Press Releases

February 23, 2016

Skyport, Ascent Partner on Microsoft Active Directory Platform

Skyport Systems, with Ascent Solutions, announces new turnkey, “Red Forest” hardened security solution for Microsoft Active Directory to thwart credential theft and unauthorized account access.
Skyport Systems®, the leading provider of hyper-secure infrastructure, today announced a turnkey solution to deliver a hardened implementation of Microsoft Active Directory. In partnership with Ascent Solutions LLC, Skyport Systems delivers a rapidly deployable solution for Microsoft Active Directory that helps to minimize 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. Verizon notes that four of the top nine basic patterns that caused 96 percent of all breaches involved human error and misuse.

“We see cyber-attacks often targeting identity management systems, as they enable access to most of an organization’s systems and data,” said Bret Arsenault, corporate vice president and chief information security officer at Microsoft Corp. “With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cybercrime, it is critically important that companies follow best practices for properly securing their systems.”

Skyport Systems delivers a full-stack solution to deliver clean source computing, application-specific micro-segmentation policies and pre-configured deployment templates to reinforce the latest guidance from Microsoft on Securing Privileged Access.

“Just as nation states look to protect critical infrastructure, so should corporations. Functions like Active Directory and DNS though commonplace, are critical,” said André Gold, VP of Infrastructure, Security and Operations for Ascena International. “Whether you’re a CIO or CISO, solutions that naturally integrate into your environment or business process are a win / win for both your stakeholders and customers.”

Partnership with Ascent Solutions
In tandem with its Active Directory solution, Skyport Systems is also announcing a partnership with Ascent Solutions, LLC. Ascent Solutions is a Microsoft-focused professional services provider with extensive expertise and experience with securing Microsoft Active Directory solutions for customers of all sizes and complexity. Together, Skyport Systems 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 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 Systems 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 Systems to deliver enhanced Credential Theft Mitigation,” said J.D. Harris, CEO of Ascent. “Skyport Systems has distinguished itself with its unique secured infrastructure, which is unparalleled in the industry. Skyport Systems 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 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
  • Easy delivery and installation of software packages for all major solution components
  • 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 Systems is announcing new SkySecure capabilities specifically designed to help secure the Active Directory environment. These include:

  • Kerberos ticket inspection to mitigate 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 Systems’ clean source, zero-trust infrastructure makes critical IT assets such as credential management systems secure by default, making it an ideal system to use for implementing Microsoft’s most recent guidance on securing privileged access.”

Skyport Systems and Ascent Solutions will be exhibiting at RSA Conference 2016. For demonstrations and information, please visit Moscone North Expo booth #N3445.

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:

About Skyport Systems
Skyport Systems was founded to deliver secure infrastructure for critical application and computing environments. Skyport Systems’ award-winning SkySecure line of secure infrastructure protects key IT and line-of-business applications in on-premises data center and private cloud environments. Skyport Systems has rearchitected the x86 hardware and software stack into a turnkey, trusted system with embedded security. Applications and data stays on premises, while Skyport Systems’ cloud-based management verifies and documents continuous enforcement. For more information: