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Geopolitical Trends in Cybersecurity for 2015

New year predictions generally take one of several forms: broad generalizations about multi-year trends, guesses about what might happen, or overviews of recent events disguised as predictions. The first is too easy, the second—going out on a limb—risks missing the mark so badly as to be useless. So I will go with the third choice in the hope that, by calling out some of the common threads running through major stories of 2014, we can take some cues for the future.

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Microsoft Update Tuesday January 2015: Another Light Month, No IE Bulletins, More Changes to Reporting

This post was written by Yves Younan.

Microsoft’s first Update Tuesday of 2015 is pretty light, there’s a total of eight bulletins, all covering a single vulnerability. Seven of these bulletins are rated as important and just one is rated critical. No bulletin for IE is being released this month. Two of the vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed prior to today, while another one was being actively exploited by attackers.

Microsoft made a number of changes to Update Tuesday last month, such as dropping deployment priority in favor of their exploitability index (XI). This month more changes were made to the program: Microsoft is no longer providing their Advance Notification Service (ANS) to the general public, but is instead only providing it to premier customers.

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New IT Harvest White Paper: How Policy-Based Software Defined Segmentation and Cisco TrustSec Improve Security

IT-Harvest, founded by renowned security expert and industry analyst Richard Stiennon, provides reports, analysis, and advisory services on trends in emerging threats and the technology to counter them. Richard Stiennon is one of the most followed and well-respected IT security analysts and authors in the world. His recent white paper discusses why network segmentation is becoming increasingly critical to protecting networks. Further, it argues that Cisco TrustSec provides the right technology for leveraging the network to provide better security. Read More »

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Cisco Adds Check Point Next-Gen Security Gateway to Growing List of Strategic ACI Partners

Cisco is announcing another important strategic partner to its list of ACI-compliant vendors with the addition of the Check Point Next Generation Security Gateway to the ecosystem. A couple months ago I wrote about the inherent security architecture in ACI (Security for an Application Centric World), and now the Check Point solutions fit right into that framework as an alternative to Cisco security solutions. Essentially, this means that the ACI controller, APIC, can now configure the application network to include the insertion and provisioning of Check Point virtual and physical security gateways as it does other Layer 4-7 application services and security appliances. The availability of the Check Point solutions will offer customers greater choice and flexibility while underscoring the open, multi-vendor approach of ACI.

[Note: Check Point will be participating in our upcoming ACI Webcast event: “Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy”, January 13, 2015, 9 AM PT, Noon ET, featuring ACI customers and several other key ACI technology partners. Register here.]

In scalable, multitenant cloud environments with flexible resource placement, almost every workload must be secured from every other workload, with detailed security policies enabled between workloads in an application network: a concept called micro-segmentation. This level of security policy detail can become tedious to manage on an application-by-application basis. It also can potentially restrict workload mobility and the ways that applications can be deployed in the cloud.

Cisco ACI policies abstract the network, devices, and services into a hierarchical, logical object model. In this model, administrators specify the Layer 4 through Layer 7 services (firewalls, load balancers, etc.) that are applied, the kind of traffic to which they are applied, and the traffic that is permitted. These services can be chained together and are presented to application developers as a single object with simple input and output. Connection of application-tier objects and server objects creates an application network profile (ANP). When this ANP is applied to the network, the devices are told to configure themselves to support it. Tier objects can be groups of hundreds of servers, or just one device; the same policies are applied to all the objects in a single configuration step (see below).

Check Point Integration

The Application Profile Defines Security and Application Policies for Application Networks, and Cisco APIC Manages and Provisions Security Resources in the Fabric, Such as a Check Point Firewall, with the Right Policies for Each Application, at the Right Location

The integration with Check Point Next Generation Security Gateway provides automated security provisioning and a full range of security protections and threat-prevention capabilities in a highly dynamic and agile Cisco ACI environment. Check Point Security Gateways can be deployed as physical or virtual solutions and address today’s ever-changing threat landscape with a modular and dynamic security architecture.

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CVSS Version 3 Available For Public Comments

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) Special Interest Group (SIG), in which Cisco is an active participant, acting on behalf of FIRST.org, has published a preview of the upcoming CVSS v3.0 scoring standard.  The CVSS v3.0 preview represents a near final version and includes metric and vector strings, formulas, scoring examples and a v3.0 calculator – all available at the CVSS v3.0 development site. The official public comment period is scheduled to end February 28, 2015 and anyone who produces or consumes CVSS scores are encouraged to review and provide feedback to cvss-v3-comments@first.org by the close of the comment period.

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