Summary: I Am Now a Security Risk

Rich here, Yep, it looks very likely my personal data is now in the hands of China, or someone pretending to be China, or someone who wants it to look like China. While I can’t go into details, as many of you know I’ve done things with the federal government related to my rescue work. It isn’t secret or anything, but I never feel comfortable talking specifics because it’s part-time and I’m not authorized to represent any agency. I haven’t been directly notified, but I have to assume that any of my records OPM had, someone… else… has. To be honest, based on what details have come out, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t multiple someone elses – this level of nation-state espionage certainly isn’t limited to any one country. Now, on the upside, if I lose my SSN, I have it backed up overseas. Heck, I’m really bad at keeping copies of all my forms, which I seem to have to resubmit every few years, so hopefully whoever took them will set up a help desk I can call to request copies. I’d pay not to have to redo that stuff all over. Like many of you, my data has been breached multiple times. The worst so far was the student health service at the University of Colorado, because I know my SSN and student medical records were in that one (mostly sprained ankles and a bad knee, if you were wondering – nothing exciting). That one didn’t seem to go anywhere but the OPM breach is more serious. There is a lot more info than my SSN in there, Including things like my mother’s maiden name. This will hang over my head for the rest of my life. Long beyond the 18 months of credit monitoring I may or may not receive. I’m not worried about a foreign nation mucking with my credit, but they may well have enough to compromise my credentials for a host of services. Not by phishing me, but by walking up the long chain of identity and interconnected services until they can line up the one they want. I am now officially a security risk for any organization I work with. Even mine. And now on to the Summary… We are deep into the summer, with large amounts of personal and professional travel, so this week’s will be a little short – and you probably already noticed we’ve been a bit inconsistent. Hey, we have lives, ya know! Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences Rich’s webinar for Adallom on managing SaaS There might be more, but GoGo on this flight is terrible, and I can’t perform a news search. Securosis Posts My 2015 Personal Security Guiding Principles and the New Rand Report. Incite 6/10/2015: Twenty Five. Threat Detection Evolution: Why Evolve? [New Series]. Contribute to the Cloud Security Alliance Guidance: Community Drives, Securosis Writes. Network Security Gateway Evolution [New Series]. We Don’t Know Sh–. You Don’t Know Sh–.. Research Reports and Presentations Endpoint Defense: Essential Practices. Cracking the Confusion: Encryption and Tokenization for Data Centers, Servers, and Applications. Security and Privacy on the Encrypted Network. Monitoring the Hybrid Cloud: Evolving to the CloudSOC. Security Best Practices for Amazon Web Services. Securing Enterprise Applications. Secure Agile Development. Trends in Data Centric Security White Paper. Leveraging Threat Intelligence in Incident Response/Management. Pragmatic WAF Management: Giving Web Apps a Fighting Chance. Top News and Posts Major zero-day security flaws in iOS & OS X allow theft of both Keychain and app passwords Hard to Sprint When You Have Two Broken Legs Second OPM Hack Revealed: Even Worse Than The First Report: Hack of government employee records discovered by product demo How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze Stepson of Stuxnet stalked Kaspersky for months, tapped Iran nuke talks Courts docs show how Google slices users into “millions of buckets” Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn’t Wipe Storage Share:

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Threat Detection Evolution: Data Collection

