Sunday, August 12, 2007

Monitoring and visibility, old'y but a...

From :
"Without monitoring, you're vulnerable until your security is perfect. If you monitor first, you're immediately more secure."

"Monitoring should be the first step in any network security plan. It's something that a network administrator can do today to provide immediate value. Policy analysis and vulnerability assessments take time, and don't actually improve a network's security until they're acted upon."

"It's specious logic for a CIO to decide to wait until his network is stable, he understands his security, and all his patches are up to date. It'll never happen. Monitoring's best value is when a network is in flux -- as all large networks always are -- due to internal and external factors."

From the ensuing comments:

"However if you insist on war as the metaphor, here are two thoughts along those lines. First, the war, if that is what it is, is surely a guerrilla war. The entities being attacked are large, visible, slow-moving and part of the power structure. They have much greater resources than the attackers, but no effective way to apply them. The attackers and few, dispersed, hidden and have few resources. But what they have is the free choice of when and where to attack.

To fight guerrillas it is necessary to a) identify them; i.e., distinguish them from civilians and b) control some resource that is essential to their survival. Given the Internet as it exists today, I don't see much hope of doing either of these. If the authorities decide to employ broadly targeted, draconian measures, they will find like the British in America and the Americans in Vietnam, that the collateral effects on innocent civilians are simply unacceptable.

My second thought about hacking as war is that the situation can be compared to that in many wars, but most especially the American Civil War. While some people were busy fighting and dying, war profiteers made fortunes selling rotten food, unserviceable uniforms and non-working weapons. With a market full of snake oil security, bug-ridden applications and vendors who are more interested in suing or prosecuting people who reveal security problems than fixing them, this seems like the kind of war we are in."

Nice segway to this post by Bejtlich re: Schneier and Cyberwar;

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