Securosis Now Protected With Quantum Cryptography

October 12, 2007, Phoenix, AZ Securosis, the world’s leading security blog, is proud to announce that it is now being protected by quantum cryptography. “After reading about Swiss officials using quantum cryptography to protect ballot results entered by hand we realized that this advanced technology is now ready for mainstream adoption,” stated Rich Mogull, Founder, CEO, and fun-guy-but-not-that-kind-of-fun-guy. “We feel that quantum cryptography is the ultimate data protection technology and the best way to assure that our blog posts are not tampered with until we post them on our remotely hosted WordPress blog.” Securosis has installed a fiber optic connection between their authoring system and posting system to support the new security program. Although posts were previously authored and posted using the same MacBook Pro, a second machine was needed to create the fiber connection required for the quantum cryptography. The two systems are located on the same desk with the fiber connection completely visible. The fiber line is under constant observation using video surveillance to further hamper tampering, but the recordings aren’t reviewed to avoid quantum effects such as the observed systems switching places or becoming “strangely attracted”. “We can now be assured that our posts maintain both their confidentiality and integrity during the development process, until they are posted unencrypted over the public Internet. We felt this was a far better investment than renewing our expired SSL certificate.” Securosis evaluated a number of competing technologies, including checksums, hashes, and TLS, but concluded that quantum cryptography was superior because it used the word “quantum”. “History has shown, as documented in Star Trek, that anything quantum has to be better. It’s a totally cool word and scientists are really into it, so it has to be more secure.” Share:

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Securosis Announces Increase In Cybercrime

October 12, 2007, Phoenix, AZ Securosis, L.L.C., the world’s leading provider of security consulting services, announces that cybercrime has reached record levels since the dawn of history. “Cybercrime continues to increase at a staggering rate,” says Rich Mogull, Founder, CEO, Jedi, and part-time neurosurgeon. “Losses are higher this year than at any time in history. We highly advise companies to immediately engage with us at non-discounted rates to assure they are protecting their children and stopping terrorism.” About Securosis Securosis, L.L.C. is the world’s leading provider of IT security consulting services and impractical security dribble. Securosis’ customers include all of the Fortune 1000, most major governments, and a few minor religious institutions. Securosis helps customers achieve compliance with all international laws and defend themselves from all known zero-day attacks while leveraging synergies through thought leadership. We’re really smart- give us money or we’ll scare your grandma. Share:

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Symantec to Acquire Vontu (According To InfoWorld)

Remember this post? If InfoWorld is accurate, Symantec will announce next week that they are acquiring Vontu. This would be consistent with the industry rumors that inspired my earlier post. I have no inside knowledge of this deal. The article states: Security software giant Symantec is preparing to announce an acquisition of Vontu, one the largest remaining independent providers of data leakage prevention software, which is used to control the flow of sensitive information across corporate networks. Multiple industry sources have confirmed to InfoWorld that Symantec will soon announce a buyout of Vontu, perhaps as early as next week, which will significantly further the trend of consolidation that has played-out in the red-hot DLP (data leakage prevention) space over the last year. … Sources said that the proposed deal will have Symantec paying $300-$350 million for privately-held Vontu, whose revenues are estimated at roughly $30 million per year by some industry analysts. Symantec and Vontu representatives declined to comment on the reported acquisition. This is a far more significant deal than McAfee’s acquisition of Onigma. Between Symantec, Websense, and EMC/RSA I think McAfee is now in the weakest position for DLP among the larger vendors. Since it’s late on a Friday, and the deal isn’t confirmed yet, I’ll save full analysis for next week. I think this is positive for Vontu and I hope that Symantec keeps them as independent as possible internally, similar to the Brightmail acquisition, and in opposition to most of their buys. It’s also positive for the remaining independent DLP players, especially Reconnex and Vericept. More next week… Share:

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Understanding And Selecting A Database Activity Monitoring Solution: Part 1, Introduction

