Finally, a DLP for Macs

Finally, a DLP for Macs

It’s time to face the facts, Macs are everywhere in the enterprise. In fact, a 2018 survey from Jamf pointed to the fact that more than half of enterprise organizations (52%) offer their employees a choice in their device of preference. Not entirely surprising, 72% of employees choose Mac. The Apple wave within business environments has begun and only promises to grow over time.

“ Legacy Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions don’t account for the Mac phenomenon and were not designed with them in mind. ”

The problem is that legacy Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions don’t account for the Mac phenomenon and were not designed with them in mind. As a result, legacy DLPs often approach Macs as an afterthought rather than a core strategy. Customer opinions of their DLP for Macs continue to be unfavorable. In fact, last year at Jamf’s JNUC event in Minneapolis, Mac users quickly revealed their sheer frustration with DLP and how it wasn’t built for Macs. Code42 customers currently using legacy DLP vendors vented about their Mac DLP experience saying, “It just sucks!”

Naturally, we asked why.

  1. No Support – Mac updates can be fast and furious. Unfortunately, DLP has traditionally struggled to keep up with those updates. The result? Errors, Kernel panics and increased risk for data loss.
  2. No OS Consistency – We often forget that today’s businesses often use both Mac and Windows. DLP has traditionally maintained a very Windows-centric approach that has made the Mac experience secondary and inconsistent with Windows. Having two sets of users with varying levels of data risk is never good.
  3. It’s Slow – The number one issue often stems from performance-sucking agents that bring the productivity of Mac users to a screeching halt.
  4. Kernel Panics – This is worth reiterating. Macs are sensitive to anything that poses a threat, so whenever perceived unsanctioned DLP software threatens Mac, it means reboots and an increased risk of downtime.
  5. It’s Complicated – Traditional DLP still relies on legacy hardware and manual updates, which is time consuming and expensive.

Recently, Code42 unveiled its Next-Gen Data Loss Protection Solution at the RSA Conference 2019. One of the reasons our 50,000+ customers love us is precisely because of the superior Mac experience we deliver. Our next-gen DLP solution was built with the Mac user in mind. Learn more about our trusted and proven take on DLP for Mac.

Code42 Product Spotlight: Identify Risk to Data Using Advanced Exfiltration Detection

Product Spotlight: Identify Risk to Data Using Advanced Exfiltration Detection

When it comes to data loss protection, there are fundamental security questions that every organization needs to answer. These include, “Who has access to what files?” and “When and how are those files leaving my organization?”

Code42 Next-Gen Data Loss Protection helps you get answers to these questions in seconds by monitoring and investigating file activity across endpoints and cloud services. And now, Code42 has expanded its investigation capabilities to provide greater visibility into removable media, personal cloud and web browser usage by allowing security analysts to search file activity such as:

  • Files synced to personal cloud services. Code42 monitors files that exist in a folder used for syncing with cloud services, including iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Use of removable media. Code42 monitors file activity on external devices, such as an external drive or memory card.
  • Files read by browsers and apps. Code42 monitors files opened in an app that is commonly used for uploading files, such as a web browser, Slack, FTP client or curl.

Advanced Exfiltration Detection can be applied to proactively monitor risky user activity — such as the use of USBs across an organization — as well as to eliminate blind spots during security investigations. For example, imagine you’ve just learned that a confidential roadmap presentation was accidentally sent to the wrong email distribution list. Sure, it can later be deleted from the email server. But did anyone download it? Has anyone shared it? By using Code42 to perform a quick search of the file name, you can answer those questions in seconds. You’ll not only see which users have downloaded the attachment, but also that one has since saved the file to a personal Dropbox account. With this information in hand, you can quickly take action against this risky data exposure.

See Advanced Exfiltration Detection in action.


Using-Delayed-Client-Updates-to-Test-the-Code42-App

Product Spotlight: Using Delayed Client Updates to Test the Code42 App

One of the benefits of selecting a Code42 cloud deployment is that that you don’t need to manage software upgrades. Code42 manages all infrastructure, and the Code42 app installed on endpoints is automatically updated when new versions are released. This process ensures your organization always has the latest security updates and newest functionality.

