- Paperback: 552 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (August 11, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321510100
- ISBN-13: 978-0321510105
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #844,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Applied Security Visualization 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
APPLIED SECURITY VISUALIZATION ""Collecting log data is one thing, having relevant information is something else. The art to transform all kinds of log data into meaningful security information is the core of this book. Raffy illustrates in a straight forward way, and with hands-on examples, how such a challenge can be mastered. Let's get inspired."" -Andreas Wuchner, Head of Global IT Security, Novartis Use Visualization to Secure Your Network Against the Toughest, Best-Hidden Threats As networks become ever more complex, securing them becomes more and more difficult. The solution is visualization. Using today's state-of-the-art data visualization techniques, you can gain a far deeper understanding of what's happening on your network right now. You can uncover hidden patterns of data, identify emerging vulnerabilities and attacks, and respond decisively with countermeasures that are far more likely to succeed than conventional methods. In "Applied Security Visualization," leading network security visualization expert Raffael Marty introduces all the concepts, techniques, and tools you need to use visualization on your network. You'll learn how to identify and utilize the right data sources, then transform your data into visuals that reveal what you really need to know. Next, Marty shows how to use visualization to perform broad network security analyses, assess specific threats, and even improve business compliance. He concludes with an introduction to a broad set of visualization tools. The book's CD also includes DAVIX, a compilation of freely available tools for security visualization. You'll learn how to: - Intimately understand the data sources that are essential for effective visualization - Choose the most appropriate graphs and techniques for your IT data - Transform complex data into crystal-clear visual representations - Iterate your graphs to deliver even better insight for taking action - Assess threats to your network perimeter, as well as threats imposed by insiders - Use visualization to manage risks and compliance mandates more successfully - Visually audit both the technical and organizational aspects of information and network security - Compare and master today's most useful tools for security visualization Contains the live CD Data Analysis and Visualization Linux (DAVIX). DAVIX is a compilation of powerful tools for visualizing networks and assessing their security. DAVIX runs directly from the CD-ROM, without installation. Raffael Marty is chief security strategist and senior product manager for Splunk, the leading provider of large-scale, high-speed indexing and search technology for IT infrastructures. As customer advocate and guardian, he focuses on using his skills in data visualization, log management, intrusion detection, and compliance. An active participant on industry standards committees such as CEE (Common Event Expression) and OVAL (Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language), Marty created the Thor and AfterGlow automation tools, and founded the security visualization portal secviz.org. Before joining Splunk, he managed the solutions team at ArcSight, served as IT security consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and was a member of the IBM Research Global Security Analysis Lab.
About the Author
Raffael Marty is the founder of PixlCloud (http://pixlcloud.com)–a data visualization in the cloud company. His interests span anything related to information visualization and computer security, which is his traditional background. He used to hold various positions in the log management space at companies like Splunk, ArcSight, and IBM research, where he also earned his masters in computer science. Raffy has been instrumental in building and defining the security visualization space. The SecViz (http://secviz.org) portal, the Data Analysis and Visualization Linux (http://davix.secviz.org) (DAVIX), as well as AfterGlow (http://afterglow.sf.net) are some of the prime resources for information related to security visualization. Raffael has spoken at dozens of computer security conferences around the world about visualization of security data.
Top customer reviews
Seeing logs, data streams and Regex transformed into visualization is great experience.
The book is worth it to read and add to your cyber-security tool kit.
The information contained in this book is really great, and there is a ton of it, however, getting to the information you care about and need to know takes time and some serious determination. To put it bluntly, this book is extremely boring. It took me about twice the normal time I take to read a book this size. Partially due to the fact that there is so much detailed information and you will spend a lot of time flipping back and forth through to book to remember exactly why Raffael is doing something. If you are really into security, and you wish to know more about you network, security or really any general logged information, this book will guide you to it, and show you exactly what you want to know, or better yet, exactly what you don't know.
