Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet: How To Keep Your Smart Devices Safe

When you first hire a personal assistant, they’re not all that helpful. Over time, they learn your daily routine, your needs and desires, and with that information, they make your life easier. Now, consider that your smart phone has morphed into your own mini personal assistant. Today’s smartphones are filled with potent sensors that collect data about you. Audio and image sensors, touch sensors, acceleration sensors, light, proximity, and location sensors all help your smartphone to get to know you and your habits. It knows where you go, when you go and how long you stay. It knows who you…

Equifax Breach Shows Firms Still Aren’t Getting the Basics Right Ahead of GDPR Deadline

As each week brings the 25 May 2018 deadline for GDPR compliance closer to hand, we seem to be faced with yet another report highlighting poor levels of preparedness among organisations. Recent findings reveal that an astonishing 64% of UK firms have not yet begun preparations for the sweeping new data protection law. Yet as shocking as these stats are, a far more effective way to focus the minds of IT security and business leaders is to highlight some recent big-name data breaches and consider how the companies affected would have been treated in a post-GDPR world. For Equifax, there’s particularly…

The Equifax Disaster: Technical Controls — ICIT’s Synopsis of America’s In-Credible Insecurity

The following excerpts are from the Technical Controls section of Part-1 of the ICIT Equifax report entitled “America’s In-Credible Insecurity,” written by James Scott, Sr. Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure (ICIT). Technical Controls Data Encryption Data should be protected according to its value and the potential harm that would result if it were stolen. Encryption does not prevent adversaries or insiders from exfiltrating data; however, it does deter or prevent attackers from exploiting the stolen data unless they spend significant additional resources breaking the encryption or stealing the decryption keys. Data Loss Prevention Data loss prevention is the employment of…

Gartner Privileged Access Management Market Overview 2017

Gartner just published their 2017 Market Overview guide for PAM, and it is a great read! The drivers for PAM are similar to last year’s, with a new emphasis on the need for “a comprehensive cybersecurity defense strategy, specifically for critical infrastructure.” Here’s Gartner’s list of drivers, and we believe they are spot on in terms of what we are hearing from our customers and how we’ve delivered capabilities to help solve these issues: The risk of breaches and insider threats The need to prevent, isolate and limit malware attacks that leverage privileged accounts An increase of operational efficiency for…

How Do You Choose the Right IAM Solution? Here Are 4 Questions You Should Ask

Cloud based services dominate today’s world and over the past few years, delivering cloud based IAM solutions is no exception. The right solution can reduce risk, cut down costs and save time, but choosing the right IDaaS vendor requires careful consideration. Putting together some basic questions to ask while covering several key elements is a first step. So…where do we begin? Is It a True Hybrid Solution? Ask your prospective vendor if they truly provide a hybrid solution with control and access across on-premises and SaaS-based applications. Federation for SaaS apps is a great first step, but larger companies will…

How to Hack Passwords: How Long Would It Take Your Grandmother To Do It?

(Hint: You Won’t Believe the Answer) My last article “Do You Know How Easy It Is to Guess Your Password? (Hint: You Don’t Want to Read This!)”, was about how hackers can obtain massive databases of human generated passwords and run them through off-the-shelf tools on commodity hardware by using Graphics Card GPUs to gain speed and computing cost advantage. This article will delve into how easy it will be for your grandma to rig up a password cracking machine. First step for Grandma is to visit Amazon and pickup some hardware. Perhaps a nice BitCoin mining rig that can compute…

Best Practices for Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

These days, it’s pretty clear that to protect systems and data, organizations need to go beyond traditional perimeter defenses. Because most modern cyber-criminals exploit user credentials to get a foot in the door, user identities have become the new perimeter. And leading organizations are turning to MFA to secure their complex, heterogeneous environments. MFA mitigates password risk by requiring additional factors of authentication: something the user knows, has and is. It’s not difficult to implement, but some up-front planning can further enhance security and save a lot of time and effort. MFA is one of the best ways to prevent…

The Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) Debate

A recent FCW article authored by Derek Handova provides expert opinions from experienced and well respected “identity” professionals: Paul Grassi, Sr. Standards & Technology Adviser at NIST, Jeremy Grant former Sr. Executive Advisor for Identity Management at NIST and now Venable’s managing director for technology business strategy.  Mr. Terry Halvorsen, former CIO for the Department of Defense and Army Col. Tom Clancy, Identity and Asset Management lead for the Department of Defense CIO’s office also provide their thoughts and ideas regarding multi-factor authentication. Their comments, along with other industry experts interviewed by Handova, were thoughtful and worth keeping in mind…

Game of Thrones Hack: Winter Has Come for Passwords

The recent security breach at HBO of confidential data including Game of Thrones scripts, cast personal details and administrator passwords highlights the vulnerability of password-only protection. The breach involved hackers stealing about 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO systems — more than seven times as much as the 200 gigabytes taken in the 2014 Sony hack — including scripts for five Game of Thrones episodes and two unreleased episodes of Ballers and Room 104. Passwords Alone Are Not Enough to Stop the Breach The hackers have reportedly released numerous confidential documents, including one with a list of personal phone numbers,…

6 Reactions to the Cisco 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report: Part 2

Last week, I discussed the first three reactions I had to the “Cisco 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report.” I discussed how vendor consolidation is increasing, how spyware is being branded as malware and how detection of threats is continuously improving. DevOps as a Target In the Vulnerabilities section of the document, Rapid7 describes how DevOps is a target and vulnerability for many companies that may use things like AWS, Azure, or Docker frameworks for development. When these resources are built, they are not always deployed in a secure state and often are left behind to run indefinitely. Identity management tools that…