However, some customers have told us their change management process requires them to test new versions of the Code42 app with internal groups prior to distributing to the entire organization. Today we’re excited to announce new functionality that allows you to do just that.

With the new delayed client updates functionality, Code42 cloud deployment customers have up to thirty days to test new versions of the Code42 app before all endpoints are updated. In most cases, you will be notified one week prior to the release date so that you can prepare for the start of the testing period.

How to use delayed client updates

First, you must opt into this functionality by setting a global delay for all Code42 app updates. This delay can be set for up to thirty days. The selected global delay becomes the date on which all endpoints will receive a new version of the Code42 app after its release. Customers who do not set a global delay will continue to receive new versions of the Code42 app automatically on release date.

Once you’ve selected your global delay, you can specify organizations as “exceptions” to the delay date. These will become your test organizations. For example, if you’ve set your global delay to the thirty day maximum, you can arrange for the IT organization to receive the update on the general availability date, and for the marketing organization to receive the new app ten days after the release. This allows for sequenced testing with multiple test groups. If needed, you can also deploy to individual devices for targeted testing.

Once you’ve completed any desired testing, all Code42 apps will update automatically according to your global delay setting.

We hope this process allows you to follow your established change management process while still benefiting from the automatic updates that come with a cloud deployment. Happy testing!




Product Spotlight: Saved Searches

A Simple Way to Streamline Investigations

While every organization wants to protect its data, some files are more critical than others. You need to know where these “crown jewels” exist in your organization, and you don’t want to reinvent the wheel every time you need to find them. Fortunately, Code42 Next-Gen Data Loss Protection (DLP) can help you quickly and accurately locate these files — and save your search criteria so you can easily find them again in the future.

Code42 Next-Gen DLP protects your intellectual property from loss, leak, misuse and theft by showing you where critical files live and move. With Code42 Next-Gen DLP, you can quickly search for data using file hash, date range, type, filepath and more — to get a complete inventory of where important files reside on your endpoints and cloud services.

For example, suppose your organization has “secret sauce recipes” that are vital to your company’s success. These critical files should only be accessible to select employees — but how can you verify that is indeed the case? You can use Code42 Next-Gen DLP to see if your company’s secret sauce recipes are saved anywhere they shouldn’t be. Simply use Code42’s investigation capabilities to search for the SHA256 hashes of your most critical files.

Once you’ve built a search to identify the location of those special files, you can save the search criteria so you can quickly re-run a search in the future. These saved searches can be named and edited as needed. Saved searches pre-populate queries so that routine searches can be run more frequently.

Keeping your crown jewels safe is at the heart of a good data loss protection strategy. And now, Code42 makes this even easier using saved searches.

Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 3: DevSecOps and Why It’s More Important Than Ever (Video)

We at Code42 were fortunate to have our good friend Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project and the leading expert on DevOps, stop by our office for a conversation about DevOps and its implications for security. One of the best parts of the visit for me was talking with Gene about our DevSecOps experiences here at Code42 and how we have brought security into the DevOps model.

Here at Code42, we are on a mission to secure our customers’ ideas. That’s why our DevOps journey included bringing security into the DevOps model. I’m proud to say that we’ve been profoundly successful bringing those security risk controls into our process and making it part of our engineering process.

Security is often viewed—especially by engineering— as the department of “No.” Yet, in the DevOps model, you’re trying to embody self-service and autonomy, which can be difficult to square with accountability.

As our DevSecOps model has come together, our security team has been taking the time to establish the expectations for the engineering side of the house, and we’ve been able to implement those controls. One of the most gratifying outcomes for me is, instead of an after-the-fact security scan, we’re now proactively dealing with security as we design and build our software.

Now, engineering has the freedom to do what they need to do, because they’re able to talk more openly and collegially with the security team. A lot of the answers that were “No” before, when explained in the right context, become “Yes,” because the security team can enable the engineers to move forward.

