Data Security Lifecycle- Technologies, Part 2

In our last post on this topic we covered the technologies that encompass the Create and Store stages of the Data Security Lifecycle. Today we’ll detail out the tools for Use and Share. As a reminder, since we’ll be delving into each technology in more detail down the road, these posts will just give a high-level overview. There are also technologies used for data security, such as data-in-motion encryption and enterprise kay management, that fall outside the lifecycle and will be covered separately. Use Activity Monitoring and Enforcement: Probably one of the most underutilized tools in the security arsenal. Application Activity Monitoring and Enforcement is more than simply collecting audit logs, although it can include that, but uses more advanced techniques to capture all user activity within the application or database context. Database Activity Monitoring: Monitoring all database activity, including all SQL activity. Can be performed through network sniffing of database traffic, agents installed on the server, or via external monitoring, typically of transaction logs. Many tools combine monitoring techniques, and network-only monitoring is not recommended. DAM tools are managed externally to the database to provide separation of duties from database administrators (DBAs). All DBA activity can be monitored without interfering with their ability to perform job functions. Tools can alert on policy violations, and some tools can block certain activity. Application Activity Monitoring: Similar to Database Activity Monitoring, but at the application level. Third-party tools that can integrate with a number of application environments, such as standard web application platforms, SAP, and Oracle, and monitor user activity at the application level. As with DAM, tools can use network monitoring or local agents, and can alert and sometimes block on policy violations. Many Application Activity Monitoring tools are additional products or features from Database Activity Monitoring vendors. Endpoint Activity Monitoring: Watching all user activity on a workstation or server. Includes monitoring of network activity, storage/file system activity, and system interactions like cut and paste, mouse clicks, application launches, etc. Provides deeper monitoring than endpoint DLP/CMF tools that focus only on content that matches policies. Capable of blocking activity- such as launching a P2P application or pasting content from a protected directory into an instant message. Extremely useful for auditing administrator activity on servers. Will eventually integrate with endpoint DLP/CMF. File Activity Monitoring: Monitoring access and use of files in enterprise storage, such as file servers, SAN, and NAS. Gives an enterprise the ability to audit all file access and generate reports (which can sometimes aid compliance reporting). Capable of independently monitoring even administrator access and can alert on policy violations. Portable Device Control: Tools to restrict access to portable storage such as USB drives and DVD burners. Also capable of allowing access but auditing file transfers and sending that information to a central management server. Some tools integrate with encryption to provide dynamic encryption of content passed to portable storage. Will eventually be integrated into endpoint DLP/CMF tools that can make more granular decisions based on the content, rather than blanket policies that apply to all data. Some DLP/CMF tools already include this capability. Endpoint DLP: Endpoint data loss prevention/content monitoring and filtering tools that monitor and restrict usage of data through content analysis and centrally administered policies. While current capabilities vary highly among products, tools should be able to monitor what content is being accessed by an endpoint, any file storage or network transmission of that content, and any transfer of that content between applications (cut/paste). For performance reasons endpoint DLP is currently limited to a subset of enforcement policies (compared to gateway products) and endpoint-only products should be used in conjunction with network protection in most cases. Rights Management: Rights are assigned and implemented in the Create and Store phases, while policies are enforced in the Use phase. Rights are managed by labels, metadata, and tagging- as opposed to more complex logic enforced by logical controls. Label Security: Access to database objects (table, column, row) is enforced based on the user/group and the label. For example, in a healthcare environment employees without manager access can be restricted from seeing the records of famous patients that are labeled as sensitive. Enterprise DRM: Discussed more extensively in Part 1, Enterprise DRM enforces complex use rights based on policies assigned during creation. During the Use phase, EDRM limits the actions a user can perform with a given piece of content (typically a file). For example, the user may be able to add, edit, and delete parts of the document but not cut and paste to another document. A user might be allowed to view the document, but not print it, email it, or store it on a portable device. Logical Controls: Logical controls expand the brute-force restrictions of access controls or EDRM that are based completely on who you are and what you are accessing. Logical controls are implemented in applications and databases and add business logic and context to data usage and protection. While we expect to see logical controls for unstructured content there are currently no technology implementations. Object (Row) Level Security: Creating a rule-set restricting use of a database object based on multiple criteria. For example, limiting a sales executive to only updating account information for accounts assigned to his territory. While you can always do this through queries, triggers, and stored procedures, some database management systems offer it as an enforcement feature applied to the database object, outside of having to manually add it to every query. Today most DBMSs offer this only for rows, but the feature is expected to expand to other database objects. Structural Controls: Taking advantage of database design features to enforce security logic. For example, using the database schema to limit integrity attacks or restricting connection pooling to improve auditability. Application Logic: Enforcing security logic in the application through design, programming, or external enforcement. Today needs to be implemented by the application itself, but over time certain types of logic may be enforced through external services or tools. Application Security: Effective data

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Latest TidBITS Article Posted- Leopard Security

I just posted an explanation of Leopard Security (that’s Mac OS X 10.5 for you non-Apple geeks) up on TidBITS. It’s based on my original blog post here, but expanded and simplified to appeal to a more general audience. I realize I took some liberties with the explanations of buffer overflows, ASLR, vulnerabilities, and exploits, but I had to tailor the content for a less-security-geek audience. Check it out, and feel free to flame me here. I do believe that if everything works as advertised this is a very significant release. There are still some big holes (Quicktime anyone?), but Apple seems to be taking security more seriously than in the past few versions. Share:

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