Charles Leaver – The Petya Variant Flaw Does Not Cause Ziften Customers Any Trouble

Written By Josh Harriman And Presented By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO


Another infestation, another headache for those who were not prepared. While this most current attack is similar to the earlier WannaCry risk, there are some differences in this latest malware which is an alternative or brand-new strain much like Petya. Named, NotPetya by some, this strain has a lot of issues for anybody who encounters it. It might encrypt your data, or make the system totally unusable. And now the e-mail address that you would be required to contact to ‘maybe’ unencrypt your files, has actually been taken down so you’re out of luck getting your files back.

Lots of information to the actions of this hazard are openly offered, however I wanted to touch on that Ziften consumers are safeguarded from both the EternalBlue threat, which is one system used for its proliferation, and even much better still, an inoculation based upon a possible flaw or its own type of debug check that removes the danger from ever operating on your system. It might still spread however in the environment, but our security would currently be rolled out to all existing systems to halt the damage.

Our Ziften extension platform allows our consumers to have security in place versus specific vulnerabilities and destructive actions for this risk and others like Petya. Besides the particular actions taken against this specific variation, we have actually taken a holistic approach to stop specific strains of malware that conduct different ‘checks’ against the system prior to executing.

We can likewise utilize our Browse capability to try to find residues of the other proliferation strategies utilized by this danger. Reports reveal WMIC and PsExec being used. We can look for those programs and their command lines and usage. Despite the fact that they are genuine processes, their use is generally unusual and can be alerted.

With WannaCry, and now NotPetya, we anticipate to see a continued increase of these kinds of attacks. With the release of the current NSA exploits, it has actually given ambitious cyber criminals the tools needed to push out their items. And though ransomware dangers can be a high commodity vehicle, more harmful risks could be launched. It has always been ‘how’ to obtain the hazards to spread out (worm-like, or social engineering) which is most difficult to them.

Charles Leaver – Attack On UK Parliament Email System Highlights Insecurities

Written By Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


In the online world the sheep get shorn, chumps get chewed, dupes get duped, and pawns get pwned. We’ve seen another terrific example of this in the current attack on the United Kingdom Parliament email system.

Rather than admit to an e-mail system that was not secure by design, the main statement read:

Parliament has strong procedures in place to secure all our accounts and systems.

Yeah, right. The one protective measure we did see in action was blame deflection – the Russians did it, that constantly works, while implicating the victims for their policy infractions. While details of the attack are limited, combing various sources does assist to assemble at least the gross scenario. If these accounts are reasonably close, the UK Parliament email system failings are atrocious.

What failed in this scenario?

Rely on single element authentication

“Password security” is an oxymoron – anything password protected alone is insecure, period, irrespective of the strength of the password. Please, no 2FA here, may hinder attacks.

Do not impose any limit on unsuccessful login efforts

Facilitated by single factor authentication, this enables basic brute force attacks, no ability required. However when violated, blame elite state-sponsored hackers – nobody can verify.

Do not carry out brute force violation detection

Allow opponents to perform (otherwise trivially detectable) brute force violations for extended periods (12 hours against the United Kingdom Parliament system), to maximize account compromise scope.

Do not enforce policy, treat it as merely recommendations

Integrated with single element authentication, no limit on failed logins, and no brute force violation detection, do not impose any password strength recognition. Supply attackers with very low hanging fruit.

Count on anonymous, unencrypted email for delicate interactions

If assailants do succeed in compromising email accounts or sniffing your network traffic, provide lots of opportunity for them to score high value message material completely without obstruction. This also conditions constituents to trust easily spoofable e-mail from Parliament, developing a perfect constituent phishing environment.

Lessons discovered

In addition to adding “Sound judgment for Dummies” to their summertime reading lists, the UK Parliament e-mail system administrators may want to take further actions. Strengthening weak authentication practices, enforcing policies, enhancing network and endpoint visibility with constant monitoring and anomaly detection, and completely reassessing secure messaging are advised actions. Penetration testing would have revealed these foundational weaknesses while remaining far from media attention.

Even a few sharp high schoolers with a complimentary weekend might have replicated this violation. And lastly, stop blaming Russia for your own security failings. Assume that any weaknesses in your security architecture and policy framework will be probed and exploited by some cyber criminals somewhere throughout the global internet. All the more incentive to discover and fix those weaknesses prior to the opponents do, so get started immediately. Then if your defenders don’t cannot see the attacks in progress, upgrade your monitoring and analytics.

