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Intel unleashes management tool to accompany channel server onslaught

As part of its latest server technology onslaught for custom systems builders and other channel resellers focused on hardware innovation, Intel has introduced a management tool specifically designed for custom server builders and the VARs deploying servers using its latest processor line.

The introduction is part of Intel’s massive server microprocessor, motherboard and component refresh rolling out this quarter, the Xeon Processor E5-2600 series. That technology is at the heart of server refresh wave from many major OEMs, and the tools introduced this week by Intel at its premier channel event, the Intel Solutions Summit, are its latest competitive weapons for the channel.

Lest you worry that Intel has focused too heavily on the needs of big OEMs, Intel has shipped eight new motherboards and four new chassis specifically designed for the needs of custom server builders.

There are now more than 50 different solution guides now available for the Xeon Processor E5-2600 as part of the Intel Enabled Solutions Acceleration Alliance. Channel system builders including Appro, Bell, Penguin Computing, Seneca, Proactive Technologies, SuperLogics, sgi and ZT Systems have all come to market with new servers designe to server the needs of data center VARs.

The new software management suite that accompanies the new server line is called the Intel Server Continuity Suite. The software was designed to aid with real-time monitoring, backup, and virtualization provisioning. It complements all of the different server configuration supported in Intel’s channel-focused portfolio, including rack, pedestal and modular.

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Snake oil... at least in the sense of a type of product.

The best self defending network strategy is default deny. No one will ever do it because 99.9% of people don't have the fortitude or knowledge to pull it off and do it well. Those that do are celebrities and you won't find them in the CISO position of any company. Even if they were they don't have the tools to do it right in a production environment. The tools simply don't exist.

They're also too busy giving talks at conferences decrying the terrible security of everything. No company could (or wants to) afford to hire them.

Security is simply not important enough to stock holders to do correctly. Ironically, long term, default deny is the most effective, easiest and least expensive way to be secure.

You just need a team of people that can do it effectively and most people don't consider developers (for example) to be an important part of a security organization, yet they're the ones who could make default deny manageable.

/sigh

So self defending networks are very possible, but you can't buy a product that will make your network self defending. You need to design the entire thing that way from the ground up and have the necessary tools to manage it.

I'm currently developing some FOSS tools to make a default deny network manageable. Keep an eye out on sourceforge, keywords: default deny.

I've just set up my environment and am working on the tools now. First up is a white list based default deny proxy with a management application.

It's basically a default deny content filter.

Here's the use case:
User tries to access site.
Site isn't in white list.
Email automatically goes to user's manager.
Manager clicks link to get a preview of what the content is.
They approve it or deny it with 2 links available at top of preview.
Application uses their domain creds to validate them as the manager.
If they deny it goes into a blacklist so the manager won't get bothered again. (with an option to get a report of attempted access to blacklisted domains)
If they allow, the domain gets whitelisted and CISO gets a note so they can also examine it and look for threats. They'll have the option of blacklisting it if they find a threat.

This completely solves(for port 80,443,8080,etc):
phishing (at least within protected network)
drive bys due to links poisoned in legitimate sites which are comprimised
unwanted (and potentially hazardous) downloads in network
Spyware, viruses and malware, unless an approved software vendor is compromised.
Lookalike/mispelled domains
pr0n
https tunneling proxies

Extrapolate default deny with good management tools to all perimeter devices, services running on the workstations, and enduser access, and hopefully you can see the value.

The best part of this is that it removes nearly all of the administrative burden from the CISO and distributes the load to middle management. If you write your security policy correctly you can make them responsible for the damage they cause if they allow something harmful. They'll be really cautious about what they allow their employees to do. Eventually they'll reach a state of near equilibrium where their employees have access to what they need to do their job, and nothing else.

Of course your managers need to be briefed and trained to recognize threats so they don't inadvertently allow them, however, if users know that everything they visit needs to be approved by a manager.... it greatly cuts down on internet play, at least for people that want to keep their job.
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