I wrote a post comparing Cisco’s Next Generation Firewall known as ASA CX vs. Cisco’s Web Security Appliance / Proxy known as WSA HERE. Here is a update to that post as requested by some readers.
In summary, the WSA is a security appliance that can act as a proxy focusing on network bound traffic such as port 80, 443 and 21. The ASA CX is an all ports and protocol firewall with reputation and IPS security (IPS being added in October 2013). Both solutions can provide reputation based security meaning stopping the attacker (more on this concept can be found HERE), Integrate with authentication systems such as Active Directory, can view HTTPS via decryption, application visibly with policy enforcement (IE identify and block Farmsville within Facebook) and detection of threats however detection methods are slightly different (one uses a combination of AV / malware engines while the other uses IPS).Continue reading →
Today’s threat landscape is loaded with malicious websites, malware and other risks that attack users every nanosecond of the day. There isn’t a single product available that can guarantee protection from cyber threats. Older solutions leveraging static technologies such as signatures are not good enough. The best approach for dealing with advanced threats is continuously monitoring the entire network through layering security technologies. Continue reading →
Today’s Internet is a dangerous place. Imagine a small village with law and order surrounded by a wall keeping out miles of ungoverned ruthless territory. Most known websites surfed daily by your users make up a small percentage of the total Internet. The remaining 80% or more of uncategorized websites are contaminated with Botnets, malware and short-lived websites targeting your users. Many of these malicious websites are embedded in trusted sites such as social networks by hiding in advertisements or silly links posted by your friends. The best protection for this threat vector is limiting Internet usage to trusted websites and monitoring those websites for malicious applications. Continue reading →
Many corporations fail to establish and enforce a network policy. A network policy is a set of conditions, limitations, and customized settings designed to control how authorized subjects use network resources. Common examples of a network policy are controlling access to adult, gambling, hacking, blacklisted and other website categories that violate human resource (HR) and security standards. Network Policy requirements can change based on device type, time of day and user role. Its key that network policy is automatically enforced rather than something end-users choose to abide by or most likely will fail when most needed. Continue reading →
The web is a dangerous place so its extremely important to have web proxy / content filter technology protecting users that access it. I had a roommate years ago who purchased a computer and within hours had every virus, malware and what not clogging his new machine. I’m sure he didn’t have the best surfing habits however that doesn’t mean the average user is less likely to be infected. What most people don’t realize about websites is they are like a Paint By Numbers canvas leveraging other websites to fill in the colors. For example, if you see a RealAudio video on a website, guess what … you have surfed both that embedded video’s website and the host website. The same goes when there are hidden links that download malicious malware on what you believe is a safe website. Continue reading →
Some people believe people behind Cyber Crime are disgruntled teenage hackers looking to cause chaos for fun. In some cases that may be however the majority of Cyber Crime is performed by well-funded organized criminals. Yes, I’m talking about the godfather like people who robbed banks and distributed narcotics on the street corner prior to the computer age. Organized crime realized it’s faster to automate an attack against millions of virtual targets rather than physically deal with criminal activity. Who is really behind Cyber Crime and how do they operate? Lets take at look at a case study of popups to understand the Cyber Crime organization. Continue reading →
What is reputation? By definition “Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of the group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organization on a certain criterion. It is an important factor in many fields, such as education, business, online communities or social status”. Older security technologies use signatures of known bad elements however those remain static and can’t detect changes without regular updates. Many leading vendors are realizing it’s easier to watch the change of Reputation of information rather than trying to capture signatures of attacks and updating their technology. Continue reading →