Most Recent Blogs

Quick take: Symantec buys Blue Coat

Posted: June 13, 2016   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: Cybersecurity, Symantec, Blue Coat, M&A

symantec blue coatWhen former CEO Mike Brown left Symantec in April of this year, I wrote a blog about what I would do if I were recruited as Mike’s replacement. While one of my suggestions was for Symantec to resume M&A activities, I was really thinking about a strategy for filling in product gaps — perhaps Symantec could pick up LogRhythm to add a leading SIEM to its portfolio, or grab Carbon Black for endpoint security analytics and forensics.

Read More

Anticipating Black Hat

Posted: August 01, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Cisco, Data Management & Analytics, Information and Risk Management, Juniper, HP, McAfee, Enterprise Software, Security and Privacy, Crowdstrike, Lockheed Martin, Black Hat, trend micro, RiskIQ, 21CT, Leidos, Norse, CybOX, BitSight, Symantec, RSA, TAXII, ISC8, Blue Coat, STIX, Webroot

RSA 2014 seems like ancient history and the 2015 event isn’t until next April. No worries, however, the industry is set to gather in the Las Vegas heat next week for cocktails, sushi bars, and oh yeah – Black Hat.

Now Black Hat is an interesting blend of constituents consisting of government gumshoes, Sand Hill Rd. Merlot drinking VCs, cybersecurity business wonks, “beautiful mind” academics, and tattooed hackers – my kind of crowd! As such, we aren’t likely to hear much about NIST frameworks, GRC, or CISO strategies. Alternatively, I am looking forward to deep discussions on:

  • Advanced malware tactics. Some of my favorite cybersecurity researchers will be in town to describe what they are seeing “in the wild.” These discussions are extremely informative and scary at the same time. This is where industry analysts like me learn about the latest evasion techniques, man-in-the-browser attacks, and whether mobile malware will really impact enterprise organizations.
  • The anatomy of various security breaches. Breaches at organizations like the New York Times, Nordstrom, Target, and the Wall Street Journal receive lots of media attention, but the actual details of attacks like these are far too technical for business publications or media outlets like CNN and Fox News. These “kill chain” details are exactly what we industry insiders crave as they provide play-by-play commentary about the cybersecurity cat-and-mouse game we live in.
  • Threat intelligence. All of the leading infosec vendors (i.e., Blue Coat, Cisco, Check Point, HP, IBM, Juniper, McAfee, RSA, Symantec, Trend Micro, Webroot, etc.) have been offering threat intelligence for years, yet threat intelligence will be one of the major highlights at Black Hat. Why? Because not all security and/or threat intelligence is created equally. Newer players like BitSight, Crowdstrike, iSight Partners, Norse, RiskIQ, and Vorstack are slicing and dicing threat intelligence and customizing it for specific industries and use cases. Other vendors like Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks are actively sharing threat intelligence and encouraging other security insiders to join. Finally, there is a global hue and cry for intelligence sharing that includes industry standards (i.e. CybOX, STIX, TAXII, etc.) and even pending legislation. All of these things should create an interesting discourse.
  • Big data security analytics. This is an area I follow closely that is changing on a daily basis. It’s also an interesting community of vendors. Some (i.e., 21CT, ISC8, Leidos, Lockheed-Martin, Norse, Palantir, Raytheon, etc.), come from the post 9/11 “total information access” world, while others (Click Security, HP, IBM, Lancope, LogRhythm, RSA, etc.) are firmly rooted in the infosec industry. I look forward to a lively discussion about geeky topics like algorithms, machine learning, and visual analytics.
Read More

Enterprise Organizations Are Taking Steps to Improve Cybersecurity Analytics

Posted: May 27, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Big Data, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, FireEye, Dell, endpoint, Security and Privacy, Security, SIEM, Narus, Mandiant, Cybereason, LogRhythm, 21CT, Leidos, ISC8, Blue Coat, RSA Security, Lancope, netSkope, SDN, click security, Bit9, cybercrime, Carbon Black

Last week, online retail giant eBay announced that it was hacked between February and March of this year with stolen login credentials of an eBay employee. This gave the hackers access to the user records of 145 million users including home addresses, e-mail addresses, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords. It appears that the hackers made copies of this data so eBay is advising all users to change their passwords.

Read More

Is Cisco Back (as an Enterprise Security Leader)?

Posted: May 22, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Hadoop, Networking, Information and Risk Management, Juniper, Sourcefire, FireEye, HP, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Security, CiscoLive, trend micro, Symantec, Blue Coat, TrustSec, Crossbeam, Mergers / Acquisitions, Anti-malware

It wasn’t too long ago that Cisco was a dominant force in information security technology. The company was a market leader in firewalls, IDS/IPS, and e-mail security and was actively pushing products for endpoint security and SIEM as well as security “blades” for Catalyst switches. Heck, Cisco even articulated a bold vision of “self-defending networks” with security policy, enforcement, and intelligence all baked into the network.

Somewhere around 2008, however, Cisco security went into a prolonged slump. Cisco security products didn’t offer the performance of rivals like Crossbeam (now Blue Coat), Juniper, or McAfee. Cisco missed markets like next-generation firewalls, opening the door for savvy startups like FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, and Stonesoft. Cisco products such as the Cisco Security Agent (Okena) and MARS (Protego) were abject failures and discontinued by the company. Finally, Cisco’s security team itself imploded as management and engineering leaders fled San Jose for greener valley pastures.

