Black Hat USA Recap

by Viewfinity 13. August 2014 17:45

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, and with a show that gets as much buzz as Black Hat, it's nearly impossible to keep anything under wraps. We think that's a good thing though, given the great information that was shared during the show. Experts from all over the world flew in to hear industry experts share new ideas, techniques, and thoughts on the industry, while hundreds of companies gathered to share their latest security innovations.

This year was Viewfinity's first time at the show, and it was quite a success. Below are a few pictures of our staffers sharing the latest news from Viewfinity. 

 

 

Were you at the show this year? Share with us your favorite session, product, booth swag, etc. We want to hear! Obviously the magnifying glasses were our favorite.

 

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What is Pass-the-Hash

by Viewfinity 31. July 2014 16:28

August 12th at 2pm ET we will be running a webinar with Enterprise Security MVP and Microsoft Security Trusted Advisor, Paula Januszkiewicz: Security Vulnerabilities Associated with Having Local Administrator Rights. This webinar will focus on the risks associated with having excess admin rights and how Viewfinity can mitigate these risks. One of the main focuses of the webinar will center on pass-the-hash scenarios; in preparation for the event we wanted to make sure everyone was well versed on this dangerous risk.

So, what is pass-the-hash? … and no it has nothing to do with twitter, or illegal substances. Pass-the-hash is when hackers exploit excessive admin rights to steal the credentials of an admin. It’s a complicated process, which is discussed fully in our white paper: How Viewfinity Mitigates Pass-the-Hash. While we highly recommend reading this whitepaper, we also wanted to share some key information to help get readers more knowledgeable in the subject… after all you must understand the vulnerability in order to protect against it.

The following information comes from Wikipedia:

WHO: Most pass-the-has attacks are done via human speed attacks, not through automated malware, using a remove human controller (remote shell).

WHAT: Pass-the-hash is a technique which enables hackers to use your own systems against you, by using administrator rights to steal admin credentials and then use those credentials to gain access to your infrastructure.

WHERE: Pass-the-hash can infiltrate any server or service that accepts LM or NTLM authentication; it can work against any operating system.

WHEN: Once a user name and password hash is obtained a hacker can then use that information to authenticate to a remote server and have access to an entire infrastructure.

HOW: The hacker uses a user password’s underlying NTLM hash to authenticate to a remote server/service.

 

 

Pretty terrifying huh? The good news is there are ways to reduce the attack surface and stop these hackers in their tracks… the bad news is that you will have to wait until next week to find out how.

Stay tuned for a follow up to our pass-the-hash discussion and make sure to sign up for the webinar on the 12th to learn how you can secure against vulnerabilities that are associated with local admin rights.

 

Summing up a brief history: Data breaches are increasing steadily in the Federal network… and everywhere else.

by Viewfinity 17. July 2014 15:59

We came across a great article that we wanted to share quickly. Josh Hicks and Alice Crites of the Washington Post recently published an article A Brief History of federal network breaches and other information-security problems”. The article gives a good break down of statistics over the past few years and paints a vivid picture of just how many people have been affected by these data breaches and advanced persistent threats: government employees, active military and veterans, the general populous.

Below is a graph they used to exemplify just how rapidly the number of breaches is increasing in recent years. These trends, although centered on the federal government in this article, ring true for all industries.

 

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Solutions for every stage: Where are you with your endpoint security project?

by Viewfinity 27. June 2014 16:02

Improving endpoint security is a difficult, but necessary task. The good news is that Viewfinity offers resources to help you during every stage of your project; whether your head is swimming trying to navigate the ever changing security landscape, you are just learning what application control can do for your organization, you’ve removed admin rights and are ready for the next steps, or you are currently employing all of the top security strategies and are looking for an easier way to manage your processes.

Take some time to check out the resources below that match your needs best, or reach out directly to Viewfinity and we can walk you through the process as smoothly as possible.

  • I am not familiar with application control and would like a high-level overview: IT Security’s 50 Shades of Grey
  • I am thinking about removing admin rights: Viewfinity’s Free Local Admin Discovery tool
  • I have removed admin rights but am experiencing IT help desk overload: Case Study – Fortune 500 Energy & Utilities Company
  • I have a homegrown / Native MS system in place but would like to learn about streamlining the process: Sign up for a One-On-One demo with a Viewfinity Engineer
  • I am making a decision soon and want to see your product: Register for a Trial Eval

Viewfinity offers flexible application control and privilege management solutions to meet whatever cyber security needs your company is currently facing. Let us work with you to make this daunting process as seamless as possible.

