Stories by Ellen Messmer

Homeland Security wants corporate board of directors more involved in cyber-security

By Ellen Messmer | 30 July, 2014 06:06

Setting corporate cyber-security policy and taking actions around it must be a top concern for the board of directors at any company, not just the information-technology division, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicated as a high-level official there backed a private-sector effort to raise awareness at the board level.

Is Bring Your Own Identity a security risk or advantage?

By Ellen Messmer | 29 July, 2014 04:51

The "Bring Your Own Identity" (BYOID) trend in which websites let users authenticate using identities established through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Amazon, Microsoft Live, Yahoo or other means raises some questions in the minds of IT and business managers. And a survey conducted by Ponemon Institute shows a vast difference in how the IT and business sides think about this so-called BYOID method of authentication.

New SSL server rules go into effect Nov. 1

By Ellen Messmer | 25 July, 2014 07:03

Public certificate authorities (CAs) are warning that as of Nov. 1 they will reject requests for internal SSL server certificates that don't conform to new internal domain naming and IP address conventions designed to safeguard networks.

Malwarebytes questions poor showing in anti-malware protection-evaluation lab testing

By Ellen Messmer | 25 July, 2014 02:41

Dennis Technology Labs (DTL), which tests anti-malware products for effectiveness in protection, for the first time included the free version of the Malwarebytes software in the labs' competitive evaluation along with nine other vendor products, both paid and free. The results published by DTL today reveal Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free had a poor showing, with only Microsoft Security Essentials doing worse in terms of effectiveness of protection.

Cybercrime wave whacks European banks

By Ellen Messmer | 23 July, 2014 00:34

Banks across Europe are now coping with a wave of cybercrime in which crooks are transferring funds out of customer accounts through a scam involving bypassing some two-factor authentication systems to steal large sums, according to a security firm assisting in the investigation.

Juniper boosts DDoS Secure appliance to mitigate UDP-based amplification attacks

By Ellen Messmer | 17 July, 2014 23:35

Juniper Networks has added a new way for its anti-DDoS appliance to mitigate what's known as massive UDP-based amplification attacks that typically work by exploiting compromised servers of different kinds to both spoof and vastly increase the denial-of-service barrage.

Survey: Corporate security thwarted by dialog failure between IT dept. and management

By Ellen Messmer | 17 July, 2014 23:34

So talk to me!

U.S. malware share rising, Amazon service No.1 in hosting it

By Ellen Messmer | 16 July, 2014 05:52

In its quarterly report on global malware distribution and threats, security firm Solutionary Tuesday said that 56% of the malware it captured via sensors and other means was hosted in the U.S.-- a 12% increase from six months ago -- and about half of the malware overall appeared to originate at 10 Internet service and hosting providers.

The worst security SNAFUs this year (so far!)

By Ellen Messmer | 15 July, 2014 23:56

Security SNAFUs? How bad is it so far this year? Well, let's start with Snapchat's 4.6 million user database SNAFU, followed by a parade of retail stores including Neiman Marcus and Sally Beauty Holdings, telling their customers how their payment card information had been hacked. The hacker group Syrian Electronic Army was also busy tormenting Microsoft, among many others. And there's plenty of other mischief, such as denial-of-service attacks and cyber-espionage to round out what's only the first half of the year.

The Firewall: Questions abound about its future role in cloud, mobile and SDN environments

By Ellen Messmer | 14 July, 2014 22:59

It's been 20 years since Check Point Software Technologies shipped its first enterprise network firewall, marking the beginning of a mass market for firewalls that has protected millions of networks across the world.

Bugcrowd adds ‘flex' pricing model to bug-bounty programs

By Ellen Messmer | 01 July, 2014 06:26

Bugcrowd, the firm that offers a bug-bounty service program that brings together companies willing to pay to hear about serious software vulnerabilities and the security researchers that can find them, says it's offering a new pricing model.

10 security start-ups to watch

By Ellen Messmer | 01 July, 2014 02:08

Security start-ups arise because they have fresh approaches to fighting malware and cyber-espionage or combatting the insider threat through network monitoring. In this round-up of some of the newer security firms, Distil Networks, Observable Networks and Vectra Networks fit into that category. But two others just out of the gate, Exabeam and Fortscale, are part of another trend--squeezing more out of existing log management and security information and event management products.

Gartner to IT security pros: Get ready for ‘digital business'

By Ellen Messmer | 27 June, 2014 05:32

There's a "digital business" revolution coming and IT security professionals need to grasp the significance early on to be prepared to address whatever security needs arise. That was the message from Gartner analyst Jorge Lopez in the closing keynote at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit today.

Gartner: Best practices for Amazon AWS security

By Ellen Messmer | 26 June, 2014 06:08

The Amazon AWS cloud service is fine for enterprise workloads and applying security controls such as encryption and firewalls is possible, though more security vendors need to step up to support Amazon's EC2 service, according to the Gartner analysis presented today.

Gartner: IT leaders need to find their inner ferocious pack animal

By Ellen Messmer | 26 June, 2014 04:39

Gartner analyst Tina Nunno, author of a book called "The Wolf in CIO's Clothing," wants IT leaders to find their inner ferocious pack animal not only to be able to snarl at enemies challenging them but to better inspire team cohesion through displays of power, and yes, cunning.

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Warning: Tips for secure mobile holiday shopping

I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.