Database Activity Monitoring may not carry the same burden of hype as Data Loss Prevention, but it is one of the most significant data and application security tools on the market. With an estimated market size of $40M last year, and predictions of $60M to $80M this year, it rivals DLP in spending. Database Activity Monitoring also carries the best DAM acronym in the industry Sorry, couldn’t help myself. DAM is an adolescent technology with significant security and compliance benefits. The market is currently dominated by startups but we’ve seen large vendors starting to enter the space, although products are not currently as competitive as those from smaller vendors. Database Activity Monitoring tools are also sometimes called Database Auditing and Compliance, or various versions of Database Security. There’s a reason I’ve picked DAM as the second technology in my Understanding and Selecting series. I believe that DLP and DAM form the lynchpins of two major evolving data security stacks. DLP, as it migrates to CMF and CMP, will be the center of the content security stack; focused on classifying and protecting structured and unstructured content as it’s created and used. It’s more focused on protecting data after it’s moved outside of databases and major enterprise applications. DAM will combine with application firewalls as the center of the applications and database security stack, providing activity monitoring and enforcement within databases and applications. One protects content in a structured application and database stack (DAM) and the other protects data as it moves out of this context onto workstations and storage, into documents, and into communications channels (CMP). Defining DAM Database Activity Monitors capture and record, at a minimum, all Structured Query Language (SQL) activity in real time or near real time, including database administrator activity, across multiple database platforms, and can generate alerts on policy violations. While a number of tools can monitor various level of database activity, Database Activity Monitors are distinguished by five features: The ability to independently monitor and audit all database activity, including administrator activity and SELECT transactions. Tools can record all SQL transactions: DML, DDL, DCL, (and sometimes TCL) activity. The ability to store this activity securely outside of the database. The ability to aggregate and correlate activity from multiple, heterogeneous Database Management Systems (DBMS). Tools can work with multiple DBMS (e.g., Oracle, Microsoft, IBM) and normalize transactions from different DBMS despite differences in their flavors of SQL. The ability to enforce separation of duties on database administrators. Auditing activity must include monitoring of DBA activity, and solutions should prevent DBA manipulation of and tampering with logs and activity records. The ability to generate alerts on policy violations. Tools don’t just record activity, they provide real-time monitoring and rule-based alerting. For example, you might create a rule that generates an alert every time a DBA performs a SELECT query on a credit card column that returns more than 5 results. Other tools provide some level of database monitoring, including Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), log management, and database management, but DAM products are distinguished by their ability to capture and parse all SQL in real time or near real time and monitor DBA activity. Depending on the underlying platform, a key benefit of most DAM tools is the ability to perform this auditing without relying on local database logging, which often comes with a large performance cost. All the major tools also offer other features beyond simple monitoring and alerting, ranging from vulnerability assessment to change management. Market Drivers DAM tools are extremely flexible and often deployed for what may appear to be totally unrelated reasons. Deployments are typically driven by one of three drivers: Auditing for compliance. One of the biggest boosts to the DAM market has been increasing auditor requirements to record database activity for SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) compliance. Some enterprises are required to record all database activity for SOX, and DAM tools can do this with less overhead than alternative approaches. As a compensating control for compliance. We are seeing greater use of DAM tools as a compensating control to meet compliance requirements even though database auditing itself isn’t the specified control. The most common example is using DAM as an alternative to encrypting credit card numbers for PCI compliance. As a security control. DAM tools offer significant security benefits and can sometimes even be deployed in a blocking mode. They are particularly helpful in detecting and preventing data breaches for web facing databases and applications, or to protect sensitive internal databases through detection of unusual activity. DAM tools are also beginning to expand into other areas of database and application security, as we’ll cover in a future post. Today, SOX compliance is the single biggest market driver, followed by PCI. Despite impressive capabilities, internally-driven security projects are a distant third motivation for DAM deployments. Use Cases Since Database Activity Monitoring is so versatile, here are a few examples of how it can be used: To enforce separation of duties on database administrators for SOX compliance by monitoring all their activity and generating SOX-specific reports for audits. If an application typically queries a database for credit card numbers, a DAM tool can generate an alert if the application requests more card numbers than a defined threshold (often a threshold of “1”). This can indicate that the application has been compromised via SQL injection or some other attack. To ensure that a service account only accesses a database from a defined source IP, and only runs a narrow range of pre-approved queries. This can alert on compromise of a service either a) from the system that normally uses it, or b) if the account credentials are stolen and used from another system. For PCI compliance you can encrypt the database files or media where they’re stored, then use DAM to audit and alert on access to the credit card field. The encryption protects against physical theft, while the DAM protects against insider abuse and certain forms of external attack. As a change and configuration management

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