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Garrett_Bechler | 16 Jun 2013 | 1 comment

Over the last few years as IT Staffing has been trimmed to minimal levels and as the adoption of cloud based services has risen in a dramatic fashion, the erosion of the basic skills, tools, and awareness of running a secure environment has steadily accelerated its pace.  The lack of “IT Fundamentals” becomes eerily apparent as you open a web browser where the results of this oversight are apparent with the number of successful hacking related activities by folks with less than good intentions continue to grab the headlines. Simple things such as basic troubleshooting skills and asset management have been all but ignored, abandoned or left in such a state that their usefulness is questioned by all in the environment.  Doubt creates mistrust, and mistrust creates unjustified blame.
I cannot recall the number of conversations related to “Am I protected against this latest threat by your endpoint solution?”  that have the...

PaulTobia | 29 May 2013 | 0 comments

This week the Computer Security Resource Center of the National Insitute of Standards and Technology for the United States of America released the fourth version of Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. Or more commonly known by the designation SP800-53. Through my career I've been a fan of the NIST Special Publications 800 series. Although the intended audience are the IT organizations of the USA federal government the publications are provided without copyright for use by any organization. I consider it a great free resource to buillding the basics of a security program no matter what industry you are in.

SP800-53 covers a pretty comprehensive catalog of security controls. All the expected categories are there from Access Control to System and Information Integrity. The catalog itself convers 233 pages and includes a handy reference table to link the controls to ISO/IEC 27001 Controls and ISO/IEC 15408 Requirements. What...

Phil Harris | 20 May 2013 | 1 comment

I travel a fair amount for my work and that wouldn’t be so bad except I’m a security professional that travels for work. I consistently see other business travelers do the same or similar security missteps over and over. I thought it might be a good idea to review my top 5 security missteps or, as I like to call them, “Moron Alerts”. This may seem like a very strong term I use, but consider that many of us have been through security awareness training at our respective companies and yet we still do these bad things. With news reports on an almost daily basis about laptops, mobile devices and/or information being stolen, it’s just very difficult to believe that people, especially business travelers, are still making these bad mistakes consistently.

1. Laptop unattended in bathroom entrance

This is a relatively new one for me. A couple of weeks ago I was walking out of the bathroom and noticed an...
Michael D Smith | 13 May 2013 | 1 comment

iGoat v2.0 ( is a program that demonstrates common iOS mobile application security weaknesses and their remediation.  There are other resources that show the use of this tool. One example,, is the OWASP Top 10 entry for Insecure Data Storage (which is the exercise we are going to do).
The purpose of this post is to walk through all the steps needed to get iGoat setup “Soup to Nuts”. There is nothing here that is too difficult, but there are a few pitfalls in making this work, so I thought it might be nice to provide some simple steps that take you from having nothing setup to being able to test the iGoat application for Local Data Storage...

Joseph.Rogalski | 29 Apr 2013 | 9 comments

Let’s face it users cannot be trusted to know their entire password, I am not talking about the user that writes down their passwords on sticky notes the bad guys would need physical access to actually access those. What I am really speaking to how easily with social engineering or malware passwords can be compromised. If you are not protecting your Internet facing systems that contain anything but public data with multifactor authentication you are asking to be breached, this includes Outlook Web Access. 
So how could Outlook Web Access lead to a breach? When trying to breach your company I would first look to the many lists of username, email addresses and password that are available from any of the Social Media password breaches of late. This is a value because as you know many users reuse passwords and it only takes ONE of out of the 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 100,000+ users that work for your company that decided to reuse that password. Next I will...

uuallan | 23 Apr 2013 | 0 comments

WordPress is the most commonly used blogging platform. It is easy to install and has a great ecosystem of plugins and enhancements that extend its capabilities beyond simply posting pictures of your cats. Unfortunately, millions of inexperienced users means that it is also a target for attackers. There are generally two types of attacks against WordPress: Password attacks and Cross Site Scripting. Password attacks can occur in two ways. The first is simply to attempt to use the default passwords, which many users don't bother to change. The second type of password attack is a password guessing attack. WordPress, and its plugins, use a number of well-known defauly usernames (usually: admin) and many users don't look at failed password authentication attempts, making it an easy target for attackers. WordPress, and its plugins, are well-known for being vulnerable to cross site scripting attacks. Just since the beginning of 2013 Symantec has reported 12...

PaulTobia | 18 Apr 2013 | 0 comments

I’m optimistic on the current trends in security. The concepts of “intelligence” and “big data” have to potential to shift focus to counter the current threat landscape of intentional attacks to steal or destroy valuable information. Additional focus on the detection of attacks within perimeter of your network will really help with reducing risks.  

But I believe we need to be careful on how we approach “intelligence” as a practical component of information security programs. Intrusion detection and event management are aspects of intelligence that the industry has been using for many years but not many organizations use them effectively. Most orgs stand up a solution to check the box in a policy or regulation and never really integrate it into their operations.

My favorite new term is “actionable.” My first question when I hear about a new solution in information security is going to be “is the output...

Phil Harris | 16 Apr 2013 | 0 comments

One of the biggest problems information security encounters is either the perception or reality of slowing down the business. I’ve encountered this myself in my career.  One of the ways I dealt with this problem is through an effective use of the risk assessment process. An effective Risk Assessment process can be the cornerstone or the hub of activity for Information Security.  Picture a group that gets involved in all projects from inception to deployment, understanding all the security needs of their customers, providing iterative security requirements, understanding the needs of the different security groups, and providing management with accept risk reduction or a decision to accept some type of risk. Risk assessment requires a robust process that keeps pace with the project and doesn’t slow it down. Security teams need to make sure all risks are known and addressed in some way prior to construction or development. This way IT/...

Joseph.Rogalski | 08 Apr 2013 | 3 comments

Recently, there have been a string of high profile compromises attacking both could based services, a cloud based note taking site, a fast food companies Twitter account, as well as corporations and individuals.  A well known technology writer had his digital life taken over, abused and somewhat deleted add to this the hacking of cloud company’s’ CEO personal and business accounts.  This led me to think how can we as a security community do a better job?    When I was a CISO a good portion of the end user awareness training was focused on life outside the office, my theory was being safe at home leads to be safe in the office but now thinking about this now leads me to ask myself a question.   Does our end-user education go far enough or reach deeply enough into out users digital lives?  I think the answer to that question is an overwhelming NO and it’s time to take the gloves off!
We live in a time...

Robert Shaker | 03 Apr 2013 | 2 comments

Is it naïve of us to think we can ever be perfectly secure? Whether it’s physically or digitally there is always a risk that something bad is going to happen. To protect ourselves physically we install alarms, locks, buy safe cars, have automatic lights, cameras, firearms, etc. These don’t eliminate risks but give us a reasonable sense of safety and we go about our normal daily business. For digital security we install endpoint protection, anti-spam, anti-malware, firewalls, IDS, IDP, and DLP, etc. and go about our normal daily business.

But what happens when these controls fail and we are attacked or injured? For our physical side we have police, fire, ambulatory services, hospitals and doctors that are there to help us after the incident. We buy health, life, and disability insurance, we pre-prepare for what happens post incident. We create an entire support system to back us up.

For our digital side shouldn’t we do the same? Yes, there are...