Charles Leaver – Closer Working Of IT And Security Using SysSecOps

Written By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO


It was nailed by Scott Raynovich. Having actually dealt with numerous companies he recognized that one of the biggest challenges is that security and operations are two different departments – with drastically varying goals, different tools, and varying management structures.

Scott and his analyst company, Futuriom, recently completed a research study, “Endpoint Security and SysSecOps: The Growing Trend to Build a More Secure Business”, where one of the essential findings was that contrasting IT and security objectives hamper professionals – on both groups – from attaining their objectives.

That’s exactly what our company believe at Ziften, and the term that Scott produced to talk about the convergence of IT and security in this domain – SysSecOps – describes perfectly exactly what we’ve been discussing. Security teams and the IT teams should get on the very same page. That indicates sharing the exact same goals, and in some cases, sharing the very same tools.

Consider the tools that IT people use. The tools are designed to ensure the infrastructure and end devices are working appropriately, when something fails, helps them repair it. On the end point side, those tools help make sure that devices that are allowed onto the network, are set up appropriately, have software that’s authorized and appropriately updated/patched, and have not registered any faults.

Think of the tools that security folks use. They work to impose security policies on devices, infrastructure, and security apparatus (like firewall programs). This might include active tracking events, scanning for abnormal behavior, taking a look at files to ensure they don’t include malware, adopting the current risk intelligence, matching versus recently discovered zero-days, and carrying out analysis on log files.

Finding fires, battling fires

Those are two varying worlds. The security groups are fire spotters: They can see that something bad is occurring, can work quickly to separate the problem, and figure out if damage took place (like data exfiltration). The IT groups are on the ground firefighters: They jump into action when an event strikes to ensure that the systems are secure and revived into operation.

Sounds excellent, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, all too often, they do not talk to each other – it resembles having the fire spotters and fire fighters utilizing different radios, different jargon, and dissimilar city maps. Worse, the teams can’t share the exact same data directly.

Our technique to SysSecOps is to supply both the IT and security groups with the exact same resources – and that indicates the exact same reports, presented in the suitable ways to experts. It’s not a dumbing down, it’s working smarter.

It’s ludicrous to operate in any other way. Take the WannaCry infection, for instance. On one hand, Microsoft provided a patch back in March 2017 that attended to the underlying SMB defect. IT operations groups didn’t set up the patch, due to the fact that they didn’t believe this was a big deal and didn’t talk with security. Security teams didn’t know if the patch was set up, due to the fact that they don’t talk with operations. SysSecOps would have had everyone on the exact same page – and might have potentially prevented this problem.

Missing out on data means waste and danger

The inefficient space in between IT operations and security exposes organizations to threats. Preventable threats. Unneeded risk. It’s just unacceptable!

If your organization’s IT and security groups aren’t on the same page, you are sustaining dangers and costs that you shouldn’t have to. It’s waste. Organizational waste. It’s wasteful because you have many tools that are providing partial data that have gaps, and each of your teams only sees part of the picture.

As Scott concluded in his report, “Collaborated SysSecOps visibility has actually already proven its worth in assisting companies examine, analyze, and avoid considerable threats to the IT systems and endpoints. If these goals are pursued, the security and management risks to an IT system can be considerably diminished.”

If your teams are collaborating in a SysSecOps kind of way, if they can see the same data at the same time, you not only have better security and more effective operations – however likewise lower threat and lower expenses. Our Zenith software can help you accomplish that performance, not only working with your existing IT and security tools, however also filling in the spaces to make sure everyone has the ideal data at the right time.

Charles Leaver – Ziften And Splunk Are All You Need To Detect And Respond To WannaCry

Written by Joel Ebrahami and presented by Charles Leaver


WannaCry has actually generated a lot of media attention. It might not have the huge infection rates that we have seen with a lot of the previous worms, however in today’s security world the amount of systems it was able to contaminate in a single day was still rather shocking. The objective of this blog is NOT to offer a detailed analysis of the exploit, but rather to look how the threat acts on a technical level with Ziften’s Zenith platform and the combination we have with our innovation partner Splunk.

