Dragonfly Takes Flight

Posted on September 21, 2020 by Joseph Lamport

What does it take to build a breakthrough technology product today?  We recently had a chance to sit down with John Limb, the CTO at Braintrace, who is the primary driver behind the development of Dragonfly, a cutting-edge Network Traffic Analysis tool, which takes the fight against malware to the next level.  Compared to all the other NTA’s on the market today, Dragonfly provides near-complete visibility, including visibility into encrypted communications, that makes it far easier for the security team to stay a few steps ahead of all the bad actors.

Braintrace’s breakthrough with Dragonfly is all the more remarkable, given that the network security space has long been dominated by huge players, all of whom have vast resources and development budgets at their disposal. In comparison to these behemoths, Braintrace is a modest-sized business. As CTO, John Limb presides over a core research and development team, BraintraceLABS, as well as a European group who support the development efforts.

 “With developing new technology today,” as John Limb explains, “there’s no reason to be deterred simply because you have a small team and relatively limited resources.  You can put yourself right on the leading edge by leveraging great tools and technology from the open source community. That’s exactly what we did.”

A few other key points emerged in our conversation with Limb, which also seem to be important elements in shaping a successful strategy for tech product development today.  The development process starts by taking a careful look at what the market leaders are doing.  “And then,” as Limb says, “you have to ask yourself, what can you do that’s better?”

For Braintrace, that meant starting by taking a much closer look at one of the industry’s networking giants, and figuring out their methodology for analyzing encrypted communications; while you can’t read the encrypted contents directly, other platforms identify the unique length and time sequence associated with each packet, which provides a basic means of fingerprinting the packets associated with malware. 

“The closer we looked, the more we thought we would be able to take the analysis of encrypted packets further -- beyond merely looking at the packet sequence.  We realized if we could harness the proper AI engine, using today’s state of the art deep learning tools, we would be able to build a far more powerful predictive engine for detecting malware.”

Limb’s intuition proved sound.  By deploying the latest and greatest deep learning models, Dragonfly has been able to achieve a significant improvement in performance compared to the leaders in the industry. Dragonfly is capable of payload analysis with greater than 99% accuracy, which confers an enormous competitive advantage. In fact, Dragonfly can identify malware by analyzing encrypted packets and comparing them to other known malware families, which means that Dragonfly is capable of deterring what the security community refers to as zero day attacks – rooting out malware even before a particular IP address it is associated with has been identified on a blacklist.  

One additional factor that Limb credits as a major contributor to his team’s success is the decision to involve clients directly in the development process.  “Any time you are developing a new product, you want to make sure you get your clients’ input early enough to make a real difference.  There’s no way to build a product that is going to effectively address clients’ needs unless you first take time to know what your clients think.” 


Dragonfly was officially launched on September 15, 2020, to the world. If you are interested in viewing a demo of Dragonfly, Braintrace will be hosting a live demo on September 25, at 12:00 PM EDT. You can register here:   




What the Tech Are We Doing Now? 

Posted on August 5, 2020 by Carla Landry

Which technologies will take your firm to the next level? Carla Landry explains that it's important to find the technology that best complements your firm and practice group goals in order to provide the competitive momentum you need and the value-add clients demand.

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Adapting Law Department Practice to the New Normal: a panel discussion of law department leaders 

Posted on April 16, 2020

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Keeping Your Remote Workforce Secure With Security-as-a-Service From Braintrace 

Posted on April 3, 2020 by Greg Spicer

BraintraceA Q&A with Greg Spicer, the CRO of Braintrace, explaining their newest service offering that provides state-of-the-art data security for all firm employees who need to work remotely, no matter what sort of home device they may be working from. 

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Five Essential Steps to Secure Videoconferencing and Prevent Corporate Espionage 

Posted on March 31, 2020 by Frank Flores

A remote work environment may seem ideal for employees, but it can create a number of creative loopholes that hackers can exploit.  Chief among areas of potential vulnerability is video conferencing, which has become an essential part of the toolset for employees working from but which hackers are now actively targeting! Here are give key steps employers should be taking to secure their videoconferencing systems.

