Corporate Partners

Top IT Security Bloggers

Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
  • The Mike Brown Era – and the Associated Pressure – Begins at Symantec

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Last Thursday, Symantec announced that interim CEO Mike Brown has now assumed this role on a permanent basis. Wall Street wasn't exactly dancing a jig when it heard the news; the stock was down from after-hours trading on Thursday through the close of the market on Friday. In fact, of the 28 analyst recommendations currently tracked on Yahoo Finance, 20 are issuing a “hold” recommendation and only 3 classify Symantec as a “strong buy.” Wall Street’s lukewarm reaction to Mike Brown represents what he and the company face moving forward. The market at large (i.e. investors, IT managers, potential employees, etc.) was expecting new blood when Symantec terminated Steve Bennett and promised an “extensive search” for new a new leader and apparently interviewed 100 candidates, with 33 seriously vetted for the top job. When Brown was handed the job last week, market cynics quickly concluded that either the company couldn’t attract a visible software leader, or an inept board wasted time and money before realizing that Brown was the right person for the job. Right or wrong, Symantec faces these and lots of other negative perceptions.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • More Alarming Data on the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    ESG recently published a new research report on network security titled, Network Security Trends in the Era of Cloud and Mobile Computing (note:  I am an ESG employee).  Within this project, ESG asked 397 security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) to rate their security teams in a number of network security areas.  Once again the data points to a pretty substantial skills gap:
    30% of organizations say that the network security skills of the infosec staff are inadequate in some, most, or all cases.
    44% of organizations say that the number of networking/security staff with strong knowledge in both security and networking technology is inadequate in some, most, or all cases.
    38% of organizations say that the ability of the security staff to keep up with network security changes is inadequate in some, most, or all cases.
    37% of organizations say that the ability of the security staff to keep up with the threat landscape is inadequate in some, most, or all cases.
    47% of organizations say that the number of employees dedicated to network security is inadequate in some, most, or all cases.


    What’s most troubling about this data is that network security is nothing new.  Large organizations have been segmenting networks, filtering packets, and managing firewalls, IDS/IPS, network proxies, and assorted gateways for years.  In spite of this experience however, they remained under-skilled and understaffed and thus more vulnerable than they should be.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Cisco, FireEye Announcements: A Microcosm of the Enterprise Cybersecurity Market

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    ust as the leaves started to turn here in New England, I headed out to the Silicon Valley last week to present at an IT event.  While I was in California, there were two announcements that illustrate the state of the cybersecurity industry.First, Cisco Systems announced a milestone with its announcement of Cisco ASA with FirePOWER services.  This is a first step toward integrating the best of the Sourcefire next-generation IDS/IPS with the best of Cisco’s NGFW.  It also moves beyond NGFW basics like application and user controls by adding “threat-focused” functionality for preventing, detecting, and responding to advanced malware.This announcement should please shareholders as it demonstrates that Cisco is managing the merger and executing on an integration plan.  Beyond Wall Street however, Cisco’s announcement is much more important as it really responds to market requirements. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Enterprise Annexation of Endpoint Security

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    When it comes to strong cybersecurity, endpoints and servers have often been second-class citizens when compared to the network. I described this situation in a March 2013 blog post. According to ESG research, 58% of security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) said that network security processes, skills, and technical controls were “much more thorough” or “somewhat more thorough” than server security processes, skills, and technical controls. Why the discrepancy? Network security includes mature technologies like firewalls, IDS/IPS, and Web Application Firewalls (WAFs). Furthermore, network security often involves a lot of network design and engineering for segmentation, access control, and traffic management. Alternatively, endpoint and server security is typically based on nothing more than AV software and its associated signature downloads and occasional scans.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Book Report: Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    In spite of the volume and sophistication of recent cyber-attacks, there are still plenty of folks who scoff at the notion of “cyberwar.”  It is not unusual for military types to assume the role of doubting Thomas by dismissing cyber-attacks as “weapons of mass disruption.”  They go on sarcastic quips saying that a brief blackout or ATM network outage doesn’t really qualify as a national security event.
    Having spent the last dozen years of my life in the cybersecurity domain, I vehemently disagree with this minimalist notion but it is truly difficult to describe what might happen.  Former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism for the United States, Richard Clarke does a good job of painting a picture of a cyber-attack on critical infrastructure in his 2010 book Cyberwar, but his account is only a few pages long.  Daniel Suarez tells a gripping story in Daemon and Freedom, but this is more of a science fiction thriller than a more likely view of reality. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Note to Executives, Legislators, and Consumers: Time For a More Serious Dialogue About Cybersecurity