Visibility of WannaCry in Ziften Zenith

My first action was to connect to Ziften Labs threat research study team to see what details they could supply to me about WannaCry. Josh Harriman, VP of Cyber Security Intelligence, directs our research group and notified me that they had samples of WannaCry presently running in our ‘Red Lab’ to look at the habits of the danger and perform further analysis. Josh sent me over the details of exactly what he had actually discovered when examining the WannaCry samples in the Ziften Zenith console. He delivered over those information, which I provide herein.

The Red Laboratory has systems covering all the most typical operating systems with different services and configurations. There were currently systems in the laboratory that were purposefully susceptible to the WannaCry threat. Our international threat intelligence feeds used in the Zenith platform are updated in real time, and had no trouble finding the virus in our lab environment (see Figure 1).

Two lab systems have actually been recognized running the malicious WannaCry sample. While it is great to see our worldwide hazard intelligence feeds upgraded so quickly and determining the ransomware samples, there were other behaviors that we found that would have determined the ransomware danger even if there had actually not been a hazard signature.

Zenith agents gather a large amount of information on what’s happening on each host. From this visibility data, we create non-signature based detection methods to take a look at typically malicious or anomalous habits. In Figure 2 shown below, we show the behavioral detection of the WannaCry infection.

Investigating the Breadth of WannaCry Infections

Once spotted either through signature or behavioral approaches, it is really easy to see which other systems have likewise been infected or are showing similar habits.

Detecting WannaCry with Ziften and Splunk

After examining this information, I decided to run the WannaCry sample in my own environment on a vulnerable system. I had one susceptible system running the Zenith agent, and in this example my Zenith server was currently set up to integrate with Splunk. This allowed me to take a look at the exact same data inside Splunk. Let me explain about the integration that exists with Splunk.

We have two Splunk apps for Zenith. The first is our technology add-on (TA): its function is to consume and index ALL the raw information from the Zenith server that the Ziften agents generate. As this information arrives it is massaged into Splunk’s Common Information Model (CIM) so that it can be stabilized and simply browsed in addition to used by other apps such as the Splunk App for Enterprise Security (Splunk ES). The Ziften TA also includes Adaptive Response abilities for acting from actions that are rendered in Splunk ES. The second app is a dashboard for displaying our info with all the charts and graphs offered in Splunk to facilitate absorbing the data a lot easier.

Given that I already had the details on how the WannaCry exploit acted in our research lab, I had the advantage of knowing exactly what to search for in Splunk utilizing the Zenith data. In this case I was able to see a signature alert by using the VirusTotal integration with our Splunk app (see Figure 4).

Threat Hunting for WannaCry Ransomware in Ziften and Splunk

However I wished to put on my “event responder hat” and examine this in Splunk using the Zenith agent data. My first idea was to browse the systems in my laboratory for ones running SMB, because that was the preliminary vector for the WannaCry attack. The Zenith data is encapsulated in different message types, and I knew that I would most likely discover SMB data in the running process message type, nevertheless, I utilized Splunk’s * regex with the Zenith sourcetype so I might search all Zenith data. The resulting search looked like ‘sourcetype= ziften: zenith: * smb’. As I anticipated I received one result back for the system that was running SMB (see Figure 5).

My next step was to use the very same behavioral search we have in Zenith that tries to find common CryptoWare and see if I could get results back. Once again this was extremely easy to do from the Splunk search panel. I used the very same wildcard sourcetype as previously so I might search throughout all Zenith data and this time I added the ‘delete shadows’ string search to see if this behavior was ever released at the command line. My search looked like ‘sourcetype= ziften: zenith: * delete shadows’. This search returned results, shown in Figure 6, that revealed me in detail the procedure that was developed and the complete command line that was performed.

Having all this information inside of Splunk made it extremely easy to determine which systems were susceptible and which systems had currently been jeopardized.

WannaCry Removal Using Splunk and Ziften

Among the next steps in any kind of breach is to remove the compromise as fast as possible to prevent additional damage and to act to prevent other systems from being compromised. Ziften is among the Splunk initial Adaptive Response members and there are a variety of actions (see Figure 7) that can be taken through Spunk’s Adaptive Response to mitigate these risks through extensions on Zenith.

When it comes to WannaCry we actually could have utilized nearly any of the Adaptive Response actions presently readily available by Zenith. When aiming to minimize the effect and avoid WannaCry in the first place, one action that can occur is to close down SMB on any systems running the Zenith agent where the variation of SMB running is known vulnerable. With a single action Splunk can pass to Zenith the agent ID’s or the IP Address of all the susceptible systems where we wished to stop the SMB service, hence avoiding the exploit from ever taking place and enabling the IT Operations team to get those systems patched prior to starting the SMB service once again.

