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.

Risk

2/15/2013
08:01 AM
50%
50%

More Intelligent Services Help Rein In Security Policies

From managed services to threat intelligence, companies are using security services to create better policies, as well as manage and tune existing ones

Companies are used to buying maintenance service agreements for their networking and security infrastructure. Increasingly, however, companies are relying on an array of services to help them establish better policies and translate those strategic guidelines into technical ones.

Service offerings allow companies to augment their expertise and automate a variety of necessary tasks, from policy creation to validation and beyond. By putting more intelligence into the services that support companies' network infrastructure, security providers aim to make the hardware more intelligent, said Mike Horn, co-founder and CEO at network-security startup NetCitadel. NetCitadel allows threat intelligence to be turned into rules for a variety of devices, from firewalls to intrusion detection systems, more quickly turning information about a threat into a technical defense.

"What companies have found is their [existing] solutions will tell them that something has happened, but they don't have the ability to close the loop," Horn says. "And that's where intelligence policies come in: How do I make something not just informational but actionable."

Many crucial services for companies revolve around establishing and managing the policy hierarchy that forms the security framework for companies. From managed services to cloud-based compliance applications to better threat intelligence, services have become a key component of security policy management.

Jody Brazil, president and CTO of network-device management firm FireMon, for example, likes to tell the story of one customer, a hosting provider, whose firewalls would seize up every week or so. The problem: Two many unnecessary and conflicting rules in their policies.

Products do not solve cases like this, Brazil says. The company needs the vendor's expertise to fix systemic issues to which poorly designed or managed policies frequently lead.

"There is rarely a one-size fits all solution to these issues," he says. "There is no 'Easy' button. It has to be part of a services engagement."

[Classifying data can help evaluate the risk of sending information to the cloud and better manage risk throughout the data life cycle. See It's Classified: The Secret To Cloud Risk Management Success.]

When setting and managing policies--whether using only on-premise technology or taking advantage of a service--companies should start by keeping the high-level goals in mind and do a complete inventory of their assets, says Mike Lloyd, chief technology officer for security-management firm RedSeal Networks. Following the initial creation of policies for the organization and technical policies for each device, the security team should also validate that each part of the network complies with policy.

"There are limits to what a service can do, but there absolutely a service component to this," Lloyd says.

Once a company understands their own assets and security goals, they can create strategic policies that take into account those goals well as compliance requirements. Creating checklists for dealing with high-level policy, however, is a route to chaos, says Brady Justice, director of systems engineering for TraceSecurity. Here, again, services can help turn others' expertise into better policy, he says.

"I think it is very easy to go get a template and call it a day," Justice says. "But companies need to continuously monitor how their policies meet their goals."

Services have also augmented companies' abilities to manage the changes necessary to keep technical policies up to date. When changes to network infrastructure, or new threat intelligence, requires a change to policies across dozens or hundreds of devices, implementing the changes correctly can be difficult, NetCitadel's Horn says.

"If you don't have a solution that orchestrates those policy changes, then you have to file a change request, and they have to implement those changes," he says. "That could take days weeks, sometimes even longer."

Keeping up with today's threats means turning intelligence into policy rules, and that requires the depth of expertise provided by services.

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

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Zero-Factor Authentication: Owning Our Data
Nick Selby, Chief Security Officer at Paxos Trust Company,  2/19/2020
44% of Security Threats Start in the Cloud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/19/2020
Ransomware Damage Hit $11.5B in 2019
Dark Reading Staff 2/20/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7914
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
btif/src/btif_dm.c in Android before 5.1 does not properly enforce the temporary nature of a Bluetooth pairing, which allows user-assisted remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via crafted Bluetooth packets after the tapping of a crafted NFC tag.
CVE-2016-4606
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
Curl before 7.49.1 in Apple OS X before macOS Sierra prior to 10.12 allows remote or local attackers to execute arbitrary code, gain sensitive information, cause denial-of-service conditions, bypass security restrictions, and perform unauthorized actions. This may aid in other attacks.
CVE-2020-5243
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
uap-core before 0.7.3 is vulnerable to a denial of service attack when processing crafted User-Agent strings. Some regexes are vulnerable to regular expression denial of service (REDoS) due to overlapping capture groups. This allows remote attackers to overload a server by setting the User-Agent hea...
CVE-2019-14688
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-20
Trend Micro has repackaged installers for several Trend Micro products that were found to utilize a version of an install package that had a DLL hijack vulnerability that could be exploited during a new product installation. The vulnerability was found to ONLY be exploitable during an initial produc...
CVE-2019-19694
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-20
The Trend Micro Security 2019 (15.0.0.1163 and below) consumer family of products is vulnerable to a denial of service (DoS) attack in which a malicious actor could manipulate a key file at a certain time during the system startup process to disable the product's malware protection functions or the ...