Michael Patterson : Advanced NetFlow Traffic Analysis
Michael Patterson
Founder and Product manager for Plixer's Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer as well as Flow Analytics.

Forwarding UDP Packets

Many threat detection systems rely on reviewing logs in order to uncover contagions on the network.  In most cases, these logs come...

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Tesla Model X vs. Porsche 911

I recently had a chance to test drive a friend's Tesla Model X and he could not have been more enthusiastic about...

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Facebook and Google May Become Regulated Utilities

Google effectively has a monopoly in search and Facebook has one in social networking and together they have a virtual monopoly in...

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TMC Partners with MWC and CTIA on Enterprise IoT Event

We are approaching the 20th IoT Evolution event and TMC and Crossfire Media keep working hard to improve the event, show after...

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WebRTC for Business People - Update

Three or four years ago, when WebRTC was still a strange concept, Tsahi Levent-Levi wrote a paper called “WebRTC for Business People.”...

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Unified Communications in the Cloud

A couple of weeks ago, I explored the migration to Unified Communications and gave my point of view about how the migration is somewhat...

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DieselGate: We Were Right, Something Smells Awful

Remember back in 2015 when we said something doesn't smell right in the VW diesel scandal? it would be impossible for the...

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Forwarding UDP Packets

August 1, 2017

Many threat detection systems rely on reviewing logs in order to uncover contagions on the network.  In most cases, these logs come in the form of syslogs, NetFlow and IPFIX.  In an effort to protect the corporate jewels from the growing attack continuum, some organizations resort to sending the same system logs to multiple security platforms which look for surreptitious infections in different ways.  It can become a problem when hundreds or even thousands of devices need to be reconfigured to send logs to a second, third or fourth source. 

What is Network Traffic Analytics

July 11, 2017

Traffic Analytics as it applies to the network and security is meant to help IT professionals who need to forensically investigate massive amounts of mostly internally generated logs and flows. Because threat prevention has largely failed in the industry with the gap continuing to widen, network and security analysts are forced to react to events on the network. This means wait for something to occur and then investigate:

  • when it happened
  • what it did once it was inside
  • who else was involved
  • what data was compromised

When answering the above, Network Traffic Analytics (NTA) or sometimes called Security Analytics are the umbrella terms that apply. Ultimately, the goal of NTA to improve security posture, reduce risk and gain deeper insight into each and every event.

WannaCrypt proactive measures with NTA

May 16, 2017

In an effort to help protect our company and our customers’ from wcrypt, we documented in this post a series of steps followed by our incident response team which temporarily re-enforced our cyber defenses. To gain some background on this ransomware, the initial infection was stopped by a researcher that stumbled across the kill switch and ended up saving a lot of people. However, this measure was only a stopgap as the malware author(s) or another person could easily repackage this contagion with a craftier sandbox test mechanism.  

Implementing the NIST Framework for Improving Cyber security

March 11, 2017

When reviewing or even building out an organizations cybersecurity infrastructure, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers a document that can be a great place to start. The document is called the Cybersecurity Framework and provides a high-level, strategic view on the lifecycle of an organization’s management of risk.  It does not make security appliance or specific solution recommendations to detect, defend against or investigate cyber events. Instead, it is intended to guide the teams responsible for cybersecurity through the process of making sure systems are in place. 

Threat Investigations Suffering from Lack of Context

November 28, 2016

Pretty much all companies fall victim to cybercrime eventually.  Whether it is directly or indirectly, the cost varies depending on the industry. Energy and financial organizations suffer the most in comparison to the automotive and agricultural businesses.  The costs incurred however, are not always withdrawals from the corporate bank account or the loss of top secret plans.  Some might be surprised to learn that the significant costs are actually in the clean up with small organizations suffering the highest cost per enterprise seat.  Source: HP.com

A Massive Wave of Cybercrime Coming

September 29, 2016

Get ready for biggest year yet in cybercrime.  We have learned over the last few years that hackers have honed their penetration skills to the point that any targeted company can easily become a victim.  Most business owners have accepted that being connected to the Internet means that they can and probably will be compromised regardless of the defensive measures taken.  It is more than just a game of probability. 

DNS Firewall

June 4, 2016

I don’t think I’ve ever spoken with a company – at least that I can remember that didn’t have a firewall in place.  Cisco ASA (Fire Power), Palo Alto, Checkpoint and Fortinet seem to be the more popular ones.  Barracuda, SonicWALL and StormShield we hear about as well.  These systems do a relatively good job at protecting our internal jewels.  However, what I find missing in most solutions, is their ability to stop DNS tunneling and other tactics that abuse the DNS protocol.

Security Analytics - Network as a Sensor

April 4, 2016

Security is going through an evolution in IT. The new assumption is that some malware will make it onto the network. This forces the security team to consider the actions they will need to take when following up on an event.  What details will they want access to? What devices on the network gather this information? How will they want to display it?

Cisco Cyber Threat Defense : 4 Tell-Tale Signs of Data Exfiltration

March 19, 2016

A potential threat could come from anywhere at any-time and it doesn’t have to start from the Internet.  Many threats are initiated internally by infected handhelds and laptop devices which walk right past the firewall.  Anti-virus has become nearly ineffective against targeted threats.  Even next generation firewalls aren't stopping the outbound connections created by unwanted data exfiltration. 

Phishing Attack Training

January 13, 2016

If you are being repeatedly targeted by a phishing attack, chances are you will eventually click. And if you end up infected, often times your computer will show no obvious signs of the virus or bot. What can you do?

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