Security Consulting

What is Computer Network Security and Cyber Security

They have different responsibilities, but both plays apart in securing your organization

Network security is concerned about maintaining peace and calm within the walls of the castle. It focuses on maintaining the fortifications, of course, but its primary purpose is to guard against problems from within. A person concerned with network security will be focusing on protecting a company's internal information by monitoring employee and network behavior in several ways. They are the shire reeve responsible for keeping peace in the land.

  • IDs and passwords - making certain they are effective and updated frequently

  • Firewalls - keeping outside threats at bay

  • Internet access - monitoring the sites employees visit on the company's computers

  • Encryption - making certain that company information is useless to anyone outside the company

  • Backups - scheduling regular backups of company information in case of a hardware malfunction or successful outside threat

  • Scans - conducting regular virus and malware scans to detect any outside infection

Cyber security is much more concerned with threats from outside the castle. Where network security is worried about what is going on within the castle walls, cyber security is watching who is trying to pass through the gate or breach the parapets. The two areas have a lot of overlap, but their areas of concern are quite different. The cyber security specialist is the crusading knight defending the kingdom. Cyber security focuses on the barbarians at the gate and how the castle connects to the world around it. 

  • Network protection - detecting and protecting against outside attempts to get into the network

  • Up-to-date information - staying informed on how attackers and hackers are improving their efforts

  • Intelligence - identifying the sources of outside attacks and protecting against them

  • Applications - monitoring the use of applications to avoid unintended breaches from within

What is Computer Security/Network Security

Computer security, or information technology security is the protection of computer systems from theft or damage to their hardware, software or electronic data, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. information technology consulting as a field of activity focuses on advising organizations on how best to use information technology in achieving their business objectives, computer security is. usually managed by a network engineer or a network consultant.

What is an Network Consultant

a network consultant might be a network architect, a system administrator, a security specialist, or a number of different things. These consultants are responsible for designing, setting up, maintaining, and securing computer networks. Computer network architects gather extensive knowledge of an organization’s business plan in order to design and build data communication networks that can help the organization achieve its goals. This data communication network includes local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.

Network Engineer Responsibilities: Maintaining and administering computer networks and related computing environments including systems software, applications software, hardware, and configurations. ... Protecting data, software, and hardware by coordinating, planning and implementing network security measures

What is Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from cyberattacks. In a computing context, security comprises cybersecurity and physical security -- both are used by enterprises to protect against unauthorized access to data centers and other computerized systems.

What is a cyber security consultant

A cyber security consultant performs a variety of roles within the cyber security field. They play both the attacker and the defender in computer systems, networks, and software programs. Seeing what weaknesses there are and figuring out how to strengthen systems to prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities.

A security consultant is a catch-all cybersecurity expert. They assess cybersecurity risks, problems and solutions for different organizations and guide them in protecting and securing their physical capital and data, Earn a mid-level role as a security administrator, analyst, engineer or auditor.

Cyber Security Engineer Responsibilities: Planning, implementing, managing, monitoring and upgrading security measures for the protection of the organizations data, systems and networks. Troubleshooting security and network problems. Responding to all system and/or network security breaches.

Why You Need a Cybersecurity Management Program

Many organization’s cybersecurity teams (or information security teams as they used to be known) continue to struggle to communicate cybersecurity issues to senior leadership. Likewise, senior management also struggles to effectively articulate cybersecurity strategy to technical cybersecurity personnel. It is as though two parts of the same organization speak foreign languages to one another, and each party has a very limited, or no, knowledge of the other party’s language. However, it does not have to be like this.

Why so many organizations struggle with Cyber Security

Failure to communicate issues is most often revealed in grassroots cybersecurity initiatives that have evolved into corporate cybersecurity programs. Typically, this resulted from an enterprise in startup mode implementing solutions to address specific technical challenges. Unfortunately, many organizations continue to employ a similar approach to secure much larger and more complex environments against threats that outmatch the capabilities of their original solutions. No longer simply a technical solution, cybersecurity management has become a business function in today’s industry. As a business function, a greater level of integration with other business units requires a greater level of transparency and performance reporting. The evolution of grassroots cybersecurity programs rarely results in the kind of mature cybersecurity solutions that are aligned with, and address business needs. And why should they? The initial programs were designed to solve technical challenges, such as preventing virus outbreak or infection, stopping cyber attackers from compromising or stealing valuable information. Such initial cybersecurity efforts were neither designed as business functions nor defined in business terms.

CyberSecOp Comprehensive Security Program - Going beyond compliance

Cyber Security Program Key Success Factors

The following key success factors are common to many successful cybersecurity programs. The programs:

  • Support and drive strong governance attitudes and actions

  • Are designed, developed, and implemented in a similar way to other business functions

  • Adopt a standard framework approach, usable for an extended period of many years with little or no changes to that framework

  • Are measureable in terms of their effectiveness

Organizations and executives that drive successful cybersecurity programs do so in the same manner as other successful business initiatives. Executives succeed at this not because of industry pressure, but because each aims to improve their organization. Having identified the opportunity, executives evaluate whether the initiative poses additional risks to their organizations and decide whether to accept this additional risk or not. After accepting such risk, executive sponsors continue to evaluate initiatives toward implementation. Even when initiatives are operational, executives still employ strong governance methods, including internal audit teams, to manage and monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of these initiatives. This business approach has become institutionalized across most enterprise units with the exception of IT and cybersecurity. Key stakeholders in IT and cybersecurity often claim that cybersecurity management programs are too technical, only internal facing, or too complex, to properly develop and implement using this approach.

The truth is if these same IT and cybersecurity groups adopted a common framework and designed their cybersecurity management programs based on said framework, cybersecurity management would truly become just a standard business function in their enterprises. Unfortunately, the cybersecurity world does not agree on a standard cybersecurity framework across all countries, industries, and states. Analysis of the commonalities and differences between these standard frameworks show that it is possible to create a universal cybersecurity management framework to address all countries, industries, and states. Such a framework is not firmly associated with any particular cybersecurity standard and can be adapted during implementation to address any specific security standard that organizations using it wishes to follow. This paper introduces a cybersecurity management framework where it is apparent that a successful approach is not too technical, addresses both internal and external concerns, and is not overly complex to implement, operationalize, and manage over the long term.

CyberSecOp Cyber Security Management - Aligning businesses with security

Cybersecurity Management Framework

The design of the CyberSecOP cybersecurity management framework (CMF) assumes cybersecurity management is a business function.

The framework, as a business function, is comprised of three discrete pillars with each subsequent layer unfolding increasing levels of specificity as follows:

The Executive Management (Strategy) Pillar directs Governance and Planning initiatives that drive the framework forward to operation.

The Executive Management Pillar requires people to identify why cybersecurity is needed, consider the business issues, and then define, document, and publish the direction the required cybersecurity program will adopt.

The Operations Pillar that defines what the cybersecurity program must address to comply with the requirements specified in the strategy, what supporting functions are needed, and what level of reporting/ governance monitoring should be provided. These needs are supported through the security intelligence, IT and Cybersecurity Assurance and IT Risk Management operations sub-pillars.

