Enterprise Organizations Need Formal Incident Response Programs

I spent the early part of my IT career in the storage industry, mostly with EMC Corporation. Back then, large storage subsystems were equated with IBM mainframe computers, with a heavy emphasis on the financial services market.

Topics: Information Security IBM Data Protection Information and Risk Management HP Security and Privacy incident response SunGard E&Y Booz Allen Accenture

The Emerging Cybersecurity Software Architecture

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.

Topics: 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

New Year’s Forecast for the Information Security Industry: Part 1

I hope my cybersecurity colleagues enjoyed their holiday these past few weeks. It was surely well deserved as the year 2013 will be remembered as a whirlwind of activity featuring successful IPOs and scary security incidents. Given this, it’s likely that security professionals spent the last few weeks with one eye on family and holidays and another on emerging details about the massive breach at Target.

So what’s in store for the information security industry in 2014? On the surface, it should be a happy new year across the board for security technology vendors, MSSPs, and professional service firms. That said, there is a lot of work ahead as enterprise organizations figure out how to transform an army of point tools and manual processes into a cohesive security strategy.

Topics: IBM Apple Network Security Cybersecurity Check Point Fortinet Cisco Information and Risk Management FireEye HP Dell McAfee Security and Privacy Security Juniper Networks Lockheed Martin E&Y Leidos Booz Allen Accenture Blue Coat ARM CSC Intel NIST

Strong opportunities and some challenges for big data security analytics in 2014

My friends on Wall Street and Sand Hill Road will likely place a number of bets on big data security analytics in 2014. Good strategy as this market category should get loads of hype and visibility while vendor sales managers build a very healthy sales pipelines by March.

Topics: IBM Hadoop Information and Risk Management HP McAfee Security and Privacy Security big data security analytics SIEM Raytheon Narus 21CT Leidos Booz Allen RSA Cassandra netSkope click security Anti-malware Hexis

Why Aren’t We Questioning the Effectiveness of the NSA Program?

Full disclosure, I am extremely uncomfortable with the intrusive intelligence programs going on at NSA. If it weren’t for Edward Snowden and Mark Klein (former AT&T technician) we wouldn’t know about NSA activities on telephony and data networks. It makes you wonder what additional data the NSA is collecting that we don’t know about.

Beyond the privacy issue however, there are a few other fundamental questions here and I don’t hear anyone asking them. Allow me to chime in:

  1. How effective are these programs? PRISM is just one of several programs based upon data collection and mining. We’ve heard rhetoric about how these programs have protected us by detecting and preventing terrorist attacks but no one has provided any detail. Yeah, I know this is classified information but this means that we U.S. Citizens have to take the government’s word for it which has proved to be a fool’s choice in the past. We do know that in spite of these massive programs, the intelligence community missed the underwear bomber (spelling error in database), the Time Square bomber, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Given these “swings and misses,” how often did the intelligence community deliver base hits?
  2. How much does it cost? The NSA budget is classified but you've got to figure that the U.S. is spending multiple billions of dollars on data collection, storage, and mining. Heck, the NSA is building a $1.2 billion data center in Utah, capable of holding yottabytes of data. Big dollars for government integrators but is this investment really worth it in an era of budget deficits and bridges falling apart? Without an answer to question #1, we can’t understand whether we are throwing good money after bad to keep K Street lobbyists and “Beltway Bandits” fat and happy.
  3. How secure are these programs? In my mind, Booz Allen has a bit more explaining to do. How was Edward Snowden, a new employee, able to walk out the door with classified data so easily? At a higher level, how many others working at L3, CACI, and SAIC could expose similar data to the press or sell it to Iran, North Korea, or other nations? A disgruntled worker could make the damage caused by Bradley Manning look like nothing.
Topics: Information and Risk Management Security and Privacy Security Booz Allen saic nsa cybercrime Edward Snowden