Network World

Edge security: There’s lots of attack surfaces to worry about

Network World - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 6:03pm

The problem of edge security isn’t unique – many of the issues being dealt with are the same ones that have been facing the general IT sector for decades.

But the edge adds its own wrinkles to those problems, making them, in many cases, more difficult to address. Yet, by applying basic information security precautions, most edge deployments can be substantially safer.

More about edge networking

The most common IoT vulnerability occurs because many sensors and edge computing devices are running some kind of built-in web server to allow for remote access and management. This is an issue because many end-users don’t – or, in some cases, can’t – change default login and password information, nor are they able to seal them off from the Internet at large. There are dedicated gray-market search sites out there to help bad actors find these unsecured web servers, and they can even be found with a little creative Googling, although Joan Pepin, CISO at security and authentication vendor Auth0, said that the search giant has taken steps recently to make that process more difficult.

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(Insider Story)
Categories: Network World

IoT providers need to take responsibility for performance

Network World - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 6:00am

Last year saw the continued growth of enterprises adopting internet of things solutions, with companies harnessing the power of wireless data collection, analytics and connectivity to enhance productivity and efficiency in ways we could previously not imagine.

Analysts expect corporate spending on IoT in the U.S. to approach $200B in 2019, with global spending exceeding $800B. As adoption has grown, privacy and security advocates have called for regulating IoT to enhance personal privacy and to strengthen the security of IoT devices and services.

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(Insider Story)
Categories: Network World

That VPN may not be as secure as you think

Network World - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 3:09pm

If you’re a VPN subscriber and have ever wondered just how secure the supposedly encrypted pipe that you’re using through the internet is — and whether the anonymity promise made by the VPN provider is indeed protecting your privacy— well, your hunches may be correct. It turns out several of these connections are not secure.

Academics say they’ve discovered a whopping 13 programming errors in 61 separate VPN systems tested recently. The configuration bungles “allowed Internet traffic to travel outside the encrypted connection,” the researchers say.

The independent research group, made up of computer scientists from UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Spain’s Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies (IMDEA) with International Computer Science Institute, write in the Conversation this month, some of which is redistributed by Homeland Security Newswire, that six of 200 VPN services also scandalously monitored user traffic. That’s more serious than unintended leaks, the team explains — users trust providers not to snoop. The point of a VPN is to be private and not get monitored. VPN use ranges from companies protecting commercial secrets on public Wi-Fi to dissidents.

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Red Hat announces container flaw CVE-2019-5736

Network World - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:55am

Red Hat announced a vulnerability this morning – one that can be exploited if a user runs malicious or modified containers. The flaw in runC (a lightweight portable container runtime) and Docker that this vulnerability exposes allows an attacker to escape a container and access the underlying file system. That might sound bad, but there's more.

The good news is that this vulnerability cannot be exploited if SELinux is enabled and that this is the default on Red Hat systems. To check whether your Red Hat system is enforcing SELinux, use one of the following commands:

$ /usr/sbin/getenforce Enforcing <== $ sestatus SELinux status: enabled <== SELinuxfs mount: /sys/fs/selinux SELinux root directory: /etc/selinux Loaded policy name: targeted Current mode: enforcing Mode from config file: enforcing Policy MLS status: enabled Policy deny_unknown status: allowed Memory protection checking: actual (secure) Max kernel policy version: 31 [ Read also: Linux hardening: A 15-step checklist for a secure Linux server ]

This vulnerability also requires local access to the system. Affected Red Hat systems include:

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Categories: Network World

SD-WAN creates new security challenges

Network World - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 5:30am

SD-WAN products have been available for the better part of five years. Early adopters of the technology focused primarily on transport-related issues such as replacing or augmenting MPLS with broadband. As any technology matures and moves out of the early adopter phase, the buying criteria changes — and SD-WAN is no different.

In 2018, a ZK Research survey asked respondents to rank SD-WAN buying criteria, and security came out as the top response, well ahead of technology innovation and price. (Note: I am employee of ZK Research.) To better understand this trend and what it means to network professionals, I sat down with Fortinet’s executive vice president of products and solutions, John Maddison, who sets the company’s product strategy, making him well versed in both SD-WAN and security.

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Get TotalAV Essential AntiVirus for $19.99 (80% off)

Network World - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 2:11pm

The term “computer virus” calls to mind imagery of pathogenic creepy-crawlies bringing down a device’s operating system, their flagella wriggling as they multiply into hordes that infiltrate its chips and wires. And while it’s true that our computers can be infected with literal biological bacteria like staphylococci, per Science Illustrated, the threat of malicious codes and programs intent on corrupting data and files looms far larger: According to a recent study from the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering, attacks on computers with internet access is virtually ceaseless, with an incident occurring every 39 seconds on average, affecting a third of Americans every year.

