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Inside the Outbreaks - Provision Your Network Against Threats

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Inside the Outbreaks and Why A Monitoring-Centric Architecture is Vital to Success and Survival

Protecting the network demands robust monitoring that is actually built into the network architecture. Ongoing network vulnerability invites attack and intrusion, putting data at constant risk, wasting resources and endangering the social fabric. Shocking revelations of governmental spying on private citizens and businesses open yet another front in the fight for data integrity. The overriding truth is that the technology for stealing data and eavesdropping is not only bounding ahead—it is already so widespread and available that practically anyone can obtain and use it.

Read this eBook by Bob Shaw, President and CEO of Net Optics, Inc. to find out how you can provision your network against the growing swarm of threats.

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Inside the Outbreaks - Provision Your Network Against Threats

  1. 1. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bob Shaw, President and CEO, Net Optics Inc. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Net Optics since 2001, Bob Shaw is responsible for conceiving and implementing corporate vision and strategy to position Net Optics as the leading provider of intelligent access and monitoring architecture solutions in both physical and virtual environments. Under Shaw’s guidance, Net Optics has achieved consistent double-digit growth, launched more than 35 new products, acquired over 8000 customers, and expanded its global presence in over 81 countries. The company has been included in the elite Inc. 5000 list of highest performing companies four years in a row; won Best of FOSE honors; received the coveted Red Herring Top 100 North America Award for promise and innovation, the Best Deployment Scenario Award for Network Visibility, and many other accolades. Shaw’s leadership experience spans startups to Fortune 200 organizations, where he held Senior Vice Presidential executive positions. Shaw earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Geneva College in Pennsylvania. Net Optics is a registered trademark of Net Optics, Inc. Additional company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the individual companies and are respectfully acknowledged. Copyright 1996-2013 Net Optics, Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 A MONITORING-CENTRIC ARCHITECTURE IS VITAL TO SUCCESS — AND SURVIVAL Protecting the network demands robust monitoring that is actually built into the network architecture. Ongoing network vulnerability invites attack and intrusion, putting data at constant risk, wasting resources and endangering the social fabric. Shocking revelations of governmental spying on private citizens and businesses open yet another front in the fight for data integrity. The overriding truth is that the technology for stealing data and eavesdropping is not only bounding ahead—it is already so widespread and available that practically anyone can obtain and use it.
  3. 3. OUCH! The security industry has armed the network until it practically bristles, but mapping and managing these solutions is itself complex, which creates a new set of risks. A snapshot of recent attacks underscores the need for scalable, unbreakable network and applications. PINTEREST STICK AM SP KA-CHING: THE BITCOIN HEIST In a social engineering attack using email and password reset, $1.2 million of this popular digital currency, stored in the cloud, was stolen in two attacks four days apart. Total visibility would have allowed administrators to see whose files were invaded and when. Victimized users who had linked their Pinterest accounts to Twitter and Facebook found themselves trumpeting tweets and wall posts for smarmy work-at-home schemes to their friends. NERVOUS TWITTERS 2 3 1 3 “Extremely sophisticated” crooks may have gained access to 250,000 users’ email addresses, usernames, session tokens and passwords in February 2013. Twitter has reset passwords and revoked session tokens, hopefully not a token response to a massive attack. Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.
  4. 4. CRACKS IN ADOBE 4 PINCHING ZAPPOS 5 4 All the feet shopping the largest shoe selection on the planet couldn’t chase down the thief who hauled away details of 24 million customers, including their names and addresses, along with the last four digits of their credit cards and encrypted versions of their passwords. PA S SWORDS 5 After one of the decade’s worst hacks, the passwords of as many as 150 million users of Acrobat Reader and other Adobe apps may be up for auction on a global black market. The hackers can also distribute Adobe apps that appear genuine with nasty malware hidden inside. The cloud, which is itself rapidly evolving, needs better security solutions if it is to fulfill its potential. Managing networks with multiple IP domains has become a challenge, as services are increasingly hosted both on and off premises. We need granular, well-managed network and applications monitoring that covers power consumption, user behavior and anything else that affects security, stability and productivity.
  5. 5. MONITORING WEARS THE WHITE HAT Organizations are realizing that robust monitoring is not only the core of a successful defense, it can actually prevent them from getting into trouble in the first place. Proactive monitoring and visibility avoid the cost, the waste, and the loss of customers that accompany a breach. Social media apps are creating some of the largest and highest impact vulnerabilities. Not surprisingly, Facebook emerges as a major target. In fact, a hacker cadre in Eastern Europe recently invaded Apple, Facebook and Twitter in hopes of gaining intellectual property to sell to the highest bidder. A major lawsuit 6 accused the developers of 20 apps, including Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, Twitter, and the games Angry Birds and Cut the Rope of being gateways to theft. Apps can pummel your network Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.