Read More

The Emerging Cybersecurity Software Architecture

Posted: May 08, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Microsoft, Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, FireEye, HP, McAfee, Oracle, Security and Privacy, Security, Apache, SIEM, Mitre, Kaspersky, ERP, Raytheon, Proofpoint, Lockheed, IDS, E&Y, Leidos, Booz Allen, Accenture, Blue Coat, AV, CSC, Anti-malware

It’s been a busy week for the information cybersecurity industry. FireEye announced the acquisition of nPulse which adds network forensics to its advanced malware detection/response portfolio. IBM chimed in with a new Threat Prevention System that includes an endpoint security client, threat intelligence feeds, and integration with its network security, and analytics platforms. Finally, Symantec unveiled its Advanced Threat Protection strategy that combines existing products, future deliverables, and services.

It’s no coincidence that these three infosec security leaders are moving in this direction as the whole industry is on the same path. I’ve written about this trend a few times. I wrote a security-vendors-are-racing-toward-a-new-anti-malware-technology-model/index.html" target="_blank">blog about the integrated anti-malware technology model in March, and this the-new-cybersecurity-technology-reality-the-whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts/index.html">one in April about the new cybersecurity technology reality. Other vendors such as Blue Coat, Cisco, McAfee, Palo Alto Networks, and Trend Micro are also on board.

Read More

CISOs Must “Think Different”

Posted: April 15, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Apple, Cybersecurity, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, FireEye, HP, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Security, endpoint security, SIEM, ArcSight, Blue Coat, RSA Security, CISO, Anti-malware, NetWitness, IDS/IPS, Firewall & UTM

Remember the “Think Different” advertising campaign from Apple? It ran from 1997 to 2000 and featured bigger-than-life personalities like Buckminster Fuller, Martin Luther King, and Pablo Picasso.

The “Think Different” ads coincided with Steve Jobs’s return to Apple as well as his somewhat contrarian and analytical mindset. In a PBS interview, Jobs offered this philosophical insight about life:

Read More

Managing IT Risk Associated with Mobile Computing Security

Posted: April 08, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, End-User Computing, Check Point, Fortinet, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, mobile, Security and Privacy, Security, BYOD, Citrix, data security, Fiberlink, android, Dropbox, Good Technology, Airwatch, Blue Coat, CISO, Bit9, Anti-malware, Facebook

When BYOD was coming to fruition a few years ago, it had a sudden and deep impact on IT risk. Why? Many CISOs I spoke with at the time said it was purely a matter of scale. All of a sudden, large enterprises had thousands of additional devices on their networks and they struggled to figure out what these devices were doing and how these activities impacted organizational risk.

Read More

The New Cybersecurity Technology Reality - the Whole Is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Posted: April 03, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, FireEye, McAfee, Security and Privacy, Security, risk management, endpoint security, Proofpoint, incident detection, incident response, Blue Coat, RSA Security, Anti-malware, incident prevention, APT

I wrote a blog last week about new integrated anti-malware technology in response to Palo Alto Network’s acquisition of Cyvera. In fact, this integrated technology model isn’t limited to anti-malware but is becoming the new reality across the cybersecurity lifecycle of risk management, incident prevention, incident detection, and incident response.

I’m convinced that this is where the market is headed, driven by burgeoning cybersecurity requirements across organizations large and small. Why do I believe this? Well, in a recent ESG research survey, 315 security professionals working at enterprise organizations (i.e., more than 1,000 employees) were asked how their organization’s security strategy would change over the next 24 months. A little under half (44%) of respondents said that their organization would “design and build a more integrated enterprise security architecture,” the highest percentage of all responses. This trend is actually reverberating on the supply side as Blue Coat, Cisco/Sourcefire, FireEye, IBM, McAfee, PAN, and Trend Micro are all engaged in R&D and M&A activities to meet the need for technology integration.

Read More

Enterprise Security Professionals Identify Mobile Computing Security Challenges

Posted: February 12, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Cybersecurity, MDM, Information and Risk Management, mobile, Security and Privacy, Security, cybersecurity skills shortage, endpoint security, Citrix, CyberArk, Courion, Bradford Networks, Fiberlink, android, Good Technology, ForeScout, Airwatch, Blue Coat

Most companies now provide network access and application support for non-PC devices like smartphones and tablets and many are developing new applications and business processes designed specifically for these devices. Business managers look at iPhones, Android devices, and even Windows phones and see opportunities for revenue growth, cost cutting, and improved communication everywhere.

Read More

Enterprise CISO Challenges In 2014

Posted: January 10, 2014   /   By: Jon Oltsik   /   Tags: IBM, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Information and Risk Management, FireEye, HP, Security and Privacy, Security, risk management, Centrify, Malwarebytes, LogRhythm, bromium, 21CT, Leidos, RSA, Invincea, Accenture, ISC8, Blue Coat, CloudPassage, click security, Bit9, CSC, Hexis, HyTrust

I’m sure lots of CISOs spent this week meeting with their teams, reviewing their 2013 performance, and solidifying plans for 2014. Good idea from my perspective. The CISOs I’ve spoken with recently know exactly what they have to do but aren’t nearly as certain about how to do it.

At a high level, here’s what I’m hearing around CISO goals and the associated challenges ahead this year:

  1. Improve risk management. This translates into threat/vulnerability measurement, threat prevention, and ongoing communication with the business mucky mucks. The problem here is that their networks are constantly changing, scans are done on a scheduled rather than real-time basis, and the threat landscape is dangerous, sophisticated, and mysterious.
Read More

Posts by Topic

see all