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Malware is Everywhere. Now, so is Advanced Malware Protection from Cisco.

Malware is everywhere and it’s incredibly challenging to combat, using whatever unprotected path exists to reach its target and accomplish its mission.

Malware has become the weapon of choice for hackers. According to the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, of the top 20 types of threat actions last year, malware is the most common method used, followed by hacking and social engineering. Increasingly, blended threats that combine several methods – for example, phishing, malware and hacking – are being used to introduce malware, embed the malware in networks, remain undetected for long periods of time and steal data or disrupt critical systems. More specifically on blended threats, the report tells us that more than 95 percent of all attacks intended for conduct espionage employed phishing. What is more, a prominent recent retail breach began with a targeted email phishing attack that ultimately led to access to payment system data via malware uploaded to PoS systems.

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Cisco Announces OpenAppID – the Next Open Source ‘Game Changer’ in Cybersecurity

One of the big lessons I learned during the early days, when I was first creating Snort®, was that the open source model was an incredibly strong way to build great software and attack difficult problems in a way that the user community rallied around. I still see this as one of the chief strengths of the open source development model and why it will be with us for the foreseeable future.

As most every security professional knows, cloud applications are one of the most prevalent attack vectors exploited by hackers and some of the most challenging to protect. There are more than 1,000 new cloud-delivered applications per year, and IT is dependent on vendors to create new visibility and threat detection tools and keep up with the accelerating pace of change. The problem is that vendors can’t always move fast enough and IT can’t afford to wait. Countless custom applications pile on even more complexity.

So today, Cisco is announcing OpenAppID, an open, application-focused detection language and processing module for Snort that enables users to create, share, and implement application detection. OpenAppID puts control in the hands of users, allowing them to control application usage in their network environments and eliminating the risk that comes with waiting for vendors to issue updates. Practically speaking, we’re making it possible for people to build their own open source Next-Generation Firewalls.

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Trust but Verify and Verify and Verify Again

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Two recent disclosures show that often the weaknesses in cryptography lie not in the algorithms themselves, but in the implementation of these algorithms in functional computer instructions. Mathematics is beautiful. Or at least mathematics triggers the same parts of our brain that respond to beauty in art and music [1]. Cryptography is a particularly beautiful implementation of mathematics, a way of ensuring that information is encoded in such a way so that it can only be read by the genuine intended recipient. Cryptographically signed certificates ensure that you are certain of the identity of the person or organisation with which you are communicating, and cryptographic algorithms ensure that any information you transfer cannot be read by a third party. Although the science of cryptography is solid, in the real world nothing is so easy.
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What will Security for the Network of the Future Look Like?

In the next few years, there will be more mobile users and more mobile connections than ever:

  • By 2018, there will be 4.9 billion mobile users, up from 4.1 billion in 2013, according to the newly released Cisco VNI forecast
  • In addition, there will be 10 billion mobile-ready devices and connections, which includes 8 billion mobile devices and 2 billion machine-to-machine (M2M) connections

Are the networks that are in place today able to handle the influx and sophistication of devices and data, or is this wave of technology going to usher in a need for a different kind of network?

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that organizations need a flexible, programmable infrastructure that can expand and contract more readily to their needs, especially in terms of security. A security-centric, programmable infrastructure that detects and responds to emerging threat vectors is essential for organizations to thrive in our hyper-connected era.

However, many business and IT leaders are unsure of what that looks like. How can a programmable infrastructure examine security holistically and gain visibility across the entire cybercrime continuum—before, during, and after an attack?

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Secure Access for the Real World, Really?

February 20, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

Yes, really. I just got back from Cisco Live! Milan where Chris Young, Senior VP at Cisco, spoke to the Cisco security story, Intelligent Cybersecurity for the Real World. The Cisco security strategy addresses many security challenges across a range of attack vectors (network, endpoint, mobile devices, cloud, or virtual). It covers the entire attack continuum with point-time solutions and dynamic analysis of real-time security intelligence. This reduces the security gaps and minimizes the complexity. Not many network providers or pure security players can make this claim. Ask your secure access provider, how do you address the access to the broad range of threat vectors? And when a threat comes in how do you manage it? Read More »

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