|By Rich Barger||
|July 11, 2014 03:01 PM EDT||
I remember it like it was yesterday, the first few hours of basic training. I stood there cooking in the South Carolina humidity with a very loud and short man, named Drill Sergeant Doll screaming a few inches from my ear, "You need to shoot, move and communicate!" At the time, I had absolutely no clue what he was talking about. However, over the course of a few weeks I would start to understand that these would be the basic skills I needed to successfully complete my training.
Later, I would learn that these three skills needed to be honed together and each soldier would eventually take what they learned and apply it under the pressure of a live fire exercise. This would test our ability to work as a team, each soldier required to direct precise suppressing fire, moving swiftly in alternating bounding movements towards an objective all while communicating with one another, taking care not to shoot a fellow team member. "Shoot, Move, and Communicate" became the cornerstone of our military training.
We see communication as a vital attribute underpinning much of what we do as a community on a daily basis. We communicate within our circle of influence, within and across our organizations, as well as with external parties or even autonomous machines. Communication is what builds interpersonal relationships and is what allows us to draw upon a larger community that then becomes a countermeasure, which can be organized and wielded against modern threats.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Not unlike training for and conducting conventional combat, neutralizing asymmetric cyber threats requires some of the same basic teamwork skills. The njRAT infrastructure takedown operation conducted by Microsoft this week has been nothing short of controversial. If you shoot and move but fail to communicate, the result often means someone is going to get hurt. The unilateral takedown has served its purpose of impacting the attackers, but has also negatively effected all the stakeholders, such as Microsoft, Vitalwerks (NO-IP), and its users alike.
While this is a highly complex example, the anatomy of the problem is disguised behind a two-front war, and as we look closer, the Microsoft takedown illuminates some of the problems we face today. Certainly there are the obvious technical challenges that the threats pose, but those are largely dwarfed in comparison to the interpersonal, social and cultural issues we have with one another, our individual motivations, as well as how and why we choose to communicate. The fallout between Microsoft and Vitalwerks (NO-IP) is a strategic inflection point within a decade old industry that seemingly fumbles every time one of us gets the ball.
There are many viewpoints, both for and against the actions Microsoft took, that have been posted on blogs, discussed on mailing lists and questioned in the news. Like trying to solve any challenge faced on a global scale, pulling one lever will undoubtedly move three or four somewhere else, triggering unforeseen consequences, in many cases becoming the new focal point and problem. As an industry, we need to become more situationally aware and selfless. We cannot continue to go at it alone, nor should we try. Unity is our strength. The sooner we all recognize this, the more effective we will be in dealing with common adversaries.
Solution Focused vs. Problem Focused
We specifically engineered ThreatConnect to be the enterprise solution that allows the security community to cross the chasm that exists between the technical and non-technical security challenges we face today. ThreatConnect was created with the intention of giving anyone the ability to easily develop and control their own threat intelligence by aggregating data from any source they deemed of value, allowing them to analyze and dynamically enrich contextualized indicators over time with the ability to communicate their findings in a controlled and trusted manner.
This flexibility gives analysts and network defense personnel the precision that is needed to accurately focus in on specific indicator types of interest and effectively manage their knowledge and pool resources. When it comes time to operationalize the information and coordinate their neutralization, there are capabilities to communicate around the data, intent to convey and actions to coordinate in order to minimize the risk of uninformed stakeholders and unintended consequences.
In today's highly connected world, there should be no excuse for breakdowns in communication when conducting such important and delicate operations as infrastructure takedowns. As of late April 2014, ThreatConnect has been sponsoring a free private ThreatConnect Community, proactively reaching out to service providers who are victims of abuse and wish to actively contribute resources to support coordinated takedown operations.
This emerging community is populated with vetted individuals and organizations within enterprise security teams, dynamic DNS providers and domain registrars. The goal is to deliver a platform and environment in which all stakeholders can easily come together and adopt a selfless attitude, and then deliver results for the common interest of our users and customers.
On a daily basis, the ThreatConnect Intelligence Research Team (TCIRT) leverages ThreatConnect to effectively share information and collaborate with large organizations, such as Microsoft and small to medium sized organizations, like Vitalwerks (NO-IP), so they are able to act on information in a coordinated manner. We do this because it is the right thing to do and the best way to do it.
If you or your organization is interested in participating in this community or others in ThreatConnect, register for a free basic account and get started, so you can do your part and enter into a community which will allow you to shoot, move, and communicate more effectively.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Dec. 1, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 306
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Dec. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 472
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Dec. 1, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 373
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Dec. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 514
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Dec. 1, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 138
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Dec. 1, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 131
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Dec. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 577
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Dec. 1, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 482
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 397
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 396
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Dec. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 252
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Dec. 1, 2015 06:30 AM EST Reads: 515
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 622
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Dec. 1, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 361
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Dec. 1, 2015 04:45 AM EST Reads: 459
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 469
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 470
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 30, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 497
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 376
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 440