Tuesday, October 8, 2019

ZeekWeek Q&A with the Community: Bricata

by Amber Graner, Zeek Director of Community



As ZeekWeek gets underway, we wanted to find out what’s new among members of the Zeek Community. Accordingly, we had a chance to catch up with the Bricata team.

Bricata is a contributor to the Zeek community, and supporter of ZeekWeek as the exclusive sponsor of the Welcome Reception for the 2019 event.

1. For those who are new to the network security monitoring (NSM) space can you tell people about Bricata?

Bricata: Bricata is laser-focused on empowering security analysts to hunt effectively. The platform provides analysts with the tools they need to adequately respond to network threats and provide comprehensive network protection. Bricata gives security teams the capabilities to do things like:

  • Obtain network visibility quickly to thoroughly understand what’s taking place in their environment
  • Respond to alerts and understand their context. Alerts are triggered by our multiple threat detection engines, including Zeek; Suricata; IOC matching, and AI-based binary conviction
  • Hunt for zero-day threats using Zeek-generated metadata and PCAPs and develop countermeasures against future attacks

From a workflow perspective, Bricata is especially well-suited to threat investigation and hunting. That means the platform provides a streamlined approach to foraging through network data and developing insight. It’s the metadata produced by Zeek that provides the context for investigating alerts and taking action with the platform.

Flexibility is an important principle here. Bricata gives security organizations the flexibility to customize and enrich the network metadata so that it’s meaningful within the context of their specific environments and use cases. In addition, our dashboard and visualization tools can be easily tailored to an individual analyst’s preferences.

2. Why is ZeekWeek and the Zeek Project important to Bricata?
Bricata: ZeekWeek is a time for everyone in the community to get together. We’ve found it to be a very devoted group of people sharing their experiences working with Zeek and sharing how they’ve worked out solutions to difficult, but common challenges.

In the past, we’ve used this opportunity to share successes we’ve had with the Zeek Project in the context of our solution and our customers’ use of Zeek. For example, we previously released a labeling module to the community, which provides a way for analysts to share their knowledge about the environment. Those labels are matched with network data that Zeek is generating, which in turn enables more sophisticated threat detection and network analysis.

We expect to see a lot of focus on machine learning this year with Zeek-produced datasets and particularly how people are optimizing their use and management of it. That’s important because network speeds keep getting faster and unconstrained, Zeek is known to produce a high volume of data.

3. What can attendees expect to learn if they visit your booth at ZeekWeek?

Bricata: Visitors will see just how easy we’ve made it to deploy and use Zeek in their environment. They can stand it up and get usable network visibility very quickly. This allows them to easily incorporate it into their IT infrastructure and security operations.

Secondly, people that haven’t seen the solution in a while will find some of the most recent enhancements we’ve made for our customers interesting. For example, as members of the community know, Zeek can generate a wealth of metadata. While that’s useful, it can also be overwhelming, so we’ve incorporated fine-grain filters that permit security teams to precisely control the Zeek logs they require. This ability prevents the costly processing and storage of unnecessary metadata.

Finally, and this one of the benefits of the community, we’ve adopted the 5-tuple Community ID hash. We’re using it to help consolidate similar alerts under a single grouping as a means to reduce the alert fatigue the SOC can sometimes experience. Bricata is bullish on the Community ID because we see it as an up-and-coming standard that will enable seamless interoperability with other security solutions.

4. What else would you like attendees to know about that I haven't asked you about?
Bricata: Fly-Away kits are one of the initiatives we have that extends beyond the traditional use cases for NSM. Zeek is an integral part and here are a couple examples:

  • We’ve partnered with a solution provider that makes network taps to develop a portable flyaway kit for incident response. This brings visibility to environments that are not properly instrumented, or where the response team is unfamiliar with the environment.
  • We’re continuing to build traction among service providers who provide digital forensics and incident response (DFIR). Their teams are using our platform when deployed to dynamic situations like data breaches, insider threats, or any sort of suspected malicious network activity. It helps incident responders quickly understand what is happening on a network, detect threats and facilitate the incident response process.

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ZeekWeek 2019 attendees interested in learning more about Bricata should look for their display on the exhibition floor. In addition, you can check out their website, and stay in touch on LinkedIn or Twitter.


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