During our interview, Gene echoed the advantages of bringing security to the DevOps table. “It’s been really gratifying to see organizations … call it not DevOps but DevSecOps,” said Gene. “Truly integrating all the information security objectives into everyone’s daily work.”

Hear what else Gene had to say about DevOps and its implications for security.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the previous two installments in our three-part blog and video series with Gene where he talks about what it takes to become a DevOps organization and the role of culture.

Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 1: How Do You Become a DevOps Organization?

Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 2: The Cultural Impact of becoming a DevOps Org

Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 2: The Cultural Impact of becoming a DevOps Org (Video)

Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project and one of the most vocal thought leaders for DevOps, spent a day at Code42 headquarters in Minneapolis. During his visit, Gene talked about the optimal cultural conditions that must be in place for companies that embark on a DevOps journey and the advantages of bringing security to the table. This is the second installment in our three-part blog and video series, capturing our conversations with Gene.

As we’ve embarked on our own DevOps journey at Code42, we’ve experienced firsthand that the transformation must be embraced from a cultural perspective in order to make it happen. The core principals of DevOps require systematic thinking, coming together, gaining feedback and then at the same time, constant experimentation. For DevOps to work, it’s critical to have cultural norms that allow people to provide honest feedback without repercussions.

DevOps is not just for the engineering team. There’s something in DevOps that affects everybody from the systems architects to the operations teams to the very way in which QA is administered. In fact, the focus right now on privacy and security make the cultural perspective of DevOps more important than ever because it brings the security and engineering teams together in a very real way. That’s one of the things we at Code42 really appreciate about DevOps: that the cultural norms start to propagate around the organization, so you find groups collaborating across the company.

During my conversation with Gene, he reinforced the importance of team work. He said “Without a doubt, there has to be a sense of collegiality between information security and the engineering teams — that we are fellow team members working toward a common objective.  It’s so counter-intuitive how much more effective this is than the traditional high-ceremony and adversarial nature between infosec and everyone else!”

Listen to part two of my interview with Gene to hear what else he had to say about cultural norms, the absence of fear and empowering security.

“ Without a doubt, there has to be a sense of collegiality between information security and the engineering teams — that we are fellow team members working toward a common objective. ”

Check out the first part of our blog and video series with Gene for insights on how to become a DevOps org and part three — why DevSecOps is more important than ever.





Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 1: How Do You Become a DevOps Organization? (Video)

Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project, stopped by our offices. Gene, who is regarded in the industry as one of —if not the — most vocal enthusiasts of DevOps, is a friend of Code42 and a personal mentor of mine. I was thrilled to sit down and interview him. As a result of our visit, we created a three-part blog and video series, where we explore his views on DevOps — particularly security’s growing role. Our first installment opens with his thoughts on what goes into becoming a DevOps company.

The books Gene has written and his perspective on DevOps have changed the way we at Code42 think about our process. After going through our own DevOps journey, we’ve been optimizing our teams to improve our speed of delivery, ensuring we get our customers the features they need faster.

We are not the only ones to find ourselves on this transformational path. Many of our customers are on DevOps journeys of their own — or thinking about starting one — so we wanted to share our experiences and Gene’s best practices on becoming a DevOps organization.

When I was talking to Gene, I asked him about what it means to be a DevOps company, particularly in this day and age when security is such a top concern for businesses and consumers. We hope this video will help companies understand some of the implications and real advantages of adopting a DevOps model.

“ One of the biggest surprises coming off The Phoenix Project is just to see how much DevOps can dramatically improve the lives of not only developers, but also QA, operations and security. ”

During our conversation, Gene said, One of the biggest surprises coming off The Phoenix Project is just to see how much DevOps can dramatically improve the lives of not only developers, but also QA, operations and security.”

Be sure to check out the next two installments in our three-part blog and video series with Gene, where he talks about the role of culture in becoming a DevOps org and why DevOpsSec is more important than ever.

Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 2: The Cultural Impact of becoming a DevOps Org

Gene Kim on DevOps, Part 3: DevSecOps and Why It’s More Important Than Ever (Video)

Managing User Authentication in the Cloud

How do you manage user identities and permissions in your organization?

