Clearswift: Delivering Unparalleled Content Threat Protection Solutions

Clearswift: Delivering Unparalleled Content Threat Protection Solutions

Clearswift traces its beginnings back to 1982 as a company called Net Tel, which actively worked on email content-filtering solutions and created the first email client for MS-DOS. In the early 2000s, the company received a round of venture capital fundraising and was rebranded as Clearswift. The company later acquired content technologies from Baltimore Technologies, as well as the MIMEsweeper product, which also included web and instant-messaging filtering.

As the years passed, Clearswift gained a competitive edge as it continued to innovate and develop its solutions to protect against the loss of sensitive and confidential company information. It built a channel of partners that enabled sales to become global.

A new chapter for Clearswift came in 2012 when it was acquired by Lyceum Capital, a Private Equity company, that completely revamped the management team and reinvigorated the company from a technology and sales perspective. In January 2017, Clearswift became the product division of the RUAG Cyber Security business unit and together with RUAG, offering a range of advanced, world-leading cybersecurity and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions.

Having received many technology awards over the years and being recognized in Gartner, Forrester, and Radicati analyst reports, Clearswift continues to carve a niche for itself in the cybersecurity market with a strong focus on innovation, product development, collaboration and meeting the high-security requirements of its customers.

Today, Clearswift is led by a highly experienced executive team that combines decades of industry expertise and in-depth subject matter knowledge and skills. The driving force behind Clearswift’s fast-tracked growth and continued success includes:

Heath Davies – Chief Executive Officer

Davies joined Clearswift in October 2012 bringing with him a wealth of experience in analytics, data, and compliance. Having worked with many multi-national conglomerates across the world as a CEO and investor, he is well renowned for driving business excellence, strategic customer/partner engagements, and substantial revenue growth.

Dr. Guy Bunker – Chief Technology Officer

With over 25 years of experience in information security and IT management, Dr. Bunker is an internationally renowned speaker, author of several research papers and published books, and a ‘board advisor’ for several technology businesses across the globe. Before joining Clearswift in 2012, Dr. Bunker served as a Chief Scientist for Symantec, a Global Security Architect for HP, and CTO of the Application and Service Management Division at Veritas. Dr. Bunker is also a Chartered Engineer with the IET, holds multiple US patents and has written several books.

Joe Roffey – Chief Financial Officer

Joe Roffey has over 20 years’ experience in software organizations, holding various senior financial management roles, where he helped drive profitable growth. He joined Clearswift in 2012 as the Head of FP&A, and in 2018, became the organization’s, Chief Financial Officer. As a qualified accountant and member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Roffey previously worked for Oracle, SeeBeyond, and SmartStream Technologies. He played a crucial role in the sale of Clearswift to RUAG and now manages the financial activities for the business unit.

Understanding the current Cybersecurity Reality in a Digital Ecosystem

Whether it is a sponsored attack or an accidental data breach, cybersecurity stories are never out of the news. With new-age technologies becoming the norm and information supply chains running parallel to physical supply chains, the way enterprises conduct business has changed dramatically. While this change creates plenty of opportunities, it also presents an array of risks as attacks are evolving at an ever-increasing pace and becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Three of the biggest cybersecurity threats are the loss of sensitive company data, cyber-attacks, and unwanted sensitive data acquisition. Critical to the success of firms working with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) vendors such as Clearswift, is the need to understand business requirements revolving around collaboration and protecting critical information from advanced inbound threats as well as outbound data leaks. “From our customers’ perspective, they look to us to remain up to date with new threats and potential solutions for those threats. We are a subscription business, so our customers can update to the latest version of our products as soon as they are released. We ensure that there is a good mix of new features to help mitigate both new malware threats, as well as safeguarding critical information from loss,” affirms Dr. Bunker.

Safe and Secure Digital Collaboration across Email, the Internet, Cloud Applications and Endpoints

Clearswift’s flagship products are managed from a central console, thereby reducing administration time for IT Security teams and ensuring better resource utilization. Policies can also be peered across various digital collaboration channels to guarantee consistency in data protection and threat prevention throughout the organization. The firm’s award-winning products and solutions include:

SECURE Email Gateway (SEG) – Clearswift’s SECURE Email Gateway is a multi-award-winning solution that can be deployed as a managed service, hosted, or as an on-premise solution to protect corporate email. “Clearswift offers the industry’s most effective layer of real-time security to detect and completely sanitize evasive threats including weaponized documents. Clearswift delivers highly secure email without delay, whether it's on-premise or in the cloud,” states Davies. Along with its legacy in the MIMEsweeper for SMTP technology, the solution incorporates a multi-layer spam defense mechanism, advanced security features including SPF, DMARC/DKIM, inbound threat protection, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), redaction, sanitization, as well as anti-steganography.

SECURE Web Gateway (SWG) – Clearswift’s SECURE Web Gateway is an intelligent solution that reduces business risks and prevents security threats. Using a combination of Avira, Sophos and Kaspersky Anti-Virus, and sanitization of Active Code, the solution ensures unprecedented web, social, and cloud protection. The SECURE Web Gateway also allows enterprises to have complete control over the websites users can access, including non-compliant information transfer applications, as well as functionality to prevent malware attacks, phishing, and sensitive data leaks.

