Incite 9/23/2015: Friday Night Lights

I didn’t get the whole idea of high school football. When I was in high school, I went to a grand total of zero point zero (0.0) games. It would have interfered with the Strat-o-Matic and D&D parties I did with my friends on Friday listening to Rush. Yeah, I’m not kidding about that. A few years ago one of the local high school football teams went to the state championship. I went to a few games with my buddy, who was a fan, even though his kids didn’t go to that school. I thought it was kind of weird, but it was a deep playoff run so I tagged along. It was fun going down to the GA Dome to see the state championship. But it was still weird without a kid in the school.   Then XX1 entered high school this year. And the twins started middle school and XX2 is a cheerleader for the 6th grade football team and the Boy socializes with a lot of the players. Evidently the LAX team and the football team can get along. Then they asked if I would take them to the opener at another local school one Friday night a few weeks ago. We didn’t have plans that night, so I was game. It was a crazy environment. I waited for 20 minutes to get a ticket and squeezed into the visitor’s bleachers. The kids were gone with their friends within a minute of entering the stadium. Evidently parents of tweens and high schoolers are strictly to provide transportation. There will be no hanging out. Thankfully, due to the magic of smartphones, I knew where they were and could communicate when it was time to go. The game was great. Our team pulled it out with a TD pass in the last minute. It would have been even better if we were there to see it. Turns out we had already left because I wanted to beat traffic. Bad move. The next week we went to the home opener and I didn’t make that mistake again. Our team pulled out the win in the last minute again and due to some savvy parking, I was able to exit the parking lot without much fuss. It turns out it’s a social scene. I saw some buddies from my neighborhood and got to check in with them, since I don’t really hang out in the neighborhood much anymore. The kids socialized the entire game. And I finally got it. Sure it’s football (and that’s great), but it’s the community experience. Rooting for the high school team. It’s fun. Do I want to spend every Friday night at a high school game? Uh no. But a couple of times a year it’s fun. And helps pass the time until NFL Sundays. But we’ll get to that in another Incite. –Mike Photo credit: “Punt” originally uploaded by Gerry Dincher Thanks to everyone who contributed to my Team in Training run to support the battle against blood cancers. We’ve raised almost $6000 so far, which is incredible. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. You can read my story in a recent Incite, and then hopefully contribute (tax-deductible) whatever you can afford. Thank you. The fine folks at the RSA Conference posted the talk Jennifer Minella and I did on mindfulness at the 2014 conference. You can check it out on YouTube. Take an hour and check it out. Your emails, alerts and Twitter timeline will be there when you get back. Securosis Firestarter Have you checked out our new video podcast? Rich, Adrian, and Mike get into a Google Hangout and.. hang out. We talk a bit about security as well. We try to keep these to 15 minutes or less, and usually fail. Aug 12 – Karma July 13 – Living with the OPM Hack May 26 – We Don’t Know Sh–. You Don’t Know Sh– May 4 – RSAC wrap-up. Same as it ever was. March 31 – Using RSA March 16 – Cyber Cash Cow March 2 – Cyber vs. Terror (yeah, we went there) February 16 – Cyber!!! February 9 – It’s Not My Fault! January 26 – 2015 Trends January 15 – Toddler December 18 – Predicting the Past November 25 – Numbness October 27 – It’s All in the Cloud October 6 – Hulk Bash September 16 – Apple Pay Heavy Research We are back at work on a variety of blog series, so here is a list of the research currently underway. Remember you can get our Heavy Feed via RSS, with our content in all its unabridged glory. And you can get all our research papers too. Pragmatic Security for Cloud and Hybrid Networks Cloud Networking 101 Introduction Building Security into DevOps Introduction Building a Threat Intelligence Program Gathering TI Introduction Network Security Gateway Evolution Introduction Recently Published Papers EMV Migration and the Changing Payments Landscape Applied Threat Intelligence Endpoint Defense: Essential Practices Cracking the Confusion: Encryption & Tokenization for Data Centers, Servers & Applications Security and Privacy on the Encrypted Network Monitoring the Hybrid Cloud Best Practices for AWS Security Securing Enterprise Applications Secure Agile Development The Future of Security Incite 4 U Monty Python and the Security Grail: Reading Todd Bell’s CSO contribution “How to be a successful CISO without a ‘real’ cybersecurity budget” was enlightening. And by enlightening, I mean WTF? This quite made me shudder: “Over the years, I have learned a very important lesson about cybersecurity; most cybersecurity problems can be solved with architecture changes.” Really? Then he maps out said architecture changes, which involve segmenting every valuable server and using jump boxes for physical separation. And he suggests application layer encryption to protect data at rest. The theory behind the architecture works, but very few can actually implement. I guess this could be done for very specific projects, but across the entire enterprise? Good luck with that. It’s kind of like searching for the Holy Grail. It’s only a flesh wound, I’m sure. Though there is some stuff of value in here. I do agree that fighting the malware game doesn’t make sense and assuming devices are compromised is a good thing. But without a budget, the

