White Paper Released: Endpoint Security Fundamentals

Endpoint Security is a pretty broad topic. Most folks associate it with traditional anti-virus or even the newfangled endpoint security suites. In our opinion, looking at the issue just from the perspective of the endpoint agent is myopic. To us, endpoint security is as much a program as anything else. In this paper we discuss endpoint security from a fundamental blocking and tackling perspective. We start with identifying the exposures and prioritizing remediation, then discuss specific security controls (both process and product), and also cover the compliance and incident response aspects. It’s a pretty comprehensive paper, which means it’s not short. But if you are trying to understand how to comprehensively protect your endpoint devices, this paper will provide a great perspective and allow you to put all your defenses into context. We assembled this document from the Endpoint Security Fundamentals series posted to the blog in early April, all compiled together, professionally edited, and prettified. Special thanks to Lumension Security for licensing the report. You can download the paper directly (PDF), or visit the landing page, where you can leave comments or criticism, and track revisions. Share:

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The Public/Private Pendulum Keeps Swinging

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, and I guess for some folks it is. Most private companies (those which believe they have sustainable businesses, anyway) long for the day when they will be able to trade on the public markets. They know where the Ferrari deal is, and seem to dismiss the angst of Sarbanes-Oxley. On the other hand, most public companies would love the freedom of not having to deal with the quarterly spin cycle and those pesky shareholders who want growth now. Two examples in the security space show the pendulum in action this week. First is Tripwire’s IPO filing. I love S-1 filings because companies must bare their innards to sell shares to public investors. You get to see all sorts of good stuff, like the fact that Tripwire has grown their business 20-30% annually over the past few years. They’ve been cash flow positive for 6 years, and profitable for the last two (2008 & 2009), although they did show a small loss for Q1 2010. Given the very small number of security IPOs over the past few years, it’s nice to see a company with the right financial momentum to get an IPO done. But as everyone who’s worked for a public company knows, it’s really about growth – profitable growth. Does 20-30% growth on a fairly small revenue base ($74 million in 2009) make for a compelling growth story? And more importantly for company analysis, what is the catalyst to increase that growth rate? In the S-1, Tripwire talks about expanding product offerings, growing their customer base, selling more stuff to existing customers, international growth, government growth, and selective M&A as drivers to increase the top line. Ho-hum. From my standpoint, I don’t see anything that gets the company from 20% growth to 50% growth. But that’s just me, and I’m not a stock analyst. Being publicly listed will enable Tripwire to do deals. They did a small deal last year to acquire SIEM/Log Management technology, but in order to grow faster they need to make some bolder acquisitions. That’s been an issue with the other public security companies that are not Symantec and McAfee – they don’t do enough deals to goose growth enough to make the stock interesting. With Tripwire’s 5,400 customers, you’d figure they’ll make M&A and pumping more stuff into their existing base a key priority once they get the IPO done. On the other side of the fence, you have SonicWall, which is being taken private by Thoma Bravo Group and a Canadian pension fund. The price is $717 million, about a 28% premium. SonicWall has been public for a long time and has struggled of late. Momentum seems to be returning, but it’s not going to be a high flyer any time soon. So the idea of becoming private, where they only have to answer to their equity holders, is probably attractive. This is more important in light of SonicWall’s new push into the enterprise. They are putting a good deal of wood behind this Project SuperMassive technology architecture, but breaking into the enterprise isn’t a one-quarter project. It requires continual investment, and public company shareholders are notoriously impatient. SonicWall was subject to all sorts of acquisition rumors before this deal, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thoma Bravo start folding other security assets in with SonicWall to make a subsequent public offering, a few years down the line, more exciting. So the pendulum swings back and forth again. You don’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent to figure there will be more deals, with the big getting bigger via consolidation and technology acquisitions. You’ll also likely see some of the smaller public companies take the path of SafeNet, WatchGuard, Entrust, Aladdin, and now SonicWall, in being taken private. The only thing you won’t see is nothing. The investment bankers have to keep busy, don’t they? Share:

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Friday Summary: June 4, 2010

