Category Archives: Network Security

Charles Leaver – Discover Cyber Espionage Strategies That Will Occur In 2017

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Written By Jesse Sampson And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


There is a lot of controversy at this time about the hacking hazard from Russia and it would be simple for security experts to be excessively concerned about cyber espionage. Since the goals of any cyber espionage project determine its targets, Ziften Labs can help answer this concern by diving into the reasons states conduct these campaigns.

Very recently, the three significant United States intelligence agencies launched a comprehensive declaration on the activities of Russia related to the 2016 United States elections: Assessing the Activities of Russia and Intentions in Recent United States Elections (Activities and Intents). While some doubters remain skeptical by the new report, the dangers identified by the report that we cover in this post are compelling adequate to demand evaluation and reasonable countermeasures – in spite of the near impossibility of incontrovertibly determining the source of the attack. Obviously, the official Russian position has been winking denial of hacks.

“Typically these type of leaks take place not due to the fact that cyber attackers broke in, however, as any specialist will inform you, since somebody just forgot the password or set the basic password 123456.” German Klimenko, Putin’s leading Web adviser

While agencies get panned for governmental language like “high confidence,” the considered rigor of instructions like Activities and Intentions contrasts with the headline grabbing “1000% certainty” of a mathematically-disinclined media hustler like Julian Assange.

Activities and Intents is most perceptive when it finds the use of hacking and cyber espionage in “diverse” Russian doctrine:

” Moscow’s use of disclosures throughout the United States election was unmatched, however its influence project otherwise followed a time tested Russia messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations – like cyber activities – with obvious efforts by Russian Federal government agencies, state funded media, third party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “giants.”

The report is at its weakest when evaluating the intentions behind the doctrine, a.k.a. method. Aside from some incantations about fundamental Russian hostility to the liberal democratic order, it claims that:.

” Putin most likely wished to reject Secretary Clinton because he has actually openly blamed her since 2011 for prompting mass protests against his program in late 2011 and early 2012, and due to the fact that he holds a grudge for remarks he almost certainly viewed as disparaging him.”.

A more nuanced examination of Russian inspiration and their cyber symptoms will help us better plan security strategy in this environment. ZiftenLabs has recognized three major strategic imperatives at work.

First, as Kissinger would say, through history “Russia decided to see itself as a beleaguered station of civilization for which security could be discovered only through exerting its outright will over its neighbors (52)”. United States policy in the Bill Clinton era threatened this imperative to the expansion of NATO and dislocating economic interventions, possibly contributing to a Russian preference for a Trump presidency.

Russia has actually utilized cyber warfare techniques to protect its influence in previous Soviet territories (Estonia, 2007, Georgia, 2008, Ukraine, 2015).

Second, President Putin wants Russia to be an excellent force in geopolitics again. “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a significant geopolitical disaster of the century,” he said in 2005. Hacking identities of prominent people in political, academic, defense, technology, and other institutions that operatives might leak to humiliating or outrageous result is a simple way for Russia to discredit the United States. The perception that Russia can affect election results in the US with a keystroke calls into question the legitimacy of US democracy, and muddles discussion around similar problems in Russia. With other prestige-boosting efforts like leading the ceasefire talks in Syria (after leveling numerous cities), this technique could enhance Russia’s worldwide profile.

Finally, President Putin might have concerns about his the security of his position. In spite of extremely beneficial election results, in accordance with Activities and Objectives, demonstrations in 2011 and 2012 still loom large with him. With a number of regimes altering in his area in the 2000s and 2010s (he called it an “epidemic of disintegration”), some of which came about as a result of intervention by NATO and the US, President Putin is wary of Western interventionists who would not mind a similar result in Russia. A collaborated campaign might help discredit competitors and put the least aggressive prospects in power.

In light of these reasons for Russian hacking, who are the most likely targets?

