Movin’ right along

By Katherine Teitler 

June 21, 2016

Several years after the introduction of DevOps, the security community continues to laud the method while scant few developers are hopping on the bandwagon. One of the issues is that “security” isn’t part of DevOps. 

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(Just Like) Starting Over

By Katherine Teitler 

June 20, 2016

The mention of cloud services no longer strikes fear in the hearts of security practitioners like it did a decade ago. While some security folks are still wary of providers’ claims, few can doubt that many of the larger, more prevalent cloud providers offer as good or better security than some enterprise security teams.  

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Card Skimming

Card skimming involves the use of a small device (“skimmer”) that replaces a legitimate credit, debit, or ATM card reader in order to illegally scan and store data from the magnetic strip of an authentic card. 

Once “skimmed,” the data from the card is copied onto a blank magnetic stripe, turning an empty card into one with a real account number and information which thieves can use to illicitly purchase goods or services.

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I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day

By Katherine Teitler 

June 17, 2016

Even under the best of circumstances, integrating cloud services and devices into an organization’s technology workflow can be challenging. In all fairness, integrating any new device or appliance into the technology stack requires careful planning, new processes, and often a bit of trial and error before all systems are once again up and running smoothly. With cloud, the added issues of data custodianship, security oversight, and availability and accessibility become necessary points of focus. 

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By Katherine Teitler 

June 17, 2016

Cloud Security World 2016 finished up on Wednesday evening after two days of conversation around all-things-cloud security. “We’ve seen this before,” was a common refrain, and thankfully attendees have moved past the points of denying the existence of cloud services connected to their organizations and saying that cloud is “the largest” security concern.

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Ephemeral Port

An ephemeral port, also called a dynamic port, is an automatically allocated temporary port, usually on the client side, opened when a client application initiates a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Port (TCP/IP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP) communication. 

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Come Together

By Katherine Teitler 

June 13, 2016

Security is often a battle. In one corner we have the security team warning the rest of the business of the dangers of “X” or fighting to implement new policies and technologies that will help keep the business secure. In the other corner we have lines of business wanting and needing faster, better, more profitable enablement tools and processes.

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Don’t let me get me

By Katherine Teitler 

June 6, 2016

During the recent EuroCACS conference Raef Meeuwisse, Director of Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Governance at Cyber Simplicity Ltd., referred to the CISO as the “Chief Information Scapegoat Officer,” based on an article posted on Infosecurity Magazine. For so many in the industry, this meme of sorts rings true. Today’s CISO is up against a set of challenges present in no other executive-level role, and during a phone interview Meeuwisse explained why, even though humorous, the “scapegoat” label is one hard to shed.

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I always feel like somebody’s watching me

By Katherine Teitler 

June 6, 2016

OSINT, open source intelligence, is a great tool for companies looking to find threat information on the web. The wealth of information available can be overwhelming, clunky, and difficult to incorporate into a threat intelligence program, however. 

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Buffer Overflow

A buffer is a temporary data storage area shared by hardware or program processes. The buffer regulates the amount of data moving in and out of the hardware or process so it can operate at maximum efficiency.

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China’s attempts at bolstering domestic business present security concerns internationally

By Katherine Teitler 

June 2, 2016

China is once again making it more difficult for international organizations to conduct business in the country. Last year, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) announced draft rules that would require insurance carriers to buy and utilize “secure and controllable” solutions for IT.

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Or you can plan to be prepared for the next security incident

By Katherine Teitler 

June 1, 2016

Last night I watched as the driver of a rental moving truck took the top of the truck clear off as he drove under an overpass that was too low for clearance. The top scraped off a bit like the top of a sardine can; it peeled back and bits of curly-cued steal flew across Storrow Drive, one of the main crosstown parkways in Boston, MA. As the top separated from the rest of the structure, the sides were dislodged, and the result was four side panels swaying side to side, threatening to fall of the base of the truck completely and allow its contents to stand out in the open, unprotected (kind of like some companies’ data…).

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Yet these vulnerabilities are just fine

By Katherine Teitler 

May 31, 2016

One of the security downfalls of Android devices is the profusion of independent device makers and the varying states of attention each manufacturer pays to device security. LG, a major manufacturer with anywhere from 5.8% - 9.6% of smartphone market share (depending on whose report you read) was the focus of a recent vulnerability disclosure. Security vendor Check Point announced two major vulnerabilities unique to LG phones during the LayerOne conference in Los Angeles. Importantly, the public disclosure of the vulnerabilities didn’t occur until after Check Point alerted LG, after which LG issued patches. 

