Written By Jesse Sampson And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

The Fortinet Accelerate 2017 conference was held just recently in Las Vegas. Ziften has sponsored Fortinet’s yearly Worldwide Partner Conference for the second time, and it was a pleasure to be there! The energy at the program was palpable, and this was not due to the energy beverages you constantly see people carrying around in Las Vegas. The buzz and energy was contributed by a key theme throughout the week: the Fortinet Security Fabric.

The theme of Fortinet’s Security Fabric is easy: take the diverse security “point items” that a company has actually deployed, and link them to utilize the deep intelligence each product has in their own security vault to supply a combined end-to-end security blanket over the entire company. Though Fortinet is normally considered a network security business, their method to providing a complete security solution spans more than the conventional network to include endpoints, IoT devices, in addition to the cloud. By exposing APIs to the Fabric-Ready partners along with allowing the exchange of actionable threat intelligence, Fortinet is opening the door for a more collaborative technique across the entire security industry.

It is revitalizing to see that Fortinet has the same beliefs as we have at Ziften, which is that the only manner in which we as an industry are going to catch up to (and exceed) the enemies is through integration and collaboration throughout all reaches of security, regardless of which vendor supplies each element of the overall service. This is not an issue we are going to resolve on our own, but rather one that will be fixed through a combined method like the one set out by Fortinet with their Security Fabric. Ziften is proud to be a founding member of Fortinet’s Fabric Ready Alliance program, integrating our special technique to endpoint security with Fortinet’s “believe different” mindset of exactly what it means to incorporate and work together.

Throughout the week, Fortinet’s (extremely enthusiastic) channel partners had the opportunity to walk the program floor to see the integrated services provided by the different innovation partners. Ziften showcased their combinations with Fortinet, containing the integration of our service with Fortinet’s FortiSandbox.

The Ziften solution collects unidentified files from endpoints (clients or servers running OS X, Linux or Windows) and sends them to the FortiSandbox for analysis and detonation. Outcomes are immediately fed back into Ziften for informing, reporting, and (if allowed) automated mitigation actions.

It was interesting to see that the Fortinet channel partners plainly got the value of a Security Fabric method. It was clear to them, in addition to Ziften, that the Security Fabric is not a marketing trick, but rather a genuine method put together by, and led by, Fortinet. While this is just the beginning of Fortinet’s Security Fabric story, Ziften is excited to work together with Fortinet and watch the story continue to develop!

Written By Jesse Sampson And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

 

There is a great deal of debate at this time about the hacking risk from Russia and it would be easy for security professionals to be excessively worried about cyber espionage. Considering that the objectives of any cyber espionage campaign dictate its targets, ZiftenLabs can assist answer this concern by diving into the reasons why states perform these projects.

Last week, the 3 significant United States intelligence agencies launched a comprehensive declaration on the activities of Russia related to the 2016 US elections: Assessing the Activities of Russia and Intentions in Current US Elections (Activities and Objectives). While some skeptics remain skeptical by the brand-new report, the risks recognized by the report that we cover in this post are engaging sufficient to require assessment and sensible countermeasures – in spite of the near impossibility of incontrovertibly recognizing an attack’s source. Naturally, the official Russian position has been winking rejection of hacks.

“Typically these type of leakages take place not due to the fact that hackers broke in, but, as any professional will inform you, due to the fact that somebody simply forgot the password or set the simple password 123456.” German Klimenko, Putin’s top Internet advisor

While agencies get criticized for bureaucratic language like “high confidence,” the considered rigor of rundowns like Activities and Intents contrasts with the headline-friendly “1000% certainty” of a mathematically disinclined hustler of the media such as Julian Assange.

Activities and Intentions is most observant when it locates using hacking and cyber espionage in “multifaceted” Russian teaching:

” Moscow’s use of disclosures throughout the United States election was unmatched, however its influence project otherwise followed a time tested Russia messaging technique that mixes concealed intelligence operations – such as cyber activity – with obvious efforts by Russian Government agencies, state funded media, third party intermediaries, and paid social networks users or “giants.”

The report is weakest when examining the motives behind the doctrine, or the method. Apart from some incantations about intrinsic Russian hostility to the liberal democratic order, it claims that:.