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Categories: Network World

National pen test execution standard would improve network security

Network World - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 8:18am

As the number of cyber attacks increases, the demand for penetration tests – to determine the strength of a company’s defense – is also going up. People are worried about their companies’ networks and computer systems being hacked and data being stolen. Plus, many regulatory standards such PCI and HITRUST require these tests to be performed on at least an annual basis.

The demand for these tests is only going to increase as attackers get more sophisticated. And it’s essential these tests catch all possible vulnerabilities.

[ Also read: What to consider when deploying a next-generation firewall | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Benefits and gaps of penetration tests

Penetration tests involve live tests of computer networks, systems, or web applications to find potential vulnerabilities. The tester actually attempts to exploit the vulnerabilities and documents the details of the results to their client. They document how severe the vulnerabilities are and recommend the steps that should be taken in order to resolve them.

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DARPA explores new computer architectures to fix security between systems

Network World - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 9:32am

Solutions are needed to replace the archaic air-gapping of computers used to isolate and protect sensitive defense information, the U.S. Government has decided. Air-gapping, used often now, is the practice of physically isolating data-storing computers from other systems, computers, and networks. It theoretically can’t be compromised because there is nothing between the machines — there are no links into the machines; they’re removed.

However, many say air-gapping is no longer practical, as the cloud and internet takes a hold of massive swaths of data and communications.

“Keeping a system completely disconnected from all means of information transfer is an unrealistic security tactic,” says Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on its website, announcing an initiative to develop completely new hardware and software that will allow defense communications to take place securely among myriad existing systems, networks, and security protocols.

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The race to lock down industrial control systems | Salted Hash Ep 44

Network World - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 6:00am
Guest host Juliet Beauchamp and CSO senior writer J.M. Porup talk about the challenges around securing the systems and networks used to control industrial plants and infrastructures.
Categories: Network World

Build security into your IoT plan or risk attack

Network World - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 12:11pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer some futuristic thing that’s years off from being something IT leaders need to be concerned with. The IoT era has arrived. In fact, Gartner forecasts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices globally by 2020.

An alternative proof point is the fact that when I talk with people about their company's IoT plans, they don’t look at me like a deer in headlights as they did a few years ago. In fact, often the term “IoT” doesn’t even come up. Businesses are connecting more “things” to create new processes, improve efficiency, or improve customer service.

As they do, though, new security challenges arise. One of which is there's no “easy button.” IT professionals can’t just deploy some kind of black box and have everything be protected. Securing the IoT is a multi-faceted problem with many factors to consider, and it must be built into any IoT plan.

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Categories: Network World

What is a firewall? How they work and how they fit into enterprise security

Network World - Fri, 01/25/2019 - 2:49pm

Firewalls been around for three decades, but they’ve evolved drastically to include features that used to be sold as separate appliances and to pull in externally gathered data to make smarter decisions about what network traffic to allow and what traffic to block.

Now just one indespensible element in an ecosystem of network defenses, the latest versions are known as enterprise firewalls or next-generation firewalls (NGFW) to indicate who should use them and that they are continually adding functionality.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network device that monitors packets going in and out of networks and blocks or allows them according to rules that have been set up to define what traffic is permissible and what traffic isn’t.

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Categories: Network World

How SD-WAN can improve your security strategy

Network World - Fri, 01/25/2019 - 1:54pm

Data breaches and security threats are a top concern among IT leaders, yet it’s harder than ever to hire skilled security professionals. That has organizations looking for ways to more easily improve their security strategy. One option is to implement a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN).

I recently talked with Hamza Seqqat, director of solutions architecture at Apcela, to get his take on how SD-WAN affects security strategy. Seqqat helps enterprise organizations redefine their wide-area networks to accommodate the growing use of cloud-based applications and services. In our discussion, he outlined four areas where SD-WAN offers new security benefits.

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Categories: Network World

Batten down the DNS hatches as attackers strike Feds

Network World - Fri, 01/25/2019 - 11:47am

If enterprise IT folks haven’t taken a look at their DNS ecosystem recently now may be a good time. 

This week the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) told all federal agencies to bolt down their Domain Name System in the face of a  series of global hacking campaigns.

More about DNS:

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Cisco patches serious SD-WAN software security holes

Network World - Fri, 01/25/2019 - 11:27am

Cisco has patched security vulnerabilities in four packages of SD-WAN Solution software that address buffer overflow, arbitrary file override and privilege access weaknesses that could have led to denial of service attacks or access problems.

The first patch, called “Critical” by Cisco, fixes a vulnerability in the vContainer of the Cisco SD-WAN Solution that could let an authenticated, remote attacker cause a denial of service (DoS) and execute arbitrary code as the root user, the company wrote in a security advisory. 

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Categories: Network World