Content categorization vendor moves into the IoT space, adding new capabilities to discover and profile devices.
*****The following article, by Sean Michael Kerner , appears in the Security section on eWeek’s web site and was originally published on June 14 , 2017.
Content categorization vendor zvelo is getting into the internet of things (IoT) space with the debut of the company’s new IoT Security platform.
zvelo’s business model is to sell technology and services to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that in turn, embed the capabilities in devices and unified threat device hardware. As opposed to many security vendors that are seeking to raise venture capital funding and go public, zvelo has taken a different path.
Jeff Finn has been the CEO of zvelo since 1998 and helped to take the company public in 1999 and thereafter decided to take the company private in 2002. The company today has no outside private equity or venture capital funding.
“Going private allowed us to focus on building products and growing the business in a profitable way,” Finn told eWEEK.
zvelo’s core business is content categorization, helping OEM vendors to identify and detect different types of data as well as providing web filtering, parental controls and bot detection capabilities. Now with IoT Security, vendors are putting zvelo into the actual gateway routers and WiFi access points to help detect and monitor IoT devices.
With web content, most of the traffic travels over HTTP, which isn’t always the case with IoT data, which can also use other protocols. Finn said that zvelo IoT Security is protocol agnostic and doesn’t really care what data transport method is being used.
“All we’re doing is looking at the traffic and looking at the patterns of the traffic, to figure out if a particular device is on a network and making connections that it shouldn’t be making,” Finn said.
Looking for patterns in device behavior involves also looking at the frequency of communications for IoT devices to see if they align with expectations. The zvelo IoT Security offering builds up a profile of device activity over time and understands what normal behavior should be, providing a numerical value called ‘zScore’ for a device.
“If a device is acting in an abnormal fashion, that raises the zScore,” Finn said.
Once the zScore reaches a configured threshold, an alert will be triggered to warn a system administrator that additional action needs to be taken. Read more about zvelo IoT Security‘s debut.