Point Solutions Must Die

Rick Holland

Last year I wrote a blog post titled, “Incident Response Isn’t About Point Solutions; It Is About An Ecosystem."  This concept naturally extends beyond incident response to broader enterprise defense.  An ecosystem approach provides us an alternative to the cobbling together of the Frankenstein’esque security infrastructure that is so ubiquitous today. 

Many of us in the information security space have a proud legacy of only purchasing best in breed point solutions. In my early days as an information security practitioner, I only wanted to deploy these types of standalone solutions. One of the problems with this approach is that it results in a bloated security portfolio with little integration between security controls. This bloat adds unneeded friction to the infosec team’s operational responsibilities.  We talk about adding friction to make the attacker’s job more difficult, what about this self-imposed friction?  S&R pros jobs are hard enough. I’m not suggesting that you eliminate best in breed solutions from consideration, I’m suggesting that any “point solution” that functions in isolation and adds unneeded operational friction shouldn’t be considered. 

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Mobile Application Security Maturity - Leveling Up.

Tyler Shields

Enterprises are struggling to understand the risk and privacy impacts of the mobile applications in use in their environment. As the consumerization of mobile continues to shove BYOD into the enterprise, the number of applications in use is growing exponentially. Organizations must get a better handle on just how much risk is accumulating from the proliferation of mobile apps on their user’s devices.

I'm currently researching a concept designed to help an enterprise know where they are on the mobile application security maturity curve. Understanding where one currently resides is the quickest method to determine the path required to improving your standing in the future.

Does your organization allow BYOD?
Do you inventory all of the mobile applications in use in your environment?
Do you execute security and privacy analysis on mobile applications in an organized fashion?
How do you define and enforce policies around mobile application security?

I’ve created a survey to determine current baseline enterprise mobile application maturity levels. If you are involved in the mobile management and security decisions of your enterprise now is your time to help. Please go to the survey link below and fill out the form. I will summarize some of the findings in a future blog post.

Startups That Were At BlackHat 2013

Heidi Shey

What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas. I was out at BlackHat with other members of the Forrester team over a week ago (seems like yesterday!). It was two jam packed days of popping into briefings, guzzling copious amounts of green tea, and meeting new people and learning new things. In general, I like to keep an eye and ear out for startups to see what’s bubbling up, and came across a few at BlackHat:

  • Co3 Systems. Co3 Systems* help to automate the four pillars of incident response (prepare, assess, manage, and report) and break down responsibilities and response to ensure best practices are followed along with compliance with regulatory requirements. They just updated their security module to include threat intelligence feeds from  iSIGHT PartnersAlienVault, Abuse.ch and SANS, and recently rolled out an EU data privacy and breach notification update to the product. I’m a numbers nerd, so when they let me play with the solution, I immediately started running simulations that estimated the cost of a breach.
  • FileTrek. FileTrek provides visibility and transparency into where data resides, how it’s being accessed, moved, used, changed, and shared between people, devices, and files. No, it’s not DLP. It’s more like the mother of all audit trails that takes context and sequence of events into account. That way, if someone who is supposed to have access to data starts to do things with it beyond what they normally do, FileTrek will flag it as suspicious activity.
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Is India Geared Up To Handle The Dynamics Of The Cyber Age?

On July 2, the government of India released the National Cyber Security Policy 2013. This policy extends to a spectrum of ICT users and providers, including home users, SMEs, large enterprises, and government and nongovernment entities. The policy aims to serve as an umbrella framework for defining and guiding the actions related to the security of cyberspace. The policy has been much delayed but has now been released amid reports of snooping by the US globally — and ever-increasing threats to India as a country.

The policy defines 14 diverse objectives that provide an overview of the government’s approach to the protection of cyberspace in the country. A few objectives that will have a positive impact on S&R professionals in India caught my attention:

  • The appointment of chief information security officer (CISO). Organizations may or may not have a designated person responsible for cybersecurity initiatives today. With the release of National Cyber Security Policy 2013, organizations will be mandated to appoint a person in a senior management role as CISO.
  • A strong security workforce. The government plans to create a strong workforce of 500,000 security professionals in the next five years through skill development and training programs. This will mean more opportunities to enhance skills and more job opportunities for S&R professionals.
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Five Common Legal & Regulatory Challenges With Social Media

Nick Hayes

It should come as no surprise that regulators and organizations alike struggle to set and enforce guidelines for social media activity. It’s not just that the rise of social media is rapidly transforming the way we interact with people, customers, and brands; but also how many ways this transformation is happening.

The core issue is that social media alters the way we as individuals share who we are, merging our roles as people, professionals, and consumers.  As we share more of ourselves on a growing number of social networks, questions quickly surface:

  • How frequently and on what social networks should we post?
  • When should we present ourselves in our professional role versus sharing our personal opinions?
  • Is it okay to be social media friends with co-workers, clients, or your boss?

These are complicated matters for individuals, and absolute conundrums for organizations concerned with how employees behave and interact with others in, and outside of, the workplace. Their questions are even more complicated:

  • Can organizations dictate how their employees use social media?
  • Can they monitor social media conversations or use it to learn more about prospective job applicants?
  • When does the personal connection allowed by social media tools cross the line from business to personal?
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The "Home Security" Administrator

Tyler Shields

I had a conversation recently with one of the top consumer antivirus companies in the world. What came out of this conversation was very intriguing. The conversation presented a vision into how mobility is shaping consumer views on security and how security of the home might be improved.