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Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Working at Home 

Posted on March 22, 2020 by Braintrace

Due to COVID-19, many of us are forced to work at home. The Braintrace team came together to bring to you tips to stay secure while away from the office. We created this article for our IT professional clients to share with their colleagues.  Follow these steps to create a secure home office.


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Protecting Your Domain From Back Door Risk 

Posted on February 20, 2020 by Greg Spicer

Every website domain has hundreds, if not thousands, of permutations.  Most of these permutated domains are completely harmless, involving a simply typographical variation on the original domain name. However, every now and again a fraudster will create a domain based on one of these permutations with bad intentions, hoping to compromise the security of the original domain.  It’s important to understand and take reasonable steps to mitigate this risk, so you can better protect your vital business domains.

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Waiting for Stuxnet: 8 things a security engineer can do to stay ahead of emerging security threats 

Posted on January 28, 2020 by Frank Flores

A list of 8 essential tips on how to enhance your law firm's cyber security from the Director of Security Operations for Braintrace.  These are all critical practices that should be incorporated into your security routine in order to stay 3 or 5 steps ahead of the bad actors who are out there now, probing and waiting for the chance to compromise your law firm’s security.

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Most Popular Tech Stories in 2019 

Posted on January 7, 2020

In keeping with the time-honored tradition of publishing best of lists to celebrate the New Year, here is our list of the ten most popular stories that appeared in Law Technology Digest in 2019.  What do you suppose it says about the pace of technological change last year that the top story provides 18 euphemisms for “I haven’t got a f*cking clue”?

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Hitting the Sweet Spot for Law Firm Management with Zola Suite 

Posted on December 5, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

In the first part of this series, I wrote about how the platform business model is one of the defining features of our current state of technological and economic development, evident in such business success stories as Uber and Airbnb.  A platform business is one that creates value by facilitating exchanges, of either information, good or services, among otherwise independent groups and individuals via the platform it creates.  I also explained how the platform business model is of growing importance in the legal market, not so much for connecting lawyers to clients but as a means of more effectively connecting the lawyers within a firm and thereby enabling a much more efficient and far more integrated work-flow.

In this second part of the series I’m going to take a closer look at Zola Suite, part of the new generation of cloud-based law practice platforms now available on the market.   Zola Suite formally launched in 2015, after a few years in development, but in fairly short order it has emerged as a market leading solution for mid-sized and larger law firms. This positions Zola in notable contrast to its better-known cloud-based provider, Clio, which has attracted a large number of solos and small firm clients to its platform.

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The Law Practice Platform 

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

In the past, law firms were held together primarily by their partnership agreements, which laid out the rules for how firm-wide decisions got made and how the spoils of collective labor would be divvied up.  Law firms of the future – whether they are organized as partnerships, LLCs or some other alternative business structure – will most certainly be far more dependent on whatever practice platform they choose to adopt.  It will be the practice platform, much more than the partnership agreement, that provides the insight, controls and coherence that holds the firm together.  

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Casetext Launches CARA Patent That Provides Users AI-Powered Patent Law Research 

Posted on October 23, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

Casetext keeps leading the way by introducing powerful new applications of AI in the legal research market.  This week they announced the roll out of CARA Patent, a new product that leverages the power of AI technology to transform patent law research.

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Incident Response: What Every Law Firm Needs to Know 

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Katherine Riley, CISA, CISM

One recent study estimated that a cyber-attack occurs every 39 seconds, which underscores the need of every business in America to be prepared for the possibility that their network security will eventually be tested if not breached.  For law firms, the risk is even more severe.  As of 2017, around 20% of all U.S. based law firms had been hacked.  By early 2019, that percentage had risen to an alarming 25%. 

