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Advantage: Defense, or Several Ways to Level the Playing Field Against Cyber Security Adversaries

I recently contributed a chapter titled “Advanced Technologies/Tactics Techniques, Procedures (TTPs): Closing the Attack Window, and Thresholds for Reporting and Containment” that was published in an anthology Best Practices in Computer Network Defense: Incident Detection and Response, published by the IOS press. In the chapter, I recommend a number of TTPs that can move the cybersecurity balance of power away from adversaries to infrastructure defenders. Acting on the TTPs I propose—including focusing hard work and clear thinking on network security basics—will pay maximum dividends for the cybersecurity defender.

The book’s publishers have graciously granted me permission to reproduce the chapter on the Cisco website, and you are welcome to read it here. Please take a moment to read it and let me know what you think in the form of comments on this blog post.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and reasonably well considered opinions!

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Data Security Through the Cloud [summary]

Is the combination of cloud computing and mobility a perfect storm of security threats?

Actually, yes. And you should prepare for them as if there is a storm coming.

As businesses become increasingly mobile, so does sensitive data. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by ESG,

31% of security professionals say that the biggest risk associated with cloud infrastructure services is, “privacy concerns associated with sensitive and/or regulated data stored and/or processed by a cloud infrastructure provider.”

Data Security Through the Cloud

 

With cloud-based services, it is key to have visibility into applications and provide consistent experience across devices accessing the web and cloud applications. More users are leaving the standard PC behind and engaging cloud applications through a mobile device, making application-layer security and user access security critical. Smartphones and tablets are able to connect to applications running anywhere, including public, private and hybrid cloud applications, opening your data to potential attacks. Security professionals need assurances that their cloud security provider will appropriately secure customer data while ensuring availability and uptime.

 

The conversation is no longer if you’ll be attacked, but when. And will you be prepared?

Read the full article: Data Security Through the Cloud

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RSA 2014 Live Broadcast – Recap

Last week at RSA 2014, Chris Young and I joined a Live Social Broadcast from the Cisco Booth to discuss our announcements of Open Source Application Detection and Control and Advanced Malware Protection, as well as to answer questions from you, our partners and customers, about the trends, the challenges, the opportunities we’ve seen in the security industry this year.

Below is a link to view the recording of the broadcast. If you have any questions that didn’t get answered, please leave them in the comments, and Chris or I will get back to you.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1346930

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January 2014 Threat Metrics

January 2014 started with a bang, with one in every 191 web requests resulting in a web malware encounter. The Cisco Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) observed this same trend, witnessing a 200% increase in web malware encounters experienced by Cisco employees for the month. Overall, January 1, 25, and 26 were the highest risk days for encountering web delivered malware. In the chart below, the lower the number, the higher the risk of encounters. Still, with a median encounter rate of 1:375 requests, every day of January 2014 represented significant risk for web browsing.

Jan2014Rate

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Batman, TrustSec, and PCI

One of my passions is around PCI compliance. I know that sounds oxymoronic. How can someone actually be passionate about something as dry as compliance? Well, for the sake of argument, I prefer delusional rationalization. I think of myself as Batman! I don’t have his intelligence, money, car, or cape (well, I do have the cape, but that is another story), but I DO want to fight injustice where I can. I do think that there are bad guys out there trying to steal my family’s hard earned money. PCI compliance is the leading method for securing the world’s payment systems. The bad guys are real, security is getting harder, and I want to fight on the side of good.

The problem with fighting crime with compliance is that it can be so complex. The general strategy to minimize the complexity of PCI compliance is to use segmentation. Segmentation typically involves putting credit card applications and devices onto its own network, and use traditional firewalls to secure the perimeter. Although effective, this method brings about its own headaches around management. Firewall rulesets can become tedious and complex. Readdressing an entire enterprise with the sole driver of compliance is Herculean. Over time, if not properly managed and sustained, this method, can lead to bloat, misconfiguration, or worse, a breach.

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