2018 marks the first full year in which Uptycs, the company created to bring Facebook’s open source osquery agent to widespread commercial adoption, has had its turnkey security analytics platform in the market. As can be expected of any startup that launches a new ground-breaking product, it has been an exciting year, full of anticipation, unprecedented interest, and challenging work as we tweaked and tuned the product to optimize it for what our customers needed it to do.
Last week, Malwarebytes posted an article highlighting new malware discovered by John Lambert (Microsoft), Patrick Wardle (Objective-See and Digita Security) and Adam Thomas (Malwarebytes), and sure enough, persistence using launchd is still a common thing.
Dark Reading and Forbes, among various other sources, have recently reported that Windows computers using the hardware encryption feature of many different types of solid-state drives (SSDs) are vulnerable to attacks that defeat it completely. These vulnerabilities, discovered by Radboud University researchers Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel, affect multiple models including some made by the popular brands Crucial and Samsung.
I’m excited to share that we have just released free online training to introduce you to osquery. Our goal was to combine quick setup and hands on labs with complete accessibility, so that anyone who wanted to give osquery a try, could.
451 Research, a global research advisory firm, recently published their first market insight report covering osquery. The report, “Uptycs emerges from stealth betting on SQL-based osquery for upending endpoint security” acknowledges the growing impact the universal open source agent is having in the security market.
According to the official osquery docs, osquery (os=operating system) is an operating system instrumentation framework that exposes an operating system as a high-performance relational database. Using SQL, you can write a single query to explore any given data, regardless of operating system. (more on osquery basics here)
Two of the 6 basic security controls, according to the Center for Internet Security, are focused on the current state of your assets. Assessing the state of your assets has been a priority for years, but the old means aren’t as effective in modern infrastructure as they were on legacy systems. These two critical controls - Continuous Vulnerability Management and Secure Configuration for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations and Servers - are a foundational part of any security program, but you’ll run into implementation challenges if you simply drag legacy tools into a cloud environment. That’s why osquery, a light weight and cloud friendly universal agent, is quickly becoming the go-to for helping to secure cloud workloads, in part through the effective application of these two critical controls. Let’s explore how.
The Current State of Enterprise Security: Fragmentation and Fatigue
In a recent blog post, we discussed some of the issues with proprietary agents and the challenges they pose to enterprises. For example, most security solutions deploy separate and proprietary agents for audit/compliance, threat detection, vulnerability detection and incident response.
While endpoint agents have always tried to be the eyes and ears for security, an overabundance of them may be degrading security rather than improving it. A 2017 survey from Barkly and Ponemon Institute finds that companies have as many as seven different agents running on each endpoint, while at the same time, three out of four report still having difficulty managing endpoint risk. Other security solutions require agents for compliance, data leakage, vulnerability and patch management, network security solutions, systems management, and more. The industry has gone agent crazy, it seems, resulting in significant performance issues, escalating licensing costs, conflicts with other services running on the endpoints, maintenance headaches, difficulties for upgrades and certification issues, and more.
There is a growing and passionate community around osquery, actively sharing information and perspective, answering questions, exposing challenges and dispelling misconceptions. Even so, learning the basics as you're getting started requires a lot of piecing together bits of wisdom (ie Googling + Reading + Networking). The intention of this post is to a) curate some of the great content from the community b) organize it to cover common questions for beginners c) incorporate some of what we've learned over the past three years through the Uptycs journey. If you like it, and it is helpful, throw a comment down below or let us know on Twitter and we'll create a more advanced FAQ next time around.