|By Kevin Nikkhoo||
|July 16, 2013 11:00 AM EDT||
Have you ever been asked to fight the state boxing champion with one hand tied behind your back? Or metaphorically experience the old adage of bringing a knife to a gunfight? Many security professionals face this scenario every day.
For many companies with whom I talk, there isn’t a lack of IT talent when it comes to security--just a lack of hours in the day, computing resources and necessary headcount with specific expertise to change the culture from reactive to proactive and strategic risk management. Executives simply expect IT security to do more with less.
But the ability to recruit and retain security experts is an issue in itself. At the MSPAlliance meeting this week in Orlando, it was reported that the unemployment rate for such professionals is less than 1%. The salary for these specialists has doubled in the past three years. No wonder there is a critical shortage to feed this growing monster. And executives are still wary to spend budget on security line items-including staffing. It is still regarded (mistakenly, I might add) as a cost center.
It is that reason why SIEM isn’t more prevalent in security initiatives. It’s expensive. It’s resource-intensive. It's too complex. It's difficult to implement. It's difficult to configure. Customization takes advance training, it take time, takes skills…Many security professionals recognize it can be a game changer, but in terms of bang for the buck, it tends to stay on the wish list. Organizations need to reprioritize and reconsider SIEM as one of the pillars of enterprise security strategy—a cornerstone that correlates across silos and countermands each one of the criticisms noted above.
We recognize risk is rising. From every survey, report and anecdote, security issues are becoming a more significant and louder talking point. Everything from the introduction of new technologies, the morphing of infrastructures beyond network perimeters, to threats of breach, shadow IT and other internal vulnerabilities indicates that managing a firewall and filtering email is not enough. This is not to ratchet up the rhetoric to encourage investment in security solutions, but a chance to reprioritize security and evaluate how and when a SIEM initiative might enhance capabilities without the cost and resource baggage so many apply to it.
Let’s also recognize that traditional deployments of SIEM are just not feasible for far too many companies. On premise options are cost-prohibitive. The time to monitor activity (especially in real time) is overly demanding considering other priority responsibilities. The expertise to integrate and correlate data across multiple silos and leverage their layered results into strategic action is a skill set very high in demand and hard to capture. And If I have security budget at all, I am going to invest in options in which the scope is fully affordable, manageable and fully functional. In security, solving 50% of the problem still leaves you 50% vulnerable. All true, until you consider cloud security options.
Cloud-based SIEM certainly alleviates many of the above issues dealing with cost, deployment issues, scope fulfillment and the necessary expertise to monitor your network.
When evaluating SIEM initiatives there are a few requirements you need to consider so that you pick the best tool and process combination to close the vulnerability gap in a company. From a functionality standpoint you need a strong correlation engine. This is the foundation of situational context which allows you to discern white noise and harmless burps from true suspicious activity. Intrusion detection security without context is simply driving with one eye closed---you lose depth perception and true threat understanding. You also need real time monitoring. Looking at logs a week later may suffice for compliance needs, but any threat discovered is a week old. Classic reaction mode—but it’s neither reaction nor response, it’s mop-up and repair. Unless SIEM or log archive has a time machine module, the damage is done.
With SIEM you also need clear scope—what do you want it to monitor, what are the parameters of data synthesis, what are the response and alert protocols? You also need a process for asset classification and prioritization, data normalization and categorization of data.
The beauty of cloud-based SIEM is that a true security as a service does all the heavy lifting. It is that expertise and additional headcount you need without the CapEx costs of hardware, software, salary and the soft costs of employee benefits, training, ramp time. With all the buzz about the of cloud and it’s lack of security…this IS that security. Cloud-based SIEM is not a porous app or some subscription service sitting exposed on a server in some lonely rural business park. A cloud-based SIEM must be an extension of your own strategy…it must provide enterprise-class capability on par with any alternative version (on premise, hybrid or otherwise). When evaluating these options, simply make sure they ‘re aligned with your expectations.
But I want to take this one step further. And it moves the focus beyond SIEM. Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst at the IT strategy firm ESG he said at a webinar I attended recently, “We need integration between tools and we need better intelligence.” And he’s absolutely right.
As I alluded earlier, must SIEM should tightly integrate with Log Management. I contend that is only part of the equation. SIEM should also leverage the data collected from other security cornerstones such as identity management and access management. This unified approach is the nexus of intelligence. When considering SIEM, you should ensure that it is configured so that it collaboratively leverages data from a variety of sources so it can give you visibility; give you the details to tell friend from foe from phish from phantom.
Yet this presents another set of issues. So many solutions create so many dashboards. It is highly likely a company has multiple security systems, each looking at its own sector (i.e. Identity management is only concerned with the provisioning and de-provisioning accounts).An IT professional can easily be overwhelmed with all the check points—and then responsible for the forensic analysis to see the overall threat landscape. Centralization in a cloud-based SIEM solves the issue. In a true unified platform, all the necessary data is correlated and filtered into a single centralized dashboard. This, in turn, creates the visibility that provides the intelligence which feeds the strategies and tactics to better secure a network and all its proprietary assets.
The other issue is cost. I just recommended a company not only needs to invest in SIEM, but log management, access management, SSO and identity management. Again, I point to the cloud as the answer. By bundling these solutions as a single source, unified platform delivered and managed from a multi-tenant cloud, not only are the cost savings palpable, but the immediate deployment kick starts any initiative (you don’t have to wait a year or three to fully realize the benefits of an enterprise solution). You gain so many more capabilities you would have otherwise not been able to apply.
And with the influx of new complexities, increased threat landscapes, relentless compliance pressures, and the acknowledged critical skill shortage to address those complexities, there is a growing acceptance for security delivered from the cloud.
In a recent survey, it was shown that organizations with more sophisticated security initiatives are more vulnerable. I realize it flies in the face of reason. The answer is their sophistication creates enhanced visibility. Enhanced visibility gives them a better vantage over the threat landscape…in short they see what’s coming and can prepare strategic defenses. The point I wish to make is that this level of sophistication is affordable and manageable when applying cloud-based security tools. At the risk of being repetitive, this model creates relief in terms of infrastructure investment, removes the hurdles of configuration and implementation difficulties and diffuses maintenance and analysis complexities. Most importantly, it builds in the necessary expertise—security-as-a-service, than creates the intelligence without the additional financial outlay. It gives you a fighting chance…with both hands free.
Fighting the fight with both hands free!
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 25, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 886
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Oct. 25, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,735
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Oct. 25, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,891
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
Oct. 25, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,396
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Oct. 25, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,817
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Oct. 25, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 11,432
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Oct. 25, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,352
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
Oct. 25, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,519
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
Oct. 25, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,375
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Oct. 25, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,997
DevOps theory promotes a culture of continuous improvement built on collaboration, empowerment, systems thinking, and feedback loops. But how do you collaborate effectively across the traditional silos? How can you make decisions without system-wide visibility? How can you see the whole system when it is spread across teams and locations? How do you close feedback loops across teams and activities delivering complex multi-tier, cloud, container, serverless, and/or API-based services?
Oct. 25, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,089
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Oct. 25, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 9,705
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Oct. 25, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 954
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Oct. 25, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,740
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
Oct. 25, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,012