” Putin most likely wished to challenge Secretary Clinton due to the fact that he has openly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his routine in late 2011 and early 2012, and since he holds a grudge for remarks he likely viewed as disparaging him.”.

A more nuanced evaluation of Russian motivations and their cyber symptoms will assist us much better determine security strategy in this environment. Ziften Labs has actually recognized three significant tactical imperatives at work.

First, as Kissinger would say, through history “Russia decided to see itself as a beleaguered outpost of civilization for which security could be discovered just through applying its absolute will over its neighbors (52)”. US policy in the William Clinton age threatened this imperative to the expansion of NATO and dislocating financial interventions, maybe contributing to a Russian choice for a Trump presidency.

Russia has actually used cyberwarfare strategies to protect its impact in previous Soviet territories (Estonia, 2007, Georgia, 2008, Ukraine, 2015).

Second, President Putin wants Russia to be a fantastic force in geopolitics once again. “Above all, we need to acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a significant geopolitical disaster of the century,” he stated in 2005. Hacking identities of popular people in political, academic, defense, innovation, and other institutions that operatives might expose to awkward or scandalous result is an easy method for Russia to reject the US. The perception that Russia can influence election results in the United States with keystrokes calls into question the legitimacy of US democracy, and muddles discussion around similar problems in Russia. With other prestige boosting efforts like pioneering the ceasefire talks in Syria (after leveling many cities), this method could improve Russia’s worldwide profile.

Finally, President Putin may have issues about his job security. In spite of incredibly beneficial election results, in accordance with Activities and Objectives, protests in 2011 and 2012 still loom large in his mind. With several regimes altering in his area in the 2000s and 2010s (he said it was an “epidemic of disintegration”), some of which came about as a result of intervention by NATO and the US, President Putin watches out for Western interventionists who would not mind a similar outcome in Russia. A coordinated campaign could help reject rivals and put the least aggressive prospects in power.

Because of these factors for Russian hacking, who are the likely targets?

Due to the overarching goals of discrediting the authenticity of the United States and NATO and helping non-interventionist candidates where possible, federal government agencies, especially those with functions in elections are at greatest danger. So too are campaign organizations and other NGOs close to politics like think tanks. These have actually supplied softer targets for hackers to access to sensitive details. This implies that organizations with account information for, or access to, popular individuals whose info could lead to embarrassment or confusion for US political, business, academic, and media organizations need to be extra careful.

The next tier of risk consists of critical infrastructure. While current Washington Post reports of a jeopardized United States electrical grid turned out to be over hyped, Russia truly has hacked power grids and perhaps other parts of physical infrastructure like oil and gas. Beyond crucial physical infrastructure, innovation, financing, telecommunications, and media could be targeted as occurred in Georgia and Estonia.

Lastly, although the intelligence agencies efforts over the past weeks has captured some heat for presenting “obvious” recommendations, everybody really would gain from the tips presented in the Homeland Security/FBI report, and in this blog about solidifying your configuration by Ziften’s Dr. Al. With significant elections coming up this year in crucial NATO members France, the Netherlands and Germany, only one thing is guaranteed: it will be a busy year for Russian cyber operators and these recs need to be a leading priority.

Written By Roark Pollock And Presented By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften

 

Trustworthy IT asset management and discovery can be a network and security admin’s best friend.

I do not need to inform you the apparent; we all understand an excellent security program starts with an inventory of all the devices connected to the network. Nevertheless, preserving an existing inventory of every linked device utilized by staff members and organisation partners is challenging. A lot more difficult is ensuring that there are no linked unmanaged assets.

What is an Unmanaged Asset?

Networks can have countless connected devices. These may consist of the following to name a few:

– User devices such as laptop computers, desktops, workstations, virtual desktop systems, bring your own devices (BYOD), mobile phones, and tablet devices.

– Data center and cloud devices such as servers, virtual machines (VM), orphaned VM’s, containers, and storage systems.

– Networking devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, and WiFi access points.

– Other devices such as printers, and more just recently – Internet of things (IoT) devices.

Unfortunately, much of these connected devices may be unknown to IT, or not handled by IT group policies. These unknown devices and those not managed by IT policies are referred to as “unmanaged assets.”

