26 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Michael W. Lucas
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Most computer books are badly written. The information in the book is fine (usually, hopefully), but the actual craft of writing is poor. They read like computer programs. This isn't surprising, as most computer books are written by computer professionals. By the time you're good enough at a computing topic to write a book about it, your brain automatically arranged things in machine-friendly order. That's human nature. The downside of this, however, is that most computing books lack the things that make books interesting to human beings. We readers grit our teeth and plow through them because we need the information.
I'm pleased to say that Richard Bejtlich's The Practice of Network Security Monitoring is not one of those books. The damn thing is actually readable. By normal people.
That's a vague assertion. How about a metric? Season 6 of Burn Notice just hit Netflix streaming. I watched a few episodes Saturday. They ended on a tense cliffhanger, but I finally had to go to bed. Sunday, I finished reading this book before seeing how Westin and company got out of their fix. (Okay, that's not exactly a metric, but it's a good sign.)
Bejtlich graduated from Harvard and the Air Force Academy graduate. He led CIRT teams in the Air Force, built a security team at General Electric, and is now Chief Security Officer at Mandiant. He's on television as an electronic security guru. And for the last decade-plus, he's been beating the drum about intelligent attackers and the need for a holistic approach to security. When everybody else was going on about firewalls and antivirus and access controls and penetration testing, he wrote books like The Tao of Network Security Monitoring arguing that we need to think about network defense as an ongoing activity. He made absurd claims like "prevention eventually fails" and "there are smart people slowly breaking into your network," lumping these into an overall practice called Network Security Monitoring.
Time has proved that he was right.
Books like Tao and Extrusion Detection had a lot about the business process of security. They had specific examples of how to respond to security incidents. Other books, like my own Network Flow Analysis, cover using a specific tool that's usable in a NSM context. But there hasn't been a good book on how to deploy real security monitoring in your organization, across all tools -- and, just as importantly, how to get buy-in from the business side on this.
The Practice of Network Security Monitoring does all that and more.
The book starts with an overview of the NSM philosophy and practice, and what makes it different from the conventional "we respond to intrusions" perspective. He spends some time going over the Security Onion toolkit. For those readers not familiar with SO Security Onion is to security monitoring what PfSense is for firewalls -- an integrated toolkit built atop a free operating system. You can build everything you need for NSM without Security Onion, but like PfSense, why bother?
Richard gives a brief overview of the various tools in SO, from Sguil to Bro to Snort to Xplico and on and on and on. While you can hook these tools together yourself so they operate more or less seamlessly, again, SO has done all the work for you.
The best part of the book, however, is where Bejtlich takes us through two security incidents. He uses various Security Onion tools to dissect the data from an intrusion response system alert. He backtracks both a client-side and a server-side intrusion, and shows how to accurately scope the intrusion. Was only one server broken into? What data was stolen? What action can you take in response?
What really makes this book work is that he humanizes the security events. Computing professionals think that their job is taking care of the machine. That's incorrect. Their main job is to interface between human beings and the computer. Sometimes this takes the form of implementing a specification from a written document, or solving a bug, or figuring out why your SSL web site is running slowly. Maybe most of your professional skill lies in running the debugger. That's fine, and your skill is admirable. But the reason you get paid is because you interact with other human beings.
Bejtlich pays attention to this human interface. The security incidents happen because people screw up. And they screw up in believable ways -- I read the server compromise walkthrough and thought "This could be me." (Actually, it probably has been me, I just didn't know it.) Deploying network security monitoring takes hardware, which means you need money and staff. Bejtlich advises the reader on how to approach this conversation, using metrics that competent managers understand. His scenarios include discouragement and even fear. If you've ever worked in intrusion response, you know those emotions are very much a part of cleaning up.
But he shows you how to deal with those problems and the attendant emotions: with data.
He even demonstrates practical, real-world examples in how to get that data when the tools fail.
Humanizing a tech book is no easy task. Most authors fail, or don't even try. But Bejtlich pulls it off. He applies "prevention eventually fails" to both the people and the software, and the result is both readable and useful.
Is this book perfect for me? No. The sections on how to install Security Onion are written so that Windows administrators can use them. I don't need that level of detail. But the end result is that tPoNSM is usable by people unfamiliar with Unix-like systems, so I can't really fault him for that.
tPoNSM is useful for anyone interested in the security of their own network. Many of the tools can actually be used outside of a security context, to troubleshoot network and system problems. Deploying NSM not only means you can quickly identify, contain, and remediate intrusions, it gives you insight into the network as a whole. You might start off looking for intrusions, but you'll end up with a more stable network as a side effect.
