Announcing the Trapize Secure Digital Services Broker for Simplifying Enterprise API Security

API security is a hot topic across enterprises of all types in the digital economy. Understanding what data is authorized to go where is not enough to address data loss prevention. It is critical for security administrators to know what data is being passed internally and with business partners, particularly as malicious ‘bad actors’ get more sophisticated. The next step in the evolution of this market is a turnkey product that can manage API security in real-time that is independent of platform (cloud, hybrid, premise), and simple for security administrators.

The team is excited to announce the release of the Trapize Secure Digital Services Broker (SDSB) that offers security administrators a single turnkey product that simplifies API and microservices security. While there are many disparate API security tools on the market, Trapize has productized and improved the functionality into a complete cohesive product.

Until today, API security tools fell into three primary market categories:

  1. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) – focus is on API security between an enterprise and cloud hosted services such as O365, SFDC, ADP. They rely in part on the cloud providers API security capabilities. A few examples of CASB vendors include Forcepoint and Skyhigh.
  2. API Management Platforms – focus is on creating, publishing, and protecting an API. Development teams who create APIs that are consumed both internally and externally rely on these tools as they write their applications. A few example API management vendors include Apigee, CA, and Mulesoft.
  3. Proxy Management – focus is on decrypting all enterprise traffic, scanning, and reporting on any anomalies. Different solutions are typically used for different types of traffic – web, email, chat. A few examples of proxy management vendors include Symantec/Bluecoat, Barracuda, and Zscaler. 

While each of these tools has their strengths, no single tool does it all until now. Figure 1 below compares the functionality of each of these tools against the new Trapize SDSB.

Key features of the Trapize Secure Digital Services Broker:

  1. Complete Product – plug & play installation and a simple, but effective product to be used by security administrators
  2. Real-time – ensuring that all data performance, governance, and compliance requirements are done in real-time
  3. Analytics – discover, map, and classification of data is done automatically, and this intelligence leads to the effectiveness of this solution
  4. Security Enforcement – while an API call may include 100s of different data fields, instead of denying the entire call, the data that needs to be tokenized or redacted can be done in real-time without breaking or modifying the application

Deployment scenarios, where we bring value to our customers:

  • API security on all external connections. Many enterprise security groups struggle managing shadow IT, for example managing all AWS accounts. AWS has tools such as Macie for API management, however, Macie must be turned on first for these tools to work.  Enterprises can have hundreds of test/dev accounts that can leak data that the security team is not aware of. The Trapize SDSB provides immediate value by delivering API security on all external connections.
  • Real-time security enforcement with analytics. Containers and microservices are all the rage and TLS connections are established between them, but this approach is lacking. The Trapize SDSB provides immediate value by delivering a turnkey API platform across the entire environment that can do real-time security enforcement — with analytics and monitoring — that empowers security administrators to control where what data goes.

 

Network Security Architecture in a Digital World

As businesses evolve and expand their digital footprint it has become clear that users and applications are everywhere.  So too are the APIs and microservices that are producing and consuming data from thousands of sources.  This vastness is driving enterprises to add data security compliance to the list of network security functions.

Everyone knows that hackers exploit the weakest point within an ecosystem and then use it to gain access to higher value targets.  The digital hacker has learned how to bypass a standard security stack, by working within an allowed network connection and acting “normally” to avoid detection and to spoof an application firewall.  For instance, if a hacker gets access to an enterprises’ partner system and uses a trusted encrypted connection to gain access to an enterprises system, a next generation firewall and IPS have trouble identifying this.

Therefore, with continued exploits, application security is not enough to manage data security, so enterprise network security is being asked to move further up the OSI stack to help ensure sensitive data does not unintentionally leave the organization.  This would address IT’s challenge of protecting sensitive data as it is exposed to more partners, mobile users, IoT devices, and applications which often resides outside of the direct control of enterprise IT.

