During the Black Hat USA 2020 Virtual Event, Exabeam, the Smarter SIEM™ company, announced that customers can now licence its cloud SIEM technology by use case, beginning with licensable use cases for expedited insider threat and compromised credential detection. In addition, to simplify the process of acquiring and installing critical security content, the company is unveiling the new Exabeam Content Library, an easy-to-use security content repository to help organisations deploy advanced use cases more efficiently. Exabeam use case content increases threat visibility and enables security operations centre (SOC) teams to extract more value from their SIEM.

According to the ‘Exabeam 2020 State of the SOC Report,’ security managers and analysts rated their ability to create content the lowest among all hard skills, yet creating rules and models to detect advanced threats, like lateral movement and credential switching, is critical to their security maturity. By providing a simple way to acquire the content needed to detect and remediate these critical security use cases, Exabeam is speeding the time to maturity for organisations.

Security business needs

Security use cases for a SIEM tool should be a priority in the CISO’s tool box, and should not only cater to basic security hygiene, for which best practices exist, but also cater to the business needs of the organisation,” wrote Gorka Sadowski, senior director analyst at Gartner in a Gartner report.

The Content Library is an online repository of knowledge and content that organisations can use to roll out new use cases. The initial release allows customers to quickly map data sources to security use cases and to download the necessary parsers. Exabeam is also announcing new, easy-to-implement content and tools to help customers maintain security as they adapt to a remote workforce.

Investigate data exfiltration

Exabeam is further enabling security teams to rapidly obtain value by detecting insider threats"

Exabeam Cloud Connector for Code42 allows security teams to quickly detect and investigate data exfiltration by departing and remote employees, as well as the leak of high value data during a merger or acquisition. This announcement follows the previous release of the Exabeam Cloud Connector for Zoom. The ability for Exabeam solutions to easily plug into existing security environments enhances SOC team speed and efficacy.

New research shows that one-third of organisations have been hit with successful cyberattacks since the forced move to work from home. As security teams rush to respond to the pandemic and the increase in threats, it is critical that they find cost-effective ways to strengthen and mature their security posture,” commented Adam Geller, chief product officer, Exabeam. “In announcing these innovations, Exabeam is further enabling security teams to rapidly obtain value by detecting insider threats and compromised credentials and improving their security posture for remote employees.”

Turnkey Playbooks

Unlike other SIEM vendors, Exabeam has allowed us to quickly add analytics to detect and investigate insider threats without having to replace our existing log management investment,” explained Director Damien Manuel, Cyber Security Research and Innovation Centre at Deakin University. “That’s a critical capability in the context of constantly evolving risks and potential vulnerabilities, and it gives us a smarter strategy to protect our organisation, employees, customers and data.”

Exabeam has also released the first of its previously announced Turnkey Playbooks, automated solutions for common security investigations that do not require third-party licences or configuration. The new Turnkey Playbook for Threat Intelligence automatically identifies malicious domains, IP addresses, URLs, files, and email addresses with no additional configuration or third-party threat intelligence licences required.

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Historic Spanish building upgrades security with ASSA ABLOY's SMARTair® wireless access control
Historic Spanish building upgrades security with ASSA ABLOY's SMARTair® wireless access control

