Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

9/17/2010
02:38 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Forrester Pushes 'Zero Trust' Model For Security

New security approach would view internal network traffic as untrusted, as well as closely monitor and analyze all traffic inside and outside of the organization

Trust no one, not even your end users: That's the underlying theme of a new security model proposed by Forrester Research this week called "Zero Trust," which calls for enterprises to inspect all network traffic, from the outside and on the inside.

John Kindervag, senior analyst with Forrester, says the current trust model in security is broken and the only way to fix it is to get rid of the idea of the trusted internal network and the untrusted external network. Instead consider all network traffic untrusted, he says. "Times have changed. You can't think about trusted and untrusted users" anymore, says Kindervag, who gave more details on the model at Forrester's Security Forum in Boston this week.

The wave of damaging insider-borne breaches during the past few years illustrates the importance of being able to see everything going on in the network, he says. He points to the case of a help desk employee for software firm TeleData Communications who sold credit reports from TCI customers Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian to a Nigerian organized crime ring, giving the bad guys access to client information for several years even after he had left the company.

None of the victim companies knew about the intrusions into their networks until two years after it had begun, when one firm discovered it. In the end, the employee, Philip Cummings, sold 30,000 identities, amassing a financial loss of more than $2.7 million.

"We have to know what's going on in our networks," Kindervag says. "Users can't have willy-nilly access ... they will either inadvertently do something bad and maybe get fired for it or illegally access data they actually had access to," such as the State Department employees who viewed passport information of several presidential candidates in 2008, he says.

Zero Trust means inspecting all traffic in real time, and a new category of products called network analysis and visibility, which combines several niche tools -- such as forensics, packet capture, meta data analysis, and network discovery flow analysis -- such that they provide visibility and analysis of traffic and don't disrupt business processes, according to Kindervag. These tools would work with security information management systems, he says.

Kindervag says this network architecture would deploy what he calls a network segmentation gateway. "It's like a UTM [unified threat management] tool or firewall on steroids," he says. It does firewall, IPS, data leakage protection, content filtering, and encryption with a 10-gigabit interface that separates the switching fabrics for each function, he says. "It's a new security paradigm," he says.

The gateway would be managed as a single switch, with "mini-cores of switches, each has its own perimeter security by default and protected by policy," he says. "The management software that manages all the switches becomes the backplane switch fabric."

Zero Trust basically builds security into the network fabric, he says. "You can take these concepts and do a radical [change] using existing, off-the-shelf technologies rearranged in different ways," he says. "Some of the existing UTM and firewalls are close to" a network segmentation gateway model, he says.

This will let enterprises catch illicit activity more quickly. "You're going to see all traffic as it goes through," he says. "And you're inspecting and logging all traffic, so can see things that look weird, like when Joe who doesn't normally access the SQL database is [suddenly] downloading the entire SQL database," Kindervag says.

But he admits the model won't go over well with the network side or with end users who might resent their traffic being so closely scrutinized. "A few vendors won't be agile enough to respond to this," he says.

For now, Forrester plans to continue shaping the model and provide more information so enterprises and vendors can test it out. The model is less about products and more about a new model of trust, Kindervag notes.

As a former penetration tester and engineer, Kindervag says he was getting frustrated with the state of security and that just another layer of defense-in-depth isn't the answer. "The answer is to go all the way to the lowest part of the stack and [to change] the trust model," he says.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-8003
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
A double-free vulnerability in vrend_renderer.c in virglrenderer through 0.8.1 allows attackers to cause a denial of service by triggering texture allocation failure, because vrend_renderer_resource_allocated_texture is not an appropriate place for a free.
CVE-2019-20427
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
In the Lustre file system before 2.12.3, the ptlrpc module has a buffer overflow and panic, and possibly remote code execution, due to the lack of validation for specific fields of packets sent by a client. Interaction between req_capsule_get_size and tgt_brw_write leads to a tgt_shortio2pages integ...
CVE-2019-20428
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
In the Lustre file system before 2.12.3, the ptlrpc module has an out-of-bounds read and panic due to the lack of validation for specific fields of packets sent by a client. The ldl_request_cancel function mishandles a large lock_count parameter.
CVE-2019-20429
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
In the Lustre file system before 2.12.3, the ptlrpc module has an out-of-bounds read and panic (via a modified lm_bufcount field) due to the lack of validation for specific fields of packets sent by a client. This is caused by interaction between sptlrpc_svc_unwrap_request and lustre_msg_hdr_size_v2...
CVE-2019-20430
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
In the Lustre file system before 2.12.3, the mdt module has an LBUG panic (via a large MDT Body eadatasize field) due to the lack of validation for specific fields of packets sent by a client.