Due to the overarching goals of discrediting the legitimacy of the US and NATO and assisting non-interventionist prospects where possible, government agencies, especially those with roles in elections are at greatest threat. So too are campaign organizations and other NGOs close to politics like think tanks. These have actually supplied softer targets for cyber criminals to gain access to sensitive information. This suggests that agencies with account information for, or access to, prominent individuals whose details might lead to shame or confusion for US political, organizations, scholastic, and media organizations must be additionally careful.

The next tier of danger consists of vital infrastructure. While recent Washington Post reports of a compromised US electrical grid turned out to be over hyped, Russia actually has hacked power networks and perhaps other parts of physical infrastructure like oil and gas. Beyond critical physical infrastructure, innovation, financing, telecommunications, and media could be targeted as happened in Georgia and Estonia.

Lastly, although the intelligence agencies efforts over the past few months has actually caught some heat for providing “obvious” recommendations, everyone really would benefit from the pointers presented in the Homeland Security/FBI report, and in this post about solidifying your configuration by Ziften’s Dr Hartmann. With significant elections turning up this year in important NATO members France, the Netherlands and Germany, only one thing is certain: it will be a hectic year for Russian hackers and these recs need to be a top priority.

Charles Leaver – Enhance Your Security With Asset Management And Discovery

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Written By Roark Pollock And Presented By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften


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

I do not have to inform you the apparent; all of us know a good security program begins with an audit of all the devices linked to the network. Nevertheless, preserving a current stock of every linked device utilized by employees and business partners is difficult. A lot more challenging is guaranteeing that there are no linked un-managed assets.

What is an Un-managed Asset?

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

– User devices such as laptop computers, desktop PC’s, workstations, virtual desktop systems, bring your own devices (BYOD), cellular phones, and tablet devices.

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

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

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

Unfortunately, a number of these connected devices might be unknown to IT, or not managed by IT group policies. These unidentified devices and those not handled by IT policies are referred to as “un-managed assets.”

The variety of un-managed assets continues to increase for many companies. Ziften finds 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 typically enhanced to identify assets such as computers, servers, load balancers, firewalls, and devices for storage utilized to provide enterprise applications to organization. Nevertheless, these management tools generally ignore assets not owned by the organization, such as BYOD endpoints, or user-deployed wireless access points. Even more uncomfortable is that Gartner asserts in “Beyond BYOD to IoT, Your Business Network Access Policy Should Change”, that IoT devices have actually gone beyond workers and visitors as the most significant user of the business network.1.

Gartner goes on to explain a brand-new pattern that will present even more unmanaged assets into the business environment – bring your own things (BYOT).

Essentially, employees bringing products which were designed for the wise home, into the office environment. Examples consist of clever power sockets, wise kettles, wise coffee machines, clever light bulbs, domestic sensors, wireless webcams, plant care sensing units, environmental protections, and eventually, home robots. Much of these things will be brought in by personnel seeking to make their working environment more congenial. These “things” can notice details, can be managed by apps, and can communicate with cloud services.1.

Why is it Crucial to Discover Un-managed Assets?

Quite simply, unmanaged assets produce IT and security blind spots. Mike Hamilton, SVP of Product at Ziften said, “Security begins with knowing what physical and virtual devices are connected to the corporate network. But, BYOD, shadow IT, IoT, and virtualization are making that more challenging.”.

These blind spots not just increase security and compliance danger, they can increase legal danger. Info retention policies developed to limit legal liability are not likely to be applied to digitally kept info included on unauthorized virtual, mobile and cloud assets.

Preserving an up-to-date stock of the assets on your network is vital to great security. It’s common sense; if you do not know it exists, you cannot know if it is secure. In fact, asset visibility is so crucial that it is a fundamental part of most information security frameworks including:

– SANS Critical Security Controls for efficient cyber defense: Developing an inventory of licensed and unapproved devices is number one on the list.

– Council on CyberSecurity Crucial Security Controls: Developing an inventory of authorized and unauthorized devices is the very first control in the prioritized list.

– NIST Details Security Constant Monitoring for Federal Info Systems and Organizations – SP 800-137: Information security constant monitoring is defined as maintaining continuous awareness of information security, vulnerabilities, and threats to support organizational danger management decisions.

