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The acquisition will add deception technology to Zscaler’s growing cloud security portfolio.

Zscaler has agreed to buy Smokescreen Technologies, the company announced this week. They plan to use Smokecreen’s deception technology to proactively hunt for emerging adversary tactics and techniques, according to the company.

Zscaler said its proposed purchase of Boston-based Smokescreen will make it easier to precisely detect highly targeted attacks. Such attaxcks could include techniques such as ransomware and lateral movement attempts. Zscaler plans to enhance its active defense capabilities by integrating Smokescreen into its ZIA secure web gateway. It will also add Smokescreen to its ZPA zero trust network access offering.

Extending their zero trust architecture with Active Defense

In contrast to traditional reactive security measures, active defense uses proactive tactics to thwart the most advanced attackers. It uses high-confidence detections across the lifecycle of an attack. It also allows businesses to rebalance the defensive equation in their favor; identifying intrusions before attackers compromise vital company data and resources.

“Today’s most sophisticated cyberthreats, like the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, require immediate, high-confidence detections to drive effective response,” said Jay Chaudhry, CEO, chairman and founder, Zscaler, Inc. “Zscaler is proud to be the industry’s first security vendor to extend a zero trust architecture with integrated active defense and deception capabilities.” According to Chaudhry, Zero Trust Exchange will allow customers to change the economics of cyberattacks by making them far more costly, complex and difficult for the adversary.

“Alert volume has never been higher,” said Sahir Hidayatullah, CEO at Smokescreen. “Security teams can’t separate the signal from the noise to take a proactive stance against the most stealthy attackers,” he said. “As analysts lose time chasing ghosts, the role of active defense has never been more critical,” he added. By taking the fight to the attacker, Hidayatullah said customers can dramatically speed up threat hunting and containment.