Avoiding Ransomware from Spreading or Exfiltrating Data

Now in the case that we have actually already been compromised, it is crucial to prevent more exploitation and stop the possible exfiltration of sensitive information or business intellectual property. There are truly 3 actions we could take. The very first two are similar where we could kill the harmful process by either PID (process ID) or by its hash. This works, but given that often times malware will just spawn under a new procedure, or be polymorphic and have a different hash, we can apply an action that is ensured to prevent any incoming or outbound traffic from those infected systems: network quarantine. This is another example of an Adaptive Response action readily available from Ziften’s integration with Splunk ES.

WannaCry is currently reducing, however hopefully this technical blog post reveals the value of the Ziften and Splunk integration in dealing with ransomware threats against the endpoint.

Charles Leaver – Now Is The Time For Security Paranoia As HVAC Breach Shows

Written By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO


Whatever you do not ignore cyber security criminals. Even the most paranoid “regular” individual would not worry about a source of data breaches being stolen qualifications from its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (A/C) professional. Yet that’s what occurred at Target in November 2013. Hackers got into Target’s network utilizing qualifications provided to the contractor, probably so they could monitor the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. (For a great analysis, see Krebs on Security). And after that hackers had the ability to leverage the breach to inject malware into point of sale (POS) systems, and then offload payment card details.

A number of ludicrous errors were made here. Why was the A/C contractor provided access to the business network? Why wasn’t the A/C system on a separate, entirely isolated network? Why wasn’t the POS system on a separate network? And so on.

The point here is that in a really intricate network, there are uncounted potential vulnerabilities that could be made use of through carelessness, unpatched software, default passwords, social engineering, spear phishing, or insider actions. You understand.

Whose job is it to discover and fix those vulnerabilities? The security team. The CISO’s office. Security experts aren’t “typical” individuals. They are hired to be paranoid. Make no mistake, no matter the particular technical vulnerability that was made use of, this was a CISO failure to prepare for the worst and prepare accordingly.

I can’t talk to the Target HEATING AND COOLING breach particularly, however there is one overwhelming reason that breaches like this happen: A lack of financial priority for cybersecurity. I’m not exactly sure how frequently businesses fail to fund security merely since they’re cheap and would rather do a share buy-back. Or possibly the CISO is too timid to request what’s needed, or has been told that she gets a 5% boost, no matter the need. Perhaps the CEO is worried that disclosures of large allowances for security will alarm shareholders. Perhaps the CEO is simply naïve enough to believe that the enterprise won’t be targeted by hackers. The problem: Every organization is targeted by hackers.

There are big competitions over budget plans. The IT department wishes to fund upgrades and improvements, and attack the stockpile of demand for brand-new and enhanced applications. On the flip side, you have line-of-business leaders who see IT projects as directly helping the bottom line. They are optimists, and have lots of CEO attention.

By contrast, the security department too often needs to defend crumbs. They are seen as a cost center. Security lowers organization risk in a manner that matters to the CFO, the CRO (chief risk officer, if there is one), the general counsel, and other pessimists who care about compliance and track records. These green-eyeshade people consider the worst case circumstances. That doesn’t make pals, and budget plan dollars are designated reluctantly at a lot of companies (until the company gets burned).

Call it naivety, call it established hostility, however it’s a genuine difficulty. You cannot have IT given excellent tools to drive the business forward, while security is starved and using second best.

Worse, you don’t wish to wind up in circumstances where the rightfully paranoid security groups are dealing with tools that don’t fit together well with their IT equivalent’s tools.

If IT and security tools do not fit together well, IT may not be able to quickly act to react to dangerous situations that the security teams are keeping an eye on or are concerned about – things like reports from risk intelligence, discoveries of unpatched vulnerabilities, nasty zero-day exploits, or user habits that indicate dangerous or suspicious activity.

One idea: Find tools for both departments that are created with both IT and security in mind, right from the beginning, rather than IT tools that are patched to offer some very little security capability. One spending plan item (take it out of IT, they have more money), however 2 workflows, one designed for the IT expert, one for the CISO group. Everybody wins – and next time someone wishes to offer the HEATING AND COOLING specialist access to the network, possibly security will observe what IT is doing, and head that disaster off at the pass.