The variety of un-managed assets continues to rise for lots of companies. Ziften discovers that as many as 30% to 50% of all connected devices can be unmanaged assets in today’s business networks.

IT asset management tools are normally enhanced to spot assets such as computers, servers, load balancers, firewalls, and devices for storage utilized to provide enterprise applications to organization. However, these management tools typically neglect assets not owned by the organization, such as BYOD endpoints, or user-deployed wireless access points. A lot more unpleasant is that Gartner asserts in “Beyond BYOD to IoT, Your Business Network Access Policy Need to Change”, that IoT devices have gone beyond staff members and guests as the biggest user of the business network.1.

Gartner goes on to describe a new trend that will present even more unmanaged assets into the organization environment – bring your own things (BYOT).

Essentially, staff members bringing items which were designed for the clever home, into the workplace environment. Examples consist of clever power sockets, wise kettles, clever coffee machines, smart light bulbs, domestic sensing units, wireless webcams, plant care sensors, environmental protections, and ultimately, home robots. Much of these things will be brought in by personnel seeking to make their working environment more congenial. These “things” can pick up info, can be controlled by apps, and can interact with cloud services.1.

Why is it Essential to Identify Unmanaged Assets?

Quite simply, unmanaged assets create IT and security blind spots. Mike Hamilton, SVP of Product at Ziften stated, “Security starts with knowing exactly what physical and virtual devices are linked to the corporate network. But, BYOD, shadow IT, IoT, and virtualization are making that more tough.”.

These blind spots not just increase security and compliance risk, they can increase legal risk. Info retention policies designed to limit legal liability are not likely to be applied to electronically stored info contained on unauthorized virtual, mobile and cloud assets.

Maintaining a current inventory of the assets on your network is vital to excellent security. It’s common sense; if you do not know it exists, you can’t understand if it is secure. In fact, asset visibility is so crucial that it is a fundamental part of many info security infrastructures consisting of:

– SANS Crucial Security Controls for reliable cyber defense: Developing an inventory of licensed and unapproved devices is top on the list.

– Council on CyberSecurity Critical Security Controls: Developing an inventory of authorized and unapproved devices is the very first control in the focused list.

– NIST Details Security Constant Tracking for Federal Info Systems and Organizations – SP 800-137: Info security continuous monitoring is specified as preserving ongoing awareness of info security, vulnerabilities, and risks to support organizational risk management decisions.

– ISO/IEC 27001 Information Management Security System Requirements: The standard needs that assets be plainly identified and a stock of very important assets be prepared and preserved.

– Ziften’s Adaptive Security Framework: The first pillar consists of discovery of all your authorized and unauthorized physical and virtual devices.

Considerations in Evaluating Asset Discovery Solutions.

There are multiple strategies utilized for asset identification and network mapping, and each of the techniques have advantages and drawbacks. While assessing the myriad tools, keep these 2 essential considerations in mind:.

Constant versus point-in-time.

Strong info security requires continuous asset identification no matter exactly what approach is employed. Nevertheless, numerous scanning strategies used in asset identification take time to finish, and are thus performed occasionally. The drawback to point-in-time asset identification is that short-term systems might just be on the network for a short time. Therefore, it is extremely possible that these short-term systems will not be discovered.

Some discovery methods can activate security notifications in network firewalls, intrusion detection systems, or infection scanning tools. Because these techniques can be disruptive, identification is just performed at regular, point-in-time periods.

There are, however, some asset discovery techniques that can be used continually to locate and recognize linked assets. Tools that offer constant monitoring for un-managed assets can deliver much better un-managed asset discovery outcomes.

” Since passive detection runs 24 × 7, it will discover temporal assets that might just be periodically and briefly linked to the network and can send alerts when new assets are found.”.

Passive versus active.

Asset identification tools offer intelligence on all found assets consisting of IP address, hostname, MAC address, device manufacturer, as well as the device type. This technology helps operations groups quickly tidy up their environments, removing rogue and un-managed devices – even VM expansion. Nevertheless, these tools go about this intelligence gathering in a different way.

Tools that utilize active network scanning efficiently probe the network to coax actions from devices. These reactions offer ideas that help determine and finger print the device. Active scanning occasionally analyzes the network or a segment of the network for devices that are linked to the network at the time of the scan.