  6. 6. Developers of popular mobile apps casually invade address books for names, phone numbers, email addresses, job titles and even birthdays from countless unaware users. Information hawked can fetch 60 cents to several dollars per contact. The lawsuit seeks not only to halt sneaky data har vesting but also to compensate injured parties and make an example of the perps. In another New York Times article 7, hackers from China (working for the People’s Liberation Army) set new bars for brazenness by resuming data thefts from American companies after three months of token silence following their exposure. U.S. officials had assumed, rather ingenuously, that a “naming and shaming” strategy would bring about a government crackdown. However, the hackers are now back on the attack from their twelve -stor y building in Shanghai. Victims include defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, who had contracts and blueprints stolen after a computer break-in. Coca-Cola was also a victim, as was the U.S. power grid via Schneider Electric, which maintains “detailed blueprints” on more than half the oil and gas pipelines in North America. If that is not nerve-wracking enough, think about 511,000 out of 2.3 million Android apps capable of churning out unauthorized payments and changing user settings.8 Such apps allow hackers to track user phone numbers, modify bookmarks, and inundate a user with pesky ads. According to a TrustGo report, 77 percent of all apps available in China had posed a high risk for security breaches as recently as 2012, and you maybe sure that figure has been revised upward by now. But even those unsettling calculations fall short of the reality, according to Bluebox Security, which claims that a full 99 percent of Android apps are open to takeover!9 A four-year-old flaw in app verification becomes a welcome mat allowing applications to be converted into trojans.
  7. 7. HOW TO STAY AHEAD OF THE HAVOC Employee apps also open a major portal that hackers can come marching though into the workplace. The term “shadow apps” refers to applications—many of them personal—that employees download onto their own devices in the workplace, unbeknownst to the IT department. Also, video traffic from websites such as YouTube or Netflix can consume as much as half your corporate bandwidth! How do you handle that without chasing employees out the door? By giving your network the ability to monitor and prioritize traffic so that business applications always take precedence in bandwidth consumption over games and movies. Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.
  8. 8. DEFENSE IN DEPTH: MONITORING-CENTRIC ADVANCED SDN AND NPB TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECTURE GAINING A TRUE A monitoring-centric architecture with robust application awareness delivers quantifiable value in terms of security, performance, compliance and ROI. This architecture ensures that the right data gets to the right tools for accurate assessment and analysis with decisive resolution. Such an architecture is necessarily agnostic; a dynamic, standards-based and modular concept that offers the freedom to design the network using whatever resources best fit needs and budget. In fact, that architecture is now within reach, and it’s the advent of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) that makes it possible. Now, the increased visibility, intelligence, and agility of SDN is helping enterprises handle security threats, by increasing agility and encouraging automation. SDN, in conjunction with Network Packet Brokers (NPBs) can pull together a true Defense in Depth wherein strategies combine, cascade and join multiple security solutions to work in concert transparently. This approach is gaining traction with major vendors. Each component addresses specific risk factors and attack vectors. Network Packet Brokers can integrate multiple products and systems seamlessly so that multiple products can focus their combined strengths upon an attacking entity. This is the most effective way to provision the network with an advanced, available and agile defense.
  9. 9. NETWORK PACKET BROKERS — THE PATH TO PEAK PERFORMANCE Network Layer Instrumentation and Tool Layer Visibility Layer Security Monitoring NETWORK PACKET BROKERS (NPB) Performance Monitoring SDN CONTROLLER Automated Provisioning Defense in Depth High Availability Centralized Management As networks and data centers scale, NPBs leverage network monitoring and security tools to control large, complex environments. Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.
  10. 10. SPEEDING THE RIGHT DATA TO THE RIGHT TOOLS An NPB such as a Network Montoring Switch lets the IT team’s security engineers aggregate and filter the data, then provide it instantaneously to the appropriate security tool. To optimize network defense, only actionable “data of interest” should go to these tools. Adding NBPs lowers the complexity of managing information suboptimally, while improving insight via total visibility. Now, and going forward, visibility is absolutely critical to obtaining accurate information about the state of the network and the threats it faces, from any source. SDN ENABLES A ROBUST, AGILE DEFENSE ARCHITECTURE SDN allows organizations to add applications more easily, streamline processes, reduce complexity, improve efficiency and provide a better user experience. By uncoupling the security/monitoring/switch control from the data planes (the control plane decides where traffic is sent, while the data plane actually forwards that traffic to the selected destination), administrators gain tighter control of network traffic flow than ever before and can shift traffic to performance management tools when they start to detect problems.