– ISO/IEC 27001 Information Management Security System Requirements: The basic needs that all assets be clearly recognized and a stock of all important assets be prepared and kept.

– Ziften’s Adaptive Security Structure: The first pillar includes discovery of all your licensed and unapproved physical and virtual devices.

Factors To Consider in Evaluating Asset Discovery Solutions.

There are several techniques used for asset discovery and network mapping, and each of the methods have benefits and downsides. While examining the myriad tools, keep these two key considerations in mind:.

Continuous versus point-in-time.

Strong info security needs continuous asset identification despite exactly what approach is employed. However, lots of scanning strategies used in asset discovery take time to complete, and are thus carried out periodically. The drawback to point-in-time asset discovery is that transient systems may just be on the network for a quick time. Therefore, it is highly possible that these short-term systems will not be found.

Some discovery strategies can activate security notifications in network firewall software, intrusion detection systems, or infection scanning tools. Because these methods can be disruptive, identification is just carried out at regular, point-in-time periods.

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

” Because passive detection operates 24 × 7, it will discover temporal assets that might just be periodically and quickly linked to the network and can send notifications when brand-new assets are spotted.”.

Passive versus active.

Asset identification tools offer intelligence on all found assets consisting of IP address, hostname, MAC address, device producer, as well as the device type. This technology helps operations teams rapidly tidy up their environments, getting rid of rogue and unmanaged devices – even VM expansion. Nevertheless, these tools go about this intelligence gathering in a different way.

Tools that utilize active network scanning efficiently penetrate the network to coax actions from devices. These responses offer ideas that assist identify and fingerprint the device. Active scanning periodically takes a look at the network or a sector of the network for devices that are linked to the network at the time of the scan.

Active scanning can generally provide more in-depth analysis of vulnerabilities, malware detection, and setup and compliance auditing. Nevertheless, active scanning is performed occasionally because of its disruptive nature with security infrastructure. Unfortunately, active scanning risks missing out on short-term devices and vulnerabilities that occur between scheduled scans.

Other tools use passive asset identification strategies. Due to the fact that passive detection operates 24 × 7, it will identify temporal assets that may only be sometimes and briefly linked to the network and can send out alerts when brand-new assets are found.

In addition, passive discovery does not disturb delicate devices on the network, such as industrial control systems, and enables visibility of Web and cloud services being accessed from systems on the network. More passive discovery techniques prevent triggering alerts on security tools throughout the network.


BYOD, shadow IT, IoT, virtualization, and Gartner’s newly-coined BYOT indicate increasingly more assets on to the corporate network. Unfortunately, many of these assets are unknown or un-managed by IT. These unmanaged assets pose major security holes. Eliminating these un-managed assets from the network – which are even more likely to be “patient zero” – or bringing them up to business security standards greatly minimizes an organization’s attack surface and general risk. The good news is that there are solutions that can provide continuous, passive discovery of unmanaged assets.

Charles Leaver – Enterprise Antivirus Is Losing Its Touch

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


Dwindling Effectiveness of Enterprise Anti-virus?

Google Security Master Labels Antivirus Apps As Inadequate ‘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 investigation 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, however at the cost of real security:

We have to stop investing in those things we have revealed are not effective… Anti-virus does some helpful things, however in reality, it is more like a canary in a coal mine. It is worse than that. It’s like we are loafing around the dead canary stating ‘Thank god it inhaled all the dangerous gas.

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

Another highly proficient security group, FireEye Mandiant, compared static defenses such as business anti-virus 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 danger landscape. Organizations invest billions of dollars each year on IT security. But hackers are quickly outflanking these defenses with creative, fast moving attacks.

An example of this was offered by a Cisco managed security services executive speaking at a conference in Poland. Their team had actually identified anomalous activity on one of their business client’s networks, and reported the thought server compromise to the client. To the Cisco group’s awe, the customer just ran an antivirus scan on the server, discovered no detections, and placed it back into service. Horrified, the Cisco group conferenced in the customer to their monitoring console and had the ability to reveal the opponent conducting a live remote session at that very moment, complete with typing mistakes and reissue of commands to the compromised server. Lastly convinced, the client took the server down and completely re-imaged it – the enterprise anti-virus had been an useless interruption – it had actually not served the customer and it had actually not discouraged the opponent.

