Cloud computing has drastically changed the way web developers used to work. Now with the multitude of server grids at the disposal of a user, web developers get an edge in procuring the functionality their online presences require.
Whose watching you watching them?
There has been a lot of public debate and emotive outcry over the government's proposal to enable a security agency to gain access to the historical user activity logs of Internet Service Providers. Under that provision the requirement will be for ISPs to retain such information for a period of two years and provide it if requested.
If this ever comes into being, don't forget they also have the current legal intercept laws, then the onus will be on ISPs to not only to store that subscriber information, but to store it securely. I would only presume that it is not going to take long for Australia to have its first public “ISP-record-hacking-gate” of a public identity’s personal web habits made public. The the ISPs will need to invest in beefing up their security and providing assurances.
But this all leads to the question of who watches the watchers. Another interesting article recently in the news, currently being beaten up by tabloid current affairs, is that of helmet mounted cameras for bicycles. While not a new technology, extremist mountain bikers have been launching themselves off ever steeper inclines, recording and sharing their death defying stunts for a number of years on these devices.
Now, however, vigilante commuter-bikers have got their hands on them and are using them to self-police those deliberately out to run them down on the street. Our governments local and state have been expanding their networks of CCTV surveillance systems in our neighbourhoods, but what about private surveillance cameras, are we going to turn into a society whose every move and action is recorded, both online and offline for later adjudication. Where does it stop and who will enforce the volumes of complaints and information?
Will the animals take over and will 1984 prove true (albeit a bit late)?
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Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).
- Have an incident response plan.
- Pre-define your incident response team
- Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.
- Pre-distribute call cards.
- Forensic and incident response data capture.
- Get your users on-side.
- Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement.
- Practice makes perfect.
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.