What is OSCAR? OSCAR is a new virtual appliance based application that helps you detect security events rapidly. Think of it as a modern virtual intelligent IDS. Yes, I said intelligent, because it self learns.
OSCAR promises to find anomalies on your logs and alert you of them, faster, and more accurately than a security professional could do, and at a fraction of the cost. Having someone parse through logs on an ongoing daily basis for example, is very expensive, so much so that only big data centers and high-tech firms can afford the 70 - 150K range for a security professional like this. Not to mention that this task is usually a waste of time for someone with the skillset to actually do it. Ironic is it not?
OSCAR claims to do this job much cheaper, better and faster. OSCAR is still in beta as of this writing, but to be frank, this is not going to be your normal webapp or virtual appliance that the general population will use. But if you're running a start-up, if you have a hosting service or manage a lot of applications, OSCAR may just be what you need. Check them out, they're accepting applicants to their beta program right now.
Some of things that made this very interesting to me:
Freemium model! It doesn't require a point to point VPN. You don't have send your syslogs to them. It uses standard SSH so it's secure and easy to implement. It will alert you via email, so you can then route that to your favorite device. And it has an easy to use Dashboard. All winner points on my book. Their alert system is based on "automated anomaly detection" which means it follows patterns and picks out the anomalies; brilliant.
Let's see how this develops, and if you want to want to take it for a spin, join the beta program.