There’s nothing like a crisis to bring out the absolute stupidity in a person… especially if said individual works for a big company or government agency. This week alone we’ve had everything from the ongoing BP disaster (the one that really scares me) to the Israeli meltdown. And I’m sure Sarah Palin is in the mix there someplace. Crisis communications is an actual field of study, with many examples of how to manage your public image even in the midst of a major meltdown. Heck, I’ve been trained on it as part of my disaster response work. But it seems that everyone from BP to Gizmodo to Facebook is reading the same (wrong) book: Deny that there’s a problem. When the first pictures and videos show up, state that there was a minor incident and you value your customers/the environment/the law/supporters/babies. Quietly go to full lockdown and try to get government/law enforcement to keep people from finding out more. When your lockdown attempts fail, go public and deny there was ever a coverup. When pictures/video/news reports show everyone that this is a big fracking disaster, state that although the incident is larger than originally believed, everything is under control. Launch an advertising campaign with a lot of flowers, babies, old people, and kittens. And maybe some old black and white pictures with farms, garages, or ancestors who would be the first to string you up for those immoral acts. Get caught on tape or in an email/text blaming the kittens. Try to cover up all the documentation of failed audits and/or lies about security and/or safety controls. State that you are in full compliance with the law and take safety/security/fidelity/privacy/kittens very seriously. As the incident blows completely out of control, reassure people that you are fully in control. Get caught saying in private that you don’t understand what the big deal is. It isn’t as if people really need kittens. Blame the opposing party/environmentalists/puppies/you business partners. Lie about a bunch of crap that is really easy to catch. Deny lying, and ignore those pesky videos showing you are (still) lying. State that your statements were taken out of context. When asked about the context, lie. Apologize. Say it will never happen again, and that you would take full responsibility, except your lawyers told you not to. Repeat. On to the Summary: Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences Mike Rothman on Tabnapping at SC Magazine. The Network Security Podcast, Episode 199. Rich presented on Data Breaches for; it should show up on their archive page soon. Favorite Securosis Posts Rich: NSO Quant: Monitor Process Map. These Quant projects keep getting bigger each time we do one, but it’s nice to do some real primary research. Adrian Lane: The Hidden Costs of Security. Mike Rothman: Understanding and Selecting SIEM/LM: Correlation and Alerting. We are working through the SIEM/Log Management research. Check it out and provide comments, whether you agree or disagree with our perspectives. Other Securosis Posts The Public/Private Pendulum Keeps Swinging. White Paper Released: Endpoint Security Fundamentals. Thoughts on Privacy and Security. Incite 6/2/2010: Smuggler’s Blues. On “Security engineering: broken promises”. FireStarter: In Search of… Solutions. Favorite Outside Posts Rich: Inside the heart of a QSA. As much as we complain about bad PCI assessors are, the good ones often find themselves struggling with organizations that only want a rubber stamp. The bad news is there are very few jobs that don’t end up being driven by rote over time. That’s why I like security – it is one of the few careers with options to refresh yourself every few years.. Pepper: Android rootkit is just a phone call away. It’s actually triggered by a call, not installed by one, but still very cool – in a bad way. Adrian Lane: Detecting malicious content in shell code. Mike Rothman: Windows, Mac, or Linux: It’s Not the OS, It’s the User The weakest link in the chain remains the user. But we can’t kill them, so we need to deal with them. Project Quant Posts DB Quant: Secure Metrics, Part 1, Patch. NSO Quant: Monitor Process Map. DB Quant: Discovery Metrics, Part 4, Access and Authorization. DB Quant: Discovery and Assessment Metrics, Part 3, Assess Vulnerabilities and Configuration. Research Reports and Presentations White Paper: Endpoint Security Fundamentals. Understanding and Selecting a Database Encryption or Tokenization Solution. Low Hanging Fruit: Quick Wins with Data Loss Prevention. Top News and Posts MS plans 10 new patches. Sharepoint and IE are the big ones. Cyber Thieves Rob Treasury Credit Union. Ukrainian arrested in India on TJX data-theft charges These incidents go on for years, rather than days or even months. iPhone PIN code worthless Rich published on this a long time ago, and while it was a known flaw, the automounting on Ubuntu is new and disturbing. Previously it looked like you had to jailbreak the iPhone first. Viral clickjacking ‘Like’ worm hits Facebook users. ATM Skimmers. Another installment from Brian Krebs on ATM Skimmers. 30 vs. 150,000 Adam teaches Applied Risk Assessment 101. Trojan targets Anti-Phish software. Blog Comment of the Week Remember, for every comment selected, Securosis makes a $25 donation to Hackers for Charity. This week’s best comment goes to Michael O’Keefe, in response to Code Re-engineering. Re-engineering can work, Spolsky inadvertently provides a great example of that, and proves himself wrong. I guess that’s the downside to blogs, and trying to paint things in a black or white manner. He had some good points, one was that when Netscape open sourced the code, it wasn’t working, so the project got off to a slow start. But the success of Mozilla (complete rewrite of Netscape) has since proved him wrong. Once Bill Gates realized the importance of the internet, and licensed the code from Spyglass (I think) for IE, MS started including it on every new release of Windows. In this typical fashion, they slowly whittled away at Netscape’s market share, so Netscape had to innovate. The existing code base was

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