If you’re like 95 percent of enterprise companies, you’re using Microsoft’s Active Directory Domain Services, otherwise known as Active Directory or simply AD. This is the system that allows your employees to use the same username and password to access any domain-bound internal system, and allows your administrators to manage user identities, rights and permissions at scale. Since its introduction in the late ‘90s, AD has become the most robust, dominant and ubiquitous directory service utility in the technology world.

Before the advent of the cloud, AD was all most companies needed for identity management and authentication. AD managed the services, tools and data stores employees needed on-premises. To access these services with their AD credentials, employees needed direct local network access via an on-site device or a virtual private network.

Today, cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are replacing on-premises solutions of all kinds, including tools for collaboration and data sharing, office productivity, creative production work and data security.

As companies transition their data security to the cloud, identity management and authentication architectures have to transition, too. It can be difficult to keep track of where their AD data lives as it moves between clouds, data centers and endpoints. It can be hard to answer “who, what, when, where and how” data moved, so determining “why” can feel next to impossible.

As a long-time data security solutions provider, we’ve worked with hundreds of organizations as they make this journey. From those experiences, we’ve developed a set of recommendations to help you navigate this change to identity management and authentication systems while maintaining your data security and minimizing user hassle.

“ We’ve developed a set of recommendations to help you navigate this change to identity management and authentication systems while maintaining your data security and minimizing user hassle. ”

Identity management in the cloud

There are many benefits to using cloud-based SaaS services, including reduced costs for platform management and increased scalability. Of course, there are also challenges. One of the biggest problems to solve is integrating an existing on-premises AD identity management structure with these external tools. How can you leverage that existing structure so that users can access new SaaS tools with the same login credentials they’re accustomed to?

Single Sign-On

For security reasons, exposing your local AD server to the internet is not recommended. You could set up a lightweight AD server in a network DMZ that syncs with the internal AD domain controller and thus provides authentication for external requests. However, many cloud-based SaaS services don’t support querying AD, so this method could limit the services you can integrate into such a setup.

Enter single sign-on (SSO). Essentially, SSO is an authentication system that allows users to access multiple unrelated systems after just one login, because that initial login gives them an authentication token that’s trusted by those systems. For example, your company may use separate SaaS solutions in the cloud for human resources, training, CRM and project management. SSO allows users to log in to each of these systems through one central portal, because they all trust the SSO identity provider.

SSO solutions are widespread and compatible with the vast majority of cloud-based SaaS technologies because of the near-universal adoption of the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). SaaS technologies that use SAML 2.0 can seamlessly integrate with most SSO providers, as the majority “speak the language” of SAML 2.0.

SSO and AD: a bridge to cloud authentication

All of the major SSO identity platforms, such as Okta Identity Cloud, Google Identity Platform, Azure Active Directory and Ping Identity, have a variation on the concept of the “AD Connector” — a tool that synchronizes your AD user data with the SSO Identity provider. With such a tool, your employees use their AD username and password to log into a cloud-based SaaS tool via your SSO provider. AD makes a secure connection to your SSO identity provider but is otherwise safely walled off from the outside world. All your SaaS applications are able to leverage authentication via SSO because of the ubiquity of the SAML 2.0 standard.

Provisioning users

By utilizing a SAML 2.0-compliant SSO identity provider, you can easily solve the “login question.” The next step is to address provisioning. How do you make SaaS tools aware of those users in the first place? How can you organize the users so the permissions and organizational structure you’ve carefully set up in AD is mirrored in your SaaS tools? Finally, how can you automatically deactivate users in a SaaS tool when you deactivate them in AD?

This is where the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) comes in. SCIM is an open standard for communicating user attributes, such as group membership, org membership and permissions, between distinct services. For example, SCIM shares user attributes between AD and an SSO identity provider, or between an SSO provider and a SaaS tool.

SCIM 2.0 is a much newer standard than SAML 2.0 and isn’t quite as ubiquitous. Some SSO providers, such as Okta and Google, use SCIM integrations to make provisioning users a snap. However, Google does not have an interface for setting up provisioning rules in a custom app (for example, a SAML 2.0 SaaS tool that you configured yourself without an official Google app). Some SAML 2.0 identity providers, such as Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services, do not support SCIM 2.0 at all.