 

The Principle of Least Privileges Can Help Thwart Insider Threats

by Viewfinity 11. June 2014 14:07

I came across an article discussing the ways that companies can help prevent insider threats. The article, 360 Advanced Warns About Insider Threats: Is Your Data Already Out There And You Don’t Know It? , outlines some best practices and tips related to preventing and security against insider threats. Within the article David James Smith of 360 Advanced, stresses some suggestions which deserve special attention.

1.       Renew your dedication to the principle of least privilege. Immediately conduct an audit of permissions of access, and cut back. Over time, through the phenomenon of permission creep, too many people have access to information who should not. "The big problem is awareness. My rule is, know they network, and people don't," said Smith. "On several projects, when we point out the dangers of too many permissions, we're told, 'well, nobody could do anything with that data,' and then we'll show them what could be done with that data using the privileges that they thought were safe."

Viewfinity has a free Local Admin Discovery Tool that allows organizations to discover user accounts and groups that are members of the local “Administrators” built-in user group on computers in your Windows domain.  Having detailed information related to which users and groups have administrator rights on corporate desktops allows you to reassess who should have these rights. Once the analysis has been run IT Administrators can take action, if needed, by removing the users or suspicious groups from the Administrators group.  Reports can be scheduled to run regularly to show you where privilege creep is happening.

2.       Beware vendor access. Smith warns that a vital component of the rule of least privilege is to thoroughly and regularly analyze what access you have allowed for your vendors. As increased use of extranets grows, know your vulnerability, and avoid opening the door to a vendor's access to vital company information without a thorough compliance audit. Obviously, your HVAC vendor should not have access directly to the same set of computers where you store your payroll data. Such routes through vendor sharepoints and extranets are favored by hackers, and Smith says he sees that frequently.

For organizations that have outsourced their operations support to a third party or offshore entity, Viewfinity provides the ability to limit and restrict what the administrators who are part of those outsourced teams can run. This way, if the outsourced team is only responsible for maintaining certain operational functions on servers, for example, they only perform software updates, the policy will limit their privilege elevation rights to performing only those functions. You can define exactly which software products they can update via granular-level privilege control by providing the ability to reduce (or elevate) permissions for privileged users based on roles and responsibilities.

Insider threats are a real issue, affecting not just those companies who are breached, but for anyone associated with those organizations, whether it be vendors, customers, partners, or employees. A completely locked down environment benefits everyone.

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Local Admin Discovery Tool | Principle of Least Privileges | Security | Security Protection | Tools

SC Magazine Gives Viewfinity 4.5 Stars!

by Viewfinity 2. June 2014 16:18

Recently, SC Magazine invited Viewfinity to participate in their Risk & Policy Management 2014 group review. We are proud to announce that the test results released today indicate that Viewfinity has received 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Viewfinity scored perfect 5’s in Features, Ease of Use, Performance, and Documentation. Other areas that Viewfinity excelled in were Support and Value for the Money.

You can read the full report on SC Magazine’s website, for a more detailed breakdown of the scoring and reviews.

 

 

 

You can see more information specifically about Viewfinity Application Control here.

 

 

 

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Dave Ostertag’s Critical Steps for Preventing Breaches – Whitelisting is Key

by Viewfinity 30. May 2014 14:57

This week, Meghan Goldschmidt, writer for Bank Info Security published an article which outlines a conversation with Analyst Dave Ostertag, regarding trends in IT security, data breach statistics and steps which organizations can take to help prevent those breaches.

The article includes a transcript from an interview between Ostertag and Information Security Media Group. The interview discusses recent high-profile data breaches, trends in the industry, particular risks, and steps that organizations can take to better secure themselves now. The information discussed centers around the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.

The full article links to the Verizon Data Breach Report, as well as the full audio from Ostertag’s interview. It is definitely worth an in-depth read. Outlined below are some key points from the interview that we thought pertinent to share.

  • 2013 saw an increase in the number of POS attacks, after a drop in attacks seen in both 2009 and 2010
  • Espionage is a key factor in many attacks in recent months
  • In most POS attacks, malware is being customized to the particular company
  • A lack of consistent whitelisting on point-of-sales systems and servers and file integrity monitoring are leading to POS vulnerabilities

Read the full Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report to find out more statistics.