  • The Operations Pillar requires definitions of documented operational standards, processes, procedures, and other collateral that specify what operators should do and how they should do it.

    • The Tactical (Technology) Pillar defines how required cybersecurity controls mandated in the Operations and Executive Management pillars will be applied to the systems, networks and applications used by the organization and how evidence will be provided to management that the security controls implemented actually address the specific requirements and that they perform their job as expected.

    • The security controls in the Tactical pillar, whether requiring technology or not, are responsible for securing all aspects of an enterprise computing environment, continuously monitoring the environment for security events, collecting and analyzing captured events, and reporting defined security metrics, some of which are provided to the SLT.

Addressing Cybersecurity Challenges

Although addressing cybersecurity challenges with just three pillars is perfectly possible, adopting and using it in that way is difficult and potentially open to error or misinterpretation. To minimize these issues, these macro-level pillars must be divided into more manageable chunks. The CyberSecOp LocPar subdivides its three macro pillars into seven discrete focus areas:

  • Executive Management: Key decisions and accountability required to drive the program

  • IT Risk Management: Reducing risk exposure to the organization to a level acceptable to the SLT and Board of Directors.

  • Cybersecurity Intelligence: Required to provide the cybersecurity and IT teams with appropriate information to achieve and surpass IT Risk Management goals.

  • IT and Cybersecurity Assurance: Required to provide evidence to management and especially the SLT that their investments in cybersecurity are delivering the benefits they expected.

  • Secure Network: Required to support secure, on demand access to information to authorized personnel no matter where it is located within, or external to, the organization.

  • Secure Systems: Required to provide controlled access to applications, data and devices according to the identity of the requesting party. This focus area also includes how data is protected, whether at rest, or in transit.

  • Secure Applications: Required to control access to data and other networks, systems and applications according to the identity of the requesting party. For internally developed applications, requirements extend to how the application was designed, developed and managed throughout the whole development lifecycle.

Summary

Development, implementation, and maintenance of a cybersecurity management program for an organization is no small undertaking. However, the overall value that organizations achieve through development and implementation of such programs includes reduced instances of successful cyber attacks. Moreover, a cybersecurity management program provides organizations with a means to reduce a successful attack’s impact on the bottom line due to its programmatic predefined approach for identifying and responding to cybersecurity incidents. Read more about cybersecurity management programs and CyberSecOp Cybersecurity Services at https://www.cybersecop.com/

What is Cybersecurity Risk Management

Cyber Risk Management is the next evolution in enterprise technology risk and security for organizations that increasingly rely on digital processes to run their business. Risk management is a concept that has been around as long as companies have had assets to protect. The simplest example may be insurance. Life, health, auto and other insurance are all designed to help a person protect against losses. Risk management also extends to physical devices, such doors and locks to protect homes and autos, vaults to protect money and precious jewels, and police, fire and security to protect against other physical risks.

What is cybersecurity risk management?

Rather than doors, locks and vaults, IT departments rely on a combination of strategies, technologies and user education to protect an enterprise against cybersecurity attacks that can compromise systems, steal data and other valuable company information, and damage an enterprise’s reputation. As the volume and severity of cyber attacks grow, the need for cybersecurity risk management grows with it.

Cybersecurity risk management takes the idea of real world risk management and applies it to the cyber world. It involves identifying your risks and vulnerabilities and applying administrative actions and comprehensive solutions to make sure your organization is adequately protected.

Setting up your risk management system

Before setting up a cybersecurity risk management system, the enterprise needs to determine what assets it needs to protect and place a priority on. As the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) points out in its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, there is no one-size-fits all solution. Different organizations have different technology infrastructures and different potential risks. Some organizations such as financial services firms and healthcare organizations, have regulatory concerns in addition to business concerns that need to be addressed in a cybersecurity risk management system. Cybersecurity should follow a layered approach, with additional protections for the most important assets, such as corporate and customer data. Remember that reputational harm from a breach can do more damage than the breach itself.

Risk management with CyberSecOp

  • Identity Services

Identity services help companies manage the explosion of digital identities and access to critical resources, both internal and cloud-based. In this age of digital transformation, the spheres of the individual’s life―as a professional, consumer, and private citizen―are interlinked in a complex digital structure, like a piece of fabric. The growing ability to piece together a digital picture of a person’s life and identity carries both risk and opportunity.

Wherever an organization is on its journey, we can help them achieve efficiencies, reduce risk, and evolve to support the changing needs of the digital business. With 20 years of identity management experience across the major industries, we offer field-tested accelerators and methods that are scalable and adaptive to each client’s specific set of business requirements.

  • Data Protection
    Data Protection services help implement capabilities and technologies to protect sensitive data. As infrastructure and applications become more virtualized and adaptive, new cybersecurity gaps can be created as fast as old ones have been addressed, making the prevention of data breaches more difficult than ever. By prioritizing preventative and detective defenses around highly sensitive data, security teams can help reduce data loss and risk when attackers get past network, application, and infrastructure controls.

    Leveraging these principles and an understanding of each client’s risk profile, CyberSecOp helps organizations design, implement, and manage capabilities to help better protect sensitive information across the end-to-end data lifecycle, and at an organization’s last line of defense.

  • Application Security 
    In the era of digital transformation, application portfolios are becoming exponentially more diverse—and support a growing community of users. As the application “surface area” expands, so does cyber risk. Amid the change, one thing remains constant: applications are the lifeline of the business—and need to be a front line of cyber defense. It’s an important time for organizations to reexamine their approaches to application security.

    Improving application security requires technical attention to individual applications, but also a broad framework across the application portfolio—from custom-developed to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications and whether managed on-premise, on a mobile platform, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. It also requires the flexibility to support varying and often coexisting system methodology processes from waterfall, to agile, to DevOps in order to address application-related cyber risk at the pace of the organization’s digital evolution.

    CyberSecOp’s application security services help organizations to design and implement security mechanisms across the system development methodology that can flex to your operational requirements to drive value through IT while also protecting your application portfolio against the changing cyber threat landscape.

  • Infrastructure Security
    Infrastructure Security services focus on developing advanced protection of core systems and devices. Today’s critical business drivers—the need to digitally transform, modernize the supply chain, enhance customer experience, increase agility, reduce costs, etc.—are driving a major shift in technology priorities. This shift includes increasing focus on cloud adoption, the Internet of Things (IoT), hybrid computing, software-defined networks (SDN), robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain, artificial intelligence, and more. The infrastructure supporting it has become highly virtualized and automated—and the traditional means of securing infrastructure fall short.

    CyberSecOp helps organizations move toward a modernized, risk-focused agile defense approach. While the basic infrastructure domains—physical facilities, networks, systems and storage, and endpoints—that need to be protected remain the same, the means to secure them must evolve. By providing assessment, strategy, architecture, implementation, and operational management assistance across the four infrastructure domains, we help clients face our brave new world with a transformed, agile defense capability.


