Twistlock Introduces Hybrid Cloud Service Discovery and Expands Istio

Container security startup Twistlock Ltd. wants to provide more safeguards for enterprises that run hybrid cloud information technology environments.

The new Twistlock 18.11 release gives companies a way to discover which cloud-native services they’re running across multiple clouds so they can better protect themselves against threats across these environments. In addition, the company is throwing in some new security visualization tools for Kubernetes, the most popular container orchestration software.

Twistlock is a three-year-old security startup focused on software containers, which are popular with developers because they allow for their applications to be built just once and run on any operating system. The company used to sell the tools and software that’s used to detect vulnerabilities in container deployments, placing a particular emphasis on spotting operational problems that violate compliance rules.

Like many startups in the emerging container market, Twistlock has received some generous funding from venture capitalists, landing $63 million to date, including its most recent $33 million Series C round this summer.

Following that round, Twistlock executives told in a report that the company had some new features in the pipeline, and today it’s delivering on that promise.

The most important new feature is Cloud Platform Compliance, which is a kind of cloud native service discovery tool its customers can use to quickly and easily find all of the services they’re running across every public cloud. The idea is to provide a central location from which admins can monitor all of these services, detect when rogue services are added and provide alerts for any risks to an organization’s security posture that are created by running these services.

Twistlock is also adding new discovery tools for Kubernetes service accounts. These are integrated into the Twistlock Radar dashboard, and provide an overview of each Kubernetes cluster that’s running and the resources they use. Users can also control access to these clusters by setting permission rules with the new tool, Twistlock said.

The release also adds new compliance and security configuration checks for Istio, which is a service mesh developers can use to connect, manage and secure microservices, or the components of applications built using software containers. Although Istio is useful for load balancing and routing network traffic, Twistlock said it doesn’t provide an easy way for users to visualize and understand how the different services they’re running are connected to one another.

The Twistlock 18.11 release remedies this problem by integrating Istio with its Radar dashboard, providing a simple overview of the protocols and service roles it governs. The integration also provides new compliance and secure configuration checks for Istio that safeguard against risks such as misconfigured security settings.

The updates are important because security concerns continue to deter many organizations from adopting containers and cloud-native technologies, 451 Research Inc. analyst Fernando Montenegro said in a statement.

“Twistlock has shown momentum with the cloud providers, ISVs, and open source tools driving the cloud native movement,” Montenegro said. “We believe that this coming year we’ll see more emphasis on security for containers and cloud native applications than ever before.”

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