The one thing that enterprise IT still has control of is the enterprise network, and through a next generation security architecture, enterprise IT can still ensure that sensitive data does not leave the company without permission.  This new network security architecture for a digital world includes the following:

  1. Zero Trust Networking – No users or applications on a network should be able to talk to each other without an explicit policy that allows them.  Whitelist routing means eliminating default routes and broadcast domains and using the first packet of a new session to ensure approved access to the requested resource, whether that be another user or application.
  2. Encryption –  As part of not trusting anyone or anything on the network, encrypting data-at-rest is not good enough.  As such, all data in motion should be encrypted end-to-end, from user to application.  TLS is the most common way of doing this and the latest 1.3 release promises to make this even more secure.
  3. Data Security – Network intelligence that decrypts a TLS session to ensure enterprise data identity, access controls, and compliance requirements.  This includes being able to identify and classify data plus tokenizing or redacting sensitive data and creating anomaly alerts.

To enforce the above architecture, a combination of network routers with tunnels, firewalls, proxies, and digital service brokers must be used.  Figure 1 shows this next generation network security stack in reference to the OSI model layers 3-7.

Layers 3-7 - Network Security Functions

Figure 1. OSI Model Layers 3-7 – Network Security Functions

Secure Digital Services Brokers (SDSBs) are new to the market and decrypt, analyze and act, and then re-encrypts traffic flowing through a network.  The SDSBs functions include:

  • Identification – Automatically identifying data through natural language and numeric algorithms such as social security, credit card, and passport numbers.
  • Classification – Indexing the data and categorizing it into groups which enterprise governance rules can be used to determine how to treat the data
  • Tokenization or Redaction – For data that is determined to be sensitive or private, an additional level of encryption can be applied, or the data can be altogether deleted
  • Anomaly Detection – Creating a baseline of what data is going where, setting thresholds, and generating real-time alerts when thresholds are exceeded
  • Logging – Keeping records of what data went were for tracking and auditing
  • Analytics – Ability to create customized reports

As regulations continue to expand their requirements, such as PCI 3.3 and GDPR, this too will drive enterprises to seek help from their network security team in managing data security.  The blame game is over and everyone in the enterprise is accountable for data security; including enterprise IT network security.

Learn more about the Trapize Secure Digital Services Broker (SDSB) user interface concepts by viewing our short product demo.

Sizzle versus simple: what’s your approach to digital transformation?

We here at Trapize spend a lot of time talking to businesses that are beginning to transform themselves into modern digital enterprises.  Most of what we talk about revolves around the sizzle topics: compliance, governance, and data loss prevention (DLP).  While those are great topics to address, it is important to remember that the simple things matter too.

When an enterprise is choosing to consume a digital service, an implicit contract is made with the service provider that the particular service remains both available and reliable.   More and more we hear of enterprises requiring service level agreements (SLAs) for services that are now crucial in the day to day operation of their business.   A complete service outage – or even a consistent delay in processing requests – can have a disastrous, sometimes cascading effect on internal business systems.  Even if a service is moving data packets in and out, it is crucial to have a view that shows the service is actually performing the task the business is paying for.

The modern digital enterprise needs a way to effectively monitor, ensure availability, and measure the performance and functionality of the services it has built the business around.

The Trapize Digital Services Broker (DSB) monitors the performance of all the digital services within an enterprise.   Built-in support for secure socket layer inspection (SSLi) allows the DSB to not just ensure that encrypted data packets are flowing in the network but to also inspect the flow for service functionality.  The DSB monitors and understands the service response time and actual responses to ensure the service is positively performing as expected and not just passing packets around.  Reports summarize the use of a service by requests and responses and monitor the service on a packet-by-packet basis for latency, delays, and service faults in the encrypted tunnels.  Alerts and alarms can be tied to these metrics allowing the business to quickly identify service issues and quickly rectify them before critical services fail.

Proverbs: how to become a cloud-based digital service expert using Trapize, no fishing required

As a business transforms itself into a digital enterprise by consuming cloud services, the IT department may feel as if they are being dragged along for the ride.  Gone are the days when an IT department’s sole concern was the management of firewalls, email, VPN’s, and more.

Today’s IT departments are now being asked to not only evaluate digital services but also determine the risks that those services may pose to the enterprise.  With the services running through a ‘pinhole’ in a firewall or via some encrypted, tunneling technology, the IT department must secure the access while also understanding the underlying data that is being exposed.

