Category Archives: Network Security

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!

Charles Leaver – Protect Your Organization From Hackers By Banning Adobe Flash

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

Be Strong or Get Attacked.

Highly experienced and skilled cyber attack groups have actually targeted and are targeting your organization. Your large endpoint population is the most typical point of entry for proficient attack organizations. These business endpoints number in the thousands, are loosely handled, laxly configured, and rife with vulnerability direct exposures, and are operated by partially trained, credulous users – the best target-rich opportunity. Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, typically mentions at market symposia: “How many of the Fortune 500 are attacked today? The response: 500.”

And how long did it take to permeate your enterprise? White hat hackers performing penetration testing or red team exercises normally jeopardize target enterprises within the very first few hours, even though ethically and legally limited in their approaches. Black hat or state sponsored hackers might attain penetration much more quickly and protect their presence forever. Provided typical assailant dwell duration’s determined in numerous days, the time-to-penetration is minimal, not an obstacle.

Exploitation Packages

The industrialization of cyber attacks has developed a black market for attack tools, including a range of software applications for determining and exploiting customer endpoint vulnerabilities. These exploitation sets are marketed to cyber hackers on the dark web, with dozens of exploit set families and vendors. An exploitation set operates by evaluating the software setup on the endpoint, identifying exposed vulnerabilities, and using an exploitation to a vulnerability direct exposure.

A relative handful of typically deployed endpoint software applications accounts for the bulk of exploit kit targeted vulnerabilities. This results from the unfortunate truth that complex software applications tend to display a continual flow of susceptibilities that leave them constantly susceptible. Each patch release cycle the exploit package developers will download the current security patches, reverse engineer them to discover the underlying vulnerabilities, and upgrade their exploitation packages. This will typically be done more quickly than enterprises use patches, with some vulnerabilities remaining unpatched and ripe for exploitation even years after a patch is released.

Adobe Flash

Prior to extensive adoption of HTML 5, Adobe Flash was the most commonly used software application for abundant Web material. Even with increasing adoption of HTML 5, legacy Adobe Flash keeps a significant following, keeping its long-held position as the darling of exploit set authors. A current study by Digital Shadows, In the Business of Exploitation, is instructional:

This report analyzes 22 exploit packages to comprehend the most frequently exploited software. We looked for patterns within the exploitation of vulnerabilities by these 22 kits to reveal exactly what vulnerabilities had been exploited most extensively, coupled with how active each exploit kit was, in order to inform our assessment.

The vulnerabilities exploited by all 22 exploitation packages showed that Adobe Flash Player was most likely to be the most targeted software application, with twenty seven of the 76 identified vulnerabilities exploited pertaining to this software application.

With relative consistency, dozens of fresh vulnerabilities are uncovered in Adobe Flash each month. To exploitation kit designers, it is the present that keeps on giving.

The market is discovering its lesson and moving beyond Flash for rich web material. For example, a Yahoo senior designer blogging recently in Streaming Media kept in mind:

” Adobe Flash, for a long time the de-facto requirement for media playback on the internet, has actually lost favor in the market due to increasing concerns over security and efficiency. At the same time, needing a plugin for video playback in browsers is losing favor amongst users too. As a result, the industry is moving toward HTML5 for video playback.”

Amit Jain, Sep 21, 2016

Banishing Adobe Flash

One action businesses may take now to harden their endpoint configurations is to eradicate Adobe Flash as a matter of organization security policy. This will not be convenient, it may hurt, however it will be handy in reducing your enterprise attack surface. It includes blacklisting Adobe Flash Player and implementing internet browser security settings disabling Flash content. If done properly, this is exactly what users will see where Flash material appears on a traditional website:

refuse-flash-player-message

This message validates two truths:

1. Your system is properly set up to refuse Flash content.

Praise yourself!

2. This site would compromise your security for their benefit.

Ditch this website!

Charles Leaver – Changes For Endpoints With The Advent Of Illumination

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

The dissolving of the standard boundary is taking place quick. So what happens to the endpoint?

Investment in boundary security, as specified by firewalls, managed gateways and invasion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), is changing. Investments are being questioned, with returns unable to conquer the costs and intricacy to develop, preserve, and validate these old defenses.

