New White Paper: DAM Software vs. Appliances

I am pleased to announce our Database Activity Monitoring: Software vs. Appliance Tradeoffs research paper. I have been writing about Database Activity Monitoring for a long time, but only been within the last couple years have we seen strong adoption of the technology. While it’s not new to me, it is to most customers! I get many questions about basic setup and administration, and how to go about performing a proof of concept comparison of different technologies. Since wrapping up this research paper a couple weeks ago, I have been told by two separate firms that, “Vendor A says they don’t require agents for their Database Activity Monitoring platform, so we are leaning that way, but we would like your input on these solutions.” Another potential customer wanted to understand how blocking is performed without an in-line proxy. These are exactly the reasons I believe this paper is important, so I’m glad this is clearly the right time to examine the deployment tradeoffs. And yes, these questions are answered in section 4 under Data Collection, along with other common questions. I want to offer a special thanks to Application Security Inc. for sponsoring this research project. Sponsorship like this allows us to publish our research to the public – free of charge. When we first discussed their backing this paper, we discovered we had many similar experiences over the last 5 years, and I think they wanted to sponsor this paper as much as I wanted to write it. I hope you find the information useful! Download the paper here (PDF). Share:

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New White Paper: Understanding and Selecting a File Activity Monitoring Solution

A while back I got the weird idea that Database Activity Monitoring is useful enough that it would make sense to do the same thing for file repositories. I’m not talking about full DLP – but about granular tracking of user access to major file servers and document management solutions. I added “File Activity Monitoring” to the Data Security Lifecycle and figured someone would develop it eventually. And that day is finally here, and the tech is way cooler than I expected – tying in tightly (in most cases) to entitlement management for some nifty real-time security scenarios. This is pretty practical stuff, with uses such as detecting a user snagging an entire directory and catching service accounts poking around inappropriate files. I am excited to launch our white paper on the topic, Understanding and Selecting a File Activity Monitoring Solution. That’s the landing page, or you can download the PDF directly. Special thanks to Imperva for licensing the report, and I hope you like it. Share:

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Incite 6/1/2011: Cherries vs. M&Ms

Queue up the Alice Cooper and get ready. Last Friday was the last day of school for the kids. That means school’s out for summer, and it’s time to get ready for the heat in all its glory. Rich and Adrian live in the desert (literally), so I’m not going to complain about temperatures in the 90s, but thankfully there is no lack of air conditioning and pools to dissipate this global warming thing. There are plenty of things about summer I enjoy, but probably best of all is being able to let my kids be kids. During the school year there is always a homework assignment to finish, skills to drill, and activities to get to. We are always in a rush to get somewhere to do something. But over the summer they can just enjoy the time without the pressure of deadlines. They spend days at camp, then head to the pool, and finish up with a cook-out and/or sleep-over. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s not a bad gig, especially when you factor in the various trips we take over the summer. Not a bad gig at all. But enough about them – one of my favorite aspects of summer is the fruit. I know that sounds strange, but there is nothing like a fresh, cheap melon to nosh on. Or my favorite desert, cherries. Most of the year, the cherries are crap. Not only are they expensive (they need to fly them in from Chile or somewhere like that) – they just don’t taste great. Over the 3-4 months of summer, I can get cherries cheap and tasty. There is nothing like sinking my teeth into a bowl of cherries at the end of a long, sweaty day. Nom. It’s been said that life is like a bowl of cherries. I’ve certainly found that to be the case, and not because some days are the pits. It’s also that some folks always chase the easy path. You know, getting pre-pitted cherries. Or buying one of those pitting devices to remove the pits. In my opinion that basically defeats the purpose. Over the summer I enjoy moving a little more slowly (though not too slowly, Rich, settle down). And that means I like to enjoy my dessert. It’s not like grabbing a handful of M&Ms and inhaling them as quickly as possible to get to the next thing. It’s about taking my time, without anywhere specific to go. Really just taking a step back and enjoying my cherries. Hmmm. If I think a little broader, that’s a pretty good metaphor for everything. We spend most of our lives snacking on M&Ms. Yes, they are sweet and tasty, but ultimately unsatisfying. Unless you are very disciplined, you eat a whole bag quickly with nothing to show for it. Except a few more pounds on your ass. But I’d rather my life be more like a bowl of cherries. I have to work a little harder to get it done and I’ve learned to enjoy each pit for making me slow down. Although in the summer, my dessert takes a bit longer, in the end I can savor each moment. Not a bad gig at all. There is some food for thought. – Mike Photo credits: “Cherry Abduction” originally uploaded by The Rocketeer Incite 4 U Thinking about what “cyberwar” really means: Professor Gene Spafford wrote a pretty compelling and intriguing thought piece over the weekend about cyber war, whatever that means. One of his main points is that our definition is very fuzzy, and we are looking at it from the rear view mirror rather than through the windshield. Many folks joke about the security industry “solving yesterday’s problems tomorrow,” but Gene makes a pretty compelling point that these issues can impact the global standing of the US within a generation. One of Gene’s answers is to start sharing data about every intrusion right now, and I know that would make lots of us data monkeys very happy. There is a lot in this piece to chew on. I suggest you belly up to the table and start chewing. We all have a lot to think about. – MR Battle for the cloud: So you’ve heard of OpenStack, right? That amazing open source cloud alternative that’s going to kick VMware’s ass and finally bring us some portability and interoperability? Well I’ve spent a few weeks working with it, and have to say it’s a loooonnnnng way from being enterprise ready (long in Internet years, which might be a couple weeks for all I know). It’s rough around the edges, relies too much on VLANs for my taste, and the documentation is crap. On the other hand… it’s insanely cool once you get it working, and the base architecture looks solid. And heck, Citrix is going to use it for their cloud offering, and has already contributed code to support VMware’s hypervisor. Kyle Hilgendorf has a good post over on his Gartner blog about the battle for enterprise cloud dominance. Like Kyle, I’m “optimistically skeptical”, but I do think Citrix has way too much at stake to not offer a viable and compatible alternative to VMWare. – RM Payment pirates: A popular refrain from CEOs I have worked for was they did not want to spend money on training because employees would just leave and take new knowledge with them. They know they don’t own what’s in their employee’s brains, so they view educational investment as risky. Gunnar Peterson pointed out last week that it could be worse – you could not train employees, and have them stay! There is no loyalty between businesses and their employees. Companies replace employees like they were changing a car’s oil filter, paying for new skill sets because they prefer to or because they can’t retain good people. Employees are always looking for a better opportunity, taking their skills to another firm when they feel they can do better. That’s the modern reality. Last time

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