To solve the “SCIM 2.0 isn’t always available” problem, some cloud-based SaaS applications have developed synchronization tools. For example, Code42’s User Directory Sync synchronizes AD user information via direct one-way communication from the customer’s AD server to the SaaS provider. In this example, Code42 still leverages SSO for user authentication, but user provisioning is made possible via a secure one-way sync.

Embrace the cloud era

The SSO market is fairly crowded, with behemoths like Microsoft and Google going head to head with startups like Okta that focus exclusively on SSO. The fact that these services all speak the same language and endeavor to solve the same problem — leveraging your existing identity management system for cloud authentication — means that tackling this problem has never been easier. The plethora of secure, robust SSO providers makes it easy to transition from your on-prem past to a future in the cloud. With this problem solved, you’ll have time to focus on the other complexities of digital transformation to the cloud, like gaining visibility into where your all of your data is created, stored and shared.

Better EDR and Threat Intel with Code42

The bright lights of Las Vegas are still flashing in my eyes after Black Hat 2018, and I observed a distinct trend: Data security technology vendors increasingly align themselves in one of two categories: threat intelligence or endpoint detection and response (EDR). The most common question I got at Black Hat 2018 was, “How does Code42 fit?” My answer is, quite simply, “Extremely well.”

Threat intelligence and EDR — where Code42 fits

It was easy to tell if you were at a threat intel or EDR vendor booth at Black Hat 2018:

  • The threat intelligence vendors wanted to talk to you about their orchestration framework, how many data feeds they pull in and their glitzy dashboards.
  • The EDR vendors showed you how easy it is to install their endpoint agent — and told you how they’ll alert your security team every time a hoodie-clad hacker in a basement runs exploits on your endpoints.

Code42 provides separate, complementary value to both threat intelligence and EDR solutions by applying a unique, historical file content and context perspective — as opposed to an action- or event-oriented perspective. Here’s why the combination of Code42 and threat intelligence and/or EDR is so powerful:

“ Code42 provides separate, complementary value to both threat intelligence and EDR solutions by applying a unique, historical file content and context perspective. ”

Code42 + threat intelligence

Let’s say your journey starts with a threat intelligence solution. You get an alert that a DNS request was initiated from a transient address in your Wi-Fi network to a newly registered domain or domain associated with known malware. How can you act on this alert?

Well, the threat intel report describes the domain in question as associated with a fake ad-blocker Chrome extension. That report also gives you the file name of the Chrome extension. You can then leverage Code42 Forensic File Search to search for that filename. In less than a second, you can build a unique list of all endpoints in your environment that have this undesirable Chrome extension. You can even sort these results and quickly find the first users to “fall” for the malware trick and give them additional training to help avoid this type of fire drill in the future.

Code42 + EDR

Imagine that an EDR solution sends an alert triggered by a maliciously crafted PDF document found on an endpoint. This suspicious file ran some arbitrary and potentially unknown code at an elevated privilege level. How would your organization react?

First, you may want to see who else has this same document. Using Code42 Forensic File Search, you could look for the checksum or filename of that questionable PDF. In less than a second, you have a complete list of your affected devices and users — whether they are online or not and without impact to the user’s machine or the network.

Now let’s say you want to examine the suspicious file — but the malicious payload deleted the PDF after execution. With Code42’s Backup + Restore  product, you could pull an archived copy and hand it to forensic investigators.

Providing deeper visibility and context

Threat intel and EDR solutions focus on identifying malicious activity or abnormal application behaviors on an endpoint. They’re really good at detecting things like a process attempting a privilege escalation or scanning memory to pilfer credentials. Alerts to these activities are valuable, but they give only one dimension of insight into a complex problem. Code42 is focused on a much bigger picture — providing comprehensive visibility into every action, movement and revision of every file — while simultaneously securing and preserving valuable digital assets. And our powerful search capability cuts through the noise to give you exactly the information you need without overwhelming you with data.

Our unique approach to providing visibility and ensuring availability means Code42 doesn’t fit neatly into a category created by industry analysts. But that doesn’t diminish its value. Rather, it affirms that the value of Code42 cuts across the entire data security stack, regardless of what you do, or what tools or vendors you may already be working with. In fact, Code42 Forensic File Search, coupled with Code42 Backup + Restore, provide a comprehensive, contextually rich and easily searchable service. Combined, they complement not only threat intel and EDR, but almost any other data security solution, providing clear, direct and authoritative results.

Code42 Restores Files, Moods and Attitudes

Here’s a story you’ll probably recognize: Because there’s no sense reinventing the wheel, you use an existing file—for instance, an Excel file or PowerPoint presentation—as the starting point for a new project. As you transform that old file into something brilliant and new, you instinctively hit CTRL+S (because you don’t want to lose that work!)—and unintentionally overwrite the original file, destroying your previous (yet still valuable) work.

You may have also lived this story: You’re working diligently when an email or a webpage opens a pop-up. Thanks to clever trickery, the “OK” and “Cancel” buttons are renamed or the question is misleading, and you’re duped into the wrong click. Suddenly, you feel the heat from your computer as ransomware begins encrypting all your files.

Another painfully familiar tale: Your computer dies or is lost. A day later, your trusty IT team hands you a beautiful new one. This new computer is clean, pristine, fast and slick—but has none of your information on it.

The stages of data loss grief

I’ll bet everyone has experienced at least one of these disasters, so you also know the feelings of disbelief, rage, guilt and sadness that go with them. It’s a big deal! Your ideas are lost. Your data is gone. Your future productivity is marginalized as you scrounge around to find bits and pieces of your files and work.

“ We understand the value of your data; we understand the risk it constantly faces; and we understand the raw emotion of losing (and recovering) that value. ”

I know these feelings all too well. In fact, just last month, I ended up wiping out a presentation two days before I was due to take the stage as a keynote speaker. But it took me less than a minute to recover the file, because, not surprisingly, we here at Code42 have our agent deployed on every endpoint. This was just the latest, deeply personal reminder of why we do the work we do at Code42—why we work so tirelessly to protect your (and my) data. We understand the value of your data; we understand the risk it constantly faces; and we understand the raw emotion of losing (and recovering) that value.

Four big improvements make Code42 restores better than ever

In the last year, we’ve been focusing on updating our technologies to make your restore process even better. Here are four ways we’re taking data restores to a whole new level:

  • Speed: We know that the speed of a restore is at the heart of our solution. When you lose a file, every minute counts. In the last year, we’ve invested time in optimizing our technologies for the new file sizes we expect in 2018. For some of our customers, this has resulted in a 10x improvement in performance.
  • Push Restores: We’ve made a lot of changes to our technology and message queueing to make the push restores work much better. Ironically, modern computing sometimes works against us; computers have gotten so good at understanding their workload that they optimize for the operations they perform the most frequently. Statistically, the Code42 infrastructure does a lot more backups than restores—but those restores (your restores) need to be as fast as possible. We’ve re-trained our servers and message queuing to make sure that your restores are always our top priority.
  • Security: When you store as much data as we do at Code42, making sure it’s safe is absolutely critical. I was thinking about this recently during an internal security exercise. All customer data protected with Code42 is protected with the strongest possible data encryption both in transit and at rest. We continue to find ways to make your precious files even more secure.
  • Bulk Restores: Finally, we’ve done a lot to make sure that even if you are doing massive restores, they are still fast and easy. Whether it’s users recovering an entire machine in minutes, or organizations doing widespread device-to-device migrations (in case of an OS Migration or hardware refresh), we’ve minimized the time and the pain.

No matter how you use Code42, we take pride in taking those “much ado” moments and turning them into “nothing.” We love hearing that “Oh my gosh, thank you so much,” that comes from customers when they recover all of their lost files, and we’re proud to provide the technology that lets you do this for your users.

At Code42, we restore files, moods and attitudes.