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New Release: Data Encryption 101 for PCI

By Adrian Lane
We are happy to announce the availability of Data Encryption 101: A Pragmatic Approach to PCI Compliance. It struck Rich and myself that data storage is a central topic for PCI compliance which has not gotten a lot of coverage. The security community spends a lot of time discussing the merits of end-to-end encryption, tokenization, and other topics, but meat and potatoes stuff like encryption for data storage is hardly ever mentioned. We feel there is enough ambiguity in the standard to warrant deeper inspection into what merchants are doing to meet the PCI DSS requirements. For those of you who

Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall: Technical Architecture, Part 1

By Mike Rothman
In the first part of our series on Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall, we talked mostly about use cases and new requirements (Introduction, Application Awareness Part 1, and Part 2) driving a fundamental re-architecting of the perimeter gateway. Now we need to dig into the technical goodies that enable this enhanced functionality and that’s what the next two posts are about. We aren’t going to rehash the history of the firewall – that’s what Wikipedia is for. Suffice it to say the firewall started with application proxies, which led to stateful inspection, which was supplemented with deep packet inspection.

FireStarter: Market for Lemons

By Adrian Lane
During BlackHat I proctored a session on “Optimizing the Security Researcher and CSO relationship. From the title and outline most of us assumed that this presentation would get us away from the “responsible disclosure” quagmire by focusing on the views of the customer. Most of the audience was IT practitioners, and most were interested in ways research findings might help the end customer, rather than giving them another mess to clean up while exploit code runs rampant. Or just as importantly, which threat is hype, and which threat is serious. Unfortunately this was not to be. The panel got (once

Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall: Application Awareness, Part 2

By Mike Rothman
In our last post on application awareness as a key driver for firewall evolution, we talked about the need and use cases for advanced firewall technologies. Now let’s talk a bit about some of the challenges and overlap of this kind of technology. Whether you want to call it disruptive or innovative or something else, introducing new capabilities on existing gear tends to have a ripple effect on everything else. Application awareness on the firewall is no exception. So let’s run through the other security devices usually present on your perimeter and get a feel for whether these

Friday Summary: September 3, 2010

By Adrian Lane
I bought the iPhone 4 a few months ago and I still love it. And luckily there is a cell phone tower 200 yards north of me, so even if I use my left handed kung fu grip on the antenna, I don’t drop calls. But I decided to keep my older Verizon account as it’s kind of a family plan deal, and I figured just in case the iPhone failed I would have a backup. And I could get rid of all the costly plan upgrades and have just a simple phone. But not so fast! Trying to get

Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall: Application Awareness, Part 1

By Mike Rothman
As mentioned in the Introduction to Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall, we see three main forces driving firewall evolution. The first two are pretty straightforward and don’t require a lot of explanation or debate: networks are getting faster and thus the perimeter gateways need to get faster. That’s not brain surgery. Most end users have also been dealing with significant perimeter security sprawl, meaning where they once had a firewall they now have 4-5 separate devices, and they are looking for integrated capabilities. Depending on performance requirements, organizational separation of duties, and good old fashioned politics, some

Incite 9/1/2010: Battle of the Bandz

By Mike Rothman
Hard to believe it’s September already. As we steam through yet another year, I like to step back and reflect on the technical achievements that have literally changed our life experience. Things like the remote control and pay at the pump. How about the cell phone, which is giving way to a mini-computer that I carry in my pocket? Thankfully it’s much lighter than a PDP-11. And networks, yeah man, always on baby! No matter where you are, you can be connected. But let’s not forget the wonders of silicone and injection molding, which has enabled the

Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall: Introduction

By Mike Rothman
Today we begin the our next blog series: Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall. Yes, really. Shock was the first reaction from most folks. They figure firewalls have evolved about as much over the last 5 years as ant traps. They’re wrong, of course, but most people think of firewalls as old, static, and generally uninteresting. In fact, most security folks begin their indentured servitude looking after the firewalls, where they gain seasoning before anyone lets them touch important gear like the IPS. As you’ll see over the next few weeks, there’s definitely activity on the firewall front

Data Encryption for PCI 101: Selection Criteria

By Adrian Lane
As a merchant your goal is to protect stored credit card numbers (PAN), as well as other card data such as card-holder name, service code, and expiration date. You need to protect these fields from both unwanted physical (e.g., disk, tape backup, USB) and logical (e.g., database queries, file reads) inspection. And detect and stop misuse if possible, as well. Our goal for this paper is to offer pragmatic advice so you can accomplish those goals quickly and cost-effectively, so we won’t mince words. For PCI compliance, we only recommend one of two encryption choices: Transparent Database

Have DLP Questions or Feedback? Want Free Answers?

By Rich
Back when I started Securosis my first white paper was Understanding and Selecting a DLP Solution. It has been downloaded many thousands of times (about 400 times a month for the first couple years), and I still see it showing up all the time when I talk with clients. (Some people call it the DLP Bible, but if I said that it would be really pretentious). Although the paper is still accurate, it’s time for an update. Over the next month I’ll be putting together the new revision of the paper and I want to make sure it reflects
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