Active scanning can typically offer more extensive analysis of vulnerabilities, detection of malware, and setup and compliance auditing. However, active scanning is performed occasionally because of its disruptive nature with security infrastructure. Regrettably, active scanning dangers missing short-term devices and vulnerabilities that arise between scheduled scans.

Other tools utilize passive asset discovery strategies. Because passive detection runs 24 × 7, it will spot transitory assets that might just be periodically and briefly connected to the network and can send notifications when brand-new assets are discovered.

Furthermore, passive discovery does not disrupt sensitive devices on the network, such as industrial control systems, and enables visibility of Web and cloud services being accessed from systems on the network. Additional passive discovery strategies prevent triggering alerts on security tools throughout the network.

In Summary.

BYOD, shadow IT, IoT, virtualization, and Gartner’s newly-coined BYOT mean more and more assets on to the organization network. Regrettably, a number of these assets are unidentified or un-managed by IT. These un-managed assets pose severe security holes. Eliminating these un-managed assets from the network – which are much more likely to be “patient zero” – or bringing them up to corporate security standards considerably minimizes a company’s attack surface and total risk. The bright side is that there are options that can offer continuous, passive discovery of un-managed assets.

Written By Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO

 

Diminishing Efficiency of Business Antivirus?

Google Security Expert Labels Antivirus Apps As Ineffective ‘Magic’.

At the current Kiwicon hacking conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Google’s Platform Integrity team manager Darren Bilby preached cyber-security heresy. Entrusted with examination of extremely advanced attacks, including the 2009 Operation Aurora project, Bilby lumped business antivirus into a collection of inefficient tools set up to tick a compliance check box, but at the cost of genuine security:

We need to stop buying those things we have revealed do not work… Anti-virus does some beneficial things, but in reality, it is more like a canary in a coal mine. It is even worse than that. It’s like we are loafing around the dead canary stating ‘Thank god it inhaled all the harmful gas.

Google security gurus aren’t the very first to weigh in against organization antivirus, or to draw uncomplimentary examples, in this case to a dead canary.

Another highly competent security group, FireEye Mandiant, compared static defenses such as enterprise antivirus to that infamously stopped working World War II defense, the Maginot Line:

Like the Maginot Line, today’s cyber defenses are fast becoming a relic in today’s hazard landscape. Organizations invest billions of dollars every year on IT security. However cyber attackers are easily outflanking these defenses with smart, fast-moving attacks.

An example of this was offered by a Cisco managed security services executive speaking at a conference in Poland. Their group had spotted anomalous activity on among their enterprise client’s networks, and reported the thought server compromise to the customer. To the Cisco group’s awe, the client simply ran an anti-virus scan on the server, found no detections, and put it back into service. Horrified, the Cisco group conferenced in the customer to their monitoring console and was able to show the assailant conducting a live remote session at that very minute, complete with typing mistakes and reissue of commands to the jeopardized server. Lastly convinced, the customer took the server down and totally re-imaged it – the business antivirus had been a futile distraction – it had actually not served the customer and it had actually not deterred the cyber attack.

So Is It Time to Dispose Of Business Antivirus Already?

I am not yet all set to state an end to the age of enterprise anti-virus. But I understand that organizations have to buy detection and response capabilities to match conventional antivirus. However progressively I wonder who is complementing whom.

Experienced targeted assailants will constantly effectively evade antivirus defenses, so against your greatest cyber risks, organization antivirus is basically worthless. As Darren Bilby specified, it does do some beneficial things, but it does not offer the endpoint defense you need. So, do not let it distract you from the highest concern cyber-security investments, and do not let it distract you from security procedures that do basically assist.

Proven cyber defense procedures include:

Setup hardening of networks and endpoints.

Identity management with strong authentication.

Application controls.

Continuous network and endpoint monitoring, constant watchfulness.

Strong encryption and data security.

Staff training and education.

Continuous risk re-assessment, penetration screening, red/blue teaming.

In contrast to Bilby’s criticism of business anti-virus, none of the above bullets are ‘magic’. They are simply the ongoing effort of appropriate organization cyber-security.