Charles Leaver – Don’t Struggle With The WannaCry Ransomware Issue Ziften Can Help

Written By Michael Vaughn And Presented By Charles Leaver Ziften CEO


Answers To Your Concerns About WannaCry Ransomware

The WannaCry ransomware attack has infected more than 300,000 computer systems in 150 nations up until now by making use of vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
In this brief video Chief Data Scientist Dr. Al Hartmann and I talk about the nature of the attack, as well as how Ziften can assist organizations safeguard themselves from the vulnerability known as “EternalBlue.”.

As discussed in the video, the problem with this Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing service is that it’s on many Windows operating systems and discovered in many environments. However, we make it simple to determine which systems in your environment have actually or haven’t been patched yet. Importantly, Ziften Zenith can also remotely disable the SMB file-sharing service totally, offering companies important time to make sure that those machines are effectively patched.

If you wonder about Ziften Zenith, our 20 minute demo consists of an assessment with our specialists around how we can help your organization avoid the worst digital disaster to strike the internet in years.

Charles Leaver – 10 Ways To Assess Next Gen Endpoint Security Services

Written By Roark Pollock And Presented By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften


The Endpoint Security Purchaser’s Guide

The most typical point for an innovative relentless attack or a breach is the end point. And they are definitely the entry point for most ransomware and social engineering attacks. The use of endpoint protection services has long been thought about a best practice for securing endpoints. Sadly, those tools aren’t staying up to date with today’s danger environment. Advanced risks, and truth be told, even less advanced threats, are frequently more than adequate for tricking the average employee into clicking something they should not. So organizations are looking at and examining a wide variety of next generation end point security (NGES) solutions.

With this in mind, here are ten pointers to consider if you’re taking a look at NGES solutions.

Idea 1: Start with the end first

Don’t let the tail wag the dog. A threat reduction method ought to constantly start by evaluating problems then trying to find prospective solutions for those problems. But all frequently we get captivated with a “shiny” brand-new technology (e.g., the current silver bullet) and we wind up aiming to shoehorn that innovation into our environments without fully examining if it solves a comprehended and determined issue. So what problems are you trying to solve?

– Is your current endpoint security tool failing to stop risks?
– Do you need better visibility into activities at the endpoint?
– Are compliance requirements mandating constant endpoint monitoring?
– Are you trying to reduce the time and costs of incident response?

Specify the issues to address, and then you’ll have a measuring stick for success.

Pointer 2: Know your audience. Who will be utilizing the tool?

Understanding the issue that has to be fixed is a crucial first step in understanding who owns the issue and who would (operationally) own the service. Every functional team has its strengths, weaknesses, choices and biases. Define who will need to utilize the service, and others that could gain from its usage. It could be:

– Security team,
– IT operations,
– The governance, risk & compliance (GRC) group,
– Helpdesk or end user support team,
– Or perhaps the server team, or a cloud operations team?

Suggestion 3: Know exactly what you imply by end point

Another typically neglected early step in specifying the issue is specifying the endpoint. Yes, all of us used to know exactly what we implied when we stated end point but today endpoints are available in a lot more varieties than before.

Sure we want to safeguard desktops and laptops however how about mobile phones (e.g. smartphones and tablets), virtual endpoints, cloud based end points, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices? And how about your servers? All these devices, naturally, come in numerous flavors so platform support has to be attended to too (e.g. Windows only, Mac OSX, Linux, etc?). Likewise, consider assistance for endpoints even when they are working remote, or are working offline. Exactly what are your needs and exactly what are “great to haves?”

Tip 4: Start with a foundation of all the time visibility

Constant visibility is a foundational ability for addressing a host of security and functional management issues on the endpoint. The old expression holds true – that you can’t manage exactly what you cannot see or measure. Even more, you cannot secure exactly what you cannot appropriately manage. So it should start with continuous or all-the-time visibility.

Visibility is foundational to Security and Management

And think about what visibility suggests. Enterprises need a single source of fact that at a minimum monitors, saves, and examines the following:

– System data – events, logs, hardware state, and file system details
– User data – activity logs and habit patterns
– Application data – attributes of installed apps and use patterns
– Binary data – characteristics of set up binaries
– Processes data – tracking details and statistics
– Network connectivity data – statistics and internal habits of network activity on the host

Idea 5: Track your visibility data

Endpoint visibility data can be kept and examined on the premises, in the cloud, or some combination of both. There are advantages to each. The appropriate method differs, but is generally enforced by regulative requirements, internal privacy policies, the endpoints being monitored, and the total expense considerations.