So Is It Time to Get Rid Of Organization Antivirus Already?

I am not yet ready to declare an end to the age of organization anti-virus. However I understand that organizations need to buy detection and response capabilities to match traditional anti-virus. But progressively I question who is matching whom.

Knowledgeable targeted enemies will always successfully evade anti-virus defenses, so against your biggest cyber threats, enterprise antivirus is basically useless. As Darren Bilby mentioned, it does do some beneficial things, but it does not supply the endpoint defense you require. So, don’t let it distract you from the highest concern cyber-security financial investments, and don’t let it distract you from security measures that do fundamentally assist.

Shown cyber defense procedures include:

Configuration hardening of networks and endpoints.

Identity management with strong authentication.

Application controls.

Constant network and endpoint monitoring, consistent caution.

Strong encryption and data security.

Staff training and education.

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

In contrast to Bilby’s criticism of organization anti-virus, none of the above bullets are ‘magic’. They are merely the continuous hard work of sufficient business cyber-security.

Charles Leaver – Learn About Cyber Attacks And Their Prevention

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Written By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften


No business, however little or large, is resistant from a cyberattack. Whether the attack is started from an outside source or from the inside – no organization is fully safeguarded. I have lost count of the number of times that executives from companies have stated to me, “why would anyone want to attack us?”

Cyberattacks Can Take Numerous Types

The proliferation of devices that can link to organization networks (laptop computers, cell phones and tablets) indicate an increased risk of security vulnerabilities. The objective of a cyber attack is to make use of those vulnerabilities.


One of the most common cyberattack approaches is the use of malware. Malware is code that has a harmful intent and can include infections, Trojans and worms. The goal with malware is frequently to steal sensitive data and even damage computer networks. Malware is often in the form of an executable file that will spread across your network.

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

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are likewise common. Usually it’s an e-mail that is sent from an apparently “trusted authority” requesting that the user supply personal data by clicking on a link. A few of these phishing emails look really genuine and they have deceived a lot of users. If the link is clicked and data input the information will be taken. Today an increasing number of phishing emails can consist of ransomware.

Password Attacks

A password attack is one of the most basic types of cyberattacks. This is where an unapproved 3rd party will attempt to access to your systems by “cracking” the login password. Software applications can be used here to conduct brute force attacks to predict 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 quickly release harmful malware and trigger a breach of your delicate data. Password attacks are among the simplest to prevent, and strict password policies can offer an extremely efficient barrier. Altering passwords regularly is also suggested.

Denial of Service

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is everything about causing maximum interruption of the network. Attackers will send really high amounts of traffic through the network and typically make numerous connection demands. The result is an overload of the network and it will close down.

Several computers can be utilized by hackers in DoS attacks that will produce very significant levels of traffic to overload the network. Just recently the largest DoS attack in history utilized botnets versus Krebs On Security. Quite often, endpoint devices linked to the network such as PC’s and laptops can be pirated and will then add to the attack. If a DoS attack is experienced, it can have serious effects for network security.

Man in the Middle

Man in the middle attacks are attained by impersonating endpoints of a network throughout a details exchange. Details can be taken from the end user or even the server that they are communicating with.

How Can You Entirely Prevent Cyber Attacks?

Complete prevention of a cyber attack is not possible with present technology, but there is a lot that you can do to safeguard your network and your delicate data. It is very important not to think that you can simply buy and install a security software application suite and then sit back. The more advanced cyber bad guys know all of the security software services in the marketplace, and have developed techniques to overcome the safeguards that they offer.

Strong and regularly altered passwords is a policy that you should adopt, and is one of the simplest safeguards to implement. Encrypting your delicate data is another easy thing to do. Beyond setting up antivirus and malware security suites in addition to an excellent firewall program, you should make sure that regular backups remain in place and that you have a data breach event response/remediation strategy in case the worst occurs. Ziften helps businesses constantly monitor for dangers that might make it through their defenses, and take action right away to eliminate the danger completely.

