Archive for January, 2018

Chuck Leaver – Why You Must Have Flexibility With SysSecOps

Written by Chuck Leaver

 

You will discover that endpoints are everywhere. The device you read this on is an endpoint, whether it’s a desktop, notebook, tablet, or phone. The HEATING AND COOLING controller for your structure is an endpoint, assuming it’s linked to a network, and the WiFi access points and the security cams too. So is the linked vehicle. So are the Web servers, storage servers, and Active Directory servers in the data center. So are your IaaS/PaaS services in the cloud, where you are in control of bare-metal servers, VMware virtual machines, or containers working on Windows and/or Linux.

All of them are endpoints, and each and every one is very important to manage.

They have to be handled from the IT side (from IT administrators, who ideally have appropriate IT-level visibility of each connected thing like those security cams). That management means making sure they’re connected to the right network zones or VLANs, that their software and setups are up to date, that they’re not creating a flood on the network with bad packets due to electrical faults and so-on.

Those endpoints also need to be handled from the security perspective by CISO teams. Every endpoint is a prospective entrance into the business network, which indicates the devices should be locked down – default passwords never used, all security patches used, no unapproved software set up on the device’s embedded web server. (Kreb’s outlines how, in 2014, hackers got into Target’s network via its HVAC system.).

Systems and Security Operations.

Systems Security Operations, or SysSecOps, brings those two worlds together. With the best kind of SysSecOps frame of mind, and tools that support the correct workflows, IT and security workers get the exact same data and can collaborate together. Sure, they each have various tasks, and react differently to problem signals, however they’re all managing the same endpoints, whether in the pocket, on the desk, in the energy closet, in the data center, or in the cloud.

Ziften Zenith Test Report.

We were thrilled when the just recently released Broadband-Testing report applauded Zenith, Ziften’s flagship endpoint security and management platform, as being perfect for this kind of situation. To quote from the recent report, “With its Zenith platform, Ziften has a solution that ticks all the SysSecOps boxes and more. Because its meaning of ‘endpoints’ extends into the Data Centre (DC) and the world of virtualisation, it holds true blanket protection.”.

Broadband-Testing is an independent testing facility and service based in Andorra. They explain themselves as, “Broadband-Testing communicates with suppliers, media, investment groups and VCs, experts and consultancies alike. Testing covers all elements of networking hardware and software, from ease of use and performance, through to progressively important aspects such as device power intake measurement.”

Back to flexibility. With endpoints all over (once again, on the desk, in the energy closet, in the data center, or in the cloud), a SysSecOps-based endpoint security and management system should go everywhere and do anything, at scale. Broadband-Testing wrote:

“The configuration/deployment options and architecture of Ziften Zenith permit a really flexible implementation, on or off-premise, or hybrid. Agent deployment is simpleness itself with zero user requirements and no endpoint invasion. Agent footprint is also very little, unlike numerous endpoint security services. Scalability also looks to be excellent – the most significant customer implementation to this day remains in excess of 110,000 endpoints.”

We cannot help but be proud of our product Zenith, and exactly what Broadband-Testing concluded:

“The introduction of SysSecOps – integrating systems and security operations – is an uncommon moment in IT; a hype-free, sound judgment approach to refocusing on how systems and security are managed inside a business.

Key to Ziften’s endpoint technique in this category is total visibility – after all, how can you protect what you can’t see or do not know exists in the first place? With its Zenith platform, Ziften has a product that ticks all the SysSecOps boxes and more.

Deployment is simple, specifically in a cloud-based situation as evaluated. Scalability also looks to be excellent – the most significant customer implementation to this day is in excess of 110,000 endpoints.

Data analysis options are comprehensive with a huge quantity of info offered from the Ziften console – a single view of the whole endpoint infrastructure. Any object can be analysed – e.g. Binaries, applications, systems – and, from a procedure, an action can be defined as an automated function, such as quarantining a system in case of a possibly harmful binary being found. Several reports are predefined covering all aspects of analysis. Alerts may be set for any occurrence. Furthermore, Ziften provides the principle of extensions for customized data collection, beyond the reach of a lot of vendors.

And with its External API performance, endpoint data gathered by Ziften can be shared with most third party applications, thus including more worth to a client’s existing security and analytics infrastructure investment.

Overall, Ziften has an extremely competitive offering in what is a really worthwhile and emerging IT classification through SysSecOps that is extremely deserving of evaluation.”.

We hope you’ll think about an assessment of Zenith, and will concur that when it concerns SysSecOps and endpoint security and management, we do tick all the boxes with the true blanket coverage that both your IT and CISO teams have actually been looking for.