More than that, the paradigm has changed – workers are no longer specifically working in the workplace. Many individuals are logging hours from home or while traveling – neither area is under the umbrella of a firewall program. Instead of keeping the cyber criminals out, firewall software frequently have the opposite impact – they avoid the authorized people from being efficient. The paradox? They develop a safe house for hackers to breach and hide for many weeks, then traverse to vital systems.

So Exactly what Has Altered A lot?

The endpoint has actually become the last line of defense. With the aforementioned failure in perimeter defense and a “mobile everywhere” labor force, we should now enforce trust at the endpoint. Easier stated than done, nevertheless.

In the endpoint area, identity & access management (IAM) systems are not the perfect answer. Even innovative companies like Okta, OneLogin, and cloud proxy vendors such as Blue Coat and Zscaler can not conquer one simple truth: trust goes beyond basic identification, authentication, and permission.

File encryption is a second attempt at securing whole libraries and selected assets. In the most recent (2016) Ponemon study on data breaches, file encryption just saved 10% of the expense per breached record (from $158 to $142). This isn’t the panacea that some make it seem.

The Whole Picture is altering.

Organizations must be prepared to accept brand-new paradigms and attack vectors. While companies must supply access to trusted groups and individuals, they have to address this in a better way.

Critical company systems are now accessed from anywhere, any time, not simply from desks in business office complexes. And professionals (contingent labor force) are quickly consisting of over 50% of the total business workforce.

On endpoint devices, the binary is mainly the issue. Most likely benign occurrences, such as an executable crash, might indicate something basic – like Windows 10 Desktop Manager (DWM) restarting. Or it could be a much deeper issue, such as a malicious file or early indications of an attack.

Trusted access doesn’t resolve this vulnerability. According to the Ponemon Institute, between 70% and 90% of all attacks are brought on by human error, social engineering, or other human factors. This requires more than simple IAM – it needs behavioral analysis.

Rather than making good much better, boundary and identity access companies made bad quicker.

When and Where Does the Good News Begin?

Taking a step back, Google (Alphabet Corp) announced a perimeter-less network design in late 2014, and has made substantial development. Other businesses – from corporations to governments – have actually done this (quietly and less severe), but BeyondCorp has done this and shown its solution to the world. The style viewpoint, endpoint plus (public) cloud displacing cloistered enterprise network, is the crucial principle.

This changes the entire discussion on an endpoint – be it a laptop, PC, workstation, or server – as subservient to the corporate/enterprise/private/ organization network. The endpoint truly is the last line of defense, and must be secured – yet also report its activity.

Unlike the traditional perimeter security model, BeyondCorp does not gate access to tools and services based upon a user’s physical location or the originating network; instead, access policies are based on info about a device, its state, and its associated user. BeyondCorp thinks about both internal networks and external networks to be entirely untrusted, and gates access to apps by dynamically asserting and enforcing levels, or “tiers,” of access.

By itself, this seems harmless. However the truth is that this is an extreme brand-new design which is imperfect. The access requirements have actually moved from network addresses to device trust levels, and the network is heavily segmented by VLAN’s, rather than a central model with capacity for breaches, hacks, and hazards at the human level (the “soft chewy center”).

The bright side? Breaching the perimeter is very challenging for would-be assailants, while making network pivoting next to impossible once past the reverse proxy (a typical system utilized by assailants today – proving that firewall programs do a better job of keeping the cyber criminals in rather than letting the good guys go out). The inverse design even more applies to Google cloud servers, probably tightly handled, inside the boundary, versus client endpoints, who are all out in the wild.

Google has actually done some great improvements on tested security methods, especially to 802.1 X and Radius, bundled it as the BeyondCorp architecture, including strong identity and access management (IAM).

Why is this essential? Exactly what are the gaps?

Ziften believes in this approach due to the fact that it highlights device trust over network trust. Nevertheless, Google does not particularly show a device security agent or emphasize any kind of client-side monitoring (apart from extremely rigorous configuration control). While there might be reporting and forensics, this is something which every company needs to be knowledgeable about, since it’s a question of when – not if – bad things will occur.

Because executing the initial phases of the Device Inventory Service, we’ve consumed billions of deltas from over 15 data sources, at a normal rate of about three million each day, amounting to over 80 terabytes. Keeping historical data is important in enabling us to understand the end-to-end lifecycle of a given device, track and evaluate fleet-wide patterns, and carry out security audits and forensic examinations.

