Preventative Security Controls Will Fail: What to Do?

I read a quick blog post this morning from Rick Holland at Forrester. In fact, part of my title is borrowed from a line in his post. As security professionals, I think it is important to recognize that despite our best efforts, many of the network security controls that have been deployed have still failed to prevent breeches and attacks from occurring. Holland along with John Kindervag have published a new report called Planning for Failure. They note that this years headlines have not been encouraging for the security world, as evidenced yet again yesterday by the Steam website hack and the take down of Estonian hackers in Operation Ghost Click.

The deluge of news around breeches and incidents that have occurred this year should not cause us to throw our arms up and head for the exits. It should ultimately galvanize those of us in the security world to be more proactive about assessing the risk posture of our organizations, identifying the areas of weakness we have, and fixing them before an incident occurs. As Holland notes in his post An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of remediation. The full Planning for Failure report also stresses the importance of testing. We at Firemon could not agree more. Our new Risk Analyzer technology enables organizations to test their entire network topology, factoring in the network security controls that are in-place, and identify exactly where attackers could breach your network. Risk Analyzer will even highlight systems that are susceptible to client-side vulnerabilities that attackers could gain access to despite effective network security controls, and identifies where the attackers could further penetrate into the network by pivoting off these assets. Risk Analyzer’s patented analysis engine provides real-time analysis, and graphically shows you where in your topology you are vulnerable. Risk Analyzer also helps you to laser focus on what remediation steps will reduce the greatest amount of risk with the least amount of effort by providing a prioritized list of remediation actions, and allowing a user to virtually apply said patches, graphically showing the impact that remediation effort has on the networks risk posture.

We are excited to release Risk Analyzer this month, and believe it is the key part of a proactive testing process that all security organizations should implement as part of their overall Incident Management plan. Risk Analyzer will allow you to substantially reduce your risk posture, prioritize your remediation efforts, and to measure the effectiveness of the security controls you have put in place.