Charles Leaver – Calling All Security Pros – You Can Migrate To The Cloud With Endpoint Visibility

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Written By Logan Gilbert And Posted By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO


Concerns Over Compliance And Security Keep Organizations From Cloud Migration

Migrating segments of your IT operations to the cloud can look like a huge task, and a harmful one at that. Security holes, compliance record keeping, the threat of introducing errors into your architecture … cloud migration provides a great deal of hairy concerns to handle.

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

When Evolve IP surveyed 1,000+ IT pros previously this year for their Adoption of Cloud Services North America report, 55% of those surveyed stated that security is their biggest fear about cloud adoption. For companies that do not currently have some cloud existence, the number was even higher – 70%. The next largest barrier to cloud adoption was compliance, pointed out by 40 percent of respondents. (That’s up eleven percent this year.).

However here’s the larger problem: If these issues are keeping your company out of the cloud, you can’t benefit from the efficiency and expense advantages of cloud services, which becomes a strategic obstacle for your whole organization. You need 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 comes in. Having the ability to see exactly what’s happening with every endpoint provides you the visibility you have to enhance security, compliance, and functional performance when you move your data center to the cloud.

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

As a long period of time IT professional, I understand the temptation to think 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 stable. Plus, when you’re running your very own data center – unlike when you’re in the cloud – you can utilize network taps and an entire host of monitoring tools to take a look at traffic on the wire, determine a good deal about who’s speaking to whom, and fix your problems.

But that level of information fades in comparison to endpoint visibility, in the data center or in the cloud. The granularity and control of Ziften’s system offers you far more control than you could ever get with a network tap. You can spot malware and other problems anywhere (even off your network), separate them immediately, then track them back to whichever user, application, device, or process was the weak link in the chain. Ziften supplies the ability to perform lookback forensics and to rapidly fix issues in much less time.

Eliminating Your Cloud Migration Headaches.

Endpoint visibility makes a big distinction anytime you’re ready to move a segment of your environment to the cloud. By examining 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 all assets safe and secure and steady within your very own data center before your relocate to a cloud provider like AWS or Azure.

After you’ve migrated to the cloud, ongoing visibility into each device, user, and application suggests that you can administer all parts of your infrastructure more effectively. You avoid wasting resources by preventing VM proliferation, plus you have a detailed body of data to please the audit requirements for NIST 800-53, HIPAA, and other compliance policies.

When you’re ready to relocate to the cloud, you’re not doomed to weak security, incomplete compliance, or functional SNAFUs. Ziften’s method to endpoint security gives you the visibility you require for cloud migration without the headaches.

Charles Leaver – Endpoint Security Visibility And Tools For Remedial Action

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Written By Logan Gilbert And Presented By Charles Leaver


Ziften helps with incident response, remediation, and examination, even for endpoints that are not connected to your network.

When incidents happen, security analysts need to act quickly and comprehensively.

With telecommuting labor forces and business “cloud” infrastructures, removal and analysis on an endpoint posture a really difficult task. Below, view how you can use Ziften to act on the endpoint and determine the source and proliferation of a compromise in minutes – no matter where the endpoints are located.

First, Ziften alerts you to destructive activities on endpoints and steers you to the reason for the alarm. In seconds, Ziften lets you take removal actions on the endpoint, whether it’s on the corporate network, a worker’s home, or the regional coffee bar. Any remediation action you ‘d normally perform via a direct access to the endpoint, Ziften provides through its web console.

Just that quickly, removal is looked after. Now you can use your security expertise to go risk searching and do a bit of forensics work. You can instantly dive into far more detail about the procedure that caused the alert; then ask those important questions to find how prevalent the issue is and where it spread from. Ziften provides detailed event remediation for security analysts.