Now if you'll excuse me, there's another dozen or so episodes of Burn Notice that need watching.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
It has been about 8 years since my friend Richard Bejtlich's (note, that was a full disclosure `my friend') last book Extrusion Detection: Security Monitoring for Internal Intrusions came out. That and his other 2 books were heavy on technical analysis and real-word solutions. Some titles only start to cover ground after about 80 pages of introduction. With this highly informative and actionable book, you are already reviewing tcpdump output at page 16.
In The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response, Bejtlich takes the approach that your network will be attacked and breached. He observes that a critical part of your security posture must be that of network security monitoring (NSM), which is the collection and analysis of data to help you detect and respond to intrusions.
In this book, Bejtlich details how to design a NSM program from the initiation state. Being a big open source proponent, the book lists no proprietary tools and myriad open source solutions. The book is designed for system and security administrators, CIRT managers and analysts, incident handlers, NSM architects and engineers with a strong background in understanding threats, vulnerabilities and security log interpretation.
The book is about the inevitable, that attackers will get inside your network. While it's foreseeable they will get in, it's not inevitable that you have to be caught off-guard. For those who are serious about securing their network, this is an invaluable book that provides a unique and very workable model to create a fully-functioning NSM infrastructure.
The book is a hands-on guide to installing and configuring NSM tools. The reader who is comfortable using tools such as Wireshark, Nmap and the like will be quite at home here.
This is a book about how not to be surprised and its 13 chapters detail how to create and manage a NSM program, what to look for, and details myriad tools to use in the process.
The focus of the book is not on the planning and defense phases of the security cycle, hopefully, that is already in place in your organization, rather on the actions to take when handling systems that are already compromised or that are on the verge of being compromised.
In chapter 1, the book details the difference between continuous monitoring (CM) and NSM; since their terms are similar and many people confuse the two. CM is big in the federal computing space. The book notes that CM has almost nothing to do with NSM or even with trying to detect and respond to intrusions. NSM is threat-centric, meaning adversaries are the discussion of the NSM operation; while CM is vulnerability-centric; focusing on configuration and software weaknesses.
Also in chapter 1, Bejtlich asks the important question: is NSM legal? He writes that there is no easy answer to that questions and anyone using or deploying an NSM solution should first consult with their legal counsel; in order not to potentially violate the US Wiretap Act and other laws and regulations. This is especially true for those who are in European Union (EU) countries, as the EU places a high threshold on information security teams who want to monitor network traffic. Something as simple as running Wireshark on a corporate network in the US, would require court approval if done on an EU-based network.
One of the main NSM tools the book references and details is Security Onion (SO). SO is a Linux distro for IDS and NSM. It's based on Ubuntu and the distro contains Snort, Suricata, Bro, Sguil, Squert, Snorby, ELSA, Xplico, NetworkMiner and many other useful security tools.
The book details and explains how use these tools in an NSM environment. An important point Bejtlich makes in chapter 9 regarding the tools, is that analysts need tools to find intruders. But methodology is more important than just software tools. Tools collect and interpret data, but methodology provides the conceptual model. He explains that CIRT analysts must understand how to use tools to achieve a particular goal, but it is imperative and important to start with a good operational model first, and then select tools to provide data supporting that model.
The book has a short discussion of how cloud computing effects NSM. In a nutshell, the cloud throws a monkey wrench into an NSM effort. For example, it is generally not an option for SaaS offerings since customers are limited to the back-end logs.
The book closes with the observation that NSM is not just about all the tools that the author spent over 300 pages discussing, rather it is more about the workflows, metrics and collaboration. Unfortunately, this title does not detail the necessary workflows for a NSM and it is hoped that the follow-up to this book will.
The only negative in the book is that as CSO of Mandiant, Bejtlich references his firm's products, mainly their MIR appliance for a CIRT. In the spirit of objectivity and not trying to have the book come across as marketing PR, if an author is going to mention a product their firm sells, they should also mention alternative solutions.
For those looking for a comprehensive guide on the topic of NSM, written by one of the experts in the field, The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response is an excellent reference that is certain to make the reader a better information security practitioner, and their network more secure.