INSC Cyber Security acquire CyberSecOp Strategic Security firm

INSC Cyber Security acquired CyberSecOp Strategic Security firm

INSC Cyber Security acquired CyberSecOp Strategic Security firm to boost it’s cyber security services across the world, CyberSecOp company provide services including technical, risk, governance, and compliance solutions.

"This acquisition will strengthen INSC cybersecurity capabilities as CyberSecOp will be the global cybersecurity arm of INSC. integrate CyberSecOp's advisory services into INSC's security offerings across the US and worldwide.

CyberSecOp's software-as-a-service platform Security Conform provides access to information security management systems, policies, standards, and templates for subscribers.

"Protecting businesses from data breaches, disruption of operations, and loss of IP and economic assets has become a key objective for C-suite and board-level executives," INSC CEO and CyberSecOp Cyber Security CEO Vinny La Rocca said.

"Additionally, US business leaders already leveraging CyberSecOp as a preferred security advisor now have direct access to the complete CyberSecOp portfolio of security solutions, managed security services, and advanced education programs."

The CyberSecOp staffers provide the business with cyber security expertise while they work on developing solutions and providing training and guidance "to help bridge US cyberskills shortage" for seven years.

INSC business had added cybersecurity prevention, detection, and monitoring capabilities to government and enterprise managed security services portfolio in September 2016.

CyberSecOp will be providing security services to enterprise and government agency. To ensure national and worldwide cyber security.

CCPA Data Privacy - California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

CCPA Data Privacy

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) into effect. This new consumer privacy law comes post Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, for some, is seen as a smaller version – without the option to opt-out of data collection all-together that the GDPR has.

CCPA is a consumer privacy law that will be coming into effect on January 1, 2020. The bill – which is aggressive for American privacy policy standards – will put guidelines on personal information collection and post-data-acquisition data usage by businesses.

Come 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) may significantly impact businesses’ data practices, with new and burdensome compliance obligations such as “sale” opt-out requirements and, in certain circumstances, restrictions on tiered pricing and service levels. The breadth of personal information covered by the CCPA, going beyond what is typically covered by U.S. privacy laws, will complicate compliance and business operations.

Who need to comply with CCPA

Companies, especially those outside of California, may wonder whether they are subject to the CCPA. CCPA applies to for-profit entities that (1) have greater than $25 million in gross annual revenues; (2) annually handle personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices; or (3) derive 50% or more of annual revenue from selling personal information. These criteria will result in a wide swath of businesses being subject to the CCPA. For example, a website might only need 137 unique visitors from California per day to reach the threshold of 50,000 consumers. That website’s collection of data through cookies may be captured by the CCPA’s broad definition of personal information. And given the third criterion focused on revenue percentage, even very small businesses that regularly exchange data, for example in the online ecosystem, might be captured if their activities are deemed to be a “sale” under the CCPA.

CCPA PRIVACY OVERSIGHT

The CCPA will impose substantial compliance obligations on all businesses that handle personal information of California consumers. Such obligations may pose particular challenges for the ever increasing array of businesses that leverage consumer data for analytics, profiling, advertising, and other monetization activities, particularly as the compliance requirements are not easily gleaned from the statutory language. Addressing these challenges will require creative, thoughtful approaches and may potentially involve industry-wide coordination to develop and advance practical solutions.

CyberSecOp CCPA privacy consultants incorporates your CCPA compliance requirements, powered by a unique combination of deep privacy expertise developed over two decades, proven methodologies refined through tens of thousands of engagements, and powerful technology operating at scale for 20 years.

WHAT DO SECURITY CONSULTANTS DO?

WHAT DO SECURITY CONSULTANTS DO?

Security consults deal with various threats to physical and computer security. Security threats come in many forms such as computer hackers, terrorists, and attacks on physical assets. There are specializations for security consultants of building security, natural and man-made disaster prevention, or with computer security issues.

Some of the roles security consultants may do for companies or private individuals are installing physical protections of video surveillance and alarm systems. Physical security risks are issues for many companies and security consultants may determine physical security risks such as threats of violence in the workplace, the stability of a building during tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, or other natural disasters, and development of evacuation plans for personnel during emergencies. Security consultants also may advise on building maintenance issues.

What services does a security consultants provide?

Security consultants can also help to incorporate security changes at all levels of the company. Based upon the security audit that’s conducted, a security consultant, if allowed to, can implement various new security measures and procedures throughout the company, which can include security related to:

  • Analyzing areas that are currently exposed and if they have had their security compromised in the past;

  • Performing a gap analysis in order to determine if any areas of a company’s current security does not meet accepted industry standards;

  • Gauging the work environment through performing interviews with important personnel and company employees;

  • Providing a list of recommendations based upon found security vulnerabilities, which includes security measures that should be incorporated.

  • Policies and procedures;

  • Electronic surveillance and alarm systems;

  • Security personnel.

A security consultant will work closely with management for the purposes of transparent communication and to make sure that any security changes that are implemented are done so within the allotted budget. The degree to which a security consultant can incorporate security changes depends largely upon this, in addition to the management’s instructions.

CyberSecOp Security Services has been providing expert security consulting services for decades. Make sure to contact us today to ask about our advanced security consulting services, which will be personalized to your company’s particular needs.

HHS voluntary healthcare cybersecurity practices

The Department of Health and Human Services has released voluntary cybersecurity practices to the healthcare industry in an effort to move organizations “towards consistency” in mitigating cyber threats.

According to HHS, the four-volume publication provides guidance on “cost-effective methods that a range of healthcare organizations at every size and resource level can use to reduce cybersecurity risks” and is meant to raise awareness of cyber threats as well as provide vetted practices.

“Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility—it is the responsibility of every organization working in healthcare and public health,” says HHS Acting Chief Information Security Officer Janet Vogel. “In all of our efforts, we must recognize and leverage the value of partnerships among government and industry stakeholders to tackle the shared problems collaboratively.”

HHS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Mandated by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, HHS convened more than 150 cyber and healthcare experts from government and industry to come up with the recommended practices as part of the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Public-Private Partnership.

“The healthcare industry is truly a varied digital ecosystem—we heard loud and clear through this process that providers need actionable and practical advice, tailored to their needs, to manage modern cyber threats,” says Erik Decker, industry co-lead and chief information security and privacy officer at the University of Chicago Medicine. “That is exactly what this resource delivers; recommendations stratified by the size of the organization, written for both the clinician as well as the IT subject matter expert.”

In addition to the main document, which lays out the five most relevant and current threats to the industry, the publication also recommends 10 cybersecurity practices to help mitigate these threats. It also includes two technical volumes geared for IT and security professionals: Technical Volume 1 focuses on cybersecurity practices for small healthcare organizations, while Technical Volume 2 focuses on practices for medium and large healthcare organizations.

The final volume provides resources and templates that organizations can leverage to assess their own cybersecurity posture as well develop policies and procedures. A copy of the publication can be downloaded here.

Microsoft's Emergency Internet Explorer Patch - Kills Lenovo Laptops

Only a few days ago, Microsoft released an emergency Internet Explorer patch bundled in a cumulative update. The patch was rolled out to fix the zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer first discovered by a

However, it seems like the patch is creating more problems than fixing them. Out of many known issues, as mentioned by Microsoft in the changelog, one can be regarded as a more severe issue since it is leaving many Lenovo laptops unbootable after installing the patch.