This is an expensive and data-heavy procedure with two shortcomings. On ultra-high-speed networks (used by organizations such as Google, universities and research study companies), adequate bandwidth enables this type of communication to take place without flooding the pipes. The first concern is that in more pedestrian corporate and federal government scenarios, this would cause great user disturbance.

Second, computing devices need to have the horse power to continuously gather and transfer data. While many staff members would be delighted to have present developer-class workstations at their disposal, the cost of the devices and procedure of refreshing them regularly makes this excessive.

A Lack of Lateral Visibility

Few products really create ‘enhanced’ netflow, augmenting standard network visibility with abundant, contextual data.

Ziften’s patented ZFlow ™ offers network flow information on data created from the endpoint, otherwise achieved utilizing brute force (human labor) or pricey network devices.

ZFlow serves as a “connective tissue” of sorts, which extends and finishes the end-to-end network visibility cycle, including context to on-network, off-network and cloud servers/endpoints, enabling security teams to make quicker and more educated and precise decisions. In essence, investing in Ziften services result in a labor savings, plus a boost in speed-to-discovery and time-to-remediation due to innovation serving as an alternative to people resources.

For companies moving/migrating to the cloud (as 56% are planning to do by 2021 in accordance with IDG Enterprise’s 2015 Cloud Study), Ziften offers unrivaled visibility into cloud servers to better monitor and protect the complete infrastructure.

In Google’s environment, just corporate-owned devices (COPE) are enabled, while crowding out bring your own device (BYOD). This works for a business like Google that can hand out new devices to all staff – phone, tablet, laptop computer, etc. Part of the reason for that is the vesting of identity in the device itself, plus user authentication as usual. The device should satisfy Google requirements, having either a TPM or a software application equivalent of a TPM, to hold the X. 509 cert utilized to confirm device identity and to help with device-specific traffic encryption. There needs to be numerous agents on each endpoint to validate the device validation predicates called out in the access policy, which is where Ziften would have to partner with the systems management agent provider, because it is likely that agent cooperation is necessary to the procedure.

Summary

In summary, Google has actually developed a world-class service, but its applicability and usefulness is limited to companies like Alphabet.

Ziften offers the very same level of functional visibility and security protection to the masses, using a light-weight agent, metadata/network flow tracking (from the endpoint), and a best-in-class console. For companies with specialized requirements or incumbent tools, Ziften supplies both an open REST API and an extension framework (to augment consumption of data and setting off response actions).

This yields the advantages of the BeyondCorp design to the masses, while securing network bandwidth and endpoint (machine) computing resources. As companies will be slow to move totally away from the enterprise network, Ziften partners with firewall and SIEM suppliers.

Lastly, the security landscape is progressively shifting to managed detection & response (MDR). Managed security service providers (MSSP’s) provide traditional tracking and management of firewall software, gateways and border invasion detection, however this is insufficient. They do not have the skills and the technology.

Ziften’s solution has been tested, integrated, authorized and executed by a variety of the emerging MDR’s, showing the standardization (capability) and flexibility of the Ziften platform to play a crucial role in remediation and occurrence response.

Charles Leaver – The Same Message From The 2016 Verizon DBIR Report

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

 

The Data Breach Investigations Report 2016 from Verizon Enterprise has been released reviewing 64,199 security occurrences leading to 2,260 security breaches. Verizon defines an event as compromising the stability, privacy, or accessibility on an info asset, while a breach is a verified disclosure of data to an unauthorized party. Since avoiding breaches is far less unpleasant than sustaining them Verizon provides numerous sections of advised controls to be utilized by security-conscious businesses. If you don’t care to check out the complete 80-page report, Ziften provides this Verizon DBIR analysis with a spotlight on Verizon’s EDR-enabled recommended controls:

Vulnerabilities Advised Controls

A solid EDR tool carries out vulnerability scanning and reporting of exposed vulnerabilities, consisting of vulnerability exposure timelines showing vulnerability management efficiency. The direct exposure timelines are very important given that Verizon emphasizes a methodical method that emphasizes consistency and coverage, versus haphazard practical patching.

