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Cisco Announces Managed Threat Defense Service

While out talking to customers, I’ve continually heard about three fundamental security challenges they are wrestling to manage: changing business models, a dynamic threat landscape, and fragmentation of security solutions.  The 2014 Cisco Annual Security Report estimates there will be a global shortage of over one million security professionals this year alone.  The combination of these challenges has created security gaps, reduced visibility, and led to increased complexity.

We have designed our solution to allay these concerns. Business needs are quite fundamental, but often times you’re better served by having a team of experts work on your behalf. You do not have to worry about assessing the best technology options, retaining the right number of security experts, and constantly staying current with the changing threat landscape. Instead, you can partner with a trusted advisor in a simple cost-effective way. Today we are pleased to introduce Cisco Managed Threat Defense Service, which allows the power of a global operation to watch out for you.

Powered by proven Cisco Security solutions such as Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), Sourcefire FirePOWER, and Cisco Cloud Web Security, our unique platform includes market leading technology.  Managed Threat Defense uses machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to detect possible threats in real-time. This approach assumes the cyber-attacks today will not look like those yesterday, and employs heuristics designed to spot anomalous traffic patterns.  Suspected incidents get immediately escalated to a trained Cisco Security Investigator in one of our global Security Operations Centers, where they validate the fidelity of the incident before partnering with your team to remediate.

We know the challenges you face, from difficulty retaining the top security talent to keeping up with the changing nature of threats. So we’ve put together a technology platform designed to deliver the operational outcomes you want coupled with the 24 x 7 expertise required to help stay a step ahead of the adversaries.

Cisco IPS Signature Coverage for OpenSSL Heartbleed Issue

The Cisco IPS Signature Development team has released 4 signature updates in the past week. Each of the updates contains either modifications to existing signatures or additional signatures for detection of attacks related to the OpenSSL Heartbleed issue. I’m going to take a moment to summarize the signature coverage.

To best utilize your Cisco IPS to protect against the OpenSSL Heartbleed issue:

  • Update your sensors to signature update pack S788.
  • Enable and activate sub-signatures /3 and /4 for signature 4187, leaving /0, /1, and /2 disabled and retired (by default, signature 4187 is disabled and retired across all sub-signatures).
  • Sub-signatures /3 and /4 are set at a severity of Informational and Low, respectively, and will not drop traffic by default. If after monitoring the sensor alerts, you are comfortable dropping traffic inline based on those alerts, you will need to add an action of “deny-packet” to each signature.

Further detail regarding the released signatures:
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Summary: IoT Holds Great Promise – But Ensuring Its Security Takes Strong Leadership and Teamwork!

April 18, 2014 at 7:20 am PST

Despite the many benefits of IoT, the billions of connected sensors, devices, and other smart objects it comprises will also dramatically increase the diversity of threats we will face. As a result, ensuring that we can reap the overwhelming benefits of IoT without undermining security will take strong leadership and a great deal of teamwork throughout the industry. That’s why I’m proud that Chris Young, Senior Vice President, Cisco Security Group, recently made the list as one of the top 100 thought leaders for IoT!

Read the full blog post to learn more.

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On Cisco.com password changes

Last week I published a brief blog about the OpenSSL heartbeat extension vulnerability, also known as the Heartbleed bug.

One commenter asked, “What about the Cisco.com website? Is it safe to change our passwords on the site?” We received a handful of similar questions from customers today, so I would like to offer our formal advice.

The Cisco Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) has not found any Cisco.com infrastructure that was vulnerable to the Heartbleed vulnerability. There is also no evidence to suggest a compromise of Cisco.com user accounts.

You are safe to change your password by visiting the Cisco.com profile management page – in fact regular password changes are something we actively recommend.

Regardless of the website you are visiting, use of a strong password and regular password changes are an important part of online safety. If you are looking for more password advice, we recommend the following US-CERT security tip: Choosing and Protecting Passwords.

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Not If, but When: The case for Advanced Malware Protection Everywhere

A recent Bloor Research Market Update on Advanced Threat Protection reminds us of something that many security vendors have long been loath to acknowledge: traditional, point-in-time technologies, like anti-virus or sandboxes, are not entirely effective when defending against complex, sophisticated attacks.

This is due to something we have said before and we will say again: malware is “the weapon of choice” for malicious actors. We know blended threats introduce malware. Our 2014 Annual Security Report notes that every Fortune 500 company that was spoken to for the report had traffic going to websites that host malware. Bloor tells us all, once again, that attack methods are becoming more complex.

To put it plainly, when it comes to networks being breached, it is not a case of if, but when.

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