Microsoft mentions that the issue is only affecting Windows 10 users who have a Lenovo laptop that has less than 8 GB RAM. On the other hand, few sources tell that the issue has only affected PC’s that are still on the 1607 version, or Windows 10 Anviersary Update (2016). 

Considering only enterprise PCs have the ability to delay updates, they are most likely have been affected by the unbootable issue.

If you have installed the latest “KB4467691” cumulative update on your PC, and are facing the same issue, here are some steps that Microsoft wants you to follow —

Restart the affected machine using UEFI. After this, disable Secure Boot and then perform restart.

If BitLocker is enabled on your computer, you may have to go through BitLocker recovery after Secure Boot has been disabled.

Cyber Security Do's and Don'ts

Information and Cyber Security Consulting Services: Cyber security systems and principles are designed to safeguard company data, websites and web applications from attackers seeking to disrupt, delay, alter or redirect the flow of data. These attackers vary in target, motive, levels of organization, and technical capabilities, requiring public and private organizations to adopt ever-increasing measures to prevent cyber attacks. CyberSecOp is an award winning US based to Cyber Security Consulting Company.

The following are some important do’s and don’ts for advisers to keep in mind when executing on the action steps in your cybersecurity plan:

Make use of all tools available from your broker-dealer or custodian. The securities industry is investing tens of millions of dollars in cybersecurity, making tools and resources available to advisers and their teams. Actively seek out those tools and become known at your firm for your interest in and commitment to cybersecurity.

Eliminate weak links in your system. Hackers will be turned away from your systems that use strong passwords and encryption. Don’t let users share passwords. In addition to PCs, encrypt
all thumb drives, cell phones and tablets. And set untended computers to lock automatically after a set number of minutes.

Take preparation, training and review seriously. Put effort into your plan, review it seriously on a regular basis, document that review, and make sure that all staff – including even those who don’t usually deal with clients or their information – are regularly trained and updated on cybersecurity policies and procedures. Since staff carelessness or inattention can be the weakest link
in the defense chain, make sure that you and your staff never download an attachment or accept a request if it can’t be verified.

Be alert to things that don’t feel right. Suppose, for example, that a staff member receives a phone call from someone saying he’s from Microsoft tech support and has noticed a computer virus on your system. Even if the employee isn’t aware that reputable tech support operations don’t work that way, he or she should immediately sense that the call is out of the ordinary and somehow amiss. Given that feeling, the employee should hang up immediately and not let the unidentified caller connect to the firm’s system. Similarly, if you or staff receive an e-mail from a client saying they’ve been mugged on vacation or have lost their wallet or passport, most likely their e-mail has been hacked. Contact that person via landline or cell phone and confirm the story.

Educate your users and clients in how to communicate safely. Advisers should require multifactor authentication (use of a token or other identifier beyond password or ID) for client communication through Gmail, Yahoo! and other major providers. This will protect them, and you, from hackers.

Don’t keep cybersecurity a secret. The financial advice business is competitive, but there is one area where cooperation, not competition, is paramount: cybersecurity. Discuss the issue frequently with peers and share any ideas you have.

Don’t lull yourself into thinking cybersecurity is someone else’s problem. Be alert to news and developments in cybercrime and cybersecurity and seek more information and update plans and programs accordingly. Start by identifying your three biggest potential threats and get to work addressing them.

Cyber Security: Information Data Protection

With the introduction of machine to machine communications, generally referred to using terms such as Industry 4.0 or more generically as the Internet of things (IoT), security models applied to such communications are undergoing a fundamental change. New authentication and authorization mechanisms are being introduced and, with them, the methodologies used to ensure such communications are secure and reliable are consequently changing.

The revolution that has taken place over the past 20 years has had an impact on both consumers and enterprises. The devices and applications that millions of individuals use on a daily basis contain increasingly more complex information, within a constantly evolving technological environment. The growing digital innovation trends such as cloud computing, big data and the IoT create new opportunities to communicate and exchange information. However, this massive amount of confidential data must consequently be managed and secured efficiently and continuously.

How can a company guarantee the security of its data and of its users' data? What solutions are currently available on the market that can help enterprises optimize the management of information while maintaining their privacy?

CyberSecOp, an american base market leader in the Managed Security Service Provider industry, responds to the companies' need for security, offering a range of solutions and services designed to help customers identify cyber security risks in order to mitigate and monitor them over time.

Through its diverse solutions portfolio, CyberSecOp provides the right mix of technology, processes and sector-specific knowledge, supporting customers during the initial planning phase, from design to implementation, in order to identify the best solutions both in terms of process, as well as technology. The company’s strategic partnerships with key suppliers and expertise with market technologies guarantee customers a solution that provides effective operational coverage, on-premise or remote, with vertical expertise throughout the duration of the project and during the delivery of services.

Moreover, thanks to a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC), the delivery of timely services and continuous security monitoring are seamlessly integrated to reduce cyber security-related risks. The service is designed to offer the customer a growth-oriented path aimed at improving the company’s overall security position and risk level awareness.

The Industry 4.0 evolution and the arrival of the IoT have significantly increased the complexity and the level of risk to which all enterprises are subject, necessitating an efficient management of corporate security. In a changing environment characterized by increasing opportunities, while at the same time offset by an exponential increase in associated risks, the availability of CSOC services represents an essential guarantee of security.

MSSP Cybersecurity & Managed Detection and Response

MSSP Cybersecurity & Managed Detection and Response

Managed detection and response enables a proactive approach to security with its ability to detect and fully analyze threats and promptly respond to incidents.  CyberSecOp Threat intelligence is one of the key aspects our security consultants used to help organizations make decisions on how to combat threats. Through managed detection and response, organizations can take advantage of the threat intelligence capabilities of security experts.

How Managed Detection and Response Provides Effective Threat Intelligence

  • Capture full visibility across your entire IT environment

  • Detect the most advanced threats (known and unknown) designed to bypass your traditional perimeter security controls, even when no malware is used

  • Expose threat actors currently hiding in your environment

  • Gain 24x7 monitoring by an advanced team of security experts that are specially trained to analyze advanced threats, determine the severity of any incidents and provide actionable guidance to remediate

  • Quickly elevate the alerts that matter most so you can focus limited resources where it matters most

Managed Detection and Response Service

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is an all-encompassing cybersecurity service used to detect and respond to cyber-attacks. Using the best of signature, behavioral and anomaly detection capabilities, along with forensic investigation tools and threat intelligence, human analysts hunt, investigate and respond to known and unknown cyber threats in real time 24x7x365. Get Managed Detection and Response Services for your business www.cybersecop.com.

Cyber Insurance - Is a must have - you will need it

Cyber Insurance - Is a must have - you will need it.

It’s every healthcare organization’s nightmare to get the call that their data has been breached or hacked. As a result, many have turned to cyber insurance to protect assets and business operations.

