Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Awake Security Platform.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
One concern I do have with Awake is that, ideally, it should be able identify high-risk users and devices and entities. However, we don't have confidence in their entity resolution, and we've provided this feedback to Awake. My understanding is that this is where some of the AI/ML is, and it hasn't been reliable in correctly identifying which device an activity is associated with. We have also encountered issues where it has merged two devices into one entity profile when they shouldn't be merged. The entity resolution is the weakest point of Awake so far. Even without that it's useful because with the MNDR team, they'll at least do some of that work for us and then we can follow up on certain things. But that is something that we would want to see improved. Because we have the MNDR team, in some ways we don't work as hands-on with the interface itself as we did before. But another thing that would be helpful would be easier ways to integrate it with other systems. The integrations seem to exist, but they're a little weak in terms of how easy they are to set up, or what kind of information can be pulled in. That's something they've said that they're working on, as part of their roadmap, but that is something that I would like to see improved.
The monitoring team is, as I said, top-notch. I can't say that anything needs improvement there. Because we have so few cases, we only meet with them once a month to go over things and talk about the status. While the appliance is very good, and I think they're working on this, it would probably help if they integrated the MNDR generated cases into the appliance so that everything we are working on with them would be accessible on one platform, on the dashboard, on the portal. Right now, Awake MNDR is just an additional team that uses the same appliance that we use and then we communicate with them directly. Communication isn't through the portal. However, they do send us information and a link where we can look and see the same thing in the appliance that they are seeing, so that's pretty good. Another thing about the appliance itself, and again I believe they're working on it, is that it would help if there were a broader integration with other security vendors. I know they have some capability to integrate with Splunk and a few others, but it's still a fairly small number of vendors that they have APIs to integrate with.
When I looked at the competitors, such as Darktrace, they all have prettier interfaces. If Awake could make it a little more user-friendly, that would go a long way.
Awake Security markets themselves as a security shop, and that's what they are. However, compliance with our partnership can enhance its capabilities. Awake Security needs to move to a 24/7 support model in the MNDR space. Once they do that, it will make them even better. For anyone searching to outsource a Level 1 or 2 incident response team, it would be prudent to look at Awake Labs.
It's important that Awake continues to develop its APIs to be able to help intertwine their product into the overall security architecture of a company, just because it is a single tool. Likely a company will have a number of tools in place that you want to be able to communicate and correlate events between and be able to pull actions and information from different security systems. Whenever I look at a new security solution today, their ability on the API side is always one of the first things we look at. The great thing about Awake is that it has really solid visibility. You might get a detection that happens on a different platform, and one of the first things you want to do is ask the Awake system for more context around an alert because they do have visibility into encrypted traffic. Being able to ask questions of the Awake platform from other systems is really important. They've been focused on really developing their data science, their ability to detect, but over time, they need to be able to tie into other systems because other systems might detect something that they don't.
Some of the searching capability is a bit hard to use without in-depth knowledge. In one of the earlier versions, there was a tool that helped you build some of your searches and help you correlate your data manually. This seems to have been removed in a later version. That is probably the biggest thing I've noticed. Be prepared to update your SOPs to have your analysts work in another tool separately. There are some limitations in the integrations right now. One of the things that I want from a security standpoint is integration with multiple tools so I don't need to have my analysts logging into each individual tool. They are working on this at the moment with Splunk and should have something ready in two weeks.
The only issue is that Awake affords you so much information behind its fingerprinting capability. When it does trigger, you need to have a hard look at what is going on because there is a reason for that trigger. They have worked very hard on the interface. I would like to see things laid out somewhat differently, and not due my familiarity with the tool. The tool has grown a lot since I started using it in October, and there is room for user interface improvements. I would like to see the capability to import what's known as STIX/TAXII in an IOC format. It currently doesn't offer this. This would be a nice, like a wish list. We are looking at cloud TAPs for visibility into cloud infrastructure. We offer a software as a service leveraging cloud. To take things to the next level, it is putting the ability and capability of the device into: * Our cloud offering to look for threats. * Leverage it further for any cloud services or SaaS that we use here.
I would like to see a bit more in terms of encrypted traffic. With the advent of programs that live off the land, a smart attacker is going to leverage encryption to execute their operation. So I would like to see improvements there, where possible. Currently, we're not going to be decrypting encrypted traffic. What other approaches could be used?
I enjoy the query language, but it could be a bit more user-friendly, especially for new users who come across it. I'm conversant with the query language, but if I put it in front of somebody else they have difficulty in learning how to address the query language. That is the biggest area of room for improvement. They should push it more into a natural language style as opposed to a query language.
There's room for improvement with some of the definitions, because I don't have time and I'm not a Tier 4 analyst. I believe that is something they're working towards. They're working with me to add new features to make it easier for me to tell what a threat is and determine whether it's important or not. They're making improvements and providing updates almost monthly now, so each time they make those improvements it gets clearer for me.
What do you like most about Awake Security Platform?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community!