many enterprises, there’s a lot to consider when starting out with ZT and proper planning is essential. Using the NIST 800-207 document entitled “Zero Trust Architecture” as a guide, Keith outlined the key system components such as Policy Enforcement Points and Policy Decision Points, plus how these interact with the “data plane” of users and systems.

Ransomware Containment – BullWall.
In the IT security arena, ransomware remains an ongoing threat to businesses of all size. Whilst the exact attack techniques and methods evolve, the risk of severe business disruption remains. Bullwall Ransomware Containment (RC) is an innovative but lightweight solution to provide an extra layer of protection. To use an analogy, an IT datacentre or large building will have a sprinkler or fire suppression system which will trigger in the event of a fire. The job of the sprinkler system is not to stop the fire from happening in the first place but to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible. Andrew Grant outlined how Bullwall RC offers the same solution for ransomware – other security tools will hopefully block and prevent as many attacks as possible but in the worst case, it will automatically trigger and stop the ransomware.

Breach & Attack Simulation – Keysight.
The ever-expanding IT security market means new vendors and new products appear almost daily. Analysts will identify attack vectors which need tools to protect against but what about the existing security tooling you have deployed? Kevin Berry from Keysight showed how a Breach & Attack Simulation (BAS) tool can fit into your security testing plans. Whilst it is a new tool (somewhat ironically), BAS is not about directly filling a gap or replacing an existing tool, but helping you understand how your existing security solutions are working. With regular updates from the Keysight Application & Threat Intelligence (ATI) team, Keysight ThreatSim helps you validate your existing security policies and posture to ensure they are providing the best possible protection against the latest threats. BAS compliments point-in-time tests such as penetration testing which are performed perhaps annually or six-monthly, as well as frequent scans from vulnerability management tools such as Tenable Nessus.

API Security – NoName.
Our newest vendor partner is NoName Security. API security continues to gain focus for CISOs and other security practitioners. As far back as December 2021, Gartner predicted that APIs would become the top attack vector. As an example, the recent (May 2024) Dell data breach saw an attacker use a poorly secured and non-rate limited API to extract the details of around 49 million customers. As a market leader in API security, David Moss outlined how the key pillars provided by Noname cover Discovery (what is my API estate?), Posture (how many of those APIs have vulnerabilities or are mis-configured?), Runtime (who is attacking my APIs?) and Testing (finding potential vulnerabilities during development).

Network Detection & Response – ExtraHop.
The “Need for Speed” was the theme of the last presentation from Kyle Francis of ExtraHop. IT teams are always under pressure to work faster. Security threats need to be detected and contained quicker, whilst outages must be resolved quicker to avoid costly business disruption. However, incomplete data, blind spots and too many complex interfaces hinder the investigation and resolution process. As a Forrester Wave (Q2 2023) leader for Network Analysis and Visibility, ExtraHop can help enterprises eliminate blind spots, detect issue and anomalies in real-time, ultimately reducing investigation to drive quicker, positive, outcomes.

With the presentations complete, the bar opened, food was served and the cricket began. Across the two nets, the best attendee on each screen stepped forward at the end for a competition to win an Oculus VR Headset! Although the runner up didn’t miss out, receiving a £75 voucher to return to a sixes cricket near them…

We received some great feedback from the attendees at the event. From speaking to them, the key takeaway from the afternoon included that whilst not every tool presented is the right fit for every organisation (perhaps due to size, budget or security maturity), the format is an excellent way of getting a view of current security trends and risks. Finally, a number of attendees noted how the workload for IT teams is unrelenting, so “light-touch” tools (such as BullWall RC) which can quick enhance security with a low management footprint are extremely attractive.

To find out more about each technology discussed, take a look at our SOCial Cricket Event Presentation Slides here!

Chris Booth

Chris Booth

Solution Architect

Listen to your problems, then identifies the best tools and products to build solutions

Call us today on 01782 752 369
KedronUK, Kern House, Stone Business Park, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 0TL