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Pragmatic Security for Cloud and Hybrid Networks: Network Security Controls

This is the second post in a new series I’m posting for public feedback, licensed by Algosec. Well, that is if they like it – we are sticking to our Totally Transparent Research policy. I’m also live-writing the content on GitHub if you want to provide any feedback or suggestions. Click here for the first post in the series, and here for post two. Now that we’ve covered the basics of cloud networks, it’s time to focus on the available security controls. Keep in mind that all of this varies between providers and that cloud computing is rapidly evolving and new capabilities are constantly appearing. These fundamentals give you the background to get started, but you will still need to learn the ins and outs of whatever platforms you work with. What Cloud Providers Give You Not to sound like a broken record (those round things your parents listened to… no, not the small shiny ones with lasers), but all providers are different. The following options are relatively common across providers, but not necessarily ubiquitous. Perimeter security is traditional network security that the provider totally manages, invisibly to the customers. Firewalls, IPS, etc. are used to protect the provider’s infrastructure. The customer doesn’t control any of it.PRO: It’s free, effective, and always there. CON: You don’t control any of it, and it’s only useful for stopping background attacks. Security groups – Think of this is a tag you can apply to a network interface/instance (or certain other cloud objects, like a database or load balancer) that applies an associated set of network security rules. Security groups combine the best of network and host firewalls, since you get policies that can follow individual servers (or even network interfaces) like a host firewall but you manage them like a network firewall and protection is applied no matter what is running inside. You get the granularity of a host firewall with the manageability of a network firewall. These are critical to auto scaling – since you are now spreading your assets all over your virtual network – and, because instances appear and disappear on demand, you can’t rely on IP addresses to build your security rules. Here’s an example: You can create a “database” security group that only allows access to one specific database port and only from instances inside a “web server” security group, and only those web servers in that group can talk to the database servers in that group. Unlike a network firewall the database servers can’t talk to each other since they aren’t in the web server group (remember, the rules get applied on a per-server basis, not a subnet, although some providers support both). As new databases pop up, the right security is applied as long as they have the tag. Unlike host firewalls, you don’t need to log into servers to make changes, everything is much easier to manage. Not all providers use this term, but the concept of security rules as a policy set you can apply to instances is relatively consistent.Security groups do vary between providers. Amazon, for example, is default deny and only allows allow rules. Microsoft Azure, however, allows rules that more-closely resemble those of a traditional firewall, with both allow and block options.PRO: It’s free and it works hand in hand with auto scaling and default deny. It’s very granular but also very easy to manage. It’s the core of cloud network security. CON: They are usually allow rules only (you can’t explicitly deny), basic firewalling only and you can’t manage them using tools you are already used to. ACLs (Access Control Lists) – While security groups work on a per instance (or object) level, ACLs restrict communications between subnets in your virtual network. Not all providers offer them and they are more to handle legacy network configurations (when you need a restriction that matches what you might have in your existing data center) than “modern” cloud architectures (which typically ignore or avoid them). In some cases you can use them to get around the limitations of security groups, depending on your provider.PRO: ACLs can isolate traffic between virtual network segments and can create both allow or deny rules CON: They’re not great for auto scaling and don’t apply to specific instances. You also lose some powerful granularity.By default nearly all cloud providers launch your assets with default-deny on all inbound traffic. Some might automatically open a management port from your current location (based on IP address), but that’s about it. Some providers may use the term ACL to describe what we called a security group. Sorry, it’s confusing, but blame the vendors, not your friendly neighborhood analysts. Commercial Options There are a number of add-ons you can buy through your cloud provider, or buy and run yourself. Physical security appliances: The provider will provision an old-school piece of hardware to protect your assets. These are mostly just seen in VLAN-based providers and are considered pretty antiquated. They may also be used in private (on premise) clouds where you control and run the network yourself, which is out of scope for this research.PRO: They’re expensive, but they’re something you are used to managing. They keep your existing vendor happy? Look, it’s really all cons on this one unless you’re a cloud provider and in that case this paper isn’t for you. Virtual appliances are a virtual machine version of your friendly neighborhood security appliance and must be configured and tuned for the cloud platform you are working on. They can provide more advanced security – such as IPS, WAF, NGFW – than the cloud providers typically offer. They’re also useful for capturing network traffic, which providers tend not to support.PRO: They enable more-advanced network security and can manage the same as you do your on-premise versions of the tool. CON: Cost can be a concern, since these use resources like any other virtual server, constrains your architectures and they may not play well with auto scaling and other cloud-native features. Host security agents are software agents you build into your images that run in your

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