Phishing Recommended Controls

Although Verizon advises user training to prevent phishing vulnerability, still their data shows almost a third of phishes being opened, with users clicking on the link or attachment more than one time in 10. Not good odds if you have at least ten users! Provided the inevitable click compromise, Verizon suggests placing effort into detection of abnormal networking activity indicative of pivoting, C2 traffic, or data exfiltration. A sound EDR solution will not just track endpoint networking activity, however likewise filter it against network threat feeds recognizing harmful network targets. Ziften exceeds this with our patent-pending ZFlow technology to enhance network flow data with endpoint context and attribution, so that SOC personnel have crucial choice context to quickly fix network notifications.

Web App Attacks Suggested Controls

Verizon advises multi-factor authentication and monitoring of login activity to avoid compromise of web application servers. A strong EDR solution will monitor login activity and will apply anomaly inspecting to spot uncommon login patterns a sign of jeopardized credentials.

Point-of-Sale Invasions Advised Controls

Verizon advises (and this has actually likewise been highly recommended by FireEye/Mandiant) strong network division of POS devices. Again, a strong EDR solution ought to be tracking network activity (to determine anomalous network contacts). ZFlow in particular is of great worth in providing important choice context for suspect network activity. EDR systems will also deal with Verizon’s suggestion for remote login tracking to POS devices. In addition to this Verizon suggests multi-factor authentication, however a strong EDR ability will augment that with additional login pattern abnormality checking (since even MFA can be defeated with MITM attacks).

Insider and Privilege Misuse Advised Controls

Verizon recommends “monitor the heck out of [staff member] authorized day-to-day activity.” Continuous endpoint monitoring by a strong EDR product naturally provides this capability. In Ziften’s case our product tracks user presence periods of time and user focus activities while present (such as foreground application usage). Anomaly checking can identify unusual variances in activity pattern whether a temporal anomaly (i.e. something has actually modified this user’s typical activity pattern) or whether a spatial anomaly (i.e. this user behavior pattern varies considerably from peer habit patterns).

Verizon also suggests tracking usage of USB storage devices, which solid EDR products offer, because they can function as a “sneaker exfiltration” route.

Miscellaneous Errors Advised Controls

Verizon recommendations in this area concentrate on maintaining a record of past errors to serve as a warning of errors to avoid in the future. Solid EDR products do not forget; they preserve an archival record of endpoint and user activity going back to their first release. These records are searchable at any time, perhaps after some future event has actually discovered an invasion and response groups need to return and “find patient zero” to unravel the incident and determine where errors may have been made.

Physical Theft and Loss Suggested Controls

Verizon suggests (and numerous regulators demand) full disk file encryption, particularly for mobile phones. A strong EDR system will verify that endpoint configurations are compliant with business file encryption policy, and will notify on infractions. Verizon reports that data assets are physically lost one-hundred times more frequently than they are physically stolen, however the effect is essentially the very same to the affected enterprise.

Crimeware Recommended Controls

Once again, Verizon emphasizes vulnerability management and constant extensive patching. As kept in mind above, proper EDR tools identify and track vulnerability direct exposures. In Ziften’s case, this keys off the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), filtering it versus procedure image records from our endpoint monitoring. This reflects a precisely updated vulnerability assessment at any moment.

Verizon also advises catching malware analysis data in your very own enterprise environment. EDR tools do track arrival and execution of brand-new binaries, and Ziften’s product can acquire samples of any binary present on enterprise endpoints and send them for in-depth static and dynamic analysis by our malware research partners.

Cyber-Espionage Recommended Controls

Here Verizon particularly calls out usage of endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR) tools, referring to the security tool sector that Gartner now terms endpoint detection and response (EDR). Verizon likewise recommends a number of endpoint setup solidifying actions that can be compliance-verified by EDR tools.

Verizon likewise advises strong network securities. We have actually currently discussed how Ziften ZFlow can greatly boost standard network flow monitoring with endpoint context and attribution, supplying a combination of network and endpoint security that is truly end-to-end.

Finally, Verizon advises monitoring and logging, which is the first thing third party incident responders demand when they show up on-scene to assist in a breach crisis. This is the prime purpose of EDR tools, because the endpoint is the most frequent entry vector in a major data breach.

Denial-of-Service Attacks Suggested Controls

Verizon suggests handling port access to prevent enterprise assets from being used to take part in a DoS attack. EDR products can track port use by applications and utilize anomaly checks to identify uncommon application port use that might suggest compromise.

