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
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24613
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The Post Views Counter WordPress plugin before 1.3.5 does not sanitise or escape its Post Views Label settings, which could allow high privilege users to perform Cross-Site Scripting attacks in the frontend even when the unfiltered_html capability is disallowed
CVE-2021-24618
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The Donate With QRCode WordPress plugin before 1.4.5 does not sanitise or escape its QRCode Image setting, which result into a Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS). Furthermore, the plugin also does not have any CSRF and capability checks in place when saving such setting, allowing any authenticated us...
CVE-2021-24635
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The Visual Link Preview WordPress plugin before 2.2.3 does not enforce authorisation on several AJAX actions and has the CSRF nonce displayed for all authenticated users, allowing any authenticated user (such as subscriber) to call them and 1) Get and search through title and content of Draft post, ...
CVE-2021-24636
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The Print My Blog WordPress Plugin before 3.4.2 does not enforce nonce (CSRF) checks, which allows attackers to make logged in administrators deactivate the Print My Blog plugin and delete all saved data for that plugin by tricking them to open a malicious link
CVE-2021-24637
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The Google Fonts Typography WordPress plugin before 3.0.3 does not escape and sanitise some of its block settings, allowing users with as role as low as Contributor to perform Stored Cross-Site Scripting attacks via blockType (combined with content), align, color, variant and fontID argument of a Gu...