Network anomaly detection appliance by IBM
Posted on 25 April 2012.
According to the 2011 IBM X-Force Trend and Risk Report, adversaries ramped up social engineering attacks, and X-Force witnessed mobile exploits having increased by 19 percent in 2011. Firewalls and traditional security products do little against advanced threats that use unreported techniques or that have already invaded an organization.

To address this, IBM is announcing the QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance that analyzes complex network activity in real-time, detecting and reporting activity that falls outside normal baseline behavior.

The analytics can look not only at inbound attacks but also can detect outbound network abnormalities where malware may have already infected a "zombie" system to send data outside the organization.

Using advanced behavioral algorithms, the appliance analyzes disparate data that can collectively indicate an attack network and traffic flows, intrusion prevention system (IPS) alerts, system and application vulnerabilities, and user activity.

It quantifies several risk factors to help evaluate the significance and credibility of a reported threat, such as the business value and vulnerabilities of targeted resources.

By applying behavioral analytics and anomaly detection, the application can flag abnormal events such as:
  • Outbound network traffic detected to countries where the company does not have business affairs;
  • FTP traffic observed in a department that doesn't regularly use FTP services; and
  • A known application running on a non-standard port or in areas where it is not allowed (e.g. unencrypted traffic running in secure areas of the network).
The appliance leverages the QRadar Security Intelligence Platform and is designed to complement IBM SiteProtector and IBM Security Network IPS deployments. It also receives a threat intelligence feed from IBM X-Force research, providing insight into suspect entities on the Internet based upon knowledge of more than 15 billion Web pages and images.

The X-Force IP Reputation Feed provides the appliance with a real-time list of potentially malicious IP addresses including malware hosts, spam sources and other threats. If the product sees any traffic to or from these sites, it can immediately alert the organization and provide rich contextual information about the activity.

IBM also announced the newest version of its Network IPS, which contains hybrid protection, combining the broad protection found in IBM's Protocol Analysis Engine with the open source capabilities and common rule syntax of SNORT, and its suite of network security offerings, the Advanced Threat Protection Platform, which comprises IBM Security Network IPS and IBM SiteProtector, and the new QRadar Network Anomaly Detection appliance with the new X-Force IP Reputation Feed.

Users can now access X-Force intelligence through their QRadar offenses and reports to identify threats related to malicious IP addresses. The solutions also help protect against network-based threats masked in common network traffic and prevents attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities at the network, host and application layers.

"Advanced attackers are both patient and clever, leaving just a whisper of their presence, and evading many network protection and detection approaches," said Marc van Zadelhoff, vice president of Strategy and Product Management, IBM Security Systems. "Most organizations don't even know they have been infected by malware. An advantage of IBM analytics is that it can detect the harbingers of new attacks from the outside or reveal covert malicious activity from the inside."





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