Every digital service that an enterprise exposes itself to causes the corporate IT staff to become an expert in a new application domain.  An enterprise either chooses to assign staff to help IT understand the applications (“give the man a fish…”) or begin the process of training the IT staff on the applications (“teach them to fish…”).

We’ve found that when it comes to our customer’s digital services, they don’t want to deal with fishing at all.  They instead want to sit down to enjoy a nice trout almandine.  The Trapize Digital Services Broker can make that a reality with built-in service intelligence.

The built-in tokenizing data vault allows the network management and IT staff teams to monitor and control application performance without being exposed to any sensitive business data. The Trapize inline proxy delivers profiles of popular digital services that allows the IT department to both monitor the performance of the service at the application level and enforce compliance and governance controls without becoming application experts.

Is Shadow IT going to sink your enterprise?

We’ve all heard the saying “loose lips sink ships” and now imagine how that translates to enterprise data, where sometimes exchanging sensitive data with a partner is a good thing, sometimes not so much.

Today we’re finding that corporate infrastructures at most large enterprises have sprung more than a few leaks.  This situation has been driven by the rise of cloud-based digital services, where corporate IT is under increasing pressure to open ‘pin holes’ in a firewall or add DNS exceptions to satisfy business needs.

Unfortunately, this is a risky approach that could compromise the safety and integrity of the enterprise network, particularly since the term ‘pin hole’ implies a small, manageable exception to the otherwise rigid controls that a firewall supplies.  In reality, this couldn’t be further from the actual risk introduced with this approach.

With every pin hole or exception added, a ‘digital waterway’ is created where data can flow in and out of the enterprise.  Adding another layer of complication, this data is often encrypted so centralized compliance and governance solutions have no visibility into these streams.  This has given rise to the popular term “shadow IT”, where core IT has ceded control of previously protected corporate data to the line of business application using cloud-based digital services.  All in all, a pretty perilous situation and unacceptable to regulators who provide oversight.

While some cloud security solutions gaining in popularity today think that scanning for data that has left your enterprise gives you control, we think having the right tools – a sound strategy and navigational instruments – is a safer approach.

So why are enterprises putting their data at risk?

At Trapize, we have built an in-line proxy that not only decrypts this data, ours has a packet-by-packet deep understanding of the data in an application flow.  So, as data enters or leaves the enterprise perimeter, Trapize can apply policies on a service-by-service basis.  It’s a better approach to keep your enterprise afloat.

APIs help digital services ‘talk’ but does IT know what’s being exchanged?

For the last several years businesses have been on a digital transformation journey and today APIs are proliferating. Last year alone, estimates show that a typical enterprise required integrations with over 1,400 unique cloud services. It’s clear that businesses are consuming multiple services from multiple sources.

But businesses face compliance and control challenges in their shift to digital services driven by APIs: cloud-based traffic is traversing firewalls with little IT visibility or control, there’s increased areas for threat as your organization adds/consumes services, and there’s a lack of existing tools to address this exposure when consuming these services. Gartner predicts that “through 2020, 95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

Consequently, IT is caught in the middle trying to address core business functions – controlled stability, internal platforms, service-oriented architectures – while navigating pressing requirements like agile innovation from their line of business stakeholders. But with more than 150,000 third-party APIs available today, business leaders are faced with not only a blind spot but also the discovery of ‘shadow IT’ teams when trying to secure and manage company-wide APIs.

This has led to a critical need for brokered intermediation and digital services governance to monitor usage and protect data. Some questions to consider:

  • Who has access to API-driven business services?
  • When, where and how they are being used?
  • What type data is being exchanged that may be bypassing your existing security controls?

If there is a gap in oversight, Trapize provides the missing piece. Trapize is a digital service broker that gives your IT organization real-time visibility and control into the behavior and value of the digital services that drive your business. There is no other solution available today that provides compliance, governance and security for the API-based microservices your enterprise consumes. Trapize alerts you of potential risks, ensures compliance requirements like FISMA and HIPAA are met, and acts as a control point to enforce data security policies, protecting your enterprise against threats.