Written By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften

 

No organization, however small or large, is immune from a cyberattack. Whether the attack is initiated from an outside source or from the inside – no company is fully protected. I have lost count of the variety of times that senior managers from companies have said to me, “why would any person want to attack us?”

Cyber Attacks Can Take Lots of Types

The proliferation of devices that can connect to organization networks (laptops, smart phones and tablets) suggest an increased risk of security vulnerabilities. The aim of a cyberattack is to exploit those vulnerabilities.

Malware

One of the most common cyberattack approaches is making use of malware. Malware is code that has a malicious intent and can consist of infections, Trojans and worms. The objective with malware is often to take sensitive data or perhaps destroy computer networks. Malware is often in the type of an executable file that will distribute across your network.

Malware is becoming a lot more advanced, and now there is rogue software that will masquerade itself as legitimate security software that has been created to protect your network.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are likewise typical. Frequently it’s an e-mail that is sent from an allegedly “trusted authority” requesting that the user supply personal data by clicking a link. Some of these phishing emails look very authentic and they have actually deceived a lot of users. If the link is clicked and data entered the details will be stolen. Today an increasing number of phishing emails can consist of ransomware.

Password Attacks

A password attack is among the most basic kinds of cyber attacks. This is where an unapproved 3rd party will attempt to access to your systems by “breaking” the login password. Software can be utilized here to carry out brute force attacks to guess passwords, and mix of words utilized for passwords can be compared using a dictionary file.

If an attacker gains access to your network through a password attack then they can easily introduce harmful malware and trigger a breach of your delicate data. Password attacks are one of the easiest to avoid, and stringent password policies can offer a very effective barrier. Altering passwords regularly is likewise suggested.

Denial of Service

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is everything about causing maximum disturbance of the network. Attackers will send very high volumes of traffic through the network and typically make lots of connection demands. The result is an overload of the network and it will shut down.

Multiple computer systems can be used by cyber attackers in DoS attacks that will create extremely high levels of traffic to overload the network. Just recently the biggest DoS attack in history utilized botnets versus Krebs On Security. On a regular basis, endpoint devices connected to the network such as PC’s and laptops can be pirated and will then contribute to the attack. If a DoS attack is experienced, it can have severe consequences for network security.

Man in the Middle

Man in the middle attacks are accomplished by impersonating endpoints of a network during a details exchange. Info can be taken from the end user and even the server that they are interacting with.

How Can You Entirely Prevent Cyber Attacks?

Complete prevention of a cyber attack is not possible with existing technology, but there is a lot that you can do to safeguard your network and your sensitive data. It is necessary not to believe that you can just purchase and install a security software application suite then sit back. The more sophisticated cyber criminals know all the security software application systems in the marketplace, and have created techniques to get around the safeguards that they provide.

Strong and often altered passwords is a policy that you must embrace, and is among the easiest safeguards to put in place. Encrypting your sensitive data is another easy thing to do. Beyond setting up anti-viruses and malware defense suites along with an excellent firewall software program, you must make sure that regular backups remain in place and also you have a data breach incident response/remediation plan in case the worst takes place. Ziften assists organizations continually monitor for risks that may survive their defenses, and do something about it right away to remove the threat totally.

Written By Logan Gilbert And Posted By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO

 

Worries Over Compliance And Security Prevent Organizations From Cloud Migration

Moving parts of your IT operations to the cloud can seem like a big task, and an unsafe one at that. Security holes, compliance record keeping, the threat of presenting mistakes into your architecture … cloud migration provides a great deal of scary problems to handle.

If you have actually been hesitant about moving, you’re not alone – however aid is on the way.

When Evolve IP surveyed 1,000+ IT professionals earlier this year for their Adoption of Cloud Services North America report, 55% of those polled stated that security is their greatest concern about cloud adoption. For organizations that do not currently have some cloud presence, the number was even greater – 70 percent. The next largest barrier to cloud adoption was compliance, pointed out by 40 percent of participants. (That’s up 11% this year.).

However here’s the bigger issue: If these issues are keeping your company out of the cloud, you can’t take advantage of the performance and cost benefits of cloud services, which becomes a strategic obstacle for your entire business. You require a method to move that also responds to issues about security, compliance, and operations.

Improved Security in Any Environment With Endpoint Visibility.

