Cohesity CyberScan Checks Backup Data to Look for IT System Vulnerabilities

CyberScan uses the vulnerability management scanners to allow companies to more closely watch for problems.

Todd R. Weiss

August 2, 2019

5 Min Read
Data Protection

Cohesity’s new CyberScan application allows business IT departments to scan and search their Cohesity DataPlatform backups for security vulnerabilities instead of having to run scans on live production copies, which is typically not done as frequently.

By scanning the backups, businesses can more carefully track and find IT vulnerabilities because of inherent hesitations to shut down production systems to perform such monitoring, Raj Dutt, director of product marketing for Cohesity, told Channel Futures. The scans can identify vulnerabilities across an organization’s IT environment, including operating systems, computers, network devices and configurations.

Business IT administrators get a global view of all vulnerabilities using a concise security dashboard that displays actionable recommendations on how to address exposures before they can be exploited by hackers.

CyberScan is an on-premises application installed in a company’s data center to work with the Cohesity DataPlatform. It uses vulnerability management scanners to scour IT systems and find and identify exposures against regularly published vulnerability reports logged within the public Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database.


Cohesity’s Raj Dutt

“Organizations have been unable to scan for configuration vulnerabilities as much as they should and as frequently as they should as needed in production environments,” said Dutt. “They only scan periodically,” which can allow known vulnerabilities to remain unpatched for extended periods of time.

To make more frequent vulnerability scans possible, CyberScan looks at the backup data companies already have since they are just sitting there unused, he said.

“If you can’t do it on the production environment, why not leverage it on the backup copy that is sitting idle?”

By scouring the backups, companies can then return to their production environments and make needed fixes as they are discovered, which will help to keep those systems healthier, he said.

“It’s augmenting what a typical organization is doing,” said Dutt. “If they typically have weekly vulnerability scan runs, which is not bad actually, this will let it happen more often” by using the backup data. Since backups are usually done on a daily basis, the data is there and freshly available for scanning without any impacts on production environments.

In addition, CyberScan is making those expensive backups more useful for a business and giving them the chance to constantly test the backups to be sure they work properly, he said. “In the past, backups were only used for recovery as expensive insurance policies. Now we are making backups useful.”, which provides the vulnerability scans, is a software-as-a-service platform that aggregates publicly published vulnerabilities to scan for issues. Inside CyberScan, works to scan the backups and identify and flag issues for correction.

For channel partners, Cohesity CyberScan expands vulnerability oversight for customers, giving them another tool to help protect user IT systems, said Dutt.

“It also helps to expand the total addressable market to get into new markets,” such as additional security capabilities for managed services providers and more.

Jerrod Janes, senior director of the advanced solutions group of SHI International, a VAR channel partner, said the new CyberScan feature from Cohesity is …

… using a method he hasn’t seen any other vendors adopt.


SHI’s Jerrod Janes

“It is an evolution of how we will manage and protect data,” he said. “Security will continue to rise in importance as data becomes more and more valuable. This is just another layer of security to keep organizations safe.”

The Cohesity backup platform continues to provide new opportunities to expand services and revenue, said Janes.

“The beauty of Cohesity is its simplicity. As the offering continues to mature, we will look to add managed services to some of the offerings.”

Scott Crawford, an analyst with 451 Research, said Cohesity’s approach to scanning backups for vulnerabilities could be a useful means of evaluating environments in ways that minimize disruption to production availability, integrity and performance.

“It would also help guard against the recovery of virtual systems that may not have been updated with the latest security fixes, as more recent production environments might be, which would pose a risk of reintroducing vulnerabilities an organization had already considered remediated,” said Crawford. “It can help add to the arsenal of security preparedness that channels make available to their customers and enhances the value of backup protection against threats such as ransomware attacks.”

Another analyst, Christophe Bertrand of Enterprise Strategy Group, said his company’s research shows that cybercrime continues to accelerate and that Cohesity’s latest product could help in that fight.

“It’s an opportunity for channel partners to expand their capabilities and strategic advisory roles beyond storage and backup and recovery, and for those who also have a strong cybersecurity offering, a way to combine services on one platform, reducing complexity,” Bertrand said.

For businesses, the ability to non-disruptively check for potential cyber issues is a very important capability, said Bertrand.

“Doing it directly on the platform simplifies the effort technically and economically. It’s a very astute way for Cohesity to leverage its platform, and this will benefit end-users in their quest to mitigate cyber risk,” he added.

For channel partners, CyberScan provides VARs with short-term and long-term benefits, he said. “They can provide their clients with a critical new capability to strengthen their infrastructure and mitigate risks today and keep adding services as the platform evolves over time and as customers deploy the Cohesity technology further.”

By reusing data for business and technical outcomes that add value, the new applications could be valuable for users, he added.

“Fighting ransomware and cybercrime can be complex and costly, but it is another outcome that customers can now more easily achieve by further leveraging their data backup investment.”

About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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