Keep Your Enemies Closer : Advance Threat Management

I was recently watching a replay of the CBS 60 Minutes report that originally aired in November 2009 called “Sabotaging the System”. The segment talked about viruses, malware, and hackers that have infected the public and non public networks. These include the federal networks such as the US Central Command (CENTCOM) network.  In 2008 the malware, agent.btz had landed on this network. It was believed that the virus found its way through a USB stick. This virus can see everything on the network and for some reason… they cannot get rid of it. According to the following article, the US military networks still cannot remove the virus in their network.

A USB drive… it was that simple. Hackers will find a way onto a network and for some reason, they don’t want to leave. One option that people initially like to take is to  block the USB port but we all know that making security a roadblock for the users can create more problems. A better option is to  use RSA Data Loss Prevention technology to allow only certain USB drives to have access to the system.  However, in spite of  all this work, blocking and denying… they might still get in. And this is  why we employ  defense in depth (multiple layers of security).  I love the RSA DLP capabilities but we need to do more than just lock the door. Looking at the security without the rose colored glasses, you will soon find out that if you have something worth stealing, someone will look for a way to steal it and one layer is not enough. As we like to say… “there are two types of organizations out there… those that have been hacked and those that admit that they have been hacked” (I use this line almost every day).

What does this mean in the long run? It is no longer about the protection, but understanding the threat. The only way to tackle the threat is to understand the threat. Why else did we say, keep your friends close but your enemies closer? How do you do this from a networking standpoint… by monitoring what is happening on the network. We do this by understanding the technology of the malware and its purpose. You can’t protect any of the systems when it’s a new malware and very little, to nothing is known about it. You need to understand where the attackers are going and what is or is not important to them.The technology that RSA NetWitness gives you… does just that. No more saying “we don’t know when they got onto the network and we don’t know what they took”… because you can see everything on the network. It’s literally like having a DVR for your network – you can watch and play back the activity… all activity on the network. When it comes down to it, not knowing what is happening or has occurred on your network is one of the negative facets of network security. Not knowing means that you will never have the ability to fix any problems, fix any holes, protect any data because you don’t know what you don’t know and that is the worst type of security. The fact is hackers are not going away as we try to put up barriers here and there, they still find a way in. Imagine your house is burglarized after you set the alarm, locked the doors, bought the dog…. wouldn’t you want to know how they got in? Wouldn’t you want to know what they took or touched? Do you really think you will feel ok if you stand in the middle of your house and just look at what is in eye view and assume that you will find out what went wrong? It doesn’t work that way… you wish there was a camera, you wish you could watch everything – that would help you prepare in case it happens again, because you would know what they know and you could fix that issue. That is what RSA NetWitness does… it lets you see the threat and it lets YOU manage it.

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