As cyber policies and carriers lack a universal policy, there’s an even greater worst case scenario: An organization is breached, and the policy doesn’t cover what the leaders thought it did. Now, not only is the healthcare provider strapped with the burden of the breach, it wasted money on a useless cyber insurance policy.

To get a better grasp on how to choose the right policy, Healthcare IT News asked attorney Matthew Fisher, partner with Mirick O’Connell, and Jane Harper, Henry Ford Health System’s director of privacy and security risk management, to outline the biggest policy mistakes -- and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Rushing the process

When buying a policy, a carrier will provide a questionnaire that will evaluate your organization’s security posture, program, tools and policies. The biggest mistake is to rush the pre-policy process to see the rates and what the carrier will cover, explained Fisher.

Organizations need to be conservative with how they answer the questions, as “it could be a ground for denial, if you don’t have the policies you said you have in place,” said Fisher. “You have to make sure you’re not unintentionally misleading the insurance company when it comes to coverage.”

Often these questionnaires attempt to create a black and white policy and “it can be tough to answer correctly,” explained Fisher.

“Your ability to be as transparent and truthful upfront is critical to the nonpayment discussion,” said Harper. “If you tell the insurance company that you have everything in place and are compliant, if you tell them that and then you have an issue, and you weren’t truthful, it ends up being a legal battle.”

“When you submit your checklist that they have you fill out, meet with the underwriter to make sure you understand what you’ve documented,” she added. “You also need the copy that was provided to the insurance company because it will come back into play when you submit the final documents.”

For example, if you say you have a specific control in place, and you actually don’t, Harper explained that can create a situation where “they thought they had an understanding of something, but they didn’t.”

“Be honest, transparent and accurate -- because they can deny your policy if you were inaccurate or misleading in your responses,” she said.

Mistake #2: Lax, incomplete risk assessment

It’s easier to prevent a misleading or false statement to an underwriter, when an organization has a strong assessment and inventory of the processes and tools on the system. But far too often, hospitals “don’t know everything about the control environment,” explained Harper.

“When you talk about protecting an system and preventing a cyber incident, you have to have a good understanding of the organization’s overall control environment,” Harper said. “It’s key, as the longer it takes you to identify that you’ve had an incident, it leads to more exposure and the longer it takes to recover.”

But it’s also important to remember to update this inventory or assessment when buying new tools, merging with other organizations, hiring new staff and the like, Harper explained.

“Think about all of the activities and operations that happen,” she said. “And every three years, you’re updating a cybersecurity checklist -- that may not be frequent enough.”

For example, Harper explained that an organization filling out the policy questionnaire may have all of the right elements in place. But if another tool was purchased and the controls weren’t updated or the control was removed and the underwriter was not notified, there could be a problem.

“If those controls played into how the underwriter rated you: that can be key,” said Harper. “Think about your own home: you get additional discounts when you have a burglar alarm. So if you get one, and let them know, you may get a lower rate…  But if you no longer have that control, you have to tell the carrier.”

“It’s the same kind of practice that we want to get into when we get into cyber insurance for our organization,” she added.

Mistake #3: Failing to involve the right people

Many organizations understand that security needs to exist outside of the IT team. In the same vein, it’s crucial when buying a cyber insurance policy that the same mentality is applied to make sure all of your bases are covered.

“Make sure you are talking to the right individuals,” Harper said. “The appropriate key stakeholders are not only involved with the evaluation process - how many patients, how much data, etc. -- but also the responses to the questions the policy is going to ask.”

“Risk folks typically talk about it as it relates to patients,” she continued. “Those folks are key, but in addition, you need your privacy and security risk professionals, security officers, IT leader, your key business leaders/owners and those driving the data. It’s key.”

Also crucial? Making sure the facilities team is involved, as there can sometimes be a cyber incident based on a physical issue. Harper explained that “often people tend to focus on things like electronic PHI, but there’s physical PHI. If there’s a break in at a warehouse and data is stolen, OCR considers that a breach.”

Mistake #4: Failing to understand coverage

Far too often organizations make large assumptions as to just what cyber insurance will cover. Fisher explained that these leaders are often shocked to learn that they did not receive the full spectrum of coverage they wanted.

“Relying on blind faith on those terms, or what the broker or agent is telling you is a major mistake,” said Fisher. “It’s always up to up to you to go into something with eyes fully wide open to make sure you know what you’re actually buying.”

Harper took it a step further and laid to rest a common misconception when it comes to coverage: “Insurance will not cover fines and penalties associated with noncompliance. If you’re not complaint, and you didn’t do risk assessments, cyber insurance won’t protect you from that, so don’t expect it.”

Ransomware Business Impacts, Ransomware Business Cost

Projecting the overall cost of a ransomware attack can be tricky for security executives considering the many factors that can come into play when responding to and recovering from one. Information from numerous previous incidents show the costs go well beyond any demanded ransom amount and the costs associated with cleaning infected systems.

Ransomware is defined as a form of malicious software that is designed to restrict users from accessing their computers or files stored on computers till they pay a ransom to cybercriminals. Ransomware typically operates via the crypto virology mechanism, using symmetric as well as asymmetric encryption to prevent users from performing managed file transfer or accessing particular files or directories. Cybercriminals use ransomware to lock files from being used assuming that those files have extremely crucial information stored in them and the users are compelled to pay the ransom in order to regain access.

Ransomware History

It’s been said that Ransomware was introduced as an AIDS Trojan in 1989 when Harvard-educated biologist Joseph L. Popp sent 20,000 compromised diskettes named “AIDS Information – Introductory Diskettes” to attendees of the internal AIDS conference organized by the World Health Organization. The Trojan worked by encrypting the file names on the customers’ computer and hiding directories. The victims were asked to pay $189 to PC Cyborg Corp. at a mailbox in Panama.

From 2006 and on, cybercriminals have become more active and started using asymmetric RSA encryption. They launched the Archiveus Trojan that encrypted the files of the My Documents directory. Victims were promised access to the 30-digit password only if they decided to purchase from an online pharmacy.

After 2012, ransomware started spreading worldwide, infecting systems and transforming into more sophisticated forms to promote easier attack delivery as the years rolled by. In Q3, about 60,000 new ransomware was discovered, which doubled to over 200,000 in Q3 of 2012.

The first version of CryptoLocker appeared in September 2013 and the first copycat software called Locker was introduced in December of that year.

Ransomware has been creatively defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as a new model of cybercrime with a potential to cause impacts on a global scale. Stats indicate that the use of ransomware is on a steady rise and according to Veeam, businesses had to pay $11.7 on average in 2017 due to ransomware attacks. Alarmingly, the annual ransomware-induced costs, including the ransom and the damages caused by ransomware attacks, are most likely to shoot beyond $11.5 billion by 2019.


Ransomware Business Impacts Can Be Worrisome

Ransomware can cause tremendous impacts that can disrupt business operations and lead to data loss. The impacts of ransomware attacks include:

  • Loss or destruction of crucial information

  • Business downtime

  • Productivity loss

  • Business disruption in the post-attack period

  • Damage of hostage systems, data, and files

  • Loss of reputation of the victimized company

You will be surprised to know that apart from the ransom, the cost of downtime due to restricted system access can bring major consequences. As a matter of fact, losses due to downtime may cost tens of thousands of dollars daily.