This is where endpoint visibility wins the day. Being able to see what’s happening with every endpoint offers you the visibility you need to improve security, compliance, and functional efficiency when you move your data center to the cloud.

And I mean any endpoint: desktop, laptop, mobile device, server, VM, or container.

As a long time IT pro, I understand the temptation to believe you have more control over your servers when they’re locked in a closet and you’re the one who holds the keys. Even when you understand that segments of your environment count on kludges, they’re your kludges, and they’re steady. Plus, when you’re running your own data center – unlike when you remain in the cloud – you can use network taps and a whole host of tracking tools to take a look at traffic on the wire, figure out a great deal about who’s speaking to whom, and fix your issues.

But that level of information pales in comparison to endpoint visibility, in the data center or in the cloud. The granularity and control of Ziften’s system provides you much more control than you could ever get with a network tap. You can find malware and other problems anywhere (even off your network), isolate them right away, then track them back to whichever user, application, device, or process was the weak spot in the chain. Ziften offers the capability to carry out look back forensics and to quickly fix problems in much less time.

Eliminating Your Cloud Migration Headaches.

Endpoint visibility makes a huge distinction anytime you’re ready to move a segment of your environment to the cloud. By evaluating endpoint activity, you can establish a baseline stock of your systems, clear out unmanaged assets such as orphaned VMs, and hunt down vulnerabilities. That gets everything safe and secure and stable within your own data center before your move to a cloud service provider like AWS or Azure.

After you’ve migrated to the cloud, continuous visibility into each device, user, and application indicates that you can administer all parts of your infrastructure better. You avoid squandering resources by avoiding VM expansion, plus you have a comprehensive body of data to satisfy the audit requirements for NIST 800-53, HIPAA, and other compliance guidelines.

When you’re ready to transfer to the cloud, you’re not doomed to weak security, insufficient compliance, or functional SNAFUs. Ziften’s method to endpoint security offers you the visibility you need for cloud migration without the nightmares.

Written By Logan Gilbert And Presented By Charles Leaver

 

Ziften aids with event response, remediation, and investigation, even for endpoints off your network.

When incidents occur, security analysts need to act rapidly and comprehensively.

With telecommuting labor forces and corporate “cloud” infrastructures, remediation and analysis on an endpoint posture a truly challenging job. Below, watch how you can utilize Ziften to act on the endpoint and figure out the source and propagation of a compromise in minutes – no matter where the endpoints are located.

Initially, Ziften notifies you to destructive activities on endpoints and steers you to the reason for the alarm. In seconds, Ziften lets you take remediation actions on the endpoint, whether it’s on the business network, a staff member’s home, or the regional coffee bar. Any remediation action you ‘d typically perform via a direct access to the endpoint, Ziften makes available through its web console.

Simply that rapidly, remediation is looked after. Now you can utilize your security proficiency to go threat searching and do a bit of forensics work. You can right away dive into far more detail about the process that led to the alert; then ask those vital questions to find how prevalent the issue is and where it propagated from. Ziften delivers thorough incident remediation for security experts.

See directly how Ziften can help your security group zero in on risks in your environment with our Thirty Days free trial.

Written by Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

Cyber attacks, attributed to the Chinese federal government, had breached delicate personnel databases and taken data of over 22 million present, previous, and prospective U.S. civil servants and members of their family. Stern warnings were neglected from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to close down systems without present security authorization.

Presciently, the OIG specifically cautioned that failure to shut down the unapproved systems brought nationwide security ramifications. Like the captain of the Titanic who preserved flank speed through an iceberg field, the OPM reacted,

” We concur that it is necessary to preserve updated and valid ATO’s for all systems however do not believe that this condition rises to the level of a Material Weakness.”

Furthermore the OPM fretted that closing down those systems would indicate a lapse in retirement and worker benefits and incomes. Given a choice in between a security lapse and a functional lapse, the OPM chose to run insecurely and were pwned.

Then director, Katherine Archuleta, resigned her office in July 2015, a day after revealing that the scope of the breach vastly surpassed original damage assessments.

Despite this high value details kept by OPM, the agency cannot focus on cyber security and properly safe and secure high worth data.

What are the Lessons for CISO’s?