Know if your organization needs on-premise data retention

Know whether your company enables cloud based data retention and analysis or if you are constrained to on-premise options only. Within Ziften, 20-30% of our clients keep data on-premise merely for regulatory factors. However, if lawfully an alternative, the cloud can offer expense benefits (among others).

Tip 6: Know what is on your network

Comprehending the issue you are trying to solve requires understanding the assets on the network. We have found that as many as 30% of the end points we initially discover on clients’ networks are unmanaged or unidentified devices. This obviously develops a big blind spot. Minimizing this blind spot is a critical best practice. In fact, SANS Critical Security Controls 1 and 2 are to perform a stock of licensed and unauthorized devices and software applications connected to your network. So search for NGES solutions that can fingerprint all linked devices, track software applications stock and utilization, and carry out ongoing continuous discovery.

Pointer 7: Know where you are exposed

After finding out what devices you need to watch, you need to make certain they are running in up to date configurations. SANS Critical Security Controls 3 recommends ensuring safe and secure setups monitoring for laptops, workstations, and servers. SANS Critical Security Controls 4 suggests making it possible for constant vulnerability assessment and removal of these devices. So, try to find NGES solutions that provide constant tracking of the state or posture of each device, and it’s even of more benefit if it can assist impose that posture.

Likewise search for solutions that deliver constant vulnerability evaluation and remediation.

Keeping your general endpoint environment hardened and devoid of crucial vulnerabilities prevents a substantial amount of security concerns and removes a lot of back end pressure on the IT and security operations groups.

Idea 8: Cultivate continuous detection and response

A crucial end goal for numerous NGES solutions is supporting continuous device state monitoring, to enable efficient threat or event response. SANS Critical Security Control 19 advises robust incident response and management as a best practice.

Look for NGES services that offer all the time or constant danger detection, which leverages a network of worldwide risk intelligence, and several detection methods (e.g., signature, behavioral, artificial intelligence, etc). And search for incident response solutions that help prioritize identified hazards and/or problems and provide workflow with contextual system, application, user, and network data. This can assist automate the appropriate response or next actions. Lastly, understand all the response actions that each service supports – and search for a service that provides remote access that is as close as possible to “sitting at the endpoint keyboard”.

Idea 9: Think about forensics data collection

In addition to incident response, organizations need to be prepared to attend to the need for forensic or historical data analysis. The SANS Critical Security Control 6 suggests the upkeep, tracking and analysis of all audit logs. Forensic analysis can take lots of kinds, however a foundation of historic end point tracking data will be essential to any examination. So try to find services that maintain historic data that permits:

– Forensic jobs include tracing lateral danger movement through the network gradually,
– Pinpointing data exfiltration efforts,
– Identifying source of breaches, and
– Figuring out suitable remediation actions.

Tip 10: Take down the walls

IBM’s security team, which supports an excellent ecosystem of security partners, estimates that the average business has 135 security tools in situ and is working with 40 security vendors. IBM customers certainly skew to large businesses but it’s a typical refrain (problem) from organizations of all sizes that security products don’t integrate well enough.

And the grievance is not simply that security services don’t play well with other security services, however also that they don’t constantly integrate well with system management, patch management, CMDB, NetFlow analytics, ticketing systems, and orchestration tools. Organizations have to think about these (and other) integration points along with the vendor’s desire to share raw data, not simply metadata, through an API.

Additional Suggestion 11: Plan for customizations

Here’s a bonus suggestion. Assume that you’ll want to tailor that glossy new NGES service quickly after you get it. No solution will fulfill all of your requirements right out of the box, in default configurations. Find out how the service supports:

– Custom data collection,
– Signaling and reporting with custom data,
– Customized scripting, or
– IFTTT (if this then that) performance.

You know you’ll want new paint or new wheels on that NGES solution quickly – so ensure it will support your future modification projects simply enough.

Look for support for simple personalizations in your NGES solution

Follow the bulk of these pointers and you’ll unquestionably prevent much of the common mistakes that plague others in their evaluations of NGES services.

