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The Security Landscape | @CloudExpo @HP #IoT #Cloud

In the Boardroom with Carl Bradley, Info Assurance & IT Security Consulting & Intelligence Strategy, HP Enterprise Services

Carl Bradley, U.S. Navy (Ret.), is a Cyber Security Consultant, Information Assurance & IT Security Consulting & Intelligence Strategy, HP Enterprise Services, U.S. Public Sector.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Carl. Before discussing HP Enterprise Security Consulting Services in greater detail, please tell us about your background.

Carl Bradley: It's my pleasure to be with you today. Before coming to HP Enterprise Services, U.S. Public Sector Consulting and Intelligence, I served in the Intelligence Community for more than 20 years as a Naval Intelligence Officer. I had the opportunity to be on the ground floor, helping to draft Department of Defense (DoD) cybersecurity defense techniques, policies, and designing technical capabilities to defend against vulnerabilities and nation-state and non-nation state advanced persistent threats. Since joining the private sector for the last seven years, I've focused my efforts around cybersecurity, cloud computing and systems engineering disciplines for the Intelligence Community, DoD and other federal and commercial clients.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: In the HP U.S. Public Sector Consulting Services Overview it is stated that, "U.S. Public Sector Consulting is a leader in delivering technology services and business solutions for all levels of government in the United States. We work in partnership with our U.S. Public Sector clients to help them achieve their policy outcomes, increase their agility in delivering services, and provide superior public citizen services and value." Please summarize the services portfolio your team delivers in Security, Applications, Big Data/Analytics, Cloud/Data Center, Mobility and other technology areas.

Carl Bradley: Certainly. The HP Enterprise Security consulting portfolio provides clients with consulting services to assess, advise, transform and manage their enterprise IT security programs and architecture. Our Assured Identity practice provides secure access to information, systems and facilities through a comprehensive, scalable enterprise-class solution designed to guard sensitive assets through identity, credentialing, federation and access management. The Assured Identity Adaptive Authentication provides online fraud detection and prevention. We analyze and score real-time online activity to determine risk, grant/deny access or request additional information based on client-defined risk thresholds. Comprehensive Applications Threat Analysis Services comprise a unique consulting approach to applications security. We analyze applications to identify potential security gaps, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses. We then provide recommended mitigation strategies. We round out these services with Continuous Monitoring. The HP Continuous Monitoring services provides the capabilities for real-time measurement of enterprise security in order to assess and measure effectiveness, improve risk mitigation, speed resolution and enhance existing information assurance programs.

Our Application Services & Program Excellence portfolio provides clients with Applications Development Services to deliver business agility that enables mission and cost optimization by building scalable, flexible, feature-rich, secure and high-quality applications, which run on a variety of platforms. We help clients achieve business outcomes by moving enterprises from costly maintenance to a more innovative and flexible service-level model using our Applications Management Services to improve application efficiency, performance, visibility, control, security and cost management. HP Applications Transformation Services further assists clients in removing the obstacles that keep them from becoming an IT-enabled organization. It also reduces traditional IT spending by rationalizing and modernizing their applications portfolio and infrastructure to exploit core organizational IP contained in legacy applications and data.

With our Analytics & Data Management portfolio, we provide Big Data Discovery Experience Services.

This is a proactive engaging experience with the client leadership to improve decision-making and business processes in ways that are not possible using traditional data technologies. Business Intelligence Modernization Services provide a business-led transformation approach that bridges traditional BI with new big data technologies-allowing enterprises to become data-driven and agile, powering better business outcomes.

Our Workload & Cloud Solutions include HP Helion Managed Private Cloud for Public Sector (U.S.) to provide clients with advisory, workload transformation and cloud stack managed services skills. We optimize and move applications into a dedicated enterprise-grade cloud model in an HP, client or third-party data center, while meeting stringent public sector compliance and security requirements. The HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud for Public Sector (U.S.) is a highly secure, enterprise-class managed cloud computing environment for business-critical workloads. This infrastructure-as-a-service offering has FedRAMPSM and DISA ECSB authorization, and is HIPAA-compliant and ITAR-compatible.

With HP Helion Professional Services for Public Sector Cloud Broker we manage the use, performance and delivery of hybrid services from traditional IT to managed, private and public cloud in a unified marketplace.

Within our Mobility & Workplace Solutions portfolio, Managed Mobility Services for Public Sector focuses on helping clients manage secure access to devices, applications and data. Users can securely store, sync and share files from mobile devices and gain simplified secure mobile access to applications and intranet resources anywhere, anytime.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Are there any particular new services you would like to share with readers today?