As ransomware continues to become more and more widespread, companies will need to revise their annual cybersecurity goals and focus on the appropriate implementation of ransomware resilience and recovery plans and commit adequate funds for cybersecurity resources in their IT budgets.

Consider the following examples. The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) in Buffalo, NY, last July estimated it spent $10 million responding to an attack involving a $30,000 ransom demand. About half the amount went toward IT services, software, and other recovery-related costs. The other half stemmed from staff overtime, costs related to lost revenues, and other indirect costs. ECMC officials estimated the medical center would need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more on upgrading technology and employee awareness training.

Public records show that the City of Atlanta spent almost $5 million just in procuring emergency IT services following a March 2018 ransomware attack that crippled essential city services for days. The costs included those associated with third-party incident response services, crisis communication, augmenting support staff and subject matter expert consulting services.

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper had to set aside $2 million from the state disaster emergency fund after ransomware infected some 2,000 Windows systems at CDOT, the state department of transportation, this February. In less than eight weeks, CDOT officials spent more than half that amount just returning systems to normal from the attack.

Not surprisingly, industry estimates relating to ransomware damages have soared recently. Cybersecurity Ventures, which pegged ransomware costs at $325 million in 2015, last year estimated damages at $5 billion in 2017 and predicted it would exceed $11.5 billion in 2019.

For security executives trying to prepare a total ransomware cost estimate, the key is not to get fixated on the ransom amount itself. Even if you end up paying it to recover your data—something that most security analysts advocate against—the actual costs of the attack in most cases will end up being greater.


What is an MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider?

A managed security service provider (MSSP) is an IT service provider that provides an organization with information security, cybersecurity monitoring and management, which may include policy development, security operation center, compliance services, incident response service, Virtual CISO, risk management program, vulnerability testing, penetration testing, security training and awareness, virus and spam blocking, intrusion detection, firewalls and virtual private network (VPN) management.

How does an MSSP differ from an MSP?

The extra “S” in MSSP indicates that it is more focused on security than a typical MSP. While MSPs are increasingly offering security services (some may even have an MSSP practice rolled into the larger MSP business), MSSPs are purely focused on security. However, even then, according to Keve, MSSPs can encompass a fairly broad umbrella of security services.

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For example, MSSP technology offerings may include deploying, configuring, and/or managing the following technologies:

Furthermore, MSSP services may include:

An MSSP may offer a broad, generalized suite of security capabilities and services, or it may specialize in one or a few core focus areas. “Traditionally, MSSPs have been overwhelmingly focused on the perimeter,” assesses Keve. “And, while MSSP offerings are evolving, even today, few MSSP’s tackle IAM, which is a focus of Simeio.”

Another differentiation between MSPs versus MSSPs is NOCs versus SOCs. MSPs frequently establish their own network operation center (NOC) from which they monitor and administrate over customer operations, MSSPs on the other hand typically establish a security operations center (SOC), which is responsible for protecting the infrastructure (networks, applications, databases, servers, etc.). However, as Keve notes, “if an MSP takes security seriously as part of its business, it may also operate a NOC.”

Organizations will commonly rely on both an MSP and an MSSP.  “At Simeio, we work primarily with our clients, but we will often interoperate with functions out-sourced to a third-party, such as an MSP,” says Keve.


Understanding managed security service provider (MSSP)

MSSPs are best defined as IT experts who zeroed in on improving digital security. These groups provide everything, from firewalls to intrusion detection monitoring, spam blocking, virus blocking and the management of private networks. Some MSSPs offer additional features, ranging from upgrades to system alterations and beyond.

What matters most is whether the provider in question earns its keep. Take some time to perform research on prospective MSSPs. Do not stop digging until you find a provider with glowing references, excellent reviews, and a polished website.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MANAGED SECURITY SERVICE PROVIDER FOR YOUR BUSINESS

You should know exactly what you need from an MSSP prior to making a commitment or even researching candidates. Once you know exactly what your company needs, ensure that the provider in question is capable of actually delivering the promised services. If a candidate seems incapable of providing even one of the services your business needs, rule them out right away.

What managed security service providers are used for

MSSPs have their own unique specialties, merits, and weaknesses. Though these companies generally do the same things, one might be ideally suited for your business, while others aren’t suitable for your unique operations. Find a cyber security group in New York with a proven track record in your industry, ensure their terms, costs, manpower and expertise are a fit and there will be a seamless integration into your business.

Why do organizations rely on MSSPs?

It is important to generate a nuanced service level agreement with the MSSP you favor. This agreement guarantees both parties fully comprehend each’s expectations and requirements. The relationship should ultimately prove mutually beneficial. If you are even slightly suspicious the MSSP is incapable of safeguarding your digital information, clients, employees, and business, move on to the next candidate. In the end, a group that does not earn its keep should not be trusted to protect your most important information.

Cyber security IT skills in-demand in US

There’s no doubt that demand for the technologically skilled will only increase in the upcoming years, as practically every company becomes a software-driven enterprise. A survey by the jobs site Monster found that in the US, jobs in the digital sector have multiplied at more than twice the rate of other non-digital tech sectors, and are predicted to grow by 20% in the next decade.

However, which skills will be particularly in demand? While it’s unlikely that the IT skills demanded by the jobs market today will become redundant within our lifetimes, the field is constantly evolving, and there are certainly growth areas on the horizon that IT professionals would do well to educate themselves in.

Cyber security

Cyber security is an area set to grow exponentially in importance in the upcoming years. Every time a breach is suffered by an organisation, there is a huge cost both in terms of financial loss and loss of reputation and brand value.

A recent study carried out by jobs site Indeed indicated that the US is dangerously short on cyber security skills and that the number of cyber security jobs advertised in the US is the third highest globally, meaning demand exceeded candidate interest by more than three times.

Development

Demand for skills in development is here to stay (for the time being anyway – this could change as soon as AI is more widely used to code). In 2017, the demand for software developers and engineers increased by 13% in the UK.

Devops

Another important area of growth is the trend for companies to take a devops approach to their IT departments, meaning that developers well versed in this outlook will be the most employable.

Cloud computing

It’s widely recognised that cloud computing is the future, and every IT professional should feel comfortable using these systems. Demand for cloud infrastructure specialists is increasing across the board.

Machine Learning and AI

These are two obvious areas of increasing growth. In the US, demand for AI jobs increased threefold between 2015 and 2018, even surpassing the UK in terms of demand.

Prevent DDoS attacks across your enterprise

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks feature amongst the most dreaded kinds of cyber attacks, for any enterprise today. This is especially because, as the name itself suggests, there it causes a total denial of service; it exhausts all resources of an enterprise network, application or service and consequently it becomes impossible to gain access to the network, application or the service.

In general, a DDoS attack is launched simultaneously from multiple hosts and it would suffice to host the resources, the network and the internet services of enterprises of any size. Many prominent organizations today encounter DDoS attacks on a daily basis. Today DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent and they are increasing in size, at the same time becoming more sophisticated. In this context, it becomes really important that enterprises look for DDoS attack prevention services, in fact the best DDoS attack prevention services, so as to ensure maximum protection for their network and data.

