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 that were first identified in the 2014 report. These attacks are further categorized into key…

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,…

Thoughts from the 2017 AWS Summit in San Francisco

One of the things I love about partnering with Amazon Web Services is how often they are in front of their user community. In addition to their large, annual user conference called RE:Invent, AWS hosts several smaller regional summits throughout the year. As an APN partner, Centrify had the opportunity to participate in last week’s AWS Summit in San Francisco. We were lucky to be able to visit with a nice cross-section of AWS users — users across multiple industries, many of which were in the Fortune 1000. It was great meeting with these organizations and across the board, companies…

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…

Role-based Access Control: Keeping Your Business Out of Harm’s Way

When our baby first started crawling, we installed gates in all the doorways.  This kept her in safe, baby proofed areas.  We didn’t have to worry about her accidently wandering into a room and getting into something that could harm her.  It also allowed us to keep some things “nice” that a toddler would normally want to “play” with. Controlling Access for Security Best Practices But, what does this have to do with role-based access control (RBAC)?  Well everything.  As she grows and gains more skills, we adjust her access to the house.  It might be low tech, but it…

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…