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Cisco Security Agent

Cisco Security Agent

Chad Sullivan

Jun 2005, Paperback, 456 pages
ISBN13: 9781587052057
ISBN10: 1587052059
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Prevent security breaches by protecting endpoint systems with Cisco Security Agent, the Cisco host Intrusion Prevention System

  • Secure your endpoint systems with host IPS
  • Build and manipulate policies for the systems you wish to protect
  • Learn how to use groups and hosts in the Cisco Security Agent architecture and how the components are related
  • Install local agent components on various operating systems
  • Explore the event database on the management system to view and filter information
  • Examine Cisco Security Agent reporting mechanisms for monitoring system activity
  • Apply Application Deployment Investigation to report on installed applications, hotfixes, and service packs
  • Collect detailed information on processes and see how they use and are used by system resources
  • Create and tune policies to control your environment without impacting usability
  • Learn how to maintain the Cisco Security Agent architecture, including administrative access roles and backups

Cisco Security Agent presents a detailed explanation of Cisco Security Agent, illustrating the use of host Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) in modern self-defending network protection schemes. At the endpoint, the deployment of a host IPS provides protection against both worms and viruses. Rather than focusing exclusively on reconnaissance phases of network attacks a host IPS approaches the problem from the other direction, preventing malicious activity on the host by focusing on behavior. By changing the focus to behavior, damaging activity can be detected and blocked–regardless of the attack.

Cisco Security Agent is an innovative product in that it secures the portion of corporate networks that are in the greatest need of protection–the end systems. It also has the ability to prevent a day-zero attack, which is a worm that spreads from system to system, taking advantage of vulnerabilities in networks where either the latest patches have not been installed or for which patches are not yet available. Cisco Security Agent utilizes a unique architecture that correlates behavior occurring on the end systems by monitoring clues such as file and memory access, process behavior, COM object access, and access to shared libraries as well as other important indicators.

Cisco Security Agent is the first book to explore the features and benefits of this powerful host IPS product. Divided into seven parts, the book provides a detailed overview of Cisco Security Agent features and deployment scenarios. Part I covers the importance of endpoint security. Part II examines the basic components of the Cisco Security Agent architecture. Part III addresses agent installation and local use. Part IV discusses the Cisco Security Agent management console’s reporting and monitoring capabilities. Part V covers advanced Cisco Security Agent analysis features. Part VI covers Cisco Security Agent policy, implementation, and management. Part VII presents additional installation and management information.

Whether you are evaluating host IPS in general or looking for a detailed deployment guide for Cisco Security Agent, this book will help you lock down your endpoint systems and prevent future attacks.

“While there are still a lot of ways that security can go wrong, Cisco Security Agent provides a defense even when something is wrong. I remember the email that came around from our system administrator that said, ‘There’s something attacking our web server. We’re not sure what it is, but Stormwatch is blocking it.’ That was the Nimda worm–the first of a long line of attacks stopped by Cisco Security Agent.”

–Ted Doty, Product Manager, Security Technology Group, Cisco Systems®

This security book is part of the Cisco Press® Networking Technology Series. Security titles from Cisco Press help networking professionals secure critical data and resources, prevent and mitigate network attacks, and build end-to-end self-defending networks.

Prevent security breaches by protecting endpoint systems with Cisco Security Agent, the Cisco host Intrusion Prevention System

  • Secure your endpoint systems with host IPS
  • Build and manipulate policies for the systems you wish to protect
  • Learn how to use groups and hosts in the Cisco Security Agent architecture and how the components are related
  • Install local agent components on various operating systems
  • Explore the event database on the management system to view and filter information
  • Examine Cisco Security Agent reporting mechanisms for monitoring system activity
  • Apply Application Deployment Investigation to report on installed applications, hotfixes, and service packs
  • Collect detailed information on processes and see how they use and are used by system resources
  • Create and tune policies to control your environment without impacting usability
  • Learn how to maintain the Cisco Security Agent architecture, including administrative access roles and backups

Cisco Security Agent presents a detailed explanation of Cisco Security Agent, illustrating the use of host Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) in modern self-defending network protection schemes. At the endpoint, the deployment of a host IPS provides protection against both worms and viruses. Rather than focusing exclusively on reconnaissance phases of network attacks a host IPS approaches the problem from the other direction, preventing malicious activity on the host by focusing on behavior. By changing the focus to behavior, damaging activity can be detected and blocked–regardless of the attack.

Cisco Security Agent is an innovative product in that it secures the portion of corporate networks that are in the greatest need of protection–the end systems. It also has the ability to prevent a day-zero attack, which is a worm that spreads from system to system, taking advantage of vulnerabilities in networks where either the latest patches have not been installed or for which patches are not yet available. Cisco Security Agent utilizes a unique architecture that correlates behavior occurring on the end systems by monitoring clues such as file and memory access, process behavior, COM object access, and access to shared libraries as well as other important indicators.

Cisco Security Agent is the first book to explore the features and benefits of this powerful host IPS product. Divided into seven parts, the book provides a detailed overview of Cisco Security Agent features and deployment scenarios. Part I covers the importance of endpoint security. Part II examines the basic components of the Cisco Security Agent architecture. Part III addresses agent installation and local use. Part IV discusses the Cisco Security Agent management console’s reporting and monitoring capabilities. Part V covers advanced Cisco Security Agent analysis features. Part VI covers Cisco Security Agent policy, implementation, and management. Part VII presents additional installation and management information.

Whether you are evaluating host IPS in general or looking for a detailed deployment guide for Cisco Security Agent, this book will help you lock down your endpoint systems and prevent future attacks.

“While there are still a lot of ways that security can go wrong, Cisco Security Agent provides a defense even when something is wrong. I remember the email that came around from our system administrator that said, ‘There’s something attacking our web server. We’re not sure what it is, but Stormwatch is blocking it.’ That was the Nimda worm–the first of a long line of attacks stopped by Cisco Security Agent.”

–Ted Doty, Product Manager, Security Technology Group, Cisco Systems®

This security book is part of the Cisco Press® Networking Technology Series. Security titles from Cisco Press help networking professionals secure critical data and resources, prevent and mitigate network attacks, and build end-to-end self-defending networks.

Foreword

Introduction

Part I The Need for Endpoint Security

Chapter 1 Introducing Endpoint Security

Chapter 2 Introducing the Cisco Security Agent

Part II Understanding the CSA Building Blocks

Chapter 3 Understanding CSA Groups and Hosts

Chapter 4 Understanding CSA Policies, Modules, and Rules

Chapter 5 Understanding Application Classes and Variables

Part III CSA Agent Installation and Local Agent Use

Chapter 6 Understanding CSA Components and Installation

Chapter 7 Using the CSA User Interface

Part IV Monitoring and Reporting

Chapter 8 Monitoring CSA Events

Chapter 9 Using CSA MC Reports

Part V Analyzing CSA

Chapter 10 Application Deployment Investigation

Chapter 11 Application Behavior Analysis

Part VI Creating Policy, Implementing CSA, and Maintaining the CSA MC

Chapter 12 Creating and Tuning Policy

Chapter 13 Developing a CSA Project Implementation Plan

Chapter 14 CSA MC Administration and Maintenance

Part VII Appendixes

Appendix A VMS and CSA MC 4.5 Installation

Appendix B Security Monitor Integration

Appendix C CSA MIB

Index

Chad Sullivan is a triple-CCIE (Security, Routing/Switching, SNA/IP) and a systems engineer for Cisco Systems. Focusing predominantly on security in recent years, he is a member of the Security and VPN Virtual Teams at Cisco.

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