Written By Roark Pollock And Presented By Chuck Leaver CEO Ziften
The End Point Security Buyer’s Guide
The most typical point for an advanced consistent attack or a breach is the endpoint. And they are certainly the entry point for most ransomware and social engineering attacks. Using endpoint security products has actually long been thought about a best practice for securing endpoints. Unfortunately, those tools aren’t staying up to date with today’s hazard environment. Advanced risks, and truth be told, even less innovative dangers, are often more than appropriate for fooling the typical worker into clicking something they shouldn’t. So organizations are looking at and examining a plethora of next-gen endpoint security (NGES) options.
With this in mind, here are ten pointers to think about if you’re taking a look at NGES solutions.
Suggestion 1: Begin with the end in mind
Don’t let the tail wag the dog. A danger reduction technique should always begin by examining issues and then trying to find possible fixes for those problems. But all too often we get captivated with a “shiny” new innovation (e.g., the latest silver bullet) and we end up trying to squeeze that technology into our environments without totally examining if it resolves an understood and recognized issue. So exactly what problems are you trying to solve?
– Is your existing endpoint protection tool failing to stop threats?
– Do you need much better visibility into activities at the endpoint?
– Are compliance requirements mandating continuous end point monitoring?
– Are you trying to decrease the time and expense of incident response?
Define the problems to address, and after that you’ll have a measuring stick for success.
Idea 2: Understand your audience. Who will be using the tool?
Understanding the problem that needs to be fixed is an essential first step in understanding who owns the problem and who would (operationally) own the service. Every functional team has its strengths, weaknesses, preferences and prejudices. Define who will need to use the solution, and others that could benefit from its usage. It could be:
– Security operations,
– IT group,
– The governance, risk & compliance (GRC) team,
– Help desk or end user support group,
– And even the server group, or a cloud operations team?
Pointer 3: Know exactly what you imply by end point
Another often neglected early step in defining the problem is specifying the endpoint. Yes, we all used to know exactly what we meant when we stated endpoint but today end points come in a lot more ranges than in the past.
Sure we want to safeguard desktops and laptop computers however how about mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets), virtual end points, cloud based end points, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices? And how about your servers? All these devices, naturally, are available in multiple tastes so platform support needs to be dealt with also (e.g. Windows only, Mac OSX, Linux, etc?). Also, consider assistance for endpoints even when they are working remote, or are working offline. What are your requirements and exactly what are “great to haves?”
Suggestion 4: Start with a structure of continuous visibility
Constant visibility is a fundamental capability for attending to a host of security and operational management concerns on the endpoint. The old adage holds true – that you cannot manage exactly what you can’t see or determine. Further, you can’t secure exactly what you cannot effectively manage. So it should begin with continuous or all-the-time visibility.
Visibility is foundational to Security and Management
And consider what visibility indicates. Enterprises require a single source of reality 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 usage patterns
– Binary data – attributes of installed binaries
– Procedures data – tracking info and stats
– Network connectivity data – statistics and internal behavior of network activity on the host
Pointer 5: Track your visibility data
End point visibility data can be saved and analyzed on the premises, in the cloud, or some combination of both. There are advantages to each. The appropriate approach varies, but is typically driven by regulatory requirements, internal privacy policies, the endpoints being monitored, and the general cost factors to consider.
Know if your company requires on-premise data retention
Know whether your company enables cloud based data retention and analysis or if you are constrained to on premise services only. Within Ziften, 20-30% of our customers save data on premise just for regulative factors. However, if lawfully an alternative, the cloud can provide expense advantages (among others).
Tip 6: Know what is on your network
Understanding the problem you are aiming to fix requires understanding the assets on the network. We find that as much as 30% of the end points we initially discover on clients’ networks are unmanaged or unidentified devices. This undoubtedly produces a big blind spot. Decreasing this blind spot is a critical best practice. In fact, SANS Critical Security Controls 1 and 2 are to carry out an inventory of licensed and unauthorized devices and software applications attached to your network. So look for NGES services that can finger print all connected devices, track software applications inventory and utilization, and perform ongoing continuous discovery.
Idea 7: Know where you are exposed
After figuring out what devices you have to view, you need to make certain they are running in up to date setups. SANS Critical Security Controls 3 suggests making sure secure setups monitoring for laptops, workstations, and servers. SANS Critical Security Controls 4 recommends making it possible for continuous vulnerability evaluation and remediation of these devices. So, look for NGES solutions that supply constant monitoring of the state or posture of each device, and it’s even better if it can assist enforce that posture.
Also look for services that deliver continuous vulnerability evaluation and removal.
Keeping your total endpoint environment solidified and free of vital vulnerabilities prevents a huge quantity of security concerns and eliminates a lot of back end work on the IT and security operations teams.
Pointer 8: Cultivate continuous detection and response
A crucial end goal for numerous NGES solutions is supporting continuous device state monitoring, to enable efficient risk or incident response. SANS Critical Security Control 19 recommends robust event response and management as a best practice.
Try to find NGES solutions that offer all-the-time or continuous risk detection, which leverages a network of worldwide hazard intelligence, and multiple detection strategies (e.g., signature, behavioral, artificial intelligence, etc). And look for event response services that help prioritize identified threats and/or problems and provide workflow with contextual system, application, user, and network data. This can help automate the proper response or next steps. Lastly, understand all the response actions that each solution supports – and look for a service that supplies remote access that is as close as possible to “sitting at the end point keyboard”.
Suggestion 9: Consider forensics data gathering
In addition to event response, companies need to be prepared to address the requirement for forensic or historic data analysis. The SANS Critical Security Control 6 suggests the maintenance, tracking and analysis of all audit logs. Forensic analysis can take numerous forms, but a structure of historical end point tracking data will be crucial to any examination. So look for solutions that maintain historic data that allows:
– Forensic tasks include tracing lateral risk movement through the network gradually,
– Identifying data exfiltration efforts,
– Identifying source of breaches, and
– Identifying appropriate removal actions.
Pointer 10: Tear down the walls
IBM’s security team, which supports an outstanding community of security partners, approximates that the typical enterprise has 135 security tools in place and is dealing with 40 security suppliers. IBM customers definitely tend to be large enterprise however it’s a common refrain (problem) from organizations of all sizes that security services don’t integrate well enough.
And the complaint is not simply that security services don’t play well with other security products, but likewise that they do not always integrate well with system management, patch management, CMDB, NetFlow analytics, ticketing systems, and orchestration tools. Organizations have to think about these (as well as other) integration points as well as the vendor’s willingness to share raw data, not just metadata, through an API.
Additional Tip 11: Plan for modifications
Here’s a bonus pointer. Presume that you’ll want to tailor that shiny brand-new NGES service shortly after you get it. No service will fulfill all your requirements right out of the box, in default setups. Discover how the solution supports:
– Custom-made data collection,
– Informing and reporting with custom data,
– Customized scripting, or
– IFTTT (if this then that) performance.
You understand you’ll want new paint or new wheels on that NGES solution quickly – so ensure it will support your future customization tasks easy enough.
Look for support for simple personalizations in your NGES solution
Follow the bulk of these suggestions and you’ll undoubtedly avoid a number of the typical pitfalls that plague others in their examinations of NGES services.