Schools present unique challenges for security and access control. But what about a school that is also a heritage site of exceptional value? The Colegio Diocesano Santo Domingo in Orihuela, Spain, is more than just a school. Its historic buildings date to the 1500s, a heritage site as well as a place of learning — with a museum that requires the protection of the same access system. The college buildings are a Resource of Cultural Interest and on Spain’s heritage registry: They must not be damaged. Wire-free electronic locks were the obvious answer.   A wireless solution SMARTair® wireless locking devices now control access through 300 doors around the school. Electronic escutcheons, knob cylinders, and wall readers (including lifts) are connected to intuitive SMARTair software by a network of 38 HUBs. The school chose SMARTair Wireless Online management for their new keyless access system. This powerful management option enables real-time control of access to and around the site, even if the school’s data network is down. Automated emails inform security staff of any incidents, keeping students, teachers, equipment, and precious heritage safe. Real-time key management “The main benefit is the ease of real-time key management — from any place and at any time — via the wireless online management system,” says the school’s IT Manager, Francisco Fernández Soriano. “This increases security for children and for staff because no unauthorised people can enter the school.” In addition to the main entrances and classrooms, access to private spaces is constantly monitored “In addition to the main entrances and classrooms, access to private spaces such as lifts, offices, staff rooms, the church, the museum, the library, and the IT room is constantly monitored.” Scalable modular system Installation of the school’s SMARTair system required minimal work. Some doors date to the 16th century, so major alterations were not possible. “The system was installed without a hitch and also without any disruption to classes,” he adds. Because SMARTair is a modular system, scalability is built in. They can extend or fine-tune their access system when they choose. Indeed, the school’s “SMARTair Phase II” is already under discussion.

Hanwha Techwin America’s Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras safeguard Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)
Hanwha Techwin America’s Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras safeguard Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)

Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, announced that Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD), one of the largest school districts in California, has strengthened its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that includes 1,250 Hanwha Techwin Q series cameras across 20 different locations. Anaheim Union High School District Located just outside of Los Angeles, AUHSD is a public-school district serving portions of the Orange County cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma and Stanton and has an estimated 2,900 employees in 20 different facilities. In total, it serves approximately 29,000 students from grades 7 to 12. Despite its size and expanse, the district was lacking a robust security camera system that could allow administrators to monitor or document incidents on campus. “Other than a few sites with some DVR-based systems, we did not have any security cameras,” explained Erik Greenwood, Chief Technology Officer for AUHSD. IP security cameras installed AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution Additionally, as the district continued to grow, so did the seriousness of some of its security issues. After several security incidents and school shootings at other campuses across the U.S., the district faced mounting concerns from the community. AUHSD decided to strengthen its security infrastructure with a district-wide solution that would include IP security cameras at its centre. AUHSD officials collaborated with school principals, administrative staff, and local police departments to identify key areas where cameras should be placed, such as gathering points for students and the buildings’ main entrances and exits, as well as what specifications the system should have to produce viable footage for law enforcement. Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras The district brought on CA-based integrator, HCI Systems Inc., which recommended Hanwha Techwin’s QNV-7080R 4MP Network IR Vandal-Resistant Cameras. The Wisenet Q series 4MP cameras enable high-resolution monitoring with clear images, and the innovative hallway view feature maximises the area of surveillance in narrow locations, such as school corridors. In addition, these Q series cameras are equipped with IR function, enabling clear, sharp images in dimly lit environments and during the night. Robust set of technical specifications According to Greenwood, the Hanwha cameras were chosen as the key part of the system for several reasons. He said, “We had a very robust set of technical specifications in our RFP, and the image quality, frame rate and light specifications of the Hanwha cameras matched our requirements.” In addition to their rich feature set, the Hanwha camera configuration presented a streamlined solution. Greenwood further stated, “We didn't have a large quantity of different camera models which meant we didn’t need to keep stock of all sorts of lenses and other accessories. The committee liked that approach from a troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance standpoint.” Vandal resistance  The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process The vandal-resistant features of the Hanwha cameras were also a big factor in their decision process since the camera domes can easily be cleaned or swapped without having to replace the entire camera. The Hanwha cameras were installed throughout the district in entrances, exits, exterior restroom doors, staff work areas and in general meeting areas. They are helping the district keep eyes on campus vandalism, graffiti, any other potential threats and, in some cases, even monitoring certain personnel issues, such as inappropriate use of school equipment. Campus surveillance When an incident is reported, administrators can quickly access and review the security footage to see what happened. In all, Greenwood said, “It's been a great project that involved everyone and the new cameras have some great qualities.” Now that the installation is complete, AUHSD is taking a closer look to see where there may still be some blind spots and exploring where they might benefit from potential expansion.

Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach
Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach

The 2020s will be a wireless decade in access control, says Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. He examines the trends data, and looks beyond mobile keys to brand new security roles for the smartphone. The benefits of wire-free electronic access control are well rehearsed. They are also more relevant than ever. A wireless solution gives facility managers deeper, more flexible control over who should have access, where and when, because installing, operating and integrating them is easier and less expensive than wiring more doors. Battery powered locks Many procurement teams are now aware of these cost advantages, but perhaps not their scale. Research for an ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (AAOS) benchmarking exercise found installation stage to be the largest contributor to cost reduction. Comparing a typical installation of battery-powered Aperio locks versus wired locks at the same scale, the research projected an 80% saving in installers’ labour costs for customers who go cable-free. Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks Operating costs are also lower for wireless: Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity. Wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. AAOS estimated a 70% saving in energy use over a comparable lock’s lifetime. Find out more about wireless access control at ASSA ABLOY's upcoming 29th June webinar Deploying wireless locks In short, every time a business chooses a wireless lock rather than a wired door, they benefit from both installation and operating cost savings. A recent report from IFSEC Global, AAOS and Omdia reveals the extent to which the advantages of wireless are cutting through. Responses to a large survey of security professionals — end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors — suggest almost four locations in ten (38%) have now deployed wireless locks as a part or the whole of their access solution. The corresponding data point from AAOS’s 2014 Report was 23%. Electronic access control Electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling Without doubt, electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling: Even after a year when many investments have been deferred or curtailed, the data reveals fast-growing adoption of wireless locks, technologies and systems. Is mobile access control — based on digital credentials or ‘virtual keys’ stored on a smartphone — an ideal security technology for this wire-free future? In fact, the same report finds mobile access is growing fast right now. Among those surveyed, 26% of end-users already offer mobile compatibility; 39% plan to roll out mobile access within two years. Before the mid-2020s, around two-thirds of access systems will employ the smartphone in some way. The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights Driving rapid adoption What is driving such rapid adoption? The convenience benefits for everyday users are obvious — witness the mobile boom in banking and payments, travel or event ticketing, transport, food delivery and countless more areas of modern life. Access control is a natural fit. If you have your phone, you are already carrying your keys: What could be easier? IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022 Less often discussed are the ways mobile management makes life easier for facility and security managers, too. Among those polled for the new Wireless Access Control Report, almost half (47%) agreed that ‘Mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time.’ IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022. Workers in every impacted sector require solutions which can get the job done from anywhere: Access management via smartphone offers this. Site management device The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights. For example, one new reporting and analytics tool for CLIQ key-based access control systems uses an app to collect, visualise and evaluate access data. Security system data could contribute to business success. The app’s clear, visual layout helps managers to instantly spot relevant trends, anomalies or patterns. It’s simple to export, to share insights across the business. Reinvented for learning — not just as a ‘key’ or site management device — the phone will help businesses make smarter, data-informed decisions. The smartphone will also play a major role in security — and everything else — for an exciting new generation of smart buildings. These buildings will derive their intelligence from interoperability. Over 90% of the report’s survey respondents highlighted the importance of integration across building functions including access control, CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems. Genuinely seamless integration They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term Yet in practice, stumbling blocks remain on the road to deeper, genuinely seamless integration. More than a quarter of those polled felt held back by a lack of solutions developed to open standards. ‘Open standards are key for the momentum behind the shift towards system integration,’ notes the Report. As well as being more flexible, open solutions are better futureproofed. Shared standards ensure investments can be made today with confidence that hardware and firmware may be built on seamlessly in the future. They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term. Open solutions and mobile management are critical to achieving the goals which end-users in every vertical are chasing: scalability, flexibility, sustainability, cost-efficiency and convenience.