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.

Partner Perspectives  Connecting marketers to our tech communities.
7/14/2016
09:00 AM
Ned Miller
Ned Miller
Partner Perspectives
50%
50%

Context-Rich And Context-Aware Cybersecurity

An adaptive threat-prevention model is quickly replacing traditional, unintegrated architectures as security teams work to achieve a sustainable advantage against complex threats.

I was recently invited to discuss context-rich and context-aware security solutions with a group at the Department of Defense. I wanted to be crystal clear, so I started with the definition from the Gartner IT Glossary:

Context-aware security is the use of supplemental information to improve security decisions at the time they are made, resulting in more accurate security decisions capable of supporting dynamic business and IT environments.

The most commonly cited context information types are environmental (such as location and time). However, context information valuable to information security exists throughout the IT stack, including IP, device, URL, and application reputation; business value context; and the threat context in which the decision is made.

I took this as an opportunity to raise the awareness of what is needed to improve our nation’s cybersecurity efficacy and efficiency: the leverage of connected architectures, threat-intelligence data, orchestration, and automation.

More to the point, timely protection and response in the face of advanced targeted attacks are major challenges for security teams across every sector. Most organizations rely on a multivendor, siloed security infrastructure, where products do not communicate with one another. A shortage of trained security staff and a lack of automated processes result in inefficiencies and protection gaps. Existing security infrastructures typically do not have any integration between the inspection, intelligence gathering, analytics, and enforcement components. These form the technology underpinnings of cybersecurity best practices known as the detect, protect, and correct process of incident response

Integration Advantage 

Integration improves effectiveness. The active sharing of data and accelerated cross-control processes makes it possible for each security control to leverage the strengths and experiences of the other security tools. An adaptive threat-prevention model is quickly replacing traditional, unintegrated architectures as security teams work to achieve a sustainable advantage against complex threats. Instead of treating each malware interaction as a standalone event, adaptive threat prevention integrates processes and data through an efficient messaging layer. This approach reinforces levels of inspection and analysis, which are informed by expanded forms of intelligence. It also connects end-to-end components to generate and consume as much actionable intelligence as possible from each contact and process. 

The shift to adaptive threat prevention helps overcome the all-too-common functional fences that impede detection, response, and any chance of improved prevention. Silos of data and point products complicate operations and increase risk. For example, the information each security control generates and the context of each situation are poorly captured and seldom shared within an organization, let alone among a larger community of trust. A firewall may block a payload coming from an untrusted domain because it knows about communications, not malware. It will permit the same payload if it comes through a trusted domain. Similarly, anti-malware could block unknown payloads received from known bad addresses if it is enabled to look within the payload to examine IP addresses. 

Unintegrated security functions like these keep organizations in firefighting mode, always reacting and pouring human resources into every breach. Process inefficiency exhausts scarce investigative resources and lengthens the timeline during which data and networks are exposed to determined attackers. The length of time from breach to detection has a direct correlation to the extent of damage. These islands of security products, data sets, and operations provide sophisticated attackers with ample space and white noise that they can use to their advantage while their malicious code enters, hides, and persists within and throughout an organization. Without context, actions and events have no meaning.

Ned Miller, a 30+ year technology industry veteran, is the Chief Technology Strategist for the Intel Security Public Sector division. Mr. Miller is responsible for working with industry and government thought leaders and worldwide public sector customers to ensure that ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
jayaram_aditya
50%
50%
jayaram_aditya,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/18/2016 | 8:07:40 AM
COntextual awareness
Contextual awareness is key to any system that is in the business of predicting events and occurences and it is the same in the case of cybersecurity and cyber thwarting potential hacks . Great post
Cybersecurity Team Holiday Guide: 2019 Gag Gift Edition
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  12/2/2019
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19647
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-09
radare2 through 4.0.0 lacks validation of the content variable in the function r_asm_pseudo_incbin at libr/asm/asm.c, ultimately leading to an arbitrary write. This allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact via crafted input.
CVE-2019-19648
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-09
In the macho_parse_file functionality in macho/macho.c of YARA 3.11.0, command_size may be inconsistent with the real size. A specially crafted MachO file can cause an out-of-bounds memory access, resulting in Denial of Service (application crash) or potential code execution.
CVE-2019-19642
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-08
On SuperMicro X8STi-F motherboards with IPMI firmware 2.06 and BIOS 02.68, the Virtual Media feature allows OS Command Injection by authenticated attackers who can send HTTP requests to the IPMI IP address. This requires a POST to /rpc/setvmdrive.asp with shell metacharacters in ShareHost or ShareNa...
CVE-2019-19637
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-08
An issue was discovered in libsixel 1.8.2. There is an integer overflow in the function sixel_decode_raw_impl at fromsixel.c.
CVE-2019-19638
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-08
An issue was discovered in libsixel 1.8.2. There is a heap-based buffer overflow in the function load_pnm at frompnm.c, due to an integer overflow.