Security firm's "DVR for network traffic" gets search and analysis boost

nPulse says appliance now used in feds' EINSTEIN3 monitoring system

Security firm nPulse Technologies unveiled an updated version of its high-speed packet-capture appliance that now provides detailed search capabilities and session analysis of massive data collections.

Capture Probe eXtreme (CPX) 4.0 basically acts like “a DVR for network traffic,” recording at full-duplex 20Gbps, says Tim Sullivan, CEO of the Charlotteville, Va., firm. The latest CPX appliance can also carry out a packet-level indexing and retrieving function via search tools so that there can be a retrospective analysis to look for evidence of threats, such as zero-day malware that may have hit an enterprise.

[BACKGROUND: DHS use of deep-packet inspection technology in new security system raises serious privacy questions]

CPX is now being used in the federal government’s EINSTEIN 3 monitoring system in which traffic to government agencies is monitored and analyzed for security purposes, Sullivan says. The EINSTEIN 3 program, run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), relies on monitoring as a managed service from ISPs, with CenturyLink known as one ISP to participate.

CPX 4.0, typically installed at the network or security operations center, captures entire content streams and can recognize alert information from a variety of security information and event management systems, including HP’s ArcSight and Splunk. It can also accept Sourcefire and FireEye security alerts.

Its packet-indexing function works at 30 million packets per second to aid in massive-scale searches through captured data for threat intelligence. Competitors in this area include NetWitness, acquired by EMC two years ago and now part of its RSA security division, and Solera Networks, acquired by Blue Coat in May of this year.

The CPX 4.0 appliance from nPulse is available now and costs $100,000.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: emessmer@nww.com

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