The first post in this series set the stage for the evolution of threat detection. Now that we’ve made the case for why detection must evolve, let’s work through the mechanics of what that actually means. It comes down to two functions: security data collection, and analytics of the collected data. First we’ll go through what data is helpful and where it should come from. Threat detection requires two main types of security data. The first is internal data, security data collected from your devices and other assets within your control. It’s the stuff the PCI-DSS has been telling you to collect for years. Second is external data, more commonly known as threat intelligence. But here’s the rub: there is no useful intelligence in external threat data without context for how that data relates to your organization. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. We need to understand what security data we have before worrying about external data. Internal Data You’ve likely heard a lot about continuous monitoring because it is such a shiny and attractive term to security types. The problem we described in Vulnerability Management Evolution is that ‘continuous’ can have a bunch of different definitions, depending on who you are talking to. We have a rather constructionist view (meaning, look at the dictionary) and figure the term means “without cessation.” But in many cases, monitoring assets continually doesn’t really add much value over regular and reliable daily monitoring. So we prefer consistent monitoring of internal resources. That may mean truly continuous, for high-profiles asset at great risk of compromise. Or possibly every week for devices/servers that don’t change much and don’t access high-value data. But the key here is to be consistent about when you collect data from resources, and to ensure the data is reliable. There are many data sources you might collect from for detection, including: Logs: The good news is that pretty much all your technology assets generate logs in some way, shape, or form. Whether it’s a security or network device, a server, an endpoint, or even mobile. Odds are you can’t manage to collect data from everything, so you’ll need to choose which devices to monitor, but pretty much all devices generate log data. Vulnerability Data: When trying to detect a potential issue, knowing which devices are vulnerable to what can be important for narrowing down your search. If you know a certain attack targets a certain vulnerability, and you only have a handful of devices that haven’t been patched to address the vulnerability, you know where to look. Configuration Data: Configuration data yields similar information to vulnerability data for providing context to understand whether a device could be exploited by a specific attack. File Integrity: File integrity monitoring provides important information for figuring out which key files have changed. If a system file has been tampered with outside of an authorized change, it may indicate nefarious activity and should be checked out. Network Flows: Network flow data can identify patterns of typical (normal) network activity; which enables you to look for patterns which aren’t exactly normal and could represent reconnaissance, lateral movement, or even exfiltration. Once you decide what data to collect, you have figure out from where and how much. This involves selecting logical collection points and where to aggregate the data. This depends on the architecture of your technology stack. Many organization opt for a centralized aggregation point to facilitate end-to-end analysis, but that is contingent on the size of the organization. Large enterprises may not be able to handle the scale of collecting everything in one place, and should consider some kind of hierarchical collection/aggregation strategy where data is stored and analyzed locally, and then a subset of the data is sent upstream for central analysis. Finally, we need to mention the role of the cloud in collection and aggregation, because almost everything is being offered either in the cloud or as a Service nowadays. The reality is that cloud-based aggregation and analysis depend on a few things. The first is the amount of data. Moving logs or flow records is not a big deal because they are pretty small and highly compressible. Moving network packets is a much larger endeavor, and hard to shift to a cloud-based service. The other key determinant is data sensitivity – some organizations are not comfortable with their key security data outside their control in someone else’s data center/service. That’s an organizational and cultural issue, but we’ve seen a much greater level of comfort with cloud-based log aggregation over the past year, and expect it to become far more commonplace inside a 2-year planning horizon. The other key aspect of internal data collection is integration and normalization of the data. Different data sources have different data formats, which creates a need to normalize data to compare datasets. That involves compromise in terms of granularity of common data formats, and can favor an integrated approach where all data sources are already integrated into a common security data store. Then you (as the practitioner) don’t really need to worry about making all those compromises – instead you can bet that your vendor or service provider has already done the work. Also consider the availability of resources for dealing with these disparate data sources. The key issue, mentioned in the last post, remains the skills shortage; so starting a data aggregation/collection effort that depends on skilled resources to manage normalization and integration of data may not be the best idea. This doesn’t really have much to do with the size of the organization – it’s really about the sophistication of staff – security data integration is an advanced function that can be beyond even large organizations with less mature security efforts. Ultimately your goal is visibility into your entire technology infrastructure. An end-to-end view of what’s happening in your environment, wherever your data is, gives you a basis for evolving your detection capabilities. External Data We have published a lot of research on threat intel to date, most recently a series on Applied Threat Intelligence, which summarized the three main use cases we see for external data. There

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