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Skyport, Ascent Partner on Microsoft Active Directory Platform

PRESS RELEASE — MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – February 23, 2015 – Skyport Systems® today announced a turnkey solution that implements Active Directory security based on the most recent Microsoft® best practice guidelines. In partnership with Ascent Solutions LLC, Skyport delivers a rapidly deployable platform for Microsoft Active Directory that minimizes the risk of misconfiguration, human error, configuration drift, and a variety of common infrastructure and application layer attack vectors. This solution implements the reference architecture for data center production forests – or common global directories – as well as administrative ‘Red Forest’ tiers, secure branch and cloud integrated implementations of Active Directory.

Credential Theft and Privilege Escalation
According to the Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, credential theft is the number one business-focused threat, with Rapid 7’s 2015 Security Report noting that 90 percent of organizations are worried about compromised credentials. The ever-present risk of human error compounds the challenges of securing identity management applications and infrastructure; according to Verizon, four of the top nine basic patterns caused 96 percent of all breaches involved human error and misuse. {ad}

Skyport delivers a full-stack solution that uses proprietary technologies to enforce best practices for ensuring the continuously secured operations of Microsoft Active Directory forests and identity management systems. The SkySecure solution combines clean source computing, application-specific micro-segmentation policies and pre-configured deployment templates to re-inforce the latest guidance from Microsoft on Securing Privileged Access.

Partnership with Ascent Solutions
In tandem with the introduction of its Active Directory solution, Skyport is also announcing a partnership with Ascent Solutions, LLC to secure data center, branch and cloud integration solutions. Ascent Solutions is a professional services provider with extensive expertise and experience with securing Microsoft Active Directory solutions for customers of all sizes and complexity. Together, Skyport and Ascent offer customers the hardware, software and services expertise needed to easily, effectively and rapidly secure their Active Directory implementation in any environment.

Ascent Solutions is the first Microsoft Partner to offer Red Forest solutions to address Credential Theft, and works with organizations’ IT teams to help design custom implementations of Microsoft software and services. Ascent Solutions prioritizes and addresses gaps defined in the most recent Microsoft guidance on securing Active Directory. The combination of Skyport and Ascent Solutions enables organizations to tier computing assets, protect administrative accounts and workstations, and apply best practices in provisioning and management of administrative privileges.

“We are pleased to be working with Skyport to deliver enhanced Credential Theft Mitigation,” said J.D. Harris, CEO of Ascent. “Skyport has distinguished itself with its unique and powerful platform, which is unparalleled in the industry. Skyport and Ascent offer customers unprecedented protection of their critical systems and accounts with the greatest speed-to-value and, more importantly, speed-to-security.”

Solution Details
Through this partnership, Skyport SkySecure delivers bundles …

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… for data center Active Directory production forests, highly secure ‘Red Forest’ administrative zones and cloud access DMZ authentication services, each of which provides the following:

  • A clean-source computing platform with secure boot and ongoing malware and rootkit prevention and detection
  • Predefined security templates for each bundle to speed deployment and reduce configuration errors
  • Pre-installed versions of each application, including Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Microsoft Identity Manager, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and Windows Update Manager
  • Active Directory-specific audit and compliance reporting
  • Ongoing management and maintenance of cryptographic libraries, reporting functions, BIOS and firmware updates, and all common low-level infrastructure attack vectors

As part of this solution, Skyport is announcing new SkySecure capabilities specifically designed to secure the Active Directory environment. These include:

  • Kerberos ticket inspection to detect and deny fraudulent administrator log-ins, ‘golden ticket’ attacks, and unacceptable use of older NTLM protocol versions
  • Authorized/unauthorized administrative access enforcement and accounting of all logon sessions and attempted sessions into and out of secure administrative environments
  • Application-layer microsegmentation that enables secured communications only between participating servers in the architecture
  • Active audit reports to validate the on-going operation and continuous monitoring of the architecture and its consistency with ongoing best practices evolution
  • Continuous validation of the clean source status for the computing platform including all components, software, and updates that are admitted into the secure enclave

“Working with Ascent Solutions will greatly simplify a critical area of enterprise security for our customers,” said Art Gilliland, CEO of Skyport Systems. “Skyport’s clean source, zero-trust platform makes critical IT assets such as credential management systems secure by default, making it an ideal platform to use in Ascent’s proven architecture and processes.”

About Ascent Solutions
Ascent Solutions is a leading provider of consulting services for transformational IT. With deep expertise across the domains of Cybersecurity, IT Strategy, Identity Management, Cloud, Hybrid IT and Office 365, Ascent Solutions has the real world experience to help organizations address the most compelling opportunities they face today. In today’s complex business world, driving customer value and staying ahead of the competition requires Serious IT Transformation. Ascent Solutions attracts the truly elite architects and technologists to deliver outstanding experiences, creative and effective solutions, and the customer service focus to treat clients fairly and professionally every step of the way. For more information: www.ascentclouds.com .

About Skyport Systems
The Skyport SkySecure platform provides secure enclaves that protect key business applications without compromising performance. Skyport has rearchitected the x86 hardware and software stack into a turnkey, trusted system with embedded security. Data stays on premises, while Skyport’s cloud-based management verifies and documents continuous enforcement. Skyport is funded by Sutter Hill Ventures and Intel Capital. For more information: www.skyportsystems.com.


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