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Attack Analysis with a Fast Graph

TRAC-tank-vertical_logo-300x243This post is co-authored by Martin Lee, Armin Pelkmann, and Preetham Raghunanda.

Cyber security analysts tend to redundantly perform the same attack queries with different input data. Unfortunately, the search for useful meta-data correlation across proprietary and open source data sets may be laborious and time consuming with relational databases as multiple tables are joined, queried, and the results inevitably take too long to return. Enter the graph database, a fundamentally improved database technology for specific threat analysis functions. Representing information as a graph allows the discovery of associations and connection that are otherwise not immediately apparent.

Within basic security analysis, we represent domains, IP addresses, and DNS information as nodes, and represent the relationships between them as edges connecting the nodes. In the following example, domains A and B are connected through a shared name server and MX record despite being hosted on different servers. Domain C is linked to domain B through a shared host, but has no direct association with domain A.

graph_image_1 This ability to quickly identify domain-host associations brings attention to further network assets that may have been compromised, or assets that will be used in future attacks.

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Social Media and Valentine’s Day: 5 Things They Have in Common

February 14, 2014 at 10:44 am PST

It’s February 14, and Valentine’s Day is already trending on Twitter. It’s estimated that more than 60% of adults will take time today to honor the important relationships in their lives. According to History.com, approximately 150 million cards and gifts will be sent. Couples will go on dates, friends will celebrate, and millions of people will exchange loving sentiments. Social media sites will light up with Valentine’s Day comments and pictures of happy couples, gifts, candy, and flower arrangements. It will dominate your newsfeeds and social streams, but what else do social media and Valentine’s Day have in common? Here are 5 things they share (and what you can learn from it).

1. A celebration of relationships.

When I was a child, I couldn’t wait for the Valentine’s Day gift exchange at school. It was a bright spot in the middle of a dreary winter season. I would carefully select a Valentine’s Day card for each of my classmates and drop it into a decorated box. I’d quickly run back to my own box, empty it out, and sort through all of the cards. I felt special. Important. Believe it or not, a similar scenario occurs daily on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Think about it. These sites offer the digital equivalent of the Valentine’s Day card exchange. We create an online “box” and decorate it with pictures, profile information, and branding. We then encourage people to visit our boxes and “like” or “follow” them. When someone likes a social page, a relationship begins. With any blossoming relationship, what you do next is very im Read More »

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Relationships, Relationships, Relationships: Cisco at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

July 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm PST

When I think of why technology solution providers should attend Microsoft’s WPC, I decided to pay homage to one of Steve Ballmer’s mantras with my blog title.

Last year, at Microsoft’s WPC in Toronto, I was approached by KEMP Technologies (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner). They gave me an elevator pitch on their products and explained they were interested in partnering with Cisco. Their load balancing solutions sounded interesting and anything that might sell more UCS servers sounded like a win win to me. After all, Cisco didn’t become the #2 blade server vendor worldwide1 by itself. I told them I would try and find the right contact for them.

A few emails on my part and a lot of hard work by the Cisco and KEMP teams, a year later KEMP is now IVT Certified for UCS. While not an exclusive relationship, we can now offer our customers another excellent choice.

Stop by the Cisco booth (#1401) and talk with the datacenter team or KEMP’s booth (#1725). You never know what might come of it.

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1. Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013

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