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Targeted Attacks: A Defender's Playbook
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andregironda
andregironda,
User Rank: Strategist
12/15/2014 | 12:50:16 PM
Vendors
Kick your vendors out! They provide increasingly negative value -- they are the sources of your problems.

Vet your own internally-developed SIEM, firewall management, HIPS, and DLP solutions, e.g., OSSEC.

The article mentions a high signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio -- don't you mean low? The newest snort++ offers quite a lot of interesting functionality -- combine with a Passive DNS solution such as FarSight Security and/or internal solution such as Bro. Another way to raise SNR would be to implement STIX sharing (e.g., via TAXII-enabled solutions such as CRITs or Soltra Edge) with organization partners as well as other collaborators in your industry.

A comprehensive and constantly-maturing program built on a foundation such as the Cyber Operations Maturity Framework is the way to go given the increasing targeted-threat landscape. ISO 27000 or IT COBIT aren't going to cut it. Old frameworks just don't make the grade, so it's time to replace them.
aws0513
aws0513,
User Rank: Ninja
12/15/2014 | 1:40:47 PM
Re: Vendors
As much as I would love to be able to build a vendor free shop, it is not a reality for us and many other organizations I work with.

Many vendor products do work well, but the challenge that everyone is facing is finding enough talented people to keep solutions, vendor or open source, running as effectively as they should AND sort through all of the events that the solutions encounter.  False positives are a constant issue even in a mature solution.  This activity can take up more manhours to address than actual incidents.
Managing security solutions effectively is a particular set of skills that many people are just not getting into for various reasons.  Thus the entire world of organizations out there are willing to pay extra for vendor solutions that reduce the amount of talent requirements and manhours to implement and maintain.  If you think about it, that is the only reason many vendors exist: to provide "easier to maintain" products that do the same thing that many standard tools already are capable of providing.

I will be honest in that I do NOT rely on one tool for a single task.  Where possible, I have "second eyes" solutions in place to double check things.  Sometimes one tool is more commonly used, but in other cases the combinations of solutions seeem to cast a wider net that one way or another snags those odd fish that end up in our part of the ocean.

This article is more about the targeted, well planned and well executed attack on a specific person. 
If the attack is very well planned and the attacker is patient and has done their homework, very few security solutions will likely prevent the initial compromise. 
It will be the mature, well maintained defense-in-depth security program that will capture an interloper after that initial compromise.  Of course, not all organizations have a mature and effective security program to catch that activity in a timely manner...  if at all.  This all goes back to what I said earlier...  having the talent on hand to do the job right.

 
ODA155
ODA155,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2014 | 3:38:38 PM
Re: Vendors
I kinda want to agree, but only if it's a vendor(s) that only want to sell\upgrade everything, and everyone may not have that luxury, or talent. I think before you invest in anything you really do need to do your homework. Just don't look at the the stuff all of the cool kids are buying (the "Magic Quadrant") or something that someone saw at a vendor sponsored conference.

Whatever you decide I recommend:
  • Think very hard before buying that thing that does "everything", and nothing particularly well
  • Make a list of requirements
  • Features that you'd like to see
  • Possible Trade-offs if a feature isn't available
  • Prioritize you list in order of how well it meets your requirements, not cost
  • Narrow your list down to two maybe three in-house POC's
  • Determine what you want to see from a POC
    • Setup and training
    • Operations
    • Support\Maintenance
    • Talk to other organizations using the product

 Most importantly, stick to YOUR priorities, not those of the guy trying to sell you that thing you need.

The Internet is your friend.


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