Charles Leaver – Protection From End To End Is Best Done By Ziften

Written By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


Do you wish to manage and safeguard your endpoints, your data center, your network and the cloud? Well Ziften has the best solution for you. We gather data, and allow you to associate and utilize that data to make choices – and be in control over your enterprise.

The information that we receive from everyone on the network can make a real world distinction. Consider the inference that the U.S. elections in 2016 were affected by hackers in another country. If that’s the case, hackers can do almost anything – and the idea that we’ll choose that as the status quo is simply ridiculous.

At Ziften, we believe the best method to fight those risks is with greater visibility than you have actually ever had. That visibility crosses the whole business, and connects all the significant players together. On the back end, that’s real and virtual servers in the cloud and in the data center. That’s infrastructure and applications and containers. On the other side, it’s laptops and desktops, no matter where and how they are connected.

End to end – that’s the thinking behind everything at Ziften. From endpoint to cloud, right the way from a browser to a DNS server. We tie all that together, with all the other components to offer your service a total solution.

We also catch and save real time data for as much as 12 months to let you understand what’s occurring on the network right now, and offer historic pattern analysis and cautions if something changes.

That lets you spot IT faults and security problems right away, and also have the ability to ferret out the root causes by recalling in time to uncover where a breach or fault may have initially taken place. Active forensics are a total need in this business: After all, where a fault or breach triggered an alarm may not be the place where the issue started – or where a hacker is operating.

Ziften supplies your security and IT groups with the visibility to comprehend your present security posture, and recognize where improvements are required. Non-compliant endpoints? They will be found. Rogue devices? These will be discovered. Penetration off-network? This will be detected. Obsolete firmware? Unpatched applications? All discovered. We’ll not just assist you discover the issue, we’ll assist you repair it, and make sure it stays repaired.

End to end IT and security management. Real-time and historic active forensics. In the cloud, offline and onsite. Incident detection, containment and response. We have actually got it all covered. That’s exactly what makes Ziften so much better.

Charles Leaver – Monitoring Of Activities In The Cloud Is Now Possible With Enhanced NetFlow

Written by Roark Pollock and Presented by Ziften CEO Charles Leaver


According to Gartner the public cloud services market exceeded $208 billion last year (2016). This represented about a 17% increase year over year. Pretty good considering the on-going issues most cloud consumers still have relating to data security. Another particularly intriguing Gartner finding is the typical practice by cloud consumers to contract services to several public cloud providers.

In accordance with Gartner “most businesses are currently utilizing a combination of cloud services from various cloud service providers”. While the business rationale for using several vendors is sound (e.g., preventing supplier lock in), the practice does develop extra complexity inmonitoring activity across an organization’s significantly fragmented IT landscape.

While some providers support more superior visibility than others (for example, AWS CloudTrail can monitor API calls throughout the AWS infrastructure) organizations have to comprehend and resolve the visibility issues associated with relocating to the cloud despite the cloud supplier or service providers they work with.

Unfortunately, the capability to track application and user activity, and networking communications from each VM or endpoint in the cloud is limited.

Irrespective of where computing resources live, companies must address the concerns of “Which users, machines, and applications are communicating with each other?” Organizations need visibility across the infrastructure so that they can:

  • Quickly recognize and prioritize problems
  • Speed root cause analysis and recognition
  • Lower the mean time to repair issues for end users
  • Quickly recognize and eliminate security risks, reducing general dwell times.

On the other hand, bad visibility or poor access to visibility data can decrease the effectiveness of existing management and security tools.

Companies that are used to the maturity, ease, and reasonably cheapness of monitoring physical data centers are apt to be dissatisfied with their public cloud options.

What has actually been missing is an easy, ubiquitous, and sophisticated solution like NetFlow for public cloud infrastructure.

NetFlow, of course, has had twenty years approximately to become a de facto standard for network visibility. A typical deployment involves the tracking of traffic and aggregation of flows where the network chokes, the collection and saving of flow data from multiple collection points, and the analysis of this flow data.

Flows include a basic set of source and destination IP addresses and port and protocol info that is typically gathered from a router or switch. Netflow data is relatively inexpensive and easy to gather and provides almost ubiquitous network visibility and enables actionable analysis for both network monitoring and performance management applications.

The majority of IT staffs, especially networking and some security groups are extremely comfy with the technology.

