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Tigera Introduces Calico Runtime Threat Defense

February 2023 by Marc Jacob

Tigera announced Calico Runtime Threat Defense. Calico Runtime Threat Defense is the most comprehensive plug-and-play threat defense solution for network and container-based threats for applications on Kubernetes. By combining signature and behavior-based techniques to detect known and zero-day threats, Calico Runtime Threat Defense provides coverage for most common MITRE attack techniques for container and network-based attacks.

Unlike traditional runtime threat detection platforms, Calico Runtime Threat Defense for containers and Kubernetes continuously monitors and analyzes network and container behavior for Indicators of Attack (IOA) without the need for writing complex rules, freeing up valuable resources that would otherwise be spent on writing and maintaining security rules. Calico’s global threat intelligence feed integrates with AlienVault and other threat intelligence providers to alert and block attacks from known malicious actors. This fully automated approach, which combines signature and behavior-based techniques to detect container and network-based attacks, is also more accurate and reliable than manual rule-based systems.

While most solutions are plagued with hard-to-trace false alarms, Calico’s real-time alerts provide rich context for the potential threat along with suggested mitigation steps. These steps include policy recommendations, such as quarantining the infected pod, that are particularly useful for organizations that need more resources to independently interpret security data. Through clear and actionable guidance, Calico Runtime Threat Defense helps organizations respond to security threats in a timely and effective manner.

Calico Runtime Threat Defense uses two types of detection:

Behavior-based detection:
Calico Runtime Threat Defense uses eBPF to monitor container activity data across processes, file system activity, and system calls; the data is used by a wide range of pre-programmed detectors created by Tigera’s Threat Research team to detect new zero-day threats. New detectors are continually added to stay on top of an ever-changing and dynamic threat landscape.

Calico Runtime Threat Defense also uses network traffic logs to baseline the behavior of cluster nodes, pods, and services and applies machine learning algorithms to determine indicators of port scans, IP sweeps and domain generation algorithms (DGA).

Signature-based detection:

Intrusion detection and prevention – Calico’s global threat intelligence feed integrates with AlienVault and other threat intelligence providers to protect from malicious IPs.
Workload-centric WAF – Monitors HTTP communication to detect OWASP10 attacks.
Malware detection – Maintains a database of malware file hashes as part of its threat intelligence library and actively blocks known malware.
Honeypods – Deploys decoys or honeypods to monitor and detect suspicious activity within a Kubernetes cluster.
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and threat detection with SNORT – Inspects network data in detail and performs signature-based detection of potential threats using SNORT rules.

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