Vulnerability analysis: Mu Dynamics
Last year we selected Mu Dynamics because the company espoused vulnerability analysis, not just assessment. At the time, they were just hitting their stride as an innovator in the vulnerability analysis space. The Mu product can be very pricey and what it does can be pretty complicated. The Mu products have as their goal testing products and networks under a variety of conditions.
The Mu products of the past were protocol testers. In other words, they took a protocol that a product presumably was designed to handle and they mutated the protocol until the target either failed, allowed a compromise or worked correctly. That started out to be a critical set of tests, especially for large telecom networks. Today, there are very few things that the Mu products cannot test for vulnerabilities, and then go on and support detailed analysis.
Today, the Mu products of the old days - and that, certainly, is a relative term here - have been surpassed dramatically by the current Mu Test Suite, a broad portfolio of software capabilities for a variety of test types (functional, interoperability, resilience and security, based on content provided by Mu, customers and third-parties).
More than just the technology - quite impressive in itself - the Mu Dynamics go-to-market strategy is equally impressive. One of Mu's most solid marketing tools is tight interaction with its customers and potential customers. One example of that is the PCAPR website, pcapr.net. This site has a huge collection of packet captures from a variety of sources, and the site is growing daily. It's of great interest to security analysts and, at this writing, had 2,166 registered users. Each of those either is a Mu Dynamics customer or a solid prospect.
We like this company for its solid technological innovation, its vision and its unique way of getting to market with a product that can be pretty pricey. When you have a product that addresses a narrow market, you have two choices if you want to stay in business: You either can raise your prices and attempt to capture the whole market or, alternatively, you can broaden the market. That is what Mu has decided to do.
The company now covers just about any type of communications protocol you can imagine, standards-based or not, including those that support supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and smart grid technology. Users can develop their own test suites as well.
AT A GLANCE
Flagship product: Mu Test Suite
Vendor: Mu Dynamics
Innovation: Development of a practical method of analyzing, not just assessing, vulnerabilities
Greatest strength: Market vision and the creativity to address a niche with a relevant product