  11. 11. BLOCKING THE ATTACKS When administrators can shape traffic with agility and precision from their centralized control consoles, they can quickly change rules to prioritize or even block packets particularly important in a cloud or multi-tenant environment. (Plus, they can manage traffic loads using economical off-the-shelf switches and conduct switching across multi-vendor hardware and ASICs.) A centralized control plane offers the freedom and flexibility to introduce new applications without the complexity of configuring individual devices. SDN enables the streamlined automation and provisioning of monitoring applications and tools based on real-time traffic behavior. It makes for end-to-end network monitoring with easy implementation and operation. Joining an SDN controller with Network Packet Brokers and a customer’s chosen security solutions creates a precise and agile threat defense. NPBs, with their ability to “chain” solutions, integrate multiple systems, and distribute traffic, provide the ideal means for a dynamic response. Under attack, such a defense lets administrators send orders redirecting data to forensics tools to expose and analyze the attack. Now networks can respond instantly to threats, as opposed to implementing a static series of behaviors. Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.
  12. 12. OPTIMIZING VISIBILITY FOR A PROACTIVE, POWERFUL DEFENSE Such capabilities as filtering and load balancing “supercharge” your defense strategy by ensuring that monitoring tools receive data in the most readable form and optimize their function. NPBs allow tighter, granular control of traffic thanks to a spectrum of sophisticated inline capabilities, including: FILTERING ACCESS It’s crucial that only “traffic of interest” be delivered to the tool for analysis. This avoids waste of CPU and memory on irrelevant data. NPBs ensure that data doesn’t get into the wrong hands, letting the IT team specify which users or groups have access, as well as logging who made changes and when. LOAD BALANCING Overburdened tools lay the network open to intrusion or failure. Load balancing keeps session data together and distributes the load among multiple tools. PACKET DE-DUPLICATION Removal of duplicate or redundant packets can increase tool productivity by 50 percent. MPLS STRIPPING Most tools cannot deal with MPLS-tagged packets. Stripping MPLS headers lets a tool perform its primary task of keeping data secure. AUTOMATION Automated provisioning lowers the need for manual configuration with its risk of error. It reduces network complexity and helps enable compliance. STANDARDIZATION Industry standards expand the universe of devices supportable by network tools without costly customization.
  13. 13. PUT THE ADVANTAGE ON YOUR SIDE Ensure that your defense finds breaches instantly and quarantines packets Design all critical networks as HA (High Availability) so key links stay up and running while a breach is resolved. Use remote, edge and core monitoring tools to spot strange patterns of behavior and potential security breaches. 3 Watch virtual/ cloud servers. Very few virtual networks are even monitored, let alone watched by security tools. 4 Be aware that remote and edge locations are particularly vulnerable, since organizations generally concentrate security efforts on the core or data center. Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.
  14. 14. The world of networking is one of ongoing revolution driven by technology innovation, by escalating user numbers, and by proliferating applications. However, along with this progress come unrelenting threats and outrageous attackers who will exploit any vulnerability they find to rob and disable businesses and personal users. To protect the network and its applications, a pervasive, proactive, scalable, and agile monitoring architecture is essential; one that provides total visibility from data center to remote end user. Now, the robust capabilities of SDN, combined with the flexibility and scalability of NPBs are the foundation of a smart, cost-effective defense strategy that combats threats while maintaining high performance. This monitoring-centric architecture embodies a proactive defense that can locate and resolve threats while minimizing consequences if a breach does occur. Today, we are well positioned to gain the advantage, fortifying the network to defend itself and to preserve the integrity of the user experience. REFERENCES 1. “OMG This Is So Cool! Pinterest Hack Feeds Spam to Twitter and Facebook” by Paul Roberts, Naked Security, September 12, 2012 2. “What MPSs Can Learn from the Great Bitcoin Heist of 2013” by Michale Brown, eFolder, November 11, 2013 3. “The Worst Data Breaches (so far)” by Ellen Messmer, NetworkWorld, April 9, 2013 4. “24 million Zappos customers’ data hacked” by Bruce Tyson, Helium, January 18, 2012 5. “Number of Adobe Accounts Hacked Now Up to 150M, Check Yours” by DL Cade, PetaPixel, November 7, 2013 6. “Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission” by Nicole Perlroth and Nick Bilton, NY Times, February 12, 2012 7. “Hackers From China Resume Attacks on U.S.Targets” by David E.Sanger and Nicole Perlroth, May 20, 2013 8. “A Quarter of Android Apps Pose High Risk to Security” by James Dohnert, V3.co.uk, January 2013 9. “Security Firm Claims 99 Percent of Android Apps Open to Takeover” by Michael Lee, ZDnet July 4, 2013
  15. 15. Net Optics, Inc. 5303 Betsy Ross Drive Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA +1 (408) 737-7777 twitter.com/netoptics www.netoptics.com Inside the Outbreaks: Provision Your Network Against the Growing Swarm of Threats.

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