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

Charles Leaver – CISO’s Take Note Of The OPM Data Breach Review

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


Cyber attacks, attributed to the Chinese federal government, had breached sensitive workers databases and stolen data of over 22 million existing, former, and potential U.S. civil servants and members of their family. Stern warnings were disregarded from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to close down systems without current security authorization.

Presciently, the OIG particularly cautioned that failure to close down the unauthorized systems carried national security implications. Like the Titanic’s doomed captain who preserved flank speed through an iceberg field, the OPM reacted,

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

In addition the OPM stressed that closing down those systems would imply a lapse in retirement and worker benefits and incomes. Given a choice in between a security lapse and an operational lapse, the OPM opted to operate insecurely and were pwned.

Then director, Katherine Archuleta, resigned her office in July 2015, a day after exposing that the scope of the breach significantly exceeded initial damage assessments.

Regardless of this high value info maintained by OPM, the agency failed to prioritize cybersecurity and properly safe and secure high value data.

Exactly what are the Lessons for CISO’s?

Reasonable CISO’s will want to avoid career immolation in a massive flaming data breach disaster, so let’s quickly evaluate the essential lessons from the Congressional report executive summary.

Prioritize Cyber Security Commensurate with Asset Worth

Have an effective organizational management structure to carry out risk-appropriate IT security policies. Chronic absence of compliance with security best practices and lagging suggestion implementation timelines are indications of organizational failure and bureaucratic atherosclerosis. Shake up the business or make preparations for your post-breach panel appearance prior to the inquisitors.

Don’t Endure a Complacent State of Info Security

Have the essential tracking in place to keep critical situational awareness, leave no visibility gaps. Do not fail to understand the scope or extent or gravity of attack indicators. Presume if you recognize attack signs, there are other indicators you are missing. While OPM was forensically monitoring one attack channel, another parallel attack went unseen. When OPM did do something about it the cyber attackers knew which attack had been spotted and which attack was still effective, quite valuable intelligence to the attacker.

Mandate Basic Needed Security Tools and Quickly Deploy State Of The Art Security Tools

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

For restricted data or control access authentication, the expression “password safeguarded” has actually been an oxymoron for many years – passwords are not security, they are an invitation to jeopardize. In addition to sufficient authentication strength, complete network monitoring and visibility is needed for avoidance of sensitive data exfiltration. The Congressional investigation blamed sloppy cyber hygiene and insufficient system traffic visibility for the hackers’ relentless existence in OPM networks.

Don’t Fail to Intensify the Alarm When Your Critically Delicate Data Is Being Attacked

In the OPM breach, observed attack activity “ought to have sounded a high level multi-agency national security alarm that a sophisticated, persistent actor was looking to access OPM’s highest value data.” Instead, absolutely nothing of consequence was done “until after the agency was significantly compromised, and up until after the agency’s most sensitive info was lost to nefarious actors.” As a CISO, activate that alarm in good time (or practice your panel appearance face).

Finally, don’t let this be said of your enterprise security posture:

The Committee received documents and testaments proving OPM’s information security posture was undermined by an incredibly unsecured IT environment, internal politics and bureaucracy, and inappropriate top priorities related to the deployment of security tools that slowed essential security choices.

Charles Leaver – If You Plan To Migrate To The Cloud Make Sure You Have Visibility

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Written By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften


What Concerns Business CISOs When Migrating To The Cloud

Moving to the cloud offers a variety of advantages to enterprise companies, but there are real security concerns that make switching over to a cloud environment worrisome. What CISOs desire when moving to the cloud is constant insight into that cloud environment. They require a way to monitor and measure threat and the self-confidence that they have the correct security controls in place.

Enhanced Security Risk

Migration to the cloud indicates using managed IT services and lots of people believe this indicates relinquishing a high level of visibility and control. Although the leading cloud companies utilize the most recent security technology and file encryption, even the most current systems can stop working and expose your delicate data to the hackers.

In reality, cloud environments are subject to comparable cyber dangers as private enterprise data centers. However, the cloud is becoming a more appealing target due to the considerable amount of data that has actually been stored on servers in the cloud.