Carl Bradley: Yes. There are a few capabilities we're excited to share. First we just announced a first of its kind, go-to-market partnership with FireEye to make incident response, compromise assessment and threat detection offerings available to HP Enterprise Services' clients. These Advanced Threat Protection Consulting services from HP and Mandiant include two discrete services to advance the fight against cyber threats: Advanced Compromise Assessment from HP and Mandiant, and Global Incident Response from HP and Mandiant.

The Advanced Compromise Assessment is a vital step in answering the most important question for every enterprise, whether or not they have been breached. This proactive service helps clients detect compromised assets and provides the early detection of a potential security breach. The service combines HP and Mandiant experience and methodology, developed over hundreds of investigations, the latest threat intelligence and specialized knowledge of advanced attacker's tools and techniques. It provides a comprehensive and structured report, which explains in detail our approach, summarizes all key steps and presents key findings and recommendations to enable clients to make the right business decisions and increase their security posture.

The second offering, Global Incident Response, helps our clients detect, prevent and manage the risk from cybersecurity incidents and respond to critical security breaches. Our global response teams are available 24x7. Once alerted, we work with our clients to build an investigation plan. This includes the deployment of HP and Mandiant proprietary incident response technologies to support the investigation through data capture, analysis, and reporting. We work with our clients to evaluate which systems and networks have been compromised and let our clients know if attackers are still active in their environment. If required, we evaluate which data has been compromised and work towards identifying the attacker. We provide comprehensive and structured reports, which allow clients to understand the chain of events. Our findings and recommendations enable them to make the right business decisions in the right moment. A security improvement plan provides recommendations of how to increase our clients' security posture and implement enhanced security controls to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Other services which we believe deliver tremendous value to our clients revolve around taking advantage of our integration of big data analytics platforms with actionable real-time security data. These capabilities, including one of our newer offerings - HP Foresight Situational Awareness Solution - prepares organizations by transforming large volumes of disparate data into actionable information for improved near real-time situational awareness, even in the most dynamic of situations. Today, public sector clients are challenged with how to leverage, manage, and gain valuable insight from a massive influx of data, across multiple domains and sources. We can help them handle these volumes of disparate data - structured and unstructured - including email, video, audio and social media. By mining internal and external data, we examine data elements to discover patterns and anomalies and make data correlations to aide in making informed and timely decisions regarding National Security issues. Using a role-based security framework, authorized users are presented with synthesized information in context, so they can share and act on real-time information in a comprehensive and coordinated way.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: How would you describe the "lifecycle approach" practiced by HP U.S. Public Sector Consulting to advise, transform and manage your clients' IT needs in a holistic way and, at the end of the day, what are the resulting benefits?

Carl Bradley: First, our lifecycle approach is deeply rooted in a clear understanding of our client's mission and business objectives. That understanding provides the context for requirements discovery and our assessments. The resulting benefit is for our clients to be able to leverage the right technology and services that will improve their current and future risk posture, minimize complexity and apply a more proactive versus reactive security approach to their enterprise. Secondly, our services are delivered by regional and sector experienced consultants that can make sense of the most complex environments, identifying and advising on security gaps; transforming the client's enterprise security to address gaps and manage risk; and helping to manage security programs to keep organizations agile and ready to rapidly and proactively respond to security issues. Finally, our HP security consulting practice applies the right technology and services to address client needs. While HP has a breadth of industry-leading products and services, our consultants are focused on solutions versus product sales. We perform sector specific research and team with hundreds of vendors and service providers, as needed, to identify and provide our clients with options that are product agnostic and deliver the greatest value driven results for each individual clients' needs.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: It seems to us, Carl, that the security environment has never been more challenging for Public Sector entities... with constant threats on the one hand and tight budgets and legacy systems on the other hand. What is your perspective on the unique value proposition that HP Consulting Services delivers within this environment?

Carl Bradley: The foundation of our value proposition is twofold. The first aspect is our people. Our consultants are experienced and trained security professionals with the requisite credentials, certifications and hands-on experience to advise our clients around their security and risk management needs. Most have more than two decades of experience, having designed, operated and managed large enterprise security implementations. We are former Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and Security Operation Center Managers, with keen insights into our clients' budgetary constraints, the current threat landscape, industry best practices and innovative technologies needed to secure their data.

Secondly, as part of the HP family, our HP consultants and clients benefit from not just our security consultant's vast experience, but also our reach back capability into a global HP security ecosystem. At HP we have more than 5,000 certified security professionals worldwide and more than 2,600 security researchers that help research new technologies, through HP labs, or discover critical vulnerabilities via our DVLabs and HP Security Research sources - and we identify on average four times more vulnerabilities than the number typically found by the rest of the market combined.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Can you drill down a bit further into the current threat landscape? We read with great interest in the HP 2015 Cyber Risk Report that "There's the Internet that we see and the Internet that most of us don't, and even though it is mostly invisible, the darker side of the Internet is pervasive and influential. Our investigations certainly suggest that the machinations and maneuvers of criminals and state-sponsored cyber operators in the cyber underground have significant and lasting effects on the security of the greater Internet and society at large. Looking into nation-state-sponsored cyber activity highlights the many levels at which cyber operations and state-sanctioned activity can occur, and how malware and the tools and techniques of cyber criminals can be utilized in different ways to accomplish different goals." What are the major themes, Carl, that are discussed in this report?

