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Is Your Security Operation Hooked On Malware?
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User Rank: Strategist
6/18/2015 | 11:50:52 PM
Re: An attacker inside the network would usually have multiple footholds
Agreed. As security professionals, we should be focusing on data and using that construct to develop our security response. However I am also finding (through personal experience and peer networking) that cyber attacks are increasingly motivated by factors that don't always have sensitive data as their ultimate target. Merely operating in a particular geography or having a particular view on a debatable subject is enough reason to be targeted. A threat-led security posture is now emerging as the approach that takes into account the full spectrum of exposures including those to sensitive data and equally assets (e.g. critical infrastructure). Asset centricity v/s data centricity has been a subject of debate for a long time however I don't think it is one over the other rather a holistic approach that takes all elements into consideration.
User Rank: Ninja
6/18/2015 | 10:53:56 AM
Re: An attacker inside the network would usually have multiple footholds
I agree all the point made here. Once you are inside there are additionally opportunities to pass through inner layers. That is why we need to go with a layered security approach, and architect our networks to support that.
User Rank: Ninja
6/18/2015 | 10:50:42 AM
Re: Very relevant
I agree. I also think it is more about training both end-users and security folks. We know we have tons of security measures put in place in different layers of our network, we still see malware.  
User Rank: Ninja
6/18/2015 | 10:48:02 AM
Re: Spokes of a Wheel
Agree, it is all about analyzing. Understanding where we are strong and where we are lacking. Malware you have in your network is the result and a little bit late result. :--))
User Rank: Ninja
6/18/2015 | 10:44:17 AM
I think we need to focus on both breach detection and malware detection. They are not separate things. Second point, re-imaging the machine is not the solution, we need to get signature/detail of malware and find out a way to prevent from it.
Ulf Mattsson
Ulf Mattsson,
User Rank: Moderator
6/17/2015 | 1:53:41 PM
An attacker inside the network would usually have multiple footholds
I agree that "An attacker inside the network would usually have multiple footholds. Removing one will inform the attacker, as a side effect, that you are aware of him and destroy any evidence that you have."

I also agree to "conduct ongoing behavioral analysis of computers and users" since the attacker may try to steal specific sensitive data. This can be done at the data/application layer since current security monitoring approaches a labor intensive and can't really tell you what normal looks like in your own systems. Less than 14% of breaches are detected by internal security tools according to the annual international breach investigations report from Verizon.

I think that we need to focus on protecting sensitive data itself. The Ponemon Institute published an interesting survey related to the recent spate of high-profile cyber attacks. According to the survey database security was recommended by 49% of respondents, but the study found that organisations continue to allocate the bulk of their budget (40%) to network security and only 19% to database security. Ponemon concluded that "This is often because organizations have traditionally spent money on network security and so it is earmarked in the budget and requires no further justification."  

I found great advice in a Gartner report, covering solutions for Data Protection and Data Access Governance. The title of the report is "Market Guide for Data–Centric Audit and Protection." The report concluded that "Organizations that have not developed data-centric security policies to coordinate management processes and security controls across data silos need to act." I think that it is time to be more data-centric.

Ulf Mattsson, CTO Protegrity
User Rank: Strategist
6/17/2015 | 10:16:53 AM
Very relevant
A really good article. I think IOCs have somehow transformed into Indicators Often Chased. I have often found an irresistible urge (in the community) to fix the symptoms (e.g. block outbound traffic to a known bad IP address or disable tools used to achieve pseudo persistence etc.) rather than focusing on exactly the areas Giora has highlighted. Having a multi-step approach to remediation keeping the holistic view in mind will go a long way in preventing incidents from recurring and determining extent of compromise (e.g. gain insight into more such kill chains operating within the organisation). Cyber incident exercises should cover these elements and train security folks to ensure their processes are equipped and capable of providing a richer response to cyber attacks.
User Rank: Ninja
6/16/2015 | 3:10:29 PM
Spokes of a Wheel
Good article. Malware is just one risk vector plaguing information security professionals today. I like to think of it as spokes on a wheel. Everyone has its own importance and none should be focused on to the point where other spokes/risk vectors are neglected. Obviously, certain vectors will take precedence based on trend and cost but they should all be considered as relative when analyzing your information security posture.

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