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…

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…

National Cyber Security Centre Opens: Why UK Firms Need to Rethink IAM

Today the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) opened to great fanfare. But it will have its work cut out to fulfil its mission of making the UK “the safest place to live and work online.” UK organisations of all shapes and sizes are under continual attack – whether from state-sponsored spies, hacktivists or financially motivated cyber gangs. So this is a great chance to marshal our response and make sure we are all able to take advantage of what NCSC boss Ciaran Martin has called a “new era of online opportunity.” Organisations should use the occasion to revisit and reinvigorate…

How to Keep Active Directory Active in a Hybrid IT World

For enterprise IT, “hybrid” is the word of the year. You’re either operating a hybrid infrastructure model already or you’re teetering on the edge. It’s getting easier now that AWS, Microsoft, Google et al are improving their services in support of such a model. At the Amazon AWS re:invent show in November, every other sentence contained the word “hybrid.” This was in stark contrast to last year where Amazon still firmly believed a total migration was the only logical choice. Some of our customers are very aggressive with plans to dissolve all their data centers and migrate everything to IaaS. The…

Solving DHS Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Phase 2

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established a $6B blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to improve the cyber defenses for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments. The DHS Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program helps protect government IT networks from cyberthreats and enhances risk-based decision making by providing a consistent and proven set of solutions. Centrify is the selected solution for CDM Phase 2 CRED that ensures all federal agency associates only have access to servers, applications or network resources based on their unique identity, role and responsibility within their organization. Centrify Server Suite offers a robust Active Directory bridge…

The Great Gig in the Sky: Secure Hybrid Cloud

Every day I hear from companies concerned and frustrated over a specific challenge — how to stand up workloads in the cloud while maintaining privileged access security (PAS). Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) has become the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re large or small, in finance, healthcare or government — we all share the same worries when it comes to securing access to, and in, the cloud. I was pondering this the other day while sipping a short, dry cappuccino and listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I had an epiphany. Thanks to Roger Waters & Co, I walked away with…

Top Three New Year’s Security Resolutions

When it comes to setting New Year’s resolutions, most people shoot for the moon. We tell ourselves we will give up carbs, go running every morning, become a vegan or even give up drinking alcohol. Inevitability, three weeks later, we find ourselves right back where we started. As security professionals, responsible for keeping the bad guys out and reducing the risk of data breaches, we find ourselves right back where we started too — we fundamentally do not really improve our security posture, and then wonder why not. We are very similar to our consumer counterparts, because we set lofty…

3 Ways to Ensure You Are Not the Next Company Breached

There is a superstition that bad things happen in “threes.” This month, we mourned the loss of three national icons — Astronaut, John Glenn, Actor, Alan Thicke and TNT Sideline Reporter, Craig Sager. Similarly, this week, I received an email from Yahoo! announcing they had been breached again — affecting over 1B users — including me. On Friday, I received another notification from Bleacher Report, informing me that their users had been compromised. Do you see where this is going?… STOP! Is this Superstition True? The short answer is No. Are superstitions true? Most rational people would agree that they…