Rational CISO’s will want to prevent career immolation in a huge flaming data breach disaster, so let’s rapidly evaluate the crucial lessons from the Congressional report executive summary.

Focus on Cybersecurity Commensurate with Asset Value

Have an efficient organizational management structure to execute risk-appropriate IT security policies. Persistent absence of compliance with security best practices and lagging recommendation implementation timelines are indications of organizational failure and bureaucratic atherosclerosis. Shock the business or prepare your post breach panel appearance before the inquisitors.

Don’t Tolerate a Lax State of Info Security

Have the essential tracking in place to keep critical situational awareness, leave no observation gaps. Don’t fail to understand the scope or extent or gravity of attack indicators. Assume if you determine attack signs, there are other indications you are missing. While OPM was forensically observing one attack avenue, another parallel attack went unnoticed. When OPM did act the attackers understood which attack had actually been found and which attack was still successful, quite important intelligence to the attacker.

Enforce Basic Required Security Tools and Quickly Implement Cutting-Edge Security Tools

OPM was incredibly negligent in executing mandated multi-factor authentication for privileged accounts and didn’t release readily available security technology that might have prevented or mitigated exfiltration of their most important security background examination files.

For restricted data or control access authentication, the expression “password secured” has been an oxymoron for years – passwords are not security, they are an invitation to compromise. In addition to adequate authentication strength, complete network monitoring and visibility is requisite for avoidance of sensitive data exfiltration. The Congressional investigation blamed sloppy cyber protection and inadequate system traffic visibility for the attackers’ relentless existence in OPM networks.

Do Not Fail to Escalate the Alarm When Your Critically Sensitive Data Is Under Attack

In the OPM breach, observed attack activity “must have sounded a high level multi-agency nationwide security alarm that a sophisticated, relentless actor was looking to gain access to OPM’s highest value data.” Rather, absolutely nothing of consequence was done “until after the agency was severely jeopardized, and until after the agency’s most sensitive information was lost to dubious actors.” As a CISO, sound that alarm in time (or rehearse your panel appearance face).

Lastly, don’t let this be said of your business security posture:

The Committee obtained documents and testaments showing OPM’s information security posture was undermined by a woefully unsecured IT environment, internal politics and administration, and misplaced priorities related to the implementation of security tools that slowed essential security choices.

Written By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften

 

What Concerns Organization CISOs When Migrating To The Cloud

Moving to the cloud offers a number of advantages to business organizations, but there are genuine security issues that make changing over to a cloud environment worrisome. What CISOs want when migrating to the cloud is continuous insight into that cloud environment. They require a way to monitor and measure threat and the confidence that they have the correct security controls in place.

Enhanced Security Risk

Migration to the cloud implies using managed IT services and lots of people think this suggests relinquishing a high level of visibility and control. Although the leading cloud service providers use the latest security technology and file encryption, even the most current systems can stop working and expose your sensitive data to the hackers.

In reality, cloud environments go through similar cyber risks as private enterprise data centers. Nevertheless, the cloud is ending up being a more appealing target due to the substantial amount of data that has been saved on servers in the cloud.

Hackers understand that business are gradually migrating to the cloud, and they are already targeting cloud environments. Alert Logic, a security as a service provider, published a report that concluded that those who make IT choices must not presume that their data that is stored off premise is harder for cyber wrongdoers to get.

The report went on to say that there had actually been a 45% boost in application attacks against implementations in the cloud. There had likewise been an increase in attack frequency on companies that store their infrastructure in the cloud.

The Cloud Is a Jackpot

With the shifting of valuable data, production workloads, and applications to cloud environments these revelations need to not come as a surprise. A declaration from the report stated, “… hackers, like everyone else, have a limited quantity of time to complete their task. They wish to invest their time and resources into attacks that will bear the most fruit: services using cloud environments are mainly thought about as that fruit bearing jackpot.”

The report likewise recommends that there is a misconception within organizations about security. A variety of organization decision makers were under the impression that when a cloud migration had actually happened then the cloud provider would be entirely responsible for the security of their data.

Security in The Cloud Needs To Be A Shared Responsibility

All organizations should take responsibility for the security of their data whether it is hosted on site or in the cloud. This obligation can not be totally abdicated to a cloud business. If your company suffers from a data breach while using cloud management services, it is unlikely that you would have the ability to evade responsibility.