The different kinds of DDoS attacks

Though there are different kinds of DDoS attacks, broadly speaking there are three categories into which all the different kinds of DDoS attacks would fit.

The first category is the volumetric attacks, which include those attacks that aim at overwhelming network infrastructure with bandwidth-consuming traffic or by deploying resource-sapping requests. The next category, the TCP state-exhaustion attacks, refer to the attacks that help hackers abuse the stateful nature of the TCP protocol to exhaust resources in servers, load balancers and firewalls. The third category of DDoS attacks, the application layer attacks, are basically the ones targeting any one aspect of an application or service at Layer 7.

Of the above-mentioned three categories, volumetric attacks are the most common ones; at the same time there are DDoS attacks that combine all these three vectors and such attacks are becoming commonplace today.

DDoS attacks getting sophisticated, complex and easy-to-use

Cybercriminals today are getting cleverer and smarter. They tend to package complex, sophisticated DDoS attack tools into easy-to-use downloadable programs, thereby making it easy even for non-techies to carry out DDoS attacks against organizations.

What are the main drivers behind DDoS attacks? Well, there could be many, ranging from ideology or politics to vandalism and extortion. DDoS is increasingly becoming a weapon of choice for hacktivists as well as terrorists who seek to disrupt operations or resort to extortion. Gamers too use DDoS as a means to gain competitive advantage and win online games.

There are clever cybercriminals who use DDoS as part of their diversionary tactics, intending to distract organizations during APT campaigns that are planned and executed in order to steal data.

How to prevent DDoS attacks

The first thing that needs to be done, to prevent DDoS attacks from happening, is to secure internet-facing devices and services. This helps reduce the number of devices that can be recruited by hackers to participate in DDoS attacks.

Since cybercriminals abuse protocols like NTP, DNS, SSDP, Chargen, SNMP and DVMRP to generate DDoS traffic, it’s advisable that services that use any of these ought to be carefully configured and run on hardened, dedicated servers.

Do repeated tests for security issues and vulnerabilities. One good example is doing penetration tests for detecting web application vulnerabilities.

Ensure that your enterprise implements anti-spoofing filters as covered in IETF Best Common Practices documents BCP 38 and BCP 84. This is because hackers who plan DDoS attacks would generate traffic with spoofed source IP addresses.

Though there are no fool-proof techniques that can prevent DDoS attacks completely, you can ensure maximum protection by ensuring proper configuration of all machines and services. This would ensure that attackers don’t harness publicly available services to carry out DDoS attacks.

It’s to be remembered that it’s difficult to predict or avoid DDoS attacks and also that even an attacker with limited resources can bring down networks or websites. Hence, for any organization, it becomes important that the focus is always on maximum level protection for enterprise networks, devices, websites etc.

What is Botnet - Cybercriminals #1 Weapon

The word Botnet is formed from the words ‘robot’ and ‘network’. Cybercriminals use special Trojan viruses to breach the security of several users’ computers, take control of each computer and organise all of the infected machines into a network of ‘bots’ that the criminal can remotely manage.

Botnet Prevention- What is Botnet   

Botnet Prevention- What is Botnet   

 

How Botnets can impact you
Often, the cybercriminal will seek to infect and control thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of computers – so that the cybercriminal can act as the master of a large ‘zombie network’ – or ‘bot-network’ – that is capable of delivering a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, a large-scale spam campaign or other types of cyberattack.

In some cases, cybercriminals will establish a large network of zombie machines and then sell access to the zombie network to other criminals – either on a rental basis or as an outright sale. Spammers may rent or buy a network in order to operate a large-scale spam campaign.

How to prevent your computer becoming part of a Botnet
Installing effective anti-malware software will help to protect your computer against Trojans and other threats.

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Google Marking Sites without HTTPS Encryption (Not Secure)

As we hit the browser day in and day out we have seen how the web security has taken to new heights. Today HTTPS encryption means the website is secure, and any website that runs on HTTP is not secure, and this is gradually marking its signature across the security forums.

As reported in 9to5google, Chrome 68 has rolled out to the beta channel with hordes of features including security and PWA enhancement to crash reduction. Google has been committed to pushing HTTPS across all the web, Chrome 68 will start labeling all websites with HTTP as “Not secure” anytime from now. We have seen how Chrome first used this method to label all HTTP sites as no secure in Incognito when user privacy was an issue.

Chrome warned users about third-party software injection earlier this year, so that users can anticipate why browser crashes. Now Chrome 68 blocks third-party apps from injecting into Chrome. If this prevents Chrome from launching, the browser will restart and an alert the user to remove it.

New protections defend users against iframes redirecting users to unwanted sites. The ability for an embedded iframe to navigate to a different website is frequently used by single-sign-on providers and payment processors. However, it can also be abused to take users to their sites without knowledge.

Accordingly, Chrome 68 will require a client approval to content with an alternate cause. This protection is just like pop-up blocking, with clients seeing a Chrome UI to redirect to continue. The change additionally applies to tab-under when a page the two opens a pop-up to the intended goal to a third-party application.

With the Page, Lifecycle API engineers can suspend tabs when requested by the framework. On the web, sites have for some time possessed the capacity to run persistently as opposed to Android and iOS applications that can be halted by the framework to spare battery life and assets.

On Android, Progressive Web Apps have more control over the “Add to Home screen” provoke. Google‘s true objective is to include an introduce catch right in the Omnibox alongside the URL. Meanwhile, Chrome will enable developers to first surface their own particular UI informing clients that the site can be “introduced” to the home screen. There is likewise another smaller than a usual info bar to include PWAs.

Additionally, on versatile, the last form of Chrome started to chip away at a vertical tab switcher. In Chrome 67, cards for tabs covered, however, in variant 68, the cards are divided out and the tab switcher looks like an Android P’s recent menu. This is good for visibility with clients ready to swipe away cards.

Businesses Expansion of Attack Surfaces

One of the main reasons cyber risk continues to increase exponentially is due to the rapid expansion of attack surfaces – the places where software programs are vulnerable to attack or probe by an adversary. Attack surfaces, according to the SANS Institute, can include any part of a company’s infrastructure that exposes its networks and systems to the outside, from servers and open ports to SQLs, email authentication and even employees with “access to sensitive information.” It can also include user input via keyboard or mouse, network traffic and external hardware that is not protected by cyberhardening technology.

It would be easy to blame the Internet of Things (IoT) for the expanding attack surfaces, as Intel projects two billion smart devices worldwide by 2020. But in reality, the IoT is only part of the attack surface epidemic.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there are now 111 billion new lines of code written each year, introducing vulnerabilities both known and unknown. Not to be overlooked as a flourishing attack vector are humans, which some argue are both the most important, but also the weakest link in the cyberattack kill chain. In fact, in many cybersecurity circles there is a passionate and ongoing debate regarding just how much burden businesses should put on employees to prevent and detect cyber threats. What is not up for debate, however, is just how vulnerable humans are to intentionally or unintentionally opening the digital door for threat actors to walk in. This is most evident by the fact that 9 out of 10 cyberattacks begin with some form of email phishing targeting workers with mixed levels of cybersecurity training and awareness.