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Like everyone else in the cybersecurity domain, I've been pretty busy the past week or so.  First there was the UPS store breach, which was small change compared to the nefarious cybersecurity situation at JP Morgan Chase. The condition became a bit more whimsical when photos of naked celebrities floated around the web, but quickly became serious again with the breach at Home Depot, which may trump the Target breach when all is said and done. Here is a terse synopsis of what’s going on: we’ve gotten really good at rapidly developing and implementing new applications on new technologies. We can even do so at scale (with the exception of healthcare.gov, but that’s another story). Yup, we want immediate gratification from our technology toys but we really don’t have the right people, skills, processes, or oversight to actually protect them.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Network Security Challenges in the Enterprise

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    ESG recently published a new research report titled, Network Security Trends in the Era of Cloud and Mobile Computing (note:  I am an ESG employee). In this project, ESG surveyed 397 IT security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) and asked a multitude of questions about their current and future network security policies, practices, and technologies.Here is a list of the top 5 network security challenges at enterprise organizations:
    39% of organizations say that, “IT initiatives are being adopted without the proper network security oversight or controls in place.” Sound familiar? I’ve had lots of CISOs tell me about this very problem, especially around mobile computing. Sounds like an opportunity for Bradford Networks, Cisco, and ForeScout. The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) may also have a play here.
    31% of organizations say that, “network security policies and controls are not cohesive as they must be implemented across many different security and networking technologies.” In other words, network security is addressed with network devices when it should be applied to network flows. This leads to network complexity and many, many associated challenges. 
    28% of organizations say they are challenged by, “too many overlapping controls and processes tend to cause trouble.” When the networking and security teams are subnetting, VLANing, firewalling, and applying ACLs to network devices, there’s bound to be a lot of redundancy and wasted resources. I get the need for layered defenses, but there must be a better way to isolate network traffic. SDN? NFV? Cisco ACI? VMware NSX? Something is needed.
    27% of organizations say that the, “security staff is too busy responding to alerts/events and not enough time with training, planning, or network security strategy.” This points to the global cybersecurity skills shortage that I’ve been screaming about for years (in other ESG research, 25% of organizations said that they have a “problematic shortage” of IT security skills). With too much work and too little staff, CISOs need network security technologies that can help them work smarter, not harder.
    26% of organizations are challenged by, “security policies that are too complex and can’t be enforced with the current network security processes and controls.” Everyone talks about “contextual security” where network access is governed by user identity, device identity, location, time-of-day, etc. The problem is that this requires central management, common data, data exchange, and technology integration. Alas, these things haven’t happened yet in many enterprises.

    Summarizing this list presents a scary scenario. While business units are doing their own IT projects, the security team is hampered by mismatched policies, tactical technologies, and an overburdened staff. Not a very good recipe for success. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Is Kind of Right – but Mostly Wrong

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Poor Michael Daniel, the White House cybersecurity coordinator and the man who “leads the interagency development of national cybersecurity strategy and policy” is taking a beating in the press.  In a recent interview with federally-focused media outlet, GovInfoSecurity, Daniel defended his lack of security technology experience with the following statement: 
    "You don't have to be a coder in order to really do well in this position.  In fact, actually, I think being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction.  You can get taken up and enamored with the very detailed aspects of some of the technical solutions and the real issue is looking at the broad strategic picture."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Security pros speak out on SDN uses for network security

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    At this week’s VMworld shindig in San Francisco, many networking and security vendors will crow about software-defined security and software use cases for SDN. Some of this rhetoric will be nothing more than industry hype, while other banter may prove to be extremely useful in the near future. Yes, there are many interesting ways that SDN could work to enhance network security. That said, which SDN/network security use cases are really compelling and which could be considered second-tier? ESG research asked this specific question to security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) as part of a recent network security research report (note:  I am an ESG employee). Here are the top 5 SDN use cases for network security:To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • Virtual Security Remains Anathema to Many Organizations

    Network World - Networking Nuggets and Security Snippets
    Next week, the IT industry will gather in San Francisco to discuss all things cloud and virtualization at VMworld. The discussion will center on “software-defined data centers” which will quickly morph to “software-defined security” in my world (Writer’s note:  In my humble opinion, this is a meaningless marketing term and I don’t understand why an industry that should be focused on digital safety acts like its selling snake oil). So we are likely to hear about the latest virtual security widgets, VMware NSX, and OpenStack integration, virtual security orchestration, etc.This will make for fun and visionary discussions, but there’s one critical problem: while almost every enterprise has embraced server virtualization and many are playing with cloud platforms, lots of organizations continue to eschew or minimize the use of virtual security technologies – even though they’ve had years of experience with VMware, Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, etc. According to ESG research, 25% of enterprises use virtual security technologies “extensively,” while 49% use virtual security technologies “somewhat,” and the remaining 25% endure on the sidelines (note: I am an ESG employee). To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Events

View all events Submit your own security event

Blog Posts

Media Release

More media release

Market Place