The vendor and I began by discussing the rapid growth that homes are seeing in the number of Internet-connected devices. An average person today has approximately five consumer devices connected to the Internet in their home, and the number is growing rapidly. For example, my home has the following devices connected today:

  • Two iPhones.
  • Two iPods.
  • Two Kindle Fires HD.
  • Two Apple TVs.
  • Four TV set top boxes.
  • One Mac Mini.
  • Three Windows laptops.
  • One printer.
  • One Xbox.
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Orange Business Services Analyst Event 2013: The Cobbler Sticks To His Last

Christopher Sherman

Brownlee Thomas, Ph.D., Dan Bieler, Henning Dransfeld, Ph.D., Bryan Wang, Clement Teo, Fred Giron, Michele Pelino, Ed Ferrara, Chris Sherman, Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Orange Business Services (Orange) hosted its annual analyst event in Paris July 9th & 10th. Our main observations are:

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Trend Micro Bets Big On Cloud Security In Asia Pacific

Trend Micro held its first Asia Pacific (AP) Industry Analyst summit on April 9, 2013 in Singapore. The most obvious message for me is that the company is clearly seeking to expand its focus well beyond the “legacy” antivirus market. Throughout the event, Trend Micro emphasized the need for cloud security solutions and the opportunities that exist in the Asia Pacific market. Speakers also highlighted the need to invest in breaking Trend Micro’s image as an antivirus vendor to help capitalize on the market opportunities for enterprise cloud security. 

Below are the two key themes highlighted by Trend Micro during the event and my take on each:

  • Enabling cloud-related security is central to company growth. Security-related concerns remain the most prominent reason that organizations cite for not adopting cloud services.  Recently, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) outlined the “Notorious Nine” threats for 2013, and the top three cloud-related threats include data breaches, data loss, and account hijacking. Forrester’s Forrsights IT Budgets and Priorities Survey, Q4 2012 shows that 30% of organizations in the AP region aim to create a comprehensive strategy and implementation plan for public cloud and other as-a-service offerings over the next 12 months. Cloud-related spending therefore represents a big market opportunity. Security will be central to organizations’ cloud strategies and hence spending. Trend Micro is aiming to meet this nascent demand but must better explain why it is best positioned. 
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Defining The Mobile Security Market

Tyler Shields
Understanding the terms and technologies in the mobile security market can be a daunting and difficult task. The mobile ecosystem is changing at a very rapid pace, causing vendors to pivot their product direction to meet the needs of the enterprise. These changes in direction are creating a merging and twisting of technology descriptions being used by sales and marketing of the vendor offerings. What we considered “Mobile Device Management” yesterday has taken on shades of containerization and virtualization today.
Mobile antivirus used to be a standalone vision but has rapidly become a piece of the mobile endpoint security market. Where do we draw the lines, and how do we clearly define the market and products that the enterprise requires to secure their mobile environment?
 
In an attempt to help the enterprise S&R professional understand the overlapping descriptions of mobile security products, I am working on new research that will help organize and quantify the market. Understanding the detailed state of each of the technology offerings in the market, and their potential impact on a five- to 10-year horizon, will help enterprises make more-educated purchasing decisions.
 
To begin the process of covering all of the technologies being offered today, I’ve divided the solutions in the space by technology type. Not only am I analyzing technologies that are available now, but I’m also researching any additional products, services, and vendors in the mobile security space that have innovative new concepts that they are bringing to bear. These new-age offerings will help shape the future of mobile security, and we need to get ahead of the concepts now if we wish to have a better understanding of the impact of the innovation.
 
 
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RSA acquires Aveksa and finally joins the full-functionality IAM suites vendor party

Andras Cser

 

On July 1, 2013, RSA acquired Aveksa for an undisclosed sum. The Aveksa access governance solution, which includes access request management and approval, attestation, role mining and management, user account provisioning, identity administration and auditing will augment RSA's existing product lines for access control (RSA Access Manager, RSA Authentication Manager, RSA Federated Identity Manager, RSA Adaptive Federation, RSA Adaptive Directory, etc.). Short term, Aveksa will operate under its old management and will keep its OEM relationship with OneLogin for single sign-on into SaaS applications. Forrester expects that RSA will integrate its access management, VMware Horizon, and fraud management (SilverTail) product lines into a modern and full functionality IAM portfolio using risk and identity intelligence concepts -- and which will initially probably suffer from the growing pains that Dell's Quest IAM acquisition and Oracle's stack suffered from immediately after their IAM acquisitions. Forrester expects that long term, RSA also will revitalize and consolidate its access management portfolio, solidify its presence in the cloud IAM space (IAM as a SaaS offering), and offer the stack as a fully hosted option, similar to CA's CloudMinder.

What it means: After years of consolidation and vendors bailing out of the space (HP, BMC, etc.), we will have one more vendor to choose from in the complete, full-functionality IAM suites market. This will create greater competition and more innovation -- something we and our clients are particularly happy about.