Attackers understand that enterprises are gradually moving to the cloud, and they are currently targeting cloud environments. Alert Logic, a security as a service provider, released a report that concluded that those who make IT decisions should not presume that their data that is stored off site is harder for cyber bad guys to obtain.

The report went on to state that there had actually been a 45% boost in application attacks against deployments in the cloud. There had actually also been a boost in attack frequency on organizations that store their infrastructure in the cloud.

The Cloud Is a Jackpot

With the shifting of important data, production workloads, and applications to cloud environments these discoveries should not come as a surprise. A statement from the report stated, “… hackers, like everyone else, have a limited amount of time to complete their task. They want to invest their time and resources into attacks that will bear the most fruit: businesses utilizing cloud environments are mainly considered that fruit bearing jackpot.”

The report also recommends that there is a mistaken belief within organizations about security. A variety of organization decision makers were under the impression that as soon as a cloud migration had actually happened then the cloud provider would be completely accountable for the security of their data.

Security in The Cloud Has 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 responsibility can not be totally relinquished to a cloud business. If your company suffers from a data breach while utilizing cloud management services, it is not likely that you would be able to avert obligation.

It is vital that every organization totally understands the environment and the threats that are associated with cloud management. There can be a myriad of legal, monetary, commercial, and compliance threats. Prior to moving to the cloud make sure to inspect agreements so that the supplier’s liability is totally comprehended if a data breach were to take place.

Vice president of Alert Logic Will Semple said, “the secret to safeguarding your vital data is being knowledgeable about how and where along the ‘cyber kill chain’ assailants infiltrate systems and to use the best security tools, practices and financial investment to combat them.”

Cloud Visibility Is The Key

Whether you are utilizing cloud management services or are hosting your own infrastructure, you require complete visibility within your environment. If you are thinking about 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 depend on this visibility to monitor each user, device, application, and network activity for possible risks and possible hazards. Therefore, the administration of your infrastructure ends up being a lot more efficient.

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

Charles Leaver – Cyber Attack Prevention Is Best Achieved With The Right Endpoint Management

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Written By Charles Leaver, CEO Ziften


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

When a company becomes larger so does its asset footprint, and this makes the task of managing 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 guaranteeing that anti-virus suites were updated.

Today, companies are under consistent threat of cyber attacks and using malicious code to penetrate the business network. Many devices now have network access capabilities. Gone are the days when only desktop PC’s connected to an enterprise network. Now there is a culture of bring your own device (BYOD) where cell phones, tablets and laptops are all encouraged to connect to the network.
While this provides versatility for the companies with the ability for users to connect from another location, it opens an entire brand-new range of vulnerabilities as these different endpoints make the issue of business IT security a whole lot more complex.

What Is Endpoint Management?

It is vital that you have actually a policy based technique to the endpoint devices that are linked to your network to minimize the danger of cyber attacks and data breaches. Making use of laptops, tablets, cell phones and other devices may be convenient, however they can expose companies to a vast array of security dangers. The main goal of a sound endpoint management method need to be that network activities are thoroughly monitored and unapproved devices can not access the network.

Most endpoint management software is likely to inspect that the device has an operating system that has been authorized, along with antivirus software, and analyze the device for updated private virtual network systems.

Endpoint management systems will determine and control any device that needs access to the corporate network. If anyone is attempting to access the business environment from a non certified device they will be denied access. This is necessary to fight attacks from cyber criminals and breaches from malicious groups.

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

Organizations Can Always Do More

There are a number of strategies that a business can utilize as part of their policy on endpoint management. This can consist of firewalls (both network and individual), the file encryption of delicate data, more powerful authentication techniques which will definitely include making use of difficult to crack passwords that are frequently changed and device and network level antivirus and anti malware protection.

Endpoint management systems can work as a client and server basis where software is released and centrally handled on a server. The client program will need to be installed on all endpoint devices that are licensed to access the network. It is also possible to use 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 remotely.

