Announcing Risk-Based Endpoint Security with Cisco Secure Endpoint and Kenna Security

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With a tidal wave of vulnerabilities out there and brand-new vulnerabilities coming out daily, security teams have a lot to handle. Addressing every single vulnerability is nearly impossible and prioritizing them is no easy task either since it’s difficult to effectively focus on the small number of vulnerabilities that matter most to your organization. Moreover, the shift to hybrid work makes it harder to assess and prioritize your vulnerabilities across your endpoints with traditional vulnerability scanners.

Kenna Security maps out the vulnerabilities in your environment and prioritizes the order in which you should address them based on a risk score. We’re excited to announce that after Cisco acquired Kenna Security last year, we have recently launched an integration between Kenna and Cisco Secure Endpoint to add valuable vulnerability context into the endpoint.

With this initial integration, Secure Endpoint customers can now perform risk-based endpoint security. It enables customers to prioritize endpoint protection and enhances threat investigation to accelerate incident response with three main use cases:

  1. Scannerless vulnerability visibility: In a hybrid work environment, it’s increasingly difficult for traditional vulnerability scanners to account for all devices being used. Instead of relying on IP address scanning to identify vulnerabilities in an environment, you can now use the existing Secure Endpoint agent to get a complete picture of the vulnerabilities you need to triage.
  2. Risk-based vulnerability context: During incident response, customers now have an additional data point in the form of a Kenna risk score. For example, if a compromised endpoint has a risk score of 95+, there is a high likelihood that the attack vector relates to a vulnerability that Kenna has identified. This can dramatically speed up incident response by helping the responder focus on the right data.
  3. Accurate, actionable risk scores: Organizations often struggle to prioritize the right vulnerabilities since most risk scores such as Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) are static and lack important context. In contrast, the Kenna Risk Score is dynamic with rich context since it uses advanced data science techniques such as predictive modeling and machine learning to consider real-world threats. This enables you to understand the actual level of risk in your environment and allows you effectively prioritize and remediate the most important vulnerabilities first.

How does the Kenna integration work?

The Kenna integration brings Kenna Risk Scores directly into your Secure Endpoint console. As an example of this integration, the computer in the screenshot below (Figure 1) has been assigned a Kenna Risk Score of 100.

Kenna Risk Score in the Secure Endpoint console
Figure 1: Kenna Risk Score in the Secure Endpoint console

 

Risk scores can be anywhere from 0 (lowest risk) to 100 (highest risk). The score is inferred based on the reported OS version, build, and revision update information, combined with threat intelligence on vulnerabilities from Kenna.

Clicking on the actual numeric score itself brings you to a page with a detailed listing of all vulnerabilities present on the endpoint (see Figure 2 below).

List of all vulnerabilities on an endpoint
Figure 2: List of all vulnerabilities on an endpoint

Each vulnerability has a risk score, an identifier, and a description that includes icons with additional details based on vulnerability intelligence from Kenna:

Active Internet Breach: This vulnerability is being exploited across active breaches on the Internet

Easily Exploitable: This vulnerability is easy to exploit with proof-of-concept code being potentially available

Malware Exploitable: There is known malware exploiting this vulnerability

All of this information is extremely valuable context during an incident investigation. Exploiting vulnerabilities is one of the most common ways malicious actors carry out attacks, so by quickly understanding which vulnerabilities are present in the environment, incident responders have a much easier time honing in on how an attacker got into their organization.

Additionally, for vulnerabilities that currently have fixes available, clicking on the green “Fix Available” button on each vulnerability displays a box with links to the applicable patches, knowledge base articles, and other relevant information (see Figure 3 below). This gives analysts the information they need to efficiently act on an endpoint.

Recommended fixes for each vulnerability
Figure 3: Recommended fixes for each vulnerability

Who can access the Kenna integration?

Vulnerability information and Risk Scores from Kenna Security are now available in the Cisco Secure Endpoint console for:

  • Windows 10 computers running Secure Endpoint Windows Connector version 7.5.3 and newer
  • Customers with a Secure Endpoint Advantage or Premier tier license, including Secure Endpoint Pro

Most vulnerabilities in our customer base occur on Windows 10 workstations, so we decided to release first with Windows 10 to deliver this integration faster. We plan on adding support for other Windows versions and operating systems such as Windows 11, Windows Server 2016, 2019, and 2022 in the near future.

We hope that you find this integration useful! This is the first of many steps that we are taking to incorporate vulnerability information from Kenna Security into Secure Endpoint, and we are excited to see what other use cases we can enable for our customers.

The Cisco Secure Choice Enterprise Agreement is a great way to adopt and experience the complete Secure Endpoint and Kenna technology stack.  It provides instant cost savings, the freedom to grow, and you only pay for what you need.

 


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