Chuck Leaver – Ziften Can Assist With Meltdown And Spectre

Written By Josh Harriman And Presented By Chuck Leaver

 

Ziften is aware of the latest exploits impacting practically everyone who deals with a computer system or digital device. While this is a very large statement, we at Ziften are working diligently assisting our clients find susceptible assets, repairing those vulnerable systems, and keeping an eye on systems after the repair for prospective performance concerns.

This is an ongoing investigation by our group in Ziften Labs, where we keep up to date on the most recent harmful attacks as they develop. Today, the majority of the conversations are around PoC code (Proof of Concept) and exactly what can in theory take place. This will quickly change as hackers benefit from these opportunities. The exploits I’m speaking, of course, are Meltdown and Spectre.

Much has actually been written about how these exploits were found and exactly what is being done by the market to discover workarounds to these hardware concerns. To get more information, I feel it’s appropriate to go right to the source here (https://spectreattack.com/).

What Do You Need To Do, and How Can Ziften Help?

A key area that Ziften helps with in case of an attack by either method is keeping track of for data exfiltration. Given that these attacks are essentially taking data they should not have access to, our company believe the first and simplest techniques to protect yourself is to take this confidential data and remove it from these systems. This data might be passwords, login qualifications or perhaps security keys for SSH or VPN access.

Ziften checks and alerts when processes that typically do not make network connections begin showing this uncommon behavior. From these notifications, users can quarantine systems from the network and / or eliminate procedures connected with these circumstances. Ziften Labs is keeping an eye on the development of the attacks that are likely to become readily available in the real world related to these vulnerabilities, so we can better safeguard our consumers.

Discover – How am I Susceptible?

Let’s look at areas we can monitor for susceptible systems. Zenith, Ziften’s flagship product, can easily and quickly find Operating Systems that need to be patched. Although these exploits remain in the CPU chips themselves (Intel, AMD and ARM), the repairs that will be available will be upgraded to the Operating System, and in other cases, the web browser you use as well.

In Figure 1 below, you can see one example of how we report on the readily available patches by name, and what systems have actually successfully installed each patch, and which have yet to set up. We can also track patch installs that stopped working. The example shown below is not for Meltdown or Spectre, however the KB and / or patch number for the environment could be populated on this report to reveal the vulnerable systems.

The same is true for browser updates. Zenith keeps an eye out for software application variations running in the environment. That data can be utilized to comprehend if all browsers are up to date once the fixes appear.

Speaking of internet browsers, one area that has actually already picked up steam in the attack scenarios is utilizing Javascript. A working copy is shown here (https://www.react-etc.net/entry/exploiting-speculative-execution-meltdown-spectre-via-javascript).

Products like Edge browsers do not use Javascript any longer and mitigations are readily available for other web browsers. Firefox has a fix offered here (https://blog.mozilla.org/security/2018/01/03/mitigations-landing-new-class-timing-attack/). A Chrome fix is coming out soon.

Fix – Exactly What Can I Do Now?

Once you have actually recognized susceptible systems in your environment you certainly want to patch and repair them as soon as possible. Some safeguards you have to take into consideration are reports of specific Anti-Virus products causing stability issues when the patches are applied. Details about these problems are here (https://www.cyberscoop.com/spectre-meltdown-microsoft-anti-virus-bsod/) and here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/184wcDt9I9TUNFFbsAVLpzAtckQxYiuirADzf3cL42FQ/htmlview?usp=sharing&sle=true).

Zenith also has the ability to help patch systems. We can monitor for systems that require patches, and direct our solution to apply those patches for you and then report success / failure and the status of those still requiring patching.

Considering that the Zenith backend is cloud-based, we can even track your endpoint systems and use the needed patches when and if they are not linked to your business network.

Track – How is it all Running?

Last but not least, there could be some systems that exhibit performance degradation after the OS repairs are applied. These problems seem to be restricted to high load (IO and network) systems. The Zenith platform assists both security and operational groups within your environment. What we want to call SysSecOps (https://ziften.com/introducing-systems-security-operations-syssecops/).

We can help reveal issues such as hangs or crashes of applications, and system crashes. Plus, we monitor system usage for Memory and CPU gradually. This data can be utilized to monitor and notify on systems that start to exhibit high usage compared with the period prior to the patch was used. An example of this tracking is shown in Figure 2 below (system names deliberately removed).

These ‘defects’ are still new to the public, and far more will be gone over and discovered for days / weeks / months to come. Here at Ziften, we continue to monitor the circumstance and how we can best educate and secure our clients and partners.