Secure Networks

The Packet Forensics Files Episode 54

"Malware Jake" Williams,

IANS faculty member, former SANS educator, computer science and information security expert and U.S. Army veteran.

In this episode of the Endace Packet Forensics Files, I interview cybersecurity expert Jake Williams, aka @MalwareJake, about the concept of Zero Trust and its implications for organizations striving to enhance their security posture.

Zero Trust challenges traditional security models by advocating for a "deny all, permit by exception" approach. Jake describes it as a mindset—a philosophy focused on continuous verification and least privilege access. Despite its potential benefits, embracing Zero Trust can be challenging. Jake highlights obstacles such as defining and operationalizing Zero Trust, legacy system dependencies, and cultural shifts within organizations.

Continuous verification is crucial in Zero Trust environments. Jake provides examples of verification challenges, emphasizing the importance of network visibility and packet capture in incident response and threat detection. He emphasizes the interconnectedness of networking and cybersecurity, citing Managed File Transfer appliances, Citrix NetScalers, and SSL VPNs as examples. These network security appliances often have extensive technical depth and may harbour unpatched vulnerabilities, presenting significant risks to organizations. He predicts increased targeting of network security appliances by threat actors, underscoring the importance of Zero Trust principles and network visibility in mitigating such threats.

Jake touches on the importance of tools like Wireshark for detailed analysis but also emphasises the need to understand the role network visibility plays and how it relates to business challenges. He recommends that analysts strengthen their networking fundamentals, while SOC directors should broaden their skill set by understanding business concepts for effective communication with stakeholders.

Finally, Jake suggests that embracing Zero Trust requires a holistic approach, encompassing technical ability, organizational buy-in, and a commitment to continuous improvement. His insights on this topic serve as valuable guidance on the path to cybersecurity resilience.

Other episodes in the Secure Networks video/audio podcast series are available here

Also watch our series of Threat Investigation webinars with SANS and Jake Williams here -

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