Information Governance Server (IGS) - Documents today require a higher level of inspection, redaction, and sanitization before entering or exiting the enterprise’s network. “Designed to be a cornerstone of an Information Governance Strategy, the Clearswift Aneesya Platform is a fully integrated suite of Clearswift products. The key to its operation is the Clearswift Information Governance Server. This acts as the central repository for registered files and content, and stores the metadata from the various information sources, including those relating to tracking the information,” explains Dr. Bunker. The Aneesya Platform undertakes Deep Content Inspection on all communication flows and enables organizations to identify, manage, and protect critical information while in the cloud, within an enterprise’s perimeter and while flowing in and out of the network.

Endpoint DLP – Clearswift’s Endpoint DLP solution is designed to tackle the loss of critical information at the endpoint, thereby enabling an enterprise’s security and compliance policies to extend to the endpoints distributed across the organization or at remote locations. The solution has three key components that can be deployed individually or together - first, is the visibility and control of removable devices that can connect to a company’s network; second, is to regulate and encrypt data or files copied to removable devices; third, is to scan and locate for sensitive data at rest whether on devices, on-premise file servers, or on cloud-based storage, and if required, transfer it to a more secure location.

GDPR Solution – Clearswift’s GDPR solution comes with real-time monitoring and a unique adaptive security layer. Without adding any disruptions to the existing IT environment, information that is shared in the cloud or hidden inside the network can be immediately detected, secured, and brought into compliance with various industry regulations. The solution was a recipient of the Info Security Product Guide’s 2018 Gold Award for Data-centric Security.

Cloud Email Security – To prevent embedded malware, targeted phishing attacks, and loss of confidential data that can evade detection from Microsoft Office 365 and Gmail’s basic security controls, Clearswift’s Cloud Security Solution adds an unparalleled layer of advanced security functionality and DLP features to bolster data protection in the cloud platforms.

Adaptive Data Loss Prevention (A-DLP) - Adaptive DLP has transformed the industry by removing the complexities and high costs associated with traditional DLP technologies. “With constant accidental data leaks, ever-changing privacy regulations, as well as breaches from malicious attacks, our A-DLP solution provides complete visibility of an enterprise’s sensitive data, understands its context, and ensures the appropriate level of security is applied at all times,” adds Dr. Bunker.

Advanced Threat Protection – Considering how advanced malware is easily evading anti-virus detection and sandbox analysis, Clearswift offers an unprecedented layer of inspection to detect and remove embedded malware threats in real-time and without hindering communication flow through its structural sanitization functionality.

Mitigating Cyber Threats with Distinguishing Features and Critical Business Strategies

DLP solutions have been around for more than a decade now, yet they are often seen to bring challenges that make them unworkable in today’s dynamic digital business landscape. Intending to address these bottlenecks, Clearswift set out to deliver several innovations in the market. The firm’s Adaptive Redaction technology and distributed-operations functionality have proved to be an absolute game-changer. The technology has revolutionized the DLP market by being able to repeatedly disassemble email, documents, images and files to look for potential threats, including stripping out metadata and other sensitive information which could cause a breach, removing active content from weaponized documents and then putting the communication, including any files or attachments, back together and allowing it to securely reach its destination. The inspection and content augmentation occur in near real-time and only the content that breaks policy is altered, the rest of the communication flow – whether an email, a website upload/download or information transfer to a removable device – continues unhindered.

“Our key strategy is to listen and to understand what is needed by our customers. By addressing their current challenges and looking to the future to understand their needs, we ensure that our product roadmap remains aligned with where our customers are heading,” explains Davies. Dr. Bunker goes on to say, “By looking further into the future, it enables us to discover and develop ground-breaking solutions to the business problems our customers may have.”

Optimizing Information Security with Minimal Risks

Clearswift has assisted many of its defense, government and financial sector clients to deal with the intricacies of today’s cybersecurity threats. The benefits of its range of cybersecurity products and solutions are highlighted in the following use case.

A client of Clearswift was facing a specific challenge with the use of a multi-functional printer. When the printer scans a document, it converts it into a set of images embedded into a PDF. However, images are not scanned by traditional security and DLP solutions. This was a challenge for the client as they were concerned staff would use the scan functionality to exfiltrate or accidentally leak critical information.While Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can be used to help find text in images, Clearswift adopted an innovative approach to this problem and created a fully integrated solution for the client. By utilizing the customer’s Clearswift Email and Web Gateways, OCR together with Clearswift’s Adaptive Redaction was enabled to automatically analyze, detect and redact (black box) sensitive text in scanned PDFs (and other image file types). This meant that all images could be shared securely, and critical information would not be disclosed.

“The client was extremely satisfied with the result as granular, automated policies ensured that only the right information is shared with the right people, at the right time. Furthermore, our solution enabled comprehensive reporting and analysis of user behavior. The reports give visibility of potentially malicious or inadvertent dangerous activity. By understanding information flows, our client was able to minimize risk and optimize the security of communications, especially with third parties,” reveals Dr. Bunker.  

Paving the Way for Accelerated Business Growth

Clearswift has grown progressively over the past few years and it plans to continue to build teams to address market requirements, accelerate business growth, as well as develop a new focus. With these objectives in mind, the firm is increasing its focus on Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) organizations. “We already work closely with many government and defense agencies around the globe who tend to be a leading indicator of future cybersecurity threats. By working closely with these clients, we can develop features into our solutions which address the problems such that when they become mainstream, we have the functionality that can be deployed to mitigate these threats,” concludes Davies.

Headquarters/Location: Theale, United Kingdom