Business services moving to cloud providers also require protection from DoS attacks, which the cloud service provider may provide. However, taking a look at network traffic tracking in the cloud – where the business might lack cloud network visibility – alternatives like Ziften ZFlow supply a means for gathering enhanced network flow data directly from cloud virtual servers. Do not let the cloud be your network blind spot, otherwise enemies will exploit this to fly under your radar.

A Doomsday Movie Cyber Attack Could Happen So Protect Your Organization With Endpoint Security – Charles Leaver

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A Post By Charles Leaver

Recent proof suggests that the idea of cyber security will be a huge concern for banks and utilities over the next few years. A company that operates in an industry sector where a cyber attack might have a destabilizing impact, which includes the oil and gas and banking markets, really needs to have a strategy on how it will safeguard its servers from such attacks. It might not be thought about as a major hazard yet to the average person but attempts to hack the networks of these companies might destabilize water supplies, power lines and more. The most efficient way for security teams within these companies to prevent their servers from ending up being attacked by cyber bad guys is to deploy modern software along with other security techniques to produce robust defenses.

A current evaluation by the AP News agency showed that cyber attacks on federal networks had actually increased from 30,000 to 50,000 since 2009 which is a 66% increase. A study of specialists by Pew Research center revealed that 60% of them believed that the U.S. would suffer from a major cyber attack by 2025, where the fallout would be ravaging and widespread. Widespread meant a considerable loss of life and property losses totaling billions of dollars. It was felt that these events were likely because the opportunity cost of conducting a cyber war was so low. Cyber crooks can infiltrate the network then hide behind plausible deniability. Although this might seem like a caution for the federal government only, it is likely that any cyber criminal group wishing to attack at the federal level would first practice on private sector servers in order to both test their cyber attacks and to get much needed money and other resources.

What Is The Relationship Between Public And Private Security?

There may be a variety of different reasons that a hacker will target a company in the oil and gas or financing sectors, some resemblances do exist. If the intent was to destabilize the daily lives of residents of the U.S. then either market would be sufficient. This is the factor that cyber security for those institutions is a matter of national concern. Organizations in these sectors need to monitor the national understanding of cyber security so that they can safeguard themselves from the many prospective cyber attacks that might pose a problem for them. They need to comprehend the requirement for cyber security protection such as endpoint threat detection and response software, malware and anti-virus suites, firewall programs and encryption is important for these organizations. In the future the danger from these advanced cyber attacks will increase, and those companies that are not completely prepared to handle these attacks and get breached will need to deal with a public that will be very mad about their data being stolen.

Network security at the essential level involves making certain that constant updates are applied to security systems and executing the most appropriate security systems. The enactment of endpoint threat detection and response software will reduce a number of these problems by placing a human in charge of keeping an eye on data as it flows through the network and supplies user-assisted tools. Network usage will be more quickly noticeable using this software and it will be a lot easier to determine if any services are being misused. Endpoint threat detection software needs to be implemented if a completely featured cyber security system that supplies the highest level of defense is desired.

Charles Leaver – Continuing To Support Adobe Flash Can Mean A Big Security Risk

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

Still Supporting Apple QuickTime and Adobe Flash for Windows? Didn’t You Get the Memorandum?

With Independence day looming a metaphor is required: Flash is a bit like firework lighting. There may be less risky ways to achieve it, however the only sure way is simply to prevent it. And with Flash, you needn’t combat pyromaniac surges to abstain from it, simply handle your endpoint setups.
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Why would you want to do this? Well, performing a Google query for “Flash vulnerability” returns 13 million results! Flash is old and spent and ready for retirement, as Adobe put it themselves:

Today [November 30, 2015], open standards such as HTML5 have matured and offer a number of the abilities that Flash ushered in… Looking forward, we encourage content developers to develop with new web standards…

Run a vulnerability scanner throughout your endpoint population. See any Flash mention? Yes, in the typical business, zillions. Your opponents understand that also, they are relying on it. Thanks very much for contributing! Just continue to overlook those pesky security blog writers, like Brian Krebbs:

I would suggest that if you utilize Flash, you must highly consider removing it, or a minimum of hobbling it till and unless you require it.