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BitLocker

BitLocker is Microsoft’s encryption tool that is built into certain versions of Windows operating systems (versions of Windows 8 and 8.1 Professional and Enterprise, Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate and Enterprise, and Windows Server 2008 and later). BitLocker is generally used for full-disk encryption, but can also be used to encrypt volumes, virtual drives, or containers, if the intent is to encrypt only specific data or files. The tool originated as a part of Microsoft’s Next-Generation Secure Computing Base architecture in 2004 as a way for organizations to protect devices and data, especially in the event of a lost or stolen laptop. BitLocker uses a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a secure hardware chip, to store the encryption key and protect systems from untrusted software. BitLocker uses an AES encryption algorithm with either 128-bit or 256-bit keys.

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Modernizing SDL for Cloud

The original Software Development Lifecycle (SDL) was built with waterfall-style development in mind. As we continue the transition into heavier reuse of components and less pure development, all with shorter release cycles, the SDL needs modernization in parallel to help ensure secure software. The operational security aspects have changed along with cloud deployments; different processes and a revised mindset is needed to handle some of the fundamental differences. Spending a small amount of time to update processes and toolsets to include security in the beginning will actually increase your ability to stay on schedule and minimize unplanned work. Now more than ever, security needs to be part of the default behaviors and process for software development and deployment; bolting it on is not an option.

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Finding all the IoT devices adds to security’s challenge

By Katherine Teitler 

May 27, 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the world in ways unimaginable 5-10 years ago. For many of us, IoT extends to the innovation of smartwatches, connected cars, and smart home devices, which have substantially changed the way we live. Printed maps have been rendered useless. Lights in an owner’s house can be turned on for safety or off for efficiency from 10,000 miles away. Cooks can “look into” their refrigerators from the grocery store to check the items they’re missing for that night’s dinner. How did we ever function before being able to tell our car to text our friends that we are going to be 22 minutes late for drinks because a minivan crashed into a semi 1.36 miles up the freeway, which has also created a traffic jam at the intersection of Main and Broad Streets?

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Apple to offer a SDK for Siri; developers and consumers win

By Katherine Teitler 

May 26, 2016

Apple’s highly guarded and stringent software development process may start to chill out this summer, according to a report in The Information. The company is well known for its rigorous development practices, which helped it climb to the top of security practitioners’ lists as the platform of choice when selecting smartphones and mobile devices in recent years. 

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Don’t know if I’ll ever be secure again

By Katherine Teitler 

May 23, 2016

“Transportation Security Administration” may not actually refer to security, it seems, according to a report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report, “IT Management Challenges Continue in TSA’s Security Technology Integrated Program,” details the results of an audit, conducted primarily to follow up on previously reported “deficiencies in information technology (IT) security controls of the Security Technology Integrated Program (STIP), a data management system that connects airport transportation security equipment (TSE) to servers.” 

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Web Application Firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) is a network- or host-based firewall that monitors, filters, and can block potentially malicious traffic to a web application from the internet in real or near-real time. WAFs can run as an appliance, server, plug-in, or cloud-based service. 

Deployed in-line, typically through a proxy, a WAF is placed in front of web applications to protect them from web-based attacks. A WAF inspects traffic requests based on a set of configured rules, which can be created to reflect an organization’s current threats or requirements, for unusual or anomalous patterns or requests. WAFs are known to be difficult to implement but remain one of the best protections against the most common types of web-based attacks because they can analyze down to Layer 7. WAFS can help prevent:

  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • SQL injection
  • Session hijacking
  • Buffer overflows
  • Application-specific attacks
  • Invalid input

Despite the advantages, a WAF cannot protect against application logic vulnerabilities or vulnerabilities which require an understanding of complex business logic.

Gartner estimates the WAF market size is roughly $420 million USD. ISACA recommends using a WAF as a key security control in DevOps.

 

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Keeping Up With the Cloud Security Evolution

We're all familiar with the many benefits of moving to the cloud, but taking the steps to do it can be daunting. At the end of the day, however, if you take time to understand the risks posed by the cloud and implement a comprehensive strategy for managing them, you can—with confidence—take full advantage of all the benefits that come from running fast in the cloud.

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