|By Bob Gourley||
|June 3, 2014 08:32 AM EDT||
By George Romas
I previously wrote about the various “functional areas” of continuous monitoring. According to the federal model, there are 15 functional areas comprising a comprehensive continuous monitoring solution, as shown in the graphic below:
These functional areas are grouped into the following categories:
- Manage Assets
- Manage Accounts
- Manage Events
- Security Lifecycle Management
Each category addresses a general area of vulnerability in an enterprise. The rest of this post will describe each category, the complexities involved in integration, and the difficulties in making sense of the information. “Making sense” means a number of things here – understanding and remediating vulnerabilities, detecting and preventing threats, estimating risk to the business or mission, ensuring continuity of operations and disaster recovery, and enforcing compliance to policies and standards.
The process of Managing Assets includes tracking all hardware and software products (PCs, servers, network devices, storage, applications, mobile devices, etc.) in your enterprise, and checking for secure configuration and for known/existing vulnerabilities. While some enterprises institute standard infrastructure components, it still takes a variety of products, sensors and data to obtain a near-real-time understanding of an organization’s security posture. Implementing an initial capability in my cybersecurity lab, we have integrated fourteen products and spent considerable time massaging data so that it conforms to NIST and DoD standards. This enables pertinent information to pass seamlessly across the infrastructure, and allows correlation and standardized reporting from a single dashboard. This will become more complex as we add more capabilities and more products. In addition, the new style of IT extends enterprise assets to include mobile devices and cloud resources – so our work to understand and manage the security within this area is just beginning.
The next area deals with Managing Accounts of both people and services. Typically, we think of account management as monitoring too many unsuccessful login attempts or making sure that we delete an account when someone leaves the organization. However, if you look at the subsections of the graphic, you’ll see that managing accounts involves additional characteristics – evaluating trust, managing credentials, and analyzing behavioral patterns. This applies not only to people but to services – system-to-system, server-to-server, domain-to-domain, process-to-process, and any other combination thereof. Think about the implications of recording and analyzing behavior, and you’ll realize that any solution will require big data. Security-related behavior is a somewhat nebulous concept, but if you drill down into the details, you can envision capturing information on location, performance characteristics, schedule, keywords, encryption algorithms, access patterns, unstructured text, and more. Accounts (whether a person, system, computer, or service) use assets and groups of assets. As such, the information gleaned from the relationships and interactions between accounts and assets provides another layer of intelligence to the continuous monitoring framework.
The Managing Events category is organized into preparation-for and response-to incidents. In the cybersecurity realm, incidents can cover anything from a spear phishing attack to denial of service to digital annihilation to critical infrastructure disruption to destruction of physical plant. That covers a wide range of methods to protect an organization’s assets – and any physical asset that is somehow connected to a network needs cyber protection. The first thing to do to manage events is to plan! Backup and recovery, continuity of operations, business continuity, disaster recovery – call it what you will, but a plan will help you to understand what needs protecting, how to protect it, and how to recover when those protections fail. This is the next layer of functionality – and complexity – in the continuous monitoring framework; the functions all build upon one another to provide a more secure and resilient enterprise. The security-related data and information aggregated across these layers provides the raw materials to understand your security posture and manage your risk.
The final set of functions deal with Security Lifecycle Management. The lifecycle helps to identify the security requirements of an organization, the associated plans and policies needed to satisfy those requirements, and the processes used to monitor and improve security operations. That improvement is based on the data collected and correlated across all the other functional areas described above. Depending on the size of an organization (dozens of assets to millions of assets) and the granularity of the data (firewall alerts to packet capture), the continuous monitoring framework leads to “big security data”. Timing is also very important. Whereas today we mostly hear about cybersecurity incidents after the fact (hours, days, months, and sometimes years later), continuous monitoring operates on real or near-real-time information. The benefits are three-fold: 1) intrusions, threats and vulnerabilities can be detected much more quickly, 2) you can perform continuous authorization on your systems; typically, after the initial Certification & Authorization approval, re-certification occurs either after a major change in the system or once every two or three years, and 3) big security data can lead to predictive analytics. That’s the holy grail of cybersecurity – the ability to accurately and consistently predict vulnerabilities, threats, and attacks to your enterprise, business, or mission.
There are other benefits to this approach, besides improving an organization’s security posture because let’s face it – all the things I’ve described look like they incur additional costs. Yet after some initial investment, depending on the size of your organization and the security products you already have in your infrastructure, there are actually cost savings. At the top of the list, continuous monitoring automates many of the manual processes you have today, reduces disruptions in your enterprise, and minimizes periodic accreditation costs. This is, however, a complex undertaking. We’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t as we continue to integrate products and build continuous monitoring capabilities in our lab. Feel free to contact me for best practices or if you have any other questions.
This post first appeared at George Romas’ HP blog.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Aug. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 110
Learn how you can use the CoSN SEND II Decision Tree for Education Technology to make sure that your K–12 technology initiatives create a more engaging learning experience that empowers students, teachers, and administrators alike.
Aug. 4, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 112
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Aug. 3, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 702
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 3, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 546
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Com...
Aug. 3, 2015 03:30 PM EDT
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 3, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 200
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 492
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 373
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Aug. 2, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,716
Malicious agents are moving faster than the speed of business. Even more worrisome, most companies are relying on legacy approaches to security that are no longer capable of meeting current threats. In the modern cloud, threat diversity is rapidly expanding, necessitating more sophisticated security protocols than those used in the past or in desktop environments. Yet companies are falling for cloud security myths that were truths at one time but have evolved out of existence.
Jul. 30, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,836
[slides] Workloads and Public Cloud at @CloudExpo By @utollwi | @ProfitBricksUSA #DevOps #Containers #Microservices
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...
Jul. 30, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,250
The Cloud industry has moved from being more than just being able to provide infrastructure and management services on the Cloud. Enter a new era of Cloud computing where monetization’s services through the Cloud are an essential piece of strategy to feed your organizations bottom-line, your revenue and Profitability. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, discussed how to easily o...
Jul. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 412
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, S...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,093
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit f...
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,182
"We have been in business for 21 years and have been building many enterprise solutions, all IT plumbing - server, storage, interconnects," stated Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,072
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to tran...
Jul. 29, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 430
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,217
"Our biggest growth area has been the security services, the managed services - the things that differentiate us in the market that there is no client that's too small and there's no client that's too big," explained Paul Mazzucco, Chief Security Officer at TierPoint, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 447
"We do data integration for B2B also application to application, and we do data management and enable Big Data," explained Pat Adamiak, Vice President, Product Marketing at Liaison Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 374
[slides] From Industry to Society By @JMondanaro | @ThingsExpo @MetraTech @Ericsson #IoT #M2M #InternetOfThings
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world...
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,780