Swedish technology simulates cyber-attacks - foreseeti are now testing Klarna's clouds

By simulating cyber-attacks on IT infrastructure, the Swedish IT security company foreseeti identifies weaknesses and potential threats before hackers can exploit them. foreseeti are now running a project where they test the cloud security of payment solution giant Klarna's cloud IT infrastructure.

The technology that is used is a form of threat modelling that originated in research at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden. The inspiration came from engineering, when building a bridge or some other construction, simulations are used to see if the construction can keep the pressure from heavy traffic and to find out where the weak spots are.

This was the idea we wanted to transfer to the IT industry, says CEO Joakim Nydrén. This resulted in foreseeti being founded in 2014. Since then, the software, called SecuriCAD, has been developed and refined - and the keyword is automation.

- There are many security products and solutions on the market today. But the main issues such as what is your risk exposure, what are the weak links, and where to put the resources to get the best effect - those are analyses that often are done manually today. foreseeti automates this work and simulate cyber-attacks and put vulnerabilities and weaknesses in to a context.

- For example, most organisations run network scans. After a scan you can see that a software is not updated, but one must also be able to see if there is a connection to critical assets, and that is what foreseeti does.

Based on the research from KTH, data from vulnerability databases, and interviews with security experts, foreseetis tool, securiCAD, is able to make a statistical assessment of the risks. It is also not just about technical vulnerabilities, but also about who has access to the systems, what permissions exist and what the security effect is.

In securiCAD you can simulate and test the security before implementing new or improved designs. This can be done automated in a cloud environment. Right now, foreseeti is working on a project together with the payment giant Klarna, the project is partly financed by Vinnova and is about increasing the security of Klarnas cloud security - by just simulating a variety of cyber-attacks against that environment securiCAD can detect individual vulnerabilities and put them in context.

- What we do here is completely automated. The pace of change and complexity is unique to cloud environments, and it is impossible for a person to grasp the consequences for all configurations and choices one has to make, says Product Manager Erik Ringdahl.

The big cloud suppliers usually talk about their solutions being incredibly safe considering how much they have invested in security?

- But the big issue is how the cloud is configured, i.e. how the user has configured his cloud. What do users do and what don't they do? How are the attacks executed in a cloud environment? What are the possibilities for third parties to access data? That logic is built in.
In addition to Klarna, foreseeti currently has customers in the defense industry, the aerospace industry, the banking sector and the automotive and transport industries. The common factor is organizations with critical infrastructure and where the requirement to be proactive is substantial, and where it is not enough to just sit and monitor what is happening says Joakim Nydrén.

Foreseeti has not done much marketing so far. Customer organisations find foreseeti through online searches and conferences. However, through a new investment round, they will start to become more active. - The need for this type of analysis will only increase, as the attack surfaces increases, and security gets more important. Through the cloud development, we can also reach the broader market with a fully automated solution for cloud analysis.

Article by: Mattias Malmqvist, Reporter at computersweden, IDG Sweden

Here is a link to the article on Computer Sweden’s website: (article in Swedish)


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