Over the last month I've attended four international events that have had a focus on security. And there's one data point that ought to have every CSO, CISO and CIO out there worried. Despite more money than ever being spent on security – and the amount is increasing – the amount of money being lost as a result of security breaches is rising at an even greater rate.
With a background that started at computer store back in the 1990's, Symantec's COO Stephen Gillett has climbed the corporate ladder rapidly. After being spotted by the Chairman of the largest hospital chain in the Pacific northwest of the USA while working at Office Depot, he was appointed as the IT manager of a new hospital. After moving from that to his own start up, he became the CIO of Starbucks at the age of 31. He's now the COO of Symantec.
While security vendors weigh their product ranges for vulnerability to the recently discovered 'Heartbleed' bug, Symantec's massive digital certificate infrastructure remains secure – but the company is advising customers to update the vulnerable OpenSSL code and then regenerate their public key infrastructure (PKI) private keys, according to its Melbourne-based senior principal systems engineer Nick Savvides.
Consumers may well have lost sensitive data without even knowing it.
Recriminations were flying as security vendor Trustwave Holdings was named in a lawsuit related to the penetration of US retailer Target, in a suit related to Target's obligations under the PCI DSS credit-card industry standard. The move was termed a wake up call for companies looking to hire PCI DSS auditors, while others in the credit-card industry were seizing on the Target hack to further their arguments for PIN vs chip-based card security.
Just a few short years ago, all a PC needed for protection was a basic antivirus program to guard against any malware that arrived via an e-mail attachment, embedded in a shareware application or piggy-backed on a floppy disk.
CSO Trend Micro Workshop
Prime Minister Julia Gillard was on hand in Sydney this week to launch a new cyber education module called bCyberwise. Developed by Life Education and McAfee, the program is designed to teach primary school students about online dangers such as becoming `friends' with strangers and cyber bullying. The program will be rolled out to Australian schools from 4 February.
Social engineers, or "human hackers", have been duping victims from the very beginning of human existence. Here are nine infamous con artists who made history with their scams and schemes.
These days barely a day goes by where there isn’t some sort of network security breach or hack or malfunction of some sort. This year too we had the rise of groups such as Anonymous and Lulz that sought out attention for their activities. Here we take a look at the year in pictures of some of the key security problems that grabbed our attention.
Hackers, Matrix, Swordfish, Sneakers, Cypher - what's your favourite?
Perhaps it was an omen of what was to come when the city of San Francisco on New Year's Eve 2010 couldn't get a backup system running in its Emergency Operations Center because no one knew the password.
'Tis the season to begin ramping up online shopping activity, and for retailers that means doing all they can to ensure their websites are up, highly available and able to handle peak capacity. Looming in many IT managers' minds is the cautionary tale of Target, whose website crashed twice after it was inundated by an unprecedented number of online shoppers when the retailer began selling clothing and accessories from high-end Italian fashion company Missoni.
No company wants to be associated with a data breach, but if your systems are compromised the fallout can sometimes be more damaging than the act itself.
Stealthy, sometime long-term cyber-espionage attacks to steal sensitive proprietary information -- what some now call "advanced persistent threats" (APT) -- have become a top worry for businesses.
This is a real issue, and not just one for the well publicised attacks on major corporations such as Sony, Lockheed, Google, and Citi. It affects every business and organisation, large and small. More worrying still, it is now widely suggested that hackers and espionage organisations are moving away from directly attacking their target company, choosing instead to route their attack through suppliers to their target. Thus, even small and seemingly innocuous “third party” businesses who would not consider themselves as potential targets are now on the front line of this cyber war.
Many casualties resulted from the many wars that were fought during the last century. A high percentage of those soldiers were engaged in combat because there was no ability to opt out. Most of us would not want to go to war, but unfortunately war has a way of finding us.
Every day there is a story in the news of a security threat causing havoc to even the largest of enterprises. It may be website defacements one day, denial of service the next and credit card data exfiltration the day after.
Balancing security priorities with business flexibility and agility is a tough challenge. But it’s a challenge every executive management team faces as it strives to drive business growth, achieve competitive advantage and maximise operational efficiency.
It used to be easy enough to spot a bank robber. With their balaclavas and weapons of choice, the criminals would simply storm in demanding money and everyone knew exactly what was happening. While criminals still occasionally resort to traditional methods, it’s rare to see the dramatic Bonnie and Clyde-style bank heists of the 20th century.
Each day, as the speedy evolution of technology emerges, newer, more complex and increasingly dangerous cyber threats come onto the battlefield, thus presenting an ever-thriving danger to organisations, governments and enterprises everywhere.
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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.