How Do You Protect Your Business When the Threat Landscape Is Always Evolving?

Security Ransomware

Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to security attacks can be a challenge many find to be nearly impossible to achieve. But why is it so difficult? Every day, attacks targeting juggernauts of industry are featured in breaking news. An example is the recent “Wannacry” ransomware attack, which affected thousands of computers all over the world—from Europe to Asia to North America, locking users out of their computers and demanding ransoms. What’s concerning about these attacks is not only the frequency of them, but how they quickly inspire imitators.  

New attacks using combinations of execution code to bypass defense systems are popping up. Even more concerning, ransomware/botnet attacks are now hijacking ICS to re-route ambulances causing life-threatening consequences. And the hard truth is this won’t stop; new malware will be written with multiple code execution paths that are designed to set off benign processes while under scan and then execute malicious code once your anti-virus deems it to be safe. 

You might be indignantly thinking why? My anti-virus is supposed to stop all threats—my vendor said so! Why is it so difficult to defend my organization? 

The short answer is that it doesn’t have to be. Having implemented and reverse engineered many security solutions, I can say honestly that you cannot adopt or rely upon a single strategy or single solution to defend your posture. It takes a holistic and tiered approach to be able to defend and take on attacks from different vectors. 

A long time ago, I was once on the offensive side acting out DDoS attacks while playing a game called “Counter-Strike.” Why is this relevant? It seems hard to believe, but this game helped me adopt a philosophy on cybersecurity that I will never forget and will use for the rest of my career. I hope you can take this philosophy to heart, and that it will also help you protect your business as well as yourself from being hacked. 

Know your risk. 

Designing a secure infrastructure starts with knowing your greatest risks and weaknesses. Think like a hacker. What is the most critical asset? What type of attacks are you vulnerable to? What would someone do to exploit it that risk? Knowing is the first step. 

Identify your risk. 

In the following tiers: Reputation, Operational, and Intellectual Property. Once you’ve identified your risk in these arenas, plan a defensive strategy accordingly.  

Defend. 

Your strategy should lead to you knowing your network better than anyone else. You are the first and last line of defense. Security solutions are simply technology, but without configuring that technology to its strictest potential, you will not win. Do not allow any attacker to exploit your posture. Conduct vulnerability assessments and risk audits. Conducting threat assessments regularly is a critical step in continually developing your security plan.

The Great WiFi Migration

Cloud this, virtual that… it’s the future, and mostly it’s a good thing! Welcome to the great WiFi expansion, folks!

The Past

Not too long ago, when people started deploying multiple wireless access points (APs) in a single location, they realized how cumbersome it was to manage all APs individually. The masses demanded a way of managing multiple APs from a single location, and so the Controller was born. A Controller is just what the name says: a device that ‘controls’ and manages all APs from one central location.

For some time, this was the only option for managing multiple APs, and there was no way around it. And it was a great thing. It still is.

Now 

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BYOD: Is it Worth the Risk?

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon has become a highly debated topic in many organizations. While some enterprises are fully enveloped in the BYOD trend, others are hesitant to adopt this new strategy because of the numerous risks associated with it. Regardless, here is what you need to know to be BYOD-ready.

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Jibba Jabba or the Nines Nines Nines

You’ve probably heard “nines” thrown around when talking high availability, so let’s review them to make everyone talk the same talk or IT Jibba-Jabba.

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High Severity GnuTLS bug

On May 23rd, Nikos Mavrogiannopoulo (one of the primary authors of the GnuTLS library) submitted a commit identifying the potential for “memory corruption” during the TLS/SSL handshake process. This specific bug makes it possible to initiate a server-based attack on a client system by corrupting its memory using a specially crafted ServerHello message.
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Heartbleed: A Case For Two-Factor Authentication

By now you’ve probably heard about a major vulnerability in the OpenSSL Project’s implementation of SSL known as Heartbleed. If you’re not familiar with SSL, it is a protocol designed to secure communication between an end-user (client) and application (server) using cryptography and keys intended to make it difficult to intercept and read protected traffic. The process of establishing that secure communication looks something like this:


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