Carl Bradley: Let's look at today's security landscape a bit more in-depth. There are three key challenges our clients face today. First, cyber threats are ever-changing and becoming more sophisticated by the day. Cyber terrorism and targeted cybercriminal activities are directly impacting both the public and private sectors. They are persistent and yet, based on our research into exploit trends in 2014, attackers continue to leverage well known techniques to compromise systems and networks. Many vulnerabilities exploited in 2014 took advantage of code written many years ago and adversaries continue to leverage classic avenues for attack against client-side and server-side applications. Anti-virus signatures only catch approximately 45 percent of cyber-attacks - a truly abysmal rate. In our review of the 2014 threat landscape, we find that enterprises most successful in securing their environment employ complementary protection technologies. These technologies work best when paired with a mindset that assumes a breach will occur instead of only working to prevent intrusions and compromise from the perimeter. So our clients' security posture must be agile and responsive to better defend against threats -internal and external - in addition to vulnerabilities, in order to mitigate their risk.

Second, public sector and industry IT security regulations are numerous and complex. At HP we help our clients map their data and processes to regulatory security mandates. There is increased concern over how individuals and organizations are affected when once-private and public data is exfiltrated and misused. Activity in both U.S. and European courts and legislatures have linked information security and data privacy more closely than ever. Our clients need to be aware new legislation and regulation will impact how they monitor their assets and report on potential incidents. These regulatory guidelines cross a broad spectrum of activities and requirements to include certification and training, supply chain integrity, software assurance, data access controls, privacy, security architecture design, encryption technology and incident response reporting. These requirements place a burden on our clients. HP security consultants help them to understand their responsibilities and apply the appropriate security measures to meet these regulatory demands, keeping into account organizational budgetary and operational restrictions.

Last, business and IT delivery models are evolving. Mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) are good examples of disruptive IT delivery models that are changing how our clients create, store, access and transmit data across the enterprise. The result is an increased surface area for both vulnerabilities and attacks to occur. Even though the first malware for mobile devices was discovered a decade ago, 2014 was the year when mobile malware stopped being considered just a novelty, with an increase of mobile malware incident reporting. Connecting existing technologies to the Internet also brings with it a new set of exposures. Point-of-sale (POS) systems were a primary target of multiple pieces of malware in 2014. As physical devices become connected through the Internet of Things, the diverse nature of these technologies gives rise to concerns regarding security, and privacy in particular. To help protect against new avenues of attack, we advise that enterprises should understand and know how to mitigate the risk being introduced to a network prior to the adoption of new technologies. More importantly we work with clients to continuously adjust to these new and evolving delivery models. At HP we are working hard to identify and enable technologies that rapidly detect, respond to, and remediate anomalous activities that threaten clients' data, and jeopardize their ability to effectively conduct critical National Security missions.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: In several of the recent well-publicized breaches (Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan, UPS) the common weak link that enabled these breaches to occur in each of them was password-based authentication. What are your thoughts, Carl? Are new forms of authentication such as two-factor authentication including biometrics, a solution?

Carl Bradley: Authentication methods such as passwords are just one part of the solution. While passwords, or security hygiene, as it is often referred to, are common vulnerabilities that need to be addressed, the breaches within the retail outlets you reference actually exploited outdated anti-virus software for their point-of-sale systems - as discussed in the HP 2015 Cyber Risk Report. Store registers had been infected with variants of "BlackPOS," a malware strain designed to siphon data from credit cards when they are swiped at infected point-of-sale systems running Microsoft Windows. So our message to our clients is consistent. Complementary technologies such as AV software, network segmentation, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, encryption, and software assurance methods are effective when paired with the mindset that a breach will occur, and when integrated into an effective IT security program that proactively addresses specific risk and risk mitigation. This is also the core of a continuous monitoring program.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What resources are available for the Public Sector IT community at HP.com?

Carl Bradley: I encourage readers to access the links included here for more information on areas of specific interest. They can contact us, sign up for e-newsletters and alerts, access the HP 2015 Cyber Risk Report, read about the industry trends and learn more about all of our offerings on www.hp.com/gov/transformation.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you again for joining us today, Carl.

Carl Bradley: It was a pleasure, Martin.

This interview originally appeared in SecuritySolutionsWatch.com. Republished with permission.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

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