Critical Infrastructure Protection Remains a Challenge

Critical infrastructure, often powered by SCADA systems and equipment now identified as part of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is also a major contributor to attack surface expansion. Major attacks targeting these organizations occur more from memory corruption errors and buffer overflows exploits than from spear-phishing or email spoofing and tend to be the motive of nation states and cyber terrorists more so than generic hackers.

“Industrial devices are designed to have a long-life span, but that means most legacy equipment still in use was not originally built to achieve automation and connectivity.” The IIoT does provide many efficiencies and cost-savings benefits to companies in which operational integrity, confidentiality and availability are of the utmost importance, but the introduction of technology into heavy machinery and equipment that wasn’t built to communicate outside of a facility has proven challenging. The concept of IT/OT integration, which is meant to merge the physical and digital security of corporations and facilities, has failed to reduce vulnerabilities in a way that significantly reduces risk. As a result, attacks seeking to exploit critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, such as WannaCry, have become the rule and not the exception.

To date cyber criminals are winning? 

To date, critical infrastructure cybersecurity has relied too much upon network monitoring and anomaly detection in an attempt to detect suspicious traffic before it turns problematic. The challenge with this approach is that it is reactionary and only effective after an adversary has breached some level of defenses.

We take an entirely different approach, focusing on prevention by denying malware the uniformity it needs to propagate. To do this, we use a binary randomization technique that shuffles the basic constructs of a program, known as basic blocks, to produce code that is functionally identical, but logically unique. When an attacker develops an exploit for a known vulnerability in a program, it is helpful to know where all the code is located so that they can repurpose it to do their bidding. Binary randomization renders that prior knowledge useless, as each instance of a program has code in different locations.

One way to visualize the concept of binary randomization is to picture the Star Wars universe at the time when Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance set off to destroy the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance had the blueprints to the Death Star and used those blueprints to find its only weakness. Luke set off in his X-Wing and delivered a proton torpedo directly to the weak spot in the Death Star, destroying it. In this scenario, the Death Star is a vulnerable computer program, and Luke is an adversary trying to exploit said computer program.

Now imagine that the Galactic Empire built 100 Death Stars, each protected by RunSafe’s new Death Star Weakness Randomization. This protection moves the weakness to a different place on each Death Star. Now imagine you are Luke, flying full speed toward the weakness in the Death Star, chased by TIE fighters, only to find that the weakness is not where the blueprint showed. The Rebel attack fails, and the Galactic Empire celebrates by destroying another planet. Similar to the Death Star scenario above, code protected with binary randomization will still contain vulnerabilities, but an attacker’s ability to successfully exploit that vulnerability on multiple targets becomes much more difficult.

 

Cyber Criminals Loves the Cloud (Hackers Cloud Life)

Are hackers smarter and more creative than cyber guardians? This is becoming the eternal question of the digital age. While we would like to think the protection of customer passwords and personal credentials is the job of IT experts, reports of recent data breaches now suggest we are losing the battle against online criminals. The situation at hand can be likened to a carjacker who enters a parking lot and simply strolls to the stall where all the keys are kept. The parking guard is mysteriously missing, and the keys are ripe for the taking, even to the big, expensive vehicles. This is essentially the situation hackers are now enjoying on the Cloud—a relatively unguarded and highly accessible environment.

Organizational growth and development have led to increased use of the Cloud, which has exacerbated the problem of compromised user data. Companies have essentially transferred VPN and cloud access credentials to available cloud storage. Hackers are sending bots to scour GitHub, the source code administration framework, searching for advanced access keys to Amazon Web Services and other cloud frameworks. In 2015, one indiscreet developer woke to discover his stolen keys were being utilized to run 140 AWS servers mining bitcoin. Indeed, even U.S. Intelligence facts, including security keys to access “distributed intelligence systems,” were also left exposed to the public suggest Bay Area security firm, UpGuard.

Further, even if credentials aren’t left in a discoverable location, hackers can break into a network and find unprotected or unencrypted keys lying around to gain access. In spite of the dangers, developers are still consistently putting away the digital assets and resources and even client data in the source code, setup documents, and different random, unencrypted areas. Not like run of the mill user who can remember their passwords or store them with a protected secret word, engineers and IT professionals regularly need to keep security credentials where automated programs can find them. What’s more, the sensitive information of ordinary clients is also being inadvertently left unattended on some organization networks, where hackers don’t have to work very hard for access.

SECURING THE CLOUD

Cloud managers are struggling to stop the leak of critical data. Sophisticated new cybersecurity tools designed to safely store these important credentials in a legitimate, automated way are looking to revamp accessibility by scanning uploaded files to the cloud storage to ensure passwords and keys aren’t exposed. According to industry experts, this effort is doing much to turn the tide of cybercrime.

Cloud managers are also trying to close the entryway leading to the exposure of more basic data. Refined new cybersecurity tools want to safely store these sorts of credentials in a genuine way that grants access to automated procedures but not hackers.

Armon Dadgar, founder and co-CTO of San Francisco-based software company HashiCorp explains, “Everyone knew this was a bad thing to do. It wasn’t like anyone had an illusion that keeping these credentials in plain text was smart or sane, but no one had a better answer.”

Amazon launched AWS Secrets Manager last month, its own credential management tool. This was followed by Microsoft’s Azure Key Vault which securely stores, monitors, and controls access to this kind of data. But even as these tools become available, companies with avid developers, all of whom have a wide array of remote tools using credentials, are being continually challenged by security issues. Christoffer Fjellström, a developer at Swedish security firm Detectify says, “The main problem is that companies really don’t have policies for it or they don’t follow up and make sure those policies are followed.”

Recent hacks have made it clear that few organizations can hope to keep their networks entirely free from intrusion. Dadgar goes on to explain, “Many companies paid less attention to the security of data within their firewalls. In that world, things like secret management were just less important. Does it matter that you have my database credential if you’re not on my network?”

Other new tools help detect if secure data is being sent and stored where it doesn’t belong. UpGuard, known for its frequent role in detecting leaks tied to data stored on insecure cloud machines, has released BreachSight which scours the internet for its clients’ exposed code, credentials, personally identifiable information, and other sensitive data.

“You might have this world-class team, but the project manager has an online Kanban board sitting out in the open that he’s using for notes, and it’s full of API keys. But nobody thought to look for it because the company believes everything’s internal,” co-founder and co-CEO Mike Baukes says. “It’s examples like that, which are things happening in the real world, that nobody’s had an answer for until now.”

Amazon has also offered a service called Amazon Macie, which uses machine learning to detect unusual access patterns in cloud storage and uploads of potentially sensitive data like access keys. Amazon also released open source software to prevent the accidental storing of passwords and keys to source code repositories, while other developers have offered similar tools to scrub credentials from existing code. According to Fast Company, those types of tools will be automatically provided as part of cloud computing contracts, just like standard seatbelts in a new car.