Ignoring Brian Krebs’ advice raises the possibilities your enterprise’s data breach will be the feature story in one of his future blogs.
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Flash Exploits: the Preferred Exploit Set Ingredient

The endless list of Flash vulnerabilities continues to lengthen with each new patch cycle. Country state attackers and the better resourced syndicates can call upon Flash zero days. They aren’t hard to mine – introduce your fuzz tester against the creaking Flash codebase and view them being presented. If an offending cyber team cannot call upon zero days, not to fret, there are a lot of freshly provided Flash Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) to draw upon, before business patch cycles catch up. For exploit set authors, Flash is the gift that continues to give.

A current FireEye blog exemplifies this typical Flash vulnerability progression – from virgin zero-day to freshly hatched CVE and prime business exploit:

On May 8, 2016, FireEye detected an attack exploiting a formerly unknown vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player (CVE-2016-4117) and reported the problem to the Adobe Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT). Adobe released a patch for the vulnerability in APSB16-15 simply four days later (Published to FireEye Threat Research Blog on May 13, 2016).

As a quick test then, examine your vulnerability report for that entry, for CVE-2016-4117. It was utilized in targeted cyber attacks as a zero-day even before it ended up being a recognized vulnerability. Now that it is understood, popular exploit sets will locate it. Be sure you are ready.

Start a Flash and QuickTime Removal Project

While we have not discussed QuickTime yet, Apple eliminated support for QuickTime on Windows in April, 2016. This summarily set off a panic in corporations with large numbers of Apple macOS and Windows clients. Do you eliminate all support for QuickTime? Including on macOS? Or simply Windows? How do you find the unsupported variations – when there are numerous drifting around?

 

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By doing nothing, you can flirt with catastrophe, with Flash vulnerability exposures rife throughout your client endpoint population. Otherwise, you can start a Flash and QuickTime eradication project to move towards a Flash-free business. Or, wait, maybe you educate your users not to glibly open e-mail attachments or click on links. User education, that constantly works, right? I do not think so.

One problem is that some of your users work function to open attachments, such as PDF invoices to accounts payable departments, or candidate Microsoft Word resumes to recruiting departments, or legal notifications sent to legal departments.

Let’s take a better look at the Flash exploitation explained by FireEye in the blog post pointed out above:

Attackers had embedded the Flash exploit inside a Microsoft Office document, which was then hosted on their web server, and used a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) domain to reference the document and payload. With this configuration, the cyber attackers might share their exploitation by means of URL or email attachment. Although this vulnerability resides within Adobe Flash Player, threat actors created this particular attack for a target using Windows and Microsoft Office.
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Even if the Flash-adverse business had actually completely purged Flash enablement from all their various browsers, this exploitation would still have actually been successful. To completely eliminate Flash needs purging it from all browsers and disabling its execution in ingrained Flash objects within Microsoft Office or PDF documents. Definitely that is a step that needs to be taken as a minimum for those departments with a task function to open attachments from unsolicited e-mails. And extending outwards from there is a worthwhile configuration solidifying objective for the security conscious business.

Not to mention, we’re all waiting on the very first post about QuickTime vulnerability which devastates a significant enterprise.

 

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Charles Leaver – Take Steps To Protect Your Organization From Ransomware

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

Ransomware that is customized to enterprise attack projects has emerged in the wild. This is an apparent advancement of consumer-grade ransomware, driven by the larger bounties which businesses have the ability to pay combined to the sheer scale of the attack surface area (internet facing endpoints and unpatched software applications). To the assailant, your business is an appealing target with a big fat wallet simply asking to be knocked over.

Your Organization is an Attractive Target

Easy Google queries may already have recognized un-patched internet facing servers by the scores across your domain, or your credulous users might already be opening “spear phishing” e-mails crafted just for them presumably authored by individuals they know.

The weaponized invoices are sent to your accounting department, the weaponized legal notices are sent to your legal department, the weaponized resumes go to your human resources department, and the weaponized trade publication short articles are sent to your public relations company. That should cover it, to begin with. Include the watering hole drive-by’s planted on market sites often visited by your staff members, the social media attacks targeted to your crucial executives and their families, the contaminated USB sticks strewn around your centers, and the compromises of your providers, customers, and organization partners.

Enterprise compromise isn’t really an “if” however a “when”– the when is continuous, the who is legion.

