Anticipating Cyber Attacks: There’s No Abbottabad in Cyber Space

| April 26, 2016

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Cyber attacks, data breaches, and vulnerabilities have gone from esoteric ideas to a mainstream problem. With that in mind, it would be quite attractive to predict attacks before they happen. Prediction could allow us to adjust defenses rather than perform expensive and reactive incident response which can include everything from deep forensics to throwing out millions of dollars worth of equipment. And not to mention massive reputation repair campaigns.

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FDM Group is an international IT services provider with centres in the UK, Mainland Europe, North America and Asia. FDM services over 130 clients worldwide in 8 service areas: Project Management Office, Business Analysis, Data and Operations, Testing, Development, Production Support, MