Category Archives for "Security"

How NSX Is Tapping into the Human Element Behind Network Virtualization


Virtualization can be a tricky concept for some people to wrap their heads around. Trying to explain the functionalities and benefits of technology like VMware NSX can quickly devolve into techno-babble. With that said, we’re trying to take another approach—a more human approach. Below are three customer stories that emphasize a human-interest element behind network virtualization and showcase the power of technologies like NSX to better human lives.


NSX Powers a ‘Classroom in the Cloud’ for Illinois Students

 When the technology leaders of Bloomington’s public schools started looking for a way to make advanced, enterprise-level computing and Internet services affordable to students, they went the co-op route and turned to IlliniCloud. IlliniCloud has proven to be a game-changer for a public education system in crisis. The co-op is transforming the technology infrastructures of not just Bloomington’s public school district, but every school district in Illinois with an affordable and efficient model that results in major cost savings for schools, along with upgrades in technology and aging infrastructures.


VMware is the backbone of IlliniCloud and a natural fit, according to Jason Radford, CTO of IlliniCloud: “VMware believed in the IlliniCloud. They gave us the tools that were Continue reading

IETF 101, Day 4: The Brass Tacks about DNS and Routing

This week is IETF 101 in London, and we’re bringing you daily blog posts highlighting the topics of interest to us in the ISOC Internet Technology Team. And Thursday is probably the busiest day for us, covering the whole range of our interests.

ROLL has its first of two sessions starting at 09.30 GMT/UTC; continuing on Friday morning. There are several drafts being discussed dealing with the issues of routing over resource constrained networks where limited updates are possible.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend IETF 101 in person, there are multiple ways to participate remotely.

There’s a choice between a couple of working groups after lunch, starting at 13.30 GMT/UTC.

DOH was chartered to create a single RFC, so clearly the draft DNS queries over HTTPS is going to be the primary focus of discussion. However, there will also be updates on the practical implementation work, and a discussion about possible future work if there is a decision to re-charter the group.

6LO runs in parallel and has a fairly busy agenda with Registration Extensions for 6LoWPAN Neighbor Discovery, and Address Protected Neighbor Discovery for Low-power and Lossy Networks having received feedback from the IESG. Continue reading

Security for Public Clouds (AWS) with vRealize Network Insight

Enterprise IT needs visibility into the network and security status of their workloads, whether hosted on premises, or within AWS. While many AWS workloads are sandboxes for application development teams (DevOps), it is important to analyze these workloads. Increasingly, public cloud workloads are also fulfilling mission-critical production needs for many organizations. Enterprise IT must be ready to determine the best location, security posture, and bandwidth allocation when deploying workloads. Having traffic pattern details as well as security analysis and recommendations readily available, helps organizations make the ideal hosting decisions to meet their business needs.

vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) Supports Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Cloud. The vRNI traffic monitoring features provide visibility into native AWS constructs such as Virtual Private Clouds, VMs, Security Groups, firewall rules, and tags. vRNI also analyzes AWS traffic flows to provide security and micro-segmentation views of cloud workloads. This means you’ll be able to plan micro-segmentation and understand traffic patterns using data collected from your AWS instances.


Let’s review a simple Amazon Web Services (AWS) VPC setup to articulate the value vRealize Network Insight can offer from a Day 1 Day 2 perspective.

  1. We have an on-premise instance of vRealize Network Insight managing AWS.
  2. Continue reading

Side Channel Attacks in the Wild: The Smart Home

Side channel attacks are not something most network engineers are familiar with; I provided a brief introduction to the concept over at The Network Collective in this Short Take. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it might be worth watching that video (a little over 4 minutes) before reading this post.

Side channel attacks are more common, and more dangerous, than many engineers understand. In this post, I’ll take a look at a 2017 research paper that builds and exploits a side channel attack against several smart home devices to see how such a side channel attack plays out. They begin their test with a series of devices, including a children’s sleep monitor, a pair of security cameras, a pair of smart power plugs, and a voice based home assistant.

The attack itself takes place in two steps. The first is to correlate individual traffic flows with a particular device (where a traffic flow is a 5 tuple. The researchers did this in three different ways. First, they observed the MAC address of each device talking on the network, comparing the first three octets of this address to a list of known manufacturers. Most home device manufacturers use a Continue reading

IETF 101, Day 2: A bit of Rosie Lee (Mobility)

This week is IETF 101 in London, and we’re bringing you daily blog posts highlighting the topics of interest to us in the ISOC Internet Technology Team. After a hectic Monday there’s less dashing around needed today, although there’s a few things to highlight, even if you’ll have to choose between them as they’re unfortunately all scheduled at the same time.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend IETF 101 in person, there are multiple ways to participate remotely.

DNSOP starts its first of two sessions at 15.50 GMT/UTC (it continues on Thursday. Several of the drafts under discussion relate to the Root KSK Rollover and how to better automate and monitor key rollovers.

At the same time, DOTS is also meeting and has a bit of a mixed agenda with four drafts up for discussion, implementation reports, and feedback on the Hackathon.

There are two drafts covering the Distributed Denial-of-Service Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) Signal Channel and Data Channel specifications, one that establishes an architecture for establishing and maintaining signalling within and between domains, with the last one presenting use cases describing the interactions expected between DOTS components and messaging exchanges.

Alternatively, DMM has a very busy agenda with no Continue reading

Rough Guide to IETF 101: DNSSEC, DANE, DNS Security and Privacy

It’s going to be a crazy busy week in London next week in the world of DNS security and privacy! As part of our Rough Guide to IETF 101, here’s a quick view on what’s happening in the world of DNS.  (See the full agenda online for everything else.)

IETF 101 Hackathon

As usual, there will be a good-sized “DNS team” at the IETF 101 Hackathon starting tomorrow. The IETF 101 Hackathon wiki outlines the work (scroll down to see it). Major security/privacy projects include:

  • Implementing some of the initial ideas for DNS privacy communication between DNS resolvers and authoritative servers.
  • Implementation and testing of the drafts related to DNS-over-HTTPS (from the new DOH working group).
  • Work on DANE authentication within systems using the DNS Privacy (DPRIVE) mechanisms.

Anyone is welcome to join us for part or all of that event.

Thursday Sponsor Lunch about DNSSEC Root Key Rollover

On Thursday, March 22, at 12:30 UTC, ICANN CTO David Conrad will speak on “Rolling the DNS Root Key Based on Input from Many ICANN Communities“. As the abstract notes, he’ll be talking about how ICANN got to where it is today with the Continue reading

Rough Guide to IETF 101: Privacy, Identity, and Encryption

It’s that time again! In this post of the Rough Guide to IETF 101, I’ll take a quick look at some of the identity, privacy, and encryption related activities at IETF this coming week. Below a few of the many relevant activities are highlighted, but there is much more going on so be sure to check out the full agenda online.


Encryption continues to be a priority of the IETF as well as the security community at large. Related to encryption, there is the TLS working group developing the core specifications, several working groups addressing how to apply the work of the TLS working group to various applications, and the Crypto-Forum Research Group focusing on the details of the underlying cryptographic algorithms.

The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Working Group is a key IETF effort developing core security protocols for the Internet. The big news out of this working group is the IESG approval of the TLS 1.3 specification. There is still some way to go before final publication, but the end is in sight.

There will be two TLS sessions this week. The Monday session will focus primarily on the ongoing discussion of data center operator concerns Continue reading

ISOC’s Hot Topics at IETF 101

Tomorrow begins IETF 101 in London, United Kingdom, and it’s the third time that an IETF has been held in the country. Following on the heels of our Rough Guide to IETF 101 where we go in-depth about specific topics of interest, the ISOC Internet Technology Team is again highlighting the latest IPv6, DNSSEC, Securing BGP, TLS and IoT related developments as the week progresses.

Below are the sessions that we’ll be following in the coming week. Note this post was written in advance so please check the official IETF 101 agenda for any updates, room changes, or final details.

Monday, 18 March 2018

Tuesday, 19 March 2018

A Secure Supply Chain for Kubernetes, Part 2

Two weeks ago we shared how the upcoming release of Docker Enterprise Edition (Docker EE) is able to secure the software supply chain for Kubernetes; just as it does for Docker Swarm through a combination of scanning for vulnerabilities and implementing image promotion policies. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at another part of this solution – Docker Content Trust and image signing.

When combined with granular Role Based Access Controls [RBAC] and the secure clustering features of Docker EE, organizations get a secure container platform solution that is ready for the enterprise.

Restricting Unverified Kubernetes Content

As discussed in Part 1 of this blog post, organizations typically have a “supply chain” for how applications progress from a developer’s laptop to production, whether that is on-premises or in the cloud. For larger organizations, the team that handles QA and testing is not always the same team that develops the applications. There may also be a separate team that handles staging and pre-production before an application is pushed to production. Since an application can pass through several teams before it gets deployed, it’s important for organizations to be able to validate the source of the application.

Docker Content Trust Continue reading

I Can’t Choose the Gear for You

One of my readers sent me a question along these lines after reading the anti-automation blog post:

Your blog post has me worried as we're currently reviewing offers for NGFW solution... I understand the need to keep the lid on the details rather than name and shame, but is it possible to get the details off the record?

I always believed in giving my readers enough information to solve their challenges on their own (you know, the Teach a man to fish idea).

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