“We’ve never seen any quite like this,” said Michael Sutton, vice president of security research at Zscaler, a San Jose, California-based security firm. “Not only is a huge portion of the Internet impacted, but the damage that can be done, and with relative ease, is immense.”
Shift is the latest innovation from Jay and the folks at Zscaler. Patrick Foxhoven, VP and CTO of Emerging Technology at the company, said Shift represents a move to intelligent routing. While it offers many advantages, the real benefit of Shift for Foxhoven is that it allows Zscaler to offer its world-class security offering to a whole new class of organizations that perhaps couldn't have afforded it before. Shift is targeted and priced for midmarket and SMBs.
Michael Sutton, from security research firm Zscaler, said that hackers using legitimate websites to host malicious content was now the norm. "Social engineering attacks always involve an element of communication - the victim must be tricked into performing an action such as providing data, clicking on a link, downloading a file, et cetera. Attackers have learned that it's far easier to simply infect an already popular web property than to attempt communication with victims directly," he said.
The shift to cloud-centric deliver models is also driving the rapid emergence and the massively disruptive transition to Network as a Service (NaaS) platforms. Perhaps the best example of this is Zscaler, but there are numerous companies such as Cloudflare, Aryaka and Pertino positioning into the NaaS market. We recently caught up with Zscaler at the RSA security trade show.
The attack, which was active during late February according to researchers at Zscaler, follows a familiar pattern seen in many other such attacks. It began with the compromise of a law firm’s site at 39essex[.]com and when users hit the site, they were redirected to a third-party site, which hosted the exploit kit. When victims visited the second compromised site hosting the kit, it performed a number of diagnostic tests on the user’s browser to see what sort of exploits should be delivered.
Cloud security firm Zscaler, for example, is beta-testing a slimmed-down version, dubbed SHIFT, of its enterprise security offering, limiting the dashboard to a single page and aiming to get companies "up and running in 5 minutes or less."
Michael Sutton, vice president of security research for Zscaler, says the landscape for zero-day vulnerabilities has evolved significantly in recent years as software makers, Microsoft in particular, have gotten increasingly better about putting out patches, and organizations have become more adept at shortening the patch cycle. Instead, it's no longer the “low-hanging fruit” of simple vulnerabilities, Sutton says. “It's not getting worse so much in terms of sheer volume, it's the severity of the threats and the length of time they are taking to come to the surface to get to where a vendor can address them,” Sutton says.
A comprehensive approach to IT security includes prevention, detection and remediation. Most companies spend 90% of their security budget on prevention in the belief that they should focus on stopping or preventing attacks in the first place. From his position with the Zscaler ThreatLabz, Sutton can see that most companies are already infected to some degree. “Of course we want to protect and defend against attacks before they affect us if at all possible, but we absolutely can’t ignore the detection side or the remediation side,” says Sutton. “We know we’re going to get some infections and we need to limit that damage as quickly as possible and isolate the problem and do the appropriate remediation steps. Enterprises need to adopt that focus.”
Cloud security vendor Zscaler said it has created a joint product with communications services provider BT aimed at addressing mobile security risks. The BT Assure Threat Monitoring service will support real-time threat monitoring from the Zscaler Global Security Cloud. The joint products integrate Zscaler Web logs with BT’s service to provide monitoring, data analysis and regulatory compliance.
Well, the first day of RSA week is in the books and things are off to a rousing start. My day started early today as I was the moderator of a great panel at the Americas Growth Capital Conference. My panel was on Security Automation. Panel members were Jay Chaudry of Zscaler, Marty Roesch of Cisco/Sourcefire, John Summers of Akami, Marc Willebeek-LeMair of Click Security and Rajat Bhargava of JumpCloud.
Moderator Jay Chaudhry, CEO of vendor Zscaler, said that tactic needs to be modified to account for the distributed access demands of an organization that broadly uses cloud applications. He mentioned that one Zscaler customer with 150,000 employees in more than 100 countries suddenly realized its gateway strategy wasn't working when it implemented SaaS applications and backhauled its traffic to just four gateways, grinding activity to a halt.
While the Target theft and others like it may be the work of organized crime, Sutton explains, it's not necessarily the same group: “I think that we're seeing the tip of the iceberg here. Because yes, Target was the first and now we're starting to see other retailers, Neiman Marcus, Michael's have also stepped forward.
Advances Internet security with intelligent routing that automatically applies adaptive security and policy to dynamic Internet threats, enabling global protection and visibility in minutes through a cloud based service
Samsung’s Knox mobile security platform has bolstered its status as the emerging standard in mobile enterprise device security by inking a deal with Zscaler to integrate its technology with the software.
While larger companies have the ability to deploy DNS servers in their internal networks, cloud services have quickly begun offering much of the flexibility of internal configurations while delivering on a passel of security features as well, says Patrick Foxhoven, chief technology officer for cloud security firm Zscaler.
These security services aren’t the same as an on-premise firewall that watches the network from a physical appliance attached in your data center. But these products promise to protect you from malware, help you keep track of who signs into your network, monitor all your other cloud applications such as Salesforce and Google Docs, and more.
Zscaler specializes in providing a fully SaaS-based antivirus, vulnerability management and user activity control for Web, email and mobile devices. The company recently added suspicious file analysis capabilities to its cloud-based security platform to detect advanced threats. It also rolled out Zscaler for Office 365 deployments that it says will provide protection without impacting performance.
“Privacy is dead in the digital world that we live in,” said Michael Sutton, vice president of security research at San Jose, California-based Zscaler. “I tell people, unless you are comfortable putting that statement on a billboard in Times Square and having everyone see it, I would not share that information digitally.”
In a nutshell, Zscaler sees these two major trends – the evolution of advanced threats and the complexity of cloud and mobile environments – increasingly intersect. In particular, there are five areas (below) that information security practitioners should be considering as they take on challenges in the new year.
Michael Sutton, a cybersecurity analyst from Zscaler, noted that few of the other recommendations from the presidential advisory panel were adopted. "Those that were, ended up being watered down," Sutton says. "For example, rather than adding a permanent public advocate to the FISA court, he instead noted that 'significant cases' before the FISA court would also go to an independent panel for review."
I recently had a conversation with Michael Sutton, vice president of security research for Zscaler and head of Zscaler ThreatLabZ. We talked about where many organizations are falling short today in defending against current threats and especially the more dangerous advanced persistent threats. I’ve singled out six common shortcomings that Sutton sees among most companies today.
Zscaler senior researcher Michael Sutton says SMS Tracker, in essence, functions as spyware. While the vendor is promoting the apps usefulness to parents who want to monitor their kids' online activities, it could also be surreptitiously download to someone's device and used as a " very effective tool for spying."