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

The Issue With Endpoint Management Systems

A lot of organizations see security software applications as a “complete treatment” but it is not that clear cut. Endpoint security software that is bought as a set and forget solution will never suffice. The experienced cyber attackers out there understand about these software solutions and are developing destructive 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 should take ownership of endpoint security and designate a group of experts who own endpoint security controls as part of a general obligation for event prevention, detection, and response.”

Ziften’s endpoint security services provide the constant monitoring and forensic look back visibility that a cyber security group requires to find and act on to prevent any harmful infiltrations spreading and taking the delicate data of the organization.

Charles Leaver – Splunk.conf 2016 Showed Why Adaptive Response Is The Way To Go

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Written By Michael Vaughn And Presented By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO

All the latest achievements from Splunk

Last week I went to the yearly Splunk conference in the excellent sunshine state – Florida. The Orlando-based occasion enabled Splunkers from all over the world to acquaint themselves with the latest and most successful offerings from Splunk. Although there were a variety of fun activities throughout the week, it was clear that guests were there to discover new things. The announcement of Splunk’s security-centric Adaptive Response effort was popular and so happens to integrate rather nicely with Ziften’s endpoint service.

Of particular interest, the “Transforming Security” Keynote Address put on by Monzy Merza, Director of Cyber Research and Chief Security Evangelist for Splunk, Haiyan Song, SVP Security Markets for Splunk, and Mike Stone, CDIO for the UK Ministry of Defense, showed the power of Splunk’s new Adaptive Response interface to thousands of guests.

In the clip just below extracted from that Keynote, Monzy Merza exhibits how vital data supplied by a Ziften agent can also be used to enact bi-directional performance from Splunk by sending out instructional logic back to the Ziften agent to take immediate actions on a jeopardized endpoint. Monzy had the ability to effectively determine a jeopardized Linux server and remove it off the operational network for additional forensic examination. By not only supplying vital security data to the Splunk instance, however also permitting the user to stay on the exact same interface to take operational and security actions, the Ziften endpoint agent makes it possible for users to bi-directionally make use of Splunk’s effective structure to take immediate action across all operating systems in an exacting way. After the talks our cubicle was overloaded with demonstrations and extremely fascinating conversations relating to operations and security.

Take a look at a 3 minute Monzy extract from the Keynote:

Over the weekend I had the ability to process the large selection of technical conversations I had with numerous fantastic individuals in our cubicle at.conf. One of the funny things I discovered – which nobody would openly admit unless I pulled it out of them – is that most of us are beginner-to-intermediate SPL( Splunk Processing Language) users. I likewise observed the apparent: incident response was the main focus of this year’s occasion.

However, many individuals use Ziften for Splunk for a variety of things, such as operations and application management, network tracking, and user behavior modeling. In an effort to illuminate the broad functionality of our Splunk App, here’s a taste of what folks at.conf2016 loved most about Ziften for Splunk:

1) It’s fantastic for Business Security.

a. Generalized platform for absorbing real time data and taking immediate action
b. Autotomizing removal from a wide scope of signs of compromise

2) IT Operations love us.

a. Tracking of Systems, Hardware Life Cycle, Resource Management
b. Management of Applications – Compliance, License Verification, Vulnerabilities

3) Network Tracking with ZFlow is a game changer.

a. ZFlow ties netflow with binary, system and user data – in a single Splunk SPL entry. Do I need to say more here? This is the right Holy Grail from Indiana Jones, guys!

4) Our User Behavior Modeling exceeds simply notifications.

a. This could be tied back under IT Operations however it’s becoming its own monster
b. Ziften’s tracking of software use, logins, raised binaries, timestamps, etc is readily viewable in Splunk
c. Ziften offers a totally free Security Centric Splunk bundle, but we transform all of the data we collect from each endpoint to Splunk CIM language – Not just our ‘Notifications’.

Ultimately, using a single Splunk Adaptive Response interface to manage a multitude of tools within your environment is what assists develop a strong enterprise fabric for your business – one in which operations, security and network groups more fluidly overlap. Make better decisions, much faster. Discover for yourself with our totally free Thirty Days trial of Ziften for Splunk!