Verizon 2017 DBIR: Key Takeaways

Summary The 2017 DBIR is an essential read for organizational leaders, cybersecurity practitioners and security industry professionals. The report provides clear information that helps cyber security practitioners and executives devise strategy, and implement tactical responses to the cyber battlefield of today. In this year’s 10th publication of Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report, data from nearly 2,000 confirmed breaches were submitted by IT professionals and analyzed by Verizon security experts. In the report, 88% (up from last year’s 83%)  of incidents fall into same industry categories (up from last year’s 83%) that were first identified in the 2014 report. These attacks…

Password Vaults Alone Are Not Enough to Stop the Breach

A recent Forrester study examined four levels of identity and access management (IAM) maturity and found a direct correlation between the number of privileged identity management (PIM) best practices implemented and the number of security incidents encountered by an organization. Wait, Isn’t Privileged Identity Management == Password Vault? Nope. Centrally controlling shared access to non-human accounts and automating periodic password rotation for shared accounts reduces risk, no doubt. This is a critical component when minimizing your attack surface and will make it harder for hackers to get in to your environment (initial compromise) — it is a best practice. However,…

Illinois Cyber Security Plan is Only a Partial Solution

Recently, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner unveiled a broad-based cyber security plan. He announced the framework of his team’s plan for better cyber security, but it only covers the executive branch agencies. This approach of only implementing a plan to provide cyber security tools to select areas and users because they are deemed more important is known as a “privileged user.” This is only a partial solution because everyone in the organization is a “super user” in today’s technology driven organizations — everyone has a need to access technology that contains some level of meaningful information. All technology in organizations are…

Confronting the New Cyber Security Reality: Part 2

Since 2013, breaches have compromised nearly six billion records—that’s an average of almost four million records every day and over 162,000 records every hour! It’s time to face the facts. Today’s security is no longer secure. Enterprise networks have expanded beyond traditional perimeters to include more devices, apps (on-premises and in the cloud) and people. In the absence of these boundaries, the identities that make up modern enterprises are easier to compromise than ever before, and hackers are targeting these identities at an alarming rate. In fact, Forrester estimates 80% of security breaches involve privileged credentials. Traditional security approaches, like passwords…

PWN2OWN 2017 Outcome: Implement Multi-factor Authentication & Least Privilege

Zero Day Initiative, a security research program that offers rewards for successful hacks, reported that on last day of their recent “PWN2OWN 2017” competition, a team of contestants pulled off an unique and challenging feat: they compromised a virtual machine and managed to “escape” to the host system running the virtualization software.  The hack involved three distinct and challenging tasks: Compromising Microsoft’s Edge Browser Compromising the Guest Operating System (running Windows 10) Compromising the VMware Workstation virtualization software And this was all accomplished through a controlled website. Although this may not be the first time each individual layer was compromised, this…

Mirai Lingers, Passwords Fail as IoT Devices Proliferate

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about a laundromat in Carbondale, Colorado that was infected with the Mirai internet virus. Unbeknownst to the business owner, an internet-connected video recorder had been infected and was scanning the web for places to spread itself. The only sign that something was amiss was the fact that the device was regularly acting up — disconnecting the remote viewing app and forcing the owner to reconnect it by restarting the digital video recorder. While the story didn’t reveal any new developments, it does serve as an important reminder that malware…

Undue Privilege Costs Cash and Undercuts Security

Few managers would throw their employee the keys to a big rig with two loaded trailers to pick up a pint of milk from a nearby convenience store. Apart from the problem of parking, the vehicle is massively over-specced for the job at hand, which creates unnecessary safety risks, both to the driver and to other road users. However, this is essentially what occurs each day in businesses around the world as employees are given access to privileged computer accounts that massively exceed the needs of their jobs. The result is often devastating in terms of corporate security with many…

New Trend in the Security Space: Customers Want Vendor Consolidation and a Platform Approach

Starting late last year, I kept on hearing a growing drumbeat from customers that they were highly interested in consolidating the breadth of security vendors and products that they use internally to secure their enterprise. In past years, the talk by customers regarding “vendor consolidation” typically had been more in terms of the purchasing process and not having to deal with getting contracts and negotiating with yet another vendor. This time it was different — it has become clear to customers that having disjointed point solutions leave significant air gaps with regard to securing their enterprise, and that customers are…

Top 3 Takeaways from the 2017 RSA Conference

Last week was the 2017 RSA Conference in San Francisco. Having attended, I can report that the number of vendors at the conference was nothing short of mind-boggling. While there are many challenges facing the security industry, there are also a lot of innovative ideas about how to respond to them. Here are my top takeaways from the conference: #1 Organizations Should Consolidate Security Vendors While it was great to see so many vendors at RSA, it was also indicative of just how many point security tools are on the market today — many of which provide very specific solutions…

RSA: Centrify Survey Reveals Almost Half of Respondents Lack Confidence in Their Company’s Cybersecurity Strategies

Yesterday, we conducted an onsite survey of IT professionals attending the RSA Conference, being held this week at Moscone Center, San Francisco. The poll asked respondents how their companies secure applications and infrastructures in the age of access, and it revealed that only slightly more than half (55%) believe their company’s current technology investment ensures their company’s cybersecurity. This leaves about half of respondents with a lack of confidence in their own organization’s corporate security! While this fact is startling, it shouldn’t be too surprising, since a recent Forrester study, commissioned by Centrify, confirms that in the past two years, two-thirds…