Targeted Ransomware Is Here

Malware analysts are now reporting on enterprise-targeted ransomware, a natural advancement in the monetization of business cyber intrusions. Christiaan Beek and Andrew Furtak discuss this in an excerpt from Intel Security Advanced Threat Research study, February 2016:

” Throughout the past few weeks, we have actually gotten information about a new project of targeted ransomware attacks. Instead of the normal modus operandi (phishing attacks or drive-by downloads that lead to automated execution of ransomware), the hackers gained consistent access to the victim’s network through vulnerability exploitation and spread their access to any connected systems that they could. On each system, several tools were utilized to find, encrypt, and erase the original files as well as any backups.”

Cautious reading of this citation instantly exposes steps to be taken. Preliminary penetration was by “vulnerability exploitation,” as is frequently the case. A sound vulnerability management program with tracked and implemented direct exposure tolerances (measured in days) is obligatory. Given that the opponents “spread their access to any linked system,” it is likewise requisite to have robust network segmentation and access controls. Think about it as a watertight compartment on a warship to avoid sinking when the hull is breached. Of special note, the cyber attackers “delete the initial files along with any backups,” so there need to be no delete access from a jeopardized system to its backup files – systems must just be able to append to their backups.

Your Backups Are Not Up to Date Are They?

Of course, there must be current backups of any files that must endure a business invasion. Paying the ransom is not a reliable option because any files created by malware are naturally suspicious and must be thought about tainted. Enterprise auditors or regulators can decline files excreted from some malware orifice as lawfully valid, the chain of custody having been entirely broken. Financial data might have been modified with deceitful transactions, configuration data might have been interfered with, viruses might have been planted for later re-entry, or the malware file manipulations might simply have had mistakes or omissions. There would be no way to place any confidence in such data, and accepting it as legitimate could even more compromise all future downstream data reliant upon or originated from it. Treat ransomware data as trash. Either have a robust backup strategy – routinely evaluated and verified – or prepare to suffer your losses.

What is Your Preparation for a Breach?

Even with sound backups privacy of affected data should be assumed to be breached since it was read by malware. Even with detailed network logs, it would be impracticable to prove that no data had been exfiltrated. In a targeted attack the assailants typically take data inventory, evaluating a minimum of samples of the data to evaluate its prospective value – they could be leaving cash on the table otherwise. Data ransom demands might merely be the last money making stage in an enterprise breach after mining all other value from the intrusion because the ransom demand exposes the compromise.

Have a Thorough Removal Strategy

One need to assume that skilled opponents have set up several, cunningly-concealed avenues of re-entry at numerous staggered time points (well after your crisis group has actually stood down and pricey experts flown off to their next gig). Any roaming proof remaining was thoroughly staged to deceive investigators and deflect blame. Expensive re-imaging of systems should be exceptionally extensive, touching every sector of the disk across its entire recording surface and re-creating master boot records (MBR’s) and volume boot records from scratch. Some ransomware is understood to jeopardize MBR’s.

Likewise, don’t assume system firmware has not been jeopardized. If you can upgrade the firmware, so can hackers. It isn’t tough for hacking groups to check out firmware hacking options when their business targets standardize system hardware setups, permitting a little laboratory effort to go a long way. The industrialization of cyber crime permits the advancement and sale of firmware hacks on the dark net to a wider criminal market.

Help Is On Offer With Great EDR Tools

After all of this bad news, there is an answer. When it comes to targeted ransomware attacks, taking proactive actions instead of reactive clean-up is far less uncomfortable. A great Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tool can help on both ends. EDR tools are good for identifying exposed vulnerabilities and active applications. Some applications have such a notorious history of exposing vulnerabilities that they are best eliminated from the environment (Adobe Flash, for example). EDR tools are likewise proficient at tracking all significant endpoint incidents, so that investigators can identify a “patient zero” and track the pivot activity of targeted enterprise-spreading ransomware. Attackers rely on endpoint opacity to assist with hiding their actions from security staff, but EDR is there to make it possible for open visibility of notable endpoint incidents that could signal an attack in progress. EDR isn’t restricted to the old anti-virus convict-or-acquit model, that enables freshly remixed attack code to evade AV detection.

Excellent EDR tools are always vigilant, constantly reporting, always tracking, readily available when you require it: now or retroactively. You would not turn a blind eye to business network activity, so do not turn a blind eye to enterprise endpoint activity.