And yet severe as the risk of security breach is, fewer than half of all law firms in the US have an adequate incident response plan in place, and less than a third of those firms with plans have undertaken any testing to ensure their preparedness in case of an attack.  The lack of planning and testing only increases the dangers law firms face.

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Nothing Compares With compareDocs 

Posted on October 15, 2019 by Kerry Carroll

Document comparison is an absolutely essential technology for law firms today.  It’s a critical productivity tool that most lawyers rely on every day and it plays a vital role in client service because it’s how your firm keeps clients fully informed about work-in-progress.  How does your current solution stack up against compareDocs - the leading document comparision tool on the market? 

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Parsons Behle Lab: Ringing the Bell for Market Innovation 

Posted on October 9, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

Parsons Behle Lab has embarked on an ambitious tech development effort, which represents a striking departure from the way most law firms have approached similar innovation and tech development initiatives. They are in the process of building a new type of law practice platform, which is open for other law firms and lawyers to use, and which enables participating firms to expand the services they offer to their own clients.  It's a platform that seems laden with opportunity for all those who choose to get involved. 

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Streamlining the Process of E-Filing: making good on the promise of technology 

Posted on September 23, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

One of the most frustrating tendencies of technology is to create new problems while trying to solve old ones.  It's reminiscent of the drinker who drinks to forget he’s drinking in the Little Prince, with the problem and solution forever chasing each other in circular fashion.

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Law Firms & Ecosystems 

Posted on September 9, 2019 by Anders Spile

For decades, law firms have upheld strong boundaries between the firm and the society in which they operate. The law firm maintains itself as a sturdy fortress, within which hierarchy, culture and tradition go unchallenged. The career path remains clear; associates and junior lawyers execute repetitive work in an attempt to get to the promised land of the equity partner with the result being that billable hours are silently killing all innovative efforts happening lawyer-to-lawyer.

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Interview with Greg Spicer 

Posted on August 16, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

Editor’s Note:  We recently had a chance to sit down with Greg Spicer, the CRO at Braintrace, to talk about the growing importance of information security management and the option for registration under ISO 27001 for law firms today.  Braintrace is one of the top cybersecurity consulting firms in the country serving the legal, financial and government markets. 

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Most Recent Issue

Translation? A patching we will go!

"Cisco has stomped out a slew of high-severity vulnerabilities across its lineup of network-security products. The most severe flaws can be exploited by an unauthenticated, remote attacker to launch a passel of malicious attacks - from denial of service (DoS) to cross-site request forgery (CSRF)." Translation? A patching we will go! Read more at threat post: Cisco Warns of Severe DoS Flaws in Network Security Software

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Books: still fruity in biglaw

Our physical library has diminished to the point that reading the first part of this post actually surprised me. "In law firms' 'new normal,' lawyers may have to quarantine books for 72 hours before they're placed back into rotation." I understand the precautions, but wouldn't have expected it to be such a huge deal in 2020. "Ending print subscriptions is 'low-hanging fruit'" was low hanging fruit a decade ago. With the pandemic, I would think it should be more like shoveling the rotten fruit off the ground. Read more at Legaltech news: Pandemic Reality: Law Librarians Grapple With 24/7 Availability, Accelerated Digital Transition

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Take a deep dive

Anurag Malik, Chief Technology Officer at ContractPodAi, paints a great visual on contracts, "Viewing your company's agreement-related data - without the benefit of a contract analysis solution - is like looking at the surface of the ocean to try to understand what is deep under the water. You can see what is happening 'above the water,' of course, yet miss out on the ecosystems of information and insights lying beneath the surface." He lays out five goals for a contract analysis tool: 1) Understanding Historical Trends; 2) Completing Data Migration; 3) Increasing Renewal and Win-Back Rates; 4) Becoming Device Agnostic and Offering Secure, Reliable Cloud Services; and 5) Easing Customization. Read more at Artificial Lawyer: 5 Ways Contract Analytics Can Reduce Risk + Increase Efficiency

- o/|oo|\o -

Jeffrey Brandt, Editor

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