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Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
  • The Cybersecurity Proportional Law (aka Oltsik's law)

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I recently published a blog on the increasing cybersecurity attack surface as enterprise organization embrace new IT initiatives like cloud computing, mobile application deployment, and the Internet of Things (IoT).The combination of IT complexity, the growing attack surface, and a progressively more dangerous threat landscape is making cybersecurity more difficult. And it’s not one particular area of cybersecurity that’s becoming more difficult, it’s the whole kit and caboodle. For example, according to ESG research (note: I am an ESG employee):To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • In Cybersecurity, the Network Doesn’t Lie

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    In a recent ESG research report, enterprise security professionals were asked to identify the primary objectives associated with their organization's network security strategy (note: I am an ESG employee). It turns out that 40% of organizations plan to move toward continuous monitoring of all assets on the network, while 30% plan to capture more network traffic for security analytics.This data supports a general trend – many organizations are rapidly increasing their activities around network security data collection, processing, and analysis. Of course, this isn't exactly news. Many enterprises have used security analytics tools based upon NetFlow for many years. Security analysts also have a history of including full-packet capture (PCAP) tools for their investigations. Many use open source software like TCPdump or Wireshark. NetWitness astutely recognized this use case a few years ago, built a successful business around PCAP collection analysis, and ultimately cashed in when RSA Security came calling.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Massive Enterprise Endpoint Security Opportunity

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    In the past, large organizations spent most if not all of their endpoint security dollars on a single product – antivirus software.  This decision created a multi-billion dollar market dominated by 5 vendors:  Kaspersky Lab, McAfee (Intel Security), Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro.Fast forward to 2015 and things are changing rapidly.  Driven by targeted attacks and sophisticated malware, CISOs are supplementing AV with additional security tools for advanced anti-malware detection/prevention, endpoint forensic capture/analysis, data security, etc. Does this mean that endpoint security now requires multiple products?  Yes, that’s exactly what security professionals believe.  ESG recently surveyed 340 security professionals working at mid-market (i.e. 500-999 employees) and enterprise (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) organizations, presented them with a multitude of statements about endpoint security, and asked them whether they agreed or disagreed with each (note:  I am an ESG employee).  As far as endpoint security goes:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • The Increasing Cybersecurity Attack Surface

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I just read a good Wall Street Journal blog by Ben DiPietro titled, Speed of Tech Change a Threat to Cybersecurity.  His main point is that while organizations are adopting new technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, and applications based upon the Internet of Things (IoT), they continue to address cybersecurity risks, controls, and oversight with legacy tools and processes.  This creates a mismatch where cyber-adversaries have a distinct offensive advantage over a potpourri of assorted legacy enterprise security defenses.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Information Security: The Most Important IT Initiative in 2015

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    At an elementary level, IT is all about using technology to enable the business.  This really hasn’t changed, even back in the early days when IT was called data processing or management information systems. In today’s IT world, business enablement is driving a few meta-trends.  Cheap hardware and open source software is driving big data analytics to the mainstream.  Organizations are abandoning the costs and constraints of on-site IT systems as they move applications and systems to the cloud.  Mobile devices are becoming the primary compute platform for users, automating business processes and changing application development.Given the crazy activity around new IT initiatives like these, it may be somewhat surprising that information security was rated as the most important of all meta-trends in a recent ESG research survey (note: I am an ESG employee).  ESG asked 601 IT professionals working at mid-market (i.e. 500 to 999 employees) and enterprise (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) organizations in North America and Europe to rank 6 different meta-trends on a scale from 1 (most important) to 6 (least important).  The results were as follows:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Will Public/Private Threat Intelligence Sharing Work?

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    In January, Representative Charles Albert "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-MD) reintroduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) as H.R. 234 into the 114th Congress. The bill was first introduced by Mike Rogers (R-MI) in 2011.On the executive branch side, President Obama trumpeted the need for intelligence sharing in January before his State of the Union Address and then signed an executive order to encourage and promote public/private cyber threat intelligence sharing at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection in February.What's so great about public/private threat intelligence sharing? The basic assumption is that federal intelligence (i.e. CIA, NSA, etc.) and law enforcement agencies (i.e. FBI, Secret Service, etc.) have cyber threat intelligence about cyber-adversaries as well as their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that is classified and unique. Thus, this information could be extremely valuable to private-sector organizations under constant attack from nation-state APTs and cybercriminals.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Book Report: @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I've read a fair amount of cybersecurity books across a wide spectrum of topics – early hackers, cybercrime, hacktivists, nation state activity, etc. A few years ago, new books on this topic were few and far between, but that is no longer the case. I recently posted a blog/book report on Kim Zetter's fantastic book, Countdown to Zero Day. Allow me to recommend another good one, @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex, by Shane Harris.Harris's book is especially relevant given President Obama's recent cybersecurity initiatives described during his State of the Union address and the cybersecurity summit at Stanford last month. After all, the President is trumpeting a new federal law enforcement nexus – the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) – private/public security intelligence sharing, a national breach notification law, and an overhaul of law enforcement authorities to combat cybercrime. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Endpoint Security Meets the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Just about every cyberattack follows a similar pattern: an end-user is fooled into clicking on a malicious link, downloading malware, or opening an infected file. This is one of the early stages of the famous Lockheed Martin "kill chain."Given this pedestrian malware workflow, endpoint security is absolutely key – catch an attack early when it compromises a few endpoints and you can avoid the more ominous phases of the kill chain, including data exfiltration. To pull off today's endpoint security requirements, you can't assume that you can block all attacks using AV or patching software vulnerabilities. Rather, you need smart security analysts skilled at detecting and responding to attacks on endpoint devices.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Challenges Associated with SSL/TLS traffic decryption and security inspection

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    As I’ve mentioned in several recent blogs, enterprise organizations are encrypting more and more of their network traffic.  A majority (87%) of organizations surveyed as part of a recent ESG research project say they encrypt at least 25% of their overall network traffic today (note:  I am an ESG employee) CISOs realize that network encryption is a mixed blessing as it protects the confidentiality/integrity of network traffic but also represents a new threat vector.  Given this, (87%) organizations surveyed decrypt and then inspect SSL/TLS traffic for signs of reconnaissance activity, malware, C2 communications, etc. Decrypting and inspecting SSL/TLS traffic is the right thing to do from a security perspective, but this activity comes with its share of operational and technical challenges.  For example, ESG research indicates that:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • 0% Cybersecurity Job Unemployment in Washington

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    I’ve written a lot about the global cybersecurity skills shortage over the past few years.  Here’s some recent ESG data that illustrates this problem (note:  I am an ESG employee):
    Of those organizations hiring additional IT staff in 2015, 43% plan to hire IT security professionals – the highest percentage of all types of IT skills.
    At the same time, 28% of organizations say they have a “problematic shortage” of IT security skills – the highest problematic shortage of all types of IT skills.

    This data indicates strong demand and weak supply of IT security skills across mid-market and enterprise organizations around the world.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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