It is important that every organization totally understands the environment and the dangers that are associated with cloud management. There can be a myriad of legal, financial, commercial, and compliance threats. Prior to moving to the cloud make sure to scrutinize agreements so that the provider’s liability is completely understood if a data breach were to take place.

Vice president of Alert Logic Will Semple said, “the key to safeguarding your crucial data is being educated about how and where along the ‘cyber kill chain’ opponents penetrate systems and to employ the right security tools, practices and financial investment to combat them.”

Cloud Visibility Is The Key

Whether you are using cloud management services or are hosting your own infrastructure, you require total visibility within your environment. If you are considering the migration of part – or all – of your environment to the cloud then this is necessary.

After a cloud migration has actually taken place you can rely on this visibility to monitor each user, device, application, and network activity for prospective risks and possible hazards. Thus, the administration of your infrastructure becomes a lot more reliable.

Don’t let your cloud migration result in lesser security and incomplete compliance. Ziften can assist maintain cloud visibility and security for your existing cloud implementations, or future cloud migrations.

Written By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO

 

Determine and control any device that requires access to your corporate network.

When a company becomes larger so does its asset footprint, and this makes the job of handling the entire set of IT assets a lot more challenging. IT management has altered from the days where IT asset management consisted of recording devices such as printers, accounting for all installed applications and ensuring that antivirus suites were updated.

Today, companies are under continuous threat of cyber attacks and using destructive code to penetrate the business network. Lots of devices now have network access abilities. Gone are the days when only desktop PC’s connected to a business network. Now there is a culture of bring your own device (BYOD) where cell phones, tablets and laptops are all likely to connect to the network.
While this provides flexibility for the businesses with the capability for users to link from another location, it opens up a whole new range of vulnerabilities as these various endpoints make the challenge of corporate IT security a whole lot more complex.

What Is Endpoint Management?

It is necessary that you have actually a policy based approach to the endpoint devices that are connected to your network to lessen the threat of cyber attacks and data breaches. Making use of laptops, tablets, cell phones and other devices may be convenient, but they can expose organizations to a vast selection of security dangers. The main objective of a sound endpoint management strategy should be that network activities are thoroughly kept an eye on and unauthorized devices can not access the network.

Most endpoint management software is likely to inspect that the device has an operating system that has been approved, in addition to antivirus software, and examine the device for updated private virtual network systems.

Endpoint management solutions will determine and manage any device that requires access to the business network. If anyone is attempting to access the business environment from a non certified device they will be rejected. This is important to combat attacks from cyber wrongdoers and breaches from malicious groups.

Any device which does not comply with endpoint management policies are either quarantined or approved limited access. Local administrative rights may be gotten rid of and browsing the Internet restricted.

Organizations Have The Ability To Do More

There are a variety of methods that a business can employ as part of their policy on endpoint management. This can include firewalls (both network and personal), the file encryption of delicate data, more powerful authentication methods which will certainly consist of making use of tough to crack passwords that are routinely changed and device and network level anti-viruses and anti malware defenses.

Endpoint management systems can work as a client and server basis where software is released and centrally managed on a server. The client program will have to be installed on all endpoint devices that are licensed to access the network. It is likewise possible to utilize a software as a service (SaaS) model of endpoint management where the supplier of the service will host and take care of the server and the security applications from another location.

When a client device tries a log in then the server based application will scan the device to see if it adheres to the organization’s endpoint management policy, then it will validate the credentials of the user prior to access to the network can be approved.

The Issue With Endpoint Management Systems

The majority of companies see security software as a “cure all” however it is not that clear cut. Endpoint security software that is acquired as a set and forget solution will never ever be enough. The experienced cyber attackers out there understand about these software services and are establishing malicious code that will evade the defenses that a set and forget application can provide.

There needs to be human intervention and Jon Oltsik, contributor at Network World stated “CISOs need to take ownership of endpoint security and designate a group of professionals who own endpoint security controls as part of a general duty for incident prevention, detection, and response.”

Ziften’s endpoint security solutions supply the continuous monitoring and look-back visibility that a cyber security group requires to identify and act upon to prevent any malicious infiltrations spreading out and stealing the sensitive data of the business.