In the intro, the author accurately scopes the book to operational security visualization. The book is deeply applied: there's a tremendous number of graphs and the data which underlies them. Marty also lays out the challenge that most people know about either visualization or security, and sets out to introduce each to the other. In the New School of Information Security, Andrew and I talk about these sorts of dichotomies and the need to overcome them, and so I really liked how Marty called it out explicitly. One of the challenges of the book is that the first few chapters flip between their audiences. As long as readers understand that they're building foundations, it's not bad. For example, security folks can skim chapter 2, visualization people chapter 3.
Chapter 1, Visualization covers the whats and whys of visualization, and then delves into some of the theory underlying how to visualize. The only thing I'd change in chapter 1 is a more explicit mention of Tufte's small multiples idea. Chapter 2, Data Sources, lays out many of the types of data you might visualize. There's quite a bit of "run this command" and "this is what the output looks like," which will be more useful to visualization people than to security people. Chapter 3, Visually Representing Data covers the many types of graphs, their properties and when they're approprite. He goes from pie and bar charts to link graphs, maps and tree maps, and closes with a good section on choosing the right graph. I was a little surprised to see figure 3-12 be a little heavy on the data ink (a concept that Marty discusses in chapter 1) and I'm confused by the box for DNS traffic in figure 3-13. It seems that the median and average are both below the minimum size of the packets. These are really nits, it's a very good chapter. I wish more of the people who designed the interfaces I use regularly had read it. Chapter 4, From Data to Graphs covers exactly that: how to take data and get a graph from it. The chapter lays out six steps:
1. Define the problem
2. Assess Available Data (I'll come back to this)
3. Process Information
4. Visual Transformation
5. View Transformation
6. Interpret and Decide
There's also a list of tools for processing data, and some comparisons. Chapter 5, Visual Security Analysis covers reporting, historical analysis and real time analysis. He explains the difference, when you use each, and what tools to use for each. Chapter 6, Perimeter Threat covers visualization of traffic flows, firewalls, intrusion detection signature tuning, wireless, email and vulnerability data. Chapter 7, Compliance covers auditing, business process management, and risk management. Marty makes the assumption that you have a mature risk management process which produces numbers he can graph. I don't suppose that this book should go into a long digression on risk management, but I question the somewhat breezy assumption that you'll have numbers for risks.
I had two major problems with chapter 8, Insider Threat. The first is claims like "fewer than half (according to various studies) of various studies involve sophisticated technical means" (pg 387) and "Studies have found that a majority of subjects who stole information..." (pg 390) None of these studies are referenced or footnoted, and this in a book that footnotes a URL for sendmail. I believe those claims are wrong. Similarly, there's a bizarre assertion that insider threats are new (pg 373). I've been able to track down references to claims that 70% of security incidents come from insiders back to the early 1970s. My second problem is that having mis-characterized the problem, Marty presents a set of approaches which will send IT security scurrying around chasing chimeras such as "printing files with resume in the name." (This because a study claims that many insiders who commit information theft are looking for a new job. At least that study is cited.) I think the book would have been much stronger without this chapter, and suggest that you skip it or use it with a strongly questioning bias.
Chapter 9, Data Visualization Tools is a guided tour of file formats, free tools, open source libraries, and online and commercial tools. It's a great overview of the strengths and weaknesses of tools out there, and will save anyone a lot of time in finding a tool to meet various needs. The Live CD, Data Analysis and Visualization Linux can be booted on most any computer, and used to experiment with the tools described in chapter 9. I haven't played with it yet, and so can't review it.
I would have liked at least a nod to the value of comparative and baseline data from other organizations. I can see that that's a little philosophical for this book, but the reality is that security won't become a mature discipline until we share data. Some of the compliance and risk visualizations could be made much stronger by drawing on data from organizations like the Open Security Foundation's Data Loss DB or the Verizion Breaches Report.
Even in light of the criticism I've laid out, I learned a lot reading this book. I even wish that Marty had taken the time to look at non-operational concerns, like software development. I can see myself pulling this off the shelf again and again for chapters 3 and 4. This is a worthwhile book for anyone involved in Applied Security Visualization, and perhaps even anyone involved in other forms of technical visualization.
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