Incident Response Fundamentals: Incident Command Principles

By Rich
I know what you’re thinking to yourself right now: “They promised me a cool series of posts on the cutting edge of incident response, and now we’re talking management principles and boxes on an org chart? What a rip.” But believe it or not, the most important aspect of incident response is the right organization, followed by the right process. How do I know this? Because I’ve been through a ton of incident response training with local and federal agencies, and have directly responded to everything from single-rescuer ski accidents to Hurricane Katrina. (And a few IT

NSO Quant: The Report and Metrics Model

By Mike Rothman
It has been a long slog, but the final report on the Network Security Operations (NSO) Quant research project has been published. We are also releasing the raw data we collected in the survey at this point. The main report includes: Background material, assumptions, and research process overview Complete process framework for Monitoring (firewalls, IDS/IPS, & servers) Complete process framework for Managing (firewalls & IDS/IPS) Complete process framework for maintaining Device Health The detailed metrics which correlate with each process framework Identification of key metrics How to use the model Additionally, you can download and play around with

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about DLP

By Rich
Way back when I converted Securosis from a blog into a company, my very first paper was (no surprise) Understanding and Selecting a DLP Solution. Three or so years later I worried it was getting a little long in the tooth, even though the content was all still pretty accurate. So, as you may have noticed from recent posts, I decided to update and expand the content for a new version of the paper. Version 1.0 is still downloaded on pretty much a daily basis (actually, sometimes a few hundred times a month). The biggest areas of expansion were a revamped

Can we ever break IT?

By Mike Rothman
I was reading one of RSnake’s posts on how our security devolves to the lowest common denominator because we can’t break IT – which means we can’t make changes to systems, applications, and endpoints in order to protect them. He was talking specifically about the browser, but it got me thinking a bit bigger: when/if it’s OK to break IT. To clarify, by breaking IT, I mean changing the user experience adversely in some way to more effectively protect critical data/information. I’ll get back to a concept I’ve been harping on the last

Friday Summary: October 22, 2010

By Adrian Lane
Facebook is for old people. Facebook will ultimately make us more secure. I have learned these two important lessons over the last few weeks. Saying Facebook is for old people is not like saying it’s dead – far from it. But every time I talk computers with people 10-15 years older than me, all they do is talk about Facebook. They love it! They can’t believe they found high school acquaintances they have not seen for 30+ years. They love the convenience of keeping tabs on family and friends from their Facebook page. They are amazed to find relatives who

Incident Response Fundamentals: Data Collection/Monitoring Infrastructure

By Mike Rothman
In Incident Response Fundamentals: Introduction we talked about the philosophical underpinnings of our approach and how you need to look at stuff before, during, and after an attack. Regardless of where in the attack lifecycle you end up, there is a common requirement: for data. As we mentioned, you only get one opportunity to capture the data, and then it’s gone. So in order to react faster and better in your environment, you will need lots of data. So how and where do you collect it? In theory, we say get everything you can and worry about how useful

White Paper Goodness: Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall

By Mike Rothman
What? A research report on enterprise firewalls. Really? Most folks figure firewalls have evolved about as much over the last 5 years as ant traps. They’re wrong, of course, but people think of firewalls as old, static, and generally uninteresting. But this is unfounded. Firewalls continue to evolve, and their new capabilities can and should impact your perimeter architecture and firewall selection process. That doesn’t mean we will be advocating yet another rip and replace job at the perimeter (sorry, vendors), but there are definitely new capabilities that warrant consideration – especially as the maintenance renewals on your existing gear

Incite 10/20/2010: The Wrongness of Being Right

By Mike Rothman
One of my favorite sayings is “Don’t ask the question if you don’t want the answer.” Of course, when I say answer, what I really mean is opinion. It makes no difference what we are talking about, I probably have an opinion. In fact, a big part of my job is to have opinions and share them with however will listen (and even some who won’t). But to have opinions means you need to judge. I like to think I have a finely tuned bullshit detector. I’ve been having vendors lie to me since I got

Vaults within Vaults

By Mike Rothman
My session for the Atlanta BSides conference was about what I expected in 2011. I might as well have thrown a dart at the wall. But the exercise got me thinking about the newest attacks (like Stuxnet) and the realization of how state-sponsored attackers have penetrated our networks with impunity. Clearly we have to shake up the status quo in order to keep up. This is a point I hit on in last week’s Incite, when discussing Greg Shipley’s post on being outgunned. Obviously what we are doing now isn’t working, and if anything the likelihood of traditional

Incident Response Fundamentals: Introduction

By Mike Rothman
Over the past year, as an industry we have come to realize that we are dealing with different adversaries using different attack techniques with different goals. Yes, the folks looking for financial gain by compromising devices are still out there. But add a well-funded, potentially state-sponsored, persistent and patient adversary to the mix, and we need to draw a new conclusion. Basically, we now must assume our networks and systems are compromised. That is a tough realization, but any other conclusion doesn’t really jive with reality, or at least the reality of everyone we talk to. For a number
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