But NetFlow was developed for fixing what has become a rather restricted issue in the sense that it only gathers network information and does so at a minimal variety of possible locations.

To make better use of NetFlow, 2 essential modifications are essential.

NetFlow to the Edge: First, we have to expand the useful implementation scenarios for NetFlow. Instead of only gathering NetFlow at networking choke points, let’s broaden flow collection to the network edge (cloud, servers and clients). This would considerably expand the overall view that any NetFlow analytics supply.

This would permit organizations to augment and take advantage of existing NetFlow analytics tools to get rid of the ever increasing blind spot of visibility into public cloud activity.

Rich, contextual NetFlow: Second, we have to use NetFlow for more than basic network visibility.

Instead, let’s utilize an extended version of NetFlow and include data on the user, device,
application, and binary responsible for each monitored network connection. That would allow us to rapidly connect every network connection back to its source.

In fact, these two modifications to NetFlow, are precisely what Ziften has actually accomplished with ZFlow. ZFlow offers an expanded version of NetFlow that can be deployed at the network edge, also as part of a container or VM image, and the resulting info collection can be consumed and analyzed with existing NetFlow analysis tools. Over and above standard NetFlow Internet Protocol Flow Info eXport (IPFIX) visibility of the network, ZFlow provides greater visibility with the addition of info on user, device, application and binary for each network connection.

Eventually, this allows Ziften ZFlow to deliver end-to-end visibility in between any 2 endpoints, physical or virtual, removing standard blind spots like East West traffic in data centers and enterprise cloud deployments.

Charles Leaver – This Is Why Edit Difference Is Used In Detection Part 2

Written By Jesse Sampson And Presented By Charles Leaver CEO Ziften


In the very first about edit distance, we took a look at searching for destructive executables with edit distance (i.e., the number of character edits it requires to make two text strings match). Now let’s look at how we can utilize edit distance to search for malicious domains, and how we can utilize edit distance features that can be combined with other domain features to identify suspicious activity.

Here is the Background

What are bad actors playing at with malicious domains? It could be merely using a close spelling of a common domain to trick careless users into looking at advertisements or picking up adware. Genuine sites are gradually catching onto this technique, sometimes called typo squatting.

Other destructive domains are the result of domain generation algorithms, which could be utilized to do all types of wicked things like avert countermeasures that block known compromised sites, or overwhelm domain name servers in a distributed DoS attack. Older variations utilize randomly generated strings, while more advanced ones add techniques like injecting typical words, further confusing defenders.

Edit distance can assist with both usage cases: let’s see how. First, we’ll omit common domains, considering that these are generally safe. And, a list of typical domains supplies a baseline for detecting anomalies. One excellent source is Quantcast. For this discussion, we will adhere to domain names and prevent sub-domains (e.g., not

After data cleaning, we compare each candidate domain name (input data observed in the wild by Ziften) to its possible next-door neighbors in the very same top-level domain (the tail end of a domain name –,. org, etc. and now can be almost anything). The standard task is to find the nearest next-door neighbor in terms of edit distance. By discovering domain names that are one step away from their nearby next-door neighbor, we can quickly spot typo-ed domain names. By finding domain names far from their next-door neighbor (the normalized edit distance we introduced in Part 1 is beneficial here), we can also find anomalous domain names in the edit distance area.

What were the Results?

Let’s take a look at how these outcomes appear in reality. Use caution when browsing to these domains since they might contain malicious material!

Here are a few possible typos. Typo squatters target well known domains considering that there are more opportunities somebody will visit. Several of these are suspicious according to our danger feed partners, but there are some false positives as well with charming names like “wikipedal”.

Here are some weird looking domain names far from their neighbors.

So now we have produced 2 beneficial edit distance metrics for hunting. Not just that, we have three functions to potentially add to a machine learning design: rank of nearest next-door neighbor, range from next-door neighbor, and edit distance 1 from neighbor, indicating a danger of typo shenanigans. Other features that might be utilized well with these are other lexical features such as word and n-gram distributions, entropy, and the length of the string – and network functions like the number of unsuccessful DNS demands.

Simple Code that you can Play Around with

Here is a simplified version of the code to play with! Developed on HP Vertica, however this SQL ought to work on most innovative databases. Keep in mind the Vertica editDistance function may vary in other applications (e.g. levenshtein in Postgres or UTL_MATCH. EDIT_DISTANCE in Oracle).