Monitoring the Unknown

The recent New York Times attack, just like many of the other high-profile attacks over the past couple of years, demonstrated the evolution towards multi-vector, sophisticated attacks. If you haven’t enabled WildFire on your Palo Alto Networks firewalls to complement your threat prevention capabilities, it’s time to do so.

What was also interesting about this attack was that it emphasized the need for a rapid monitoring and response system. Hand-in-hand with the deployment of a robust security architecture, is the need for a monitoring and response process that allows you to continuously monitor and process security data efficiently and proactively act upon this data if something suspicious is found. Critical foundational elements like the right data feed and the right enforcement model are the building blocks to creating a robust monitoring and response system:

  • The analytics of data is only as useful as the data itself. Richer, premium data feeds provided by next-generation firewalls on applications, users and content provide more relevant, actionable data. While our Application Command Center, and integrated reports/logs support this, a new breed of SIEM and big data vendors, such as Splunk, also take advantage of this intelligent information to make the monitoring process more operationally efficient.
  • In addition, in order to easily categorize the unknown traffic that could potentially be a source of malware, start with a positive enforcement model so the unknown becomes significant and much more manageable.

In my latest Security Week article, you can read more about monitoring unknown network traffic and the critical foundational elements needed to create a monitoring and response system.