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Where to start… Combatting the Mega Breach

by Viewfinity 20. May 2014 13:19

2013 is being referred to as the “Year of the Mega Breach” by Symantec and other security experts, and it’s no wonder why, considering the explosive growth in breaches and attacks that we have seen from 2012 to 2013. Unfortunately, with 2014 not even half way over, the growth trend seems to be strong.

Symantec’s recent infographic outlines some of the startling growth statistics: 
  • 62% increase in total number of breaches from 2012 to 2013
  • 459 million more identities exposed
  • 87% More “Mega Breaches” (>10M affected)

(Click to view the full infographic)

 

Fortunately, despite this massive growth, there are techniques that organizations can employ to better secure their endpoints and servers. Taking the first step is definitely the hardest though. That’s why experts from the SANS Institute have come out with a list of top security controls and quick wins to get organizations on their way to stronger cyber security.

 

 

We’ve created a handy mapping to outline how Privilege Management and Application Control solutions can correlate with the 5 quick wins. Check it out here.

 

 

  

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Tremendous Time at TechEd

by Viewfinity 16. May 2014 09:41

Viewfinity experienced yet another successful show at Microsoft’s TechEd North America, this past week in Houston, TX.

The event, which was combined with the former Microsoft Management Summit, was alive with activity and opportunity for all who attended.

Viewfinity’s booth experienced an incredibly high level of volume and with  live one-on-one demos, information on the latest innovations and product releases and speaking with industry experts. The show proved to be quite a success as attendees formed lines around the booth, waiting to see the Privilege Management and Application Control solutions in action.

The success of the show can be attributed in many parts to all of the satisfied Viewfinity customers who not only visited the booth themselves, but also sent or brought along other companies to learn about the Viewfinity solutions and benefits!  We thank all our customers who sent these folks in our direction – a nice testament to their success with our solutions!

Below, Viewfinity Senior Engineer, Chuck M. explains the product to an enraptured attendee (top), and Viewfinity CEO, Leonid Shtilman also jumped in, during the hustle of the show, to give demos (bottom).

 


 

On the second day of the show Viewfinity also achieved great success while hosting an IT Executive Dinner Briefing at the III Forks steakhouse in Houston. Viewfinity gathered IT leaders and practitioners in the information security space for a briefing event with SANS Institute’s Tony Sager. During the dinner and briefing Sager presented on security threat trends and adaptive strategies for information security. The discussion focused on the use of the SANS Institute’s top security controls as the foundation of an approach to security in order to better secure against, and quickly detect and minimize, cyber-attacks.

TechEd’s website has a number of on-demand session recordings and PowerPoint slide desks available for download. If you didn’t get a chance to go to the show, couldn’t get in to a popular session, or just want a refresher of what you learned during the week, definitely check it out here.

  

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Success at Symantec Vision

by Viewfinity 8. May 2014 15:41

This week a few lucky Viewfinity staffers got the chance to travel out to Las Vega to represent the company at this year’s Symantec Vision show. While what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, with such a fun and successful show, we wanted to share a few highlights.

The week started off in style with a lively Cinco de Mayo themed opening reception. The show floor was buzzing as dancers twirled with delight. Good food, good music, good people, and good products … what more could anyone ask for?

  The rest of the week continued in the same fashion. Attendees kept our Viewfinity staff busy all week long, giving demos, talking about product innovations and discussing the latest industry trends. Checkout a great shot of some of our staffers below. Who wouldn’t want to talk privilege management and application control with these smiling faces?

In true Vegas fashion, the Symantec Vision show was able to combine the best of all worlds: engaging sessions, riveting key note speakers, access to cutting edge technology and top notch entertainment. Symantec Vision truly embraced the work hard, play hard attitude by wrapping up the third day of the show with a rocking experience, a concert given by the hit band, OneRepublic.

While the final day in Vegas wraps up, with more class A educational sessions, outstanding key notes and prizes galore, one is left wondering, “how can they possibly top this next year?” We have no doubts though, we know they will.


 
 
 

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About Viewfinity

Viewfinity provides privilege management and application control for desktops, laptops and servers, empowering enterprises to meet compliance mandates, reduce security risks, and lower IT costs. The Viewfinity solution allows enterprises to control end user and privileged user rights for applications and systems which require elevated permissions. Viewfinity's granular-level control enables companies to establish and enforce consistent policies for least privilege Windows-based environments based on segregation of duties. For more information, visit www.viewfinity.com.

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