Category Archives: SIEM

My short review of “IDC Worldwide Security and Vulnerability Management Market Shares 2016”

On February 12 IDC published new report about Security and Vulnerability Management market. You can buy it on the official website for $4500. Or you can simply download free extract on Qualys website (Thanks, Qualys!). I’ve read it and now I want to share my impressions.

IDC Worldwide Security and Vulnerability Management Market Shares 2016

I think it’s better start reading this report from the end, from “MARKET DEFINITION” section. First of all, IDC believe that there is a “Security and Vulnerability Management” (SVM) market. It consists of two separate “symbiotic markets”: security management and vulnerability assessment (VA).

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Microsoft security solutions against ransomware and APT

Last Tuesday I was invited to Microsoft business breakfast “Effective protection against targeted and multilevel attacks”. Here I would like to share some of my thoughts on this. Need to mention that the food was delicious and the restaurant of Russian Geographical Society is a very lovely place. 😉 Thanks, Microsoft!

Microsoft as a security vendor? O RLY?

Microsoft products are not actually my topic. To tell you the truth, personally I’d better live in a world without this massive Windows hegemony in desktop operating systems. I use Linux mostly. And even when I have to work in a Windows environment, it’s much easier for me to do all the work in some Linux virtual machine.

But in the real life almost every office network is build on Microsoft solutions. And if you are doing Vulnerability Management in any organization, you should deal with them too. The good news is that many security features are available out of the box in the MS products that you have already purchased. It’s just important to know about these features and use them right.

One more thing, why it’s interesting to learn more about Microsoft information security products. Microsoft developers, obviously, have direct access to Windows source code and know better how their own OS works. Many things are much easier for them to implement than for other security vendors. So, good chances that you will see in Microsoft products some interesting features, that other vendors don’t have (yet).

Drowning in data

The event began with an opening speech by Andrey Ivanov from Microsoft Russia.

Andrey Ivanov, "Effective protection against targeted and multilevel attacks"

I liked his thesis that “we are drowning in security data”:

  • Threat Intelligence from different sources that need to be implemented in your infrastructure and somehow validated. A good place to mention vulnerability feeds 😉
  • Threat Detection using logs, scanners, various protection tools, etc.
  • The overall number of SIEM inputs is growing faster than our resources. New IT system = new problems of SIEM configuration.

So, it would be nice if somebody, for example OS vendor, will provide all this as a service, right? 😉

Detect the undetectable

Then there was the keynote by Zbigniew Kukowski – one of the leading Microsoft information security experts.

Zbigniew Kukowski, "Effective protection against targeted and multilevel attacks"

Why is it necessary?

Here is what I would like to note from his report. First of all, great arguments why it is necessary. Ok, this is marketing. But the ability to explain (to sell) necessity of information security is important skill for any information security specialist now. It does not matter if you are working in a  security vendor, integrator or customer.

Zbigniew mentioned an interesting case: some Polish company, that lost $ 4.3 million in recent the Petya attack in 4 days. The cost of Information Security measures will be much less than the potential losses of business.

Another argument – attacks are not the entertainment for some individuals any more. Now it’s a well-organized criminal business. Dozens of people are working on popular malware tools, like Petya. That’s why ransomware tools are so popular now – cyber-criminals just want to return their development costs.

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Tracking software versions using Nessus and Splunk

Let’s say you have already exported scan results from Nessus or Tenable SecurityCenter to Splunk using HTTP event connector, or in some other way. And you see that some critical software vulnerability was published. For example, this month Jira critical vulnerability. How to find out, do we have vulnerable servers in our infrastructure or not?

Nessus plus Splunk

Of course we can start a new Nessus scan to detect vulnerable hosts. However, Nessus plugin for this particular vulnerability may be released with a big latency and you will not find this vulnerability in your scans. So, it’s may be faster just to search for detected Jira servers in available scan results using Splunk searching mechanism.

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Post-SIEM black boxes

Recently, I examined some automated Post-SIEM products, described with a lot of buzz words: UEBA, threat intelligence, machine learning, etc. I would like to share my opinion about all this, from the vendor, and from the consumer side.

What’s bad with traditional SIEMs?

Some information security experts [1,2,3] say, that SIEMs are very expansive and they don’t do their job properly. Traditional SIEMs usually unable to process huge amounts of mostly unnecessary logs and produce tonnes of false alarms. I’m not an expert in SIEM, but it seems to be true. Log data is useless when you just store it. And when you try to search something in it, you need to understand what exactly you are looking for and what threats are critical for your organization.

SIEM correlation features make this task much easier. But who will write the rules of this correlation? Even top SIEM vendors openly say that the most of out-of-the-box correlation rules are useless, can only be used as examples and users should develop their own rules. Of course, there are also some content and use case libraries: paid ones or free as SOC Prime Use Case Library. But in any case, the effective use of SIEM is a complex process.

Give me “real threats”

As a reaction on this, some vendors and security startups developed an easy way: solutions, that will detect only the “real threats”. Thats sounds great. Some wise application tells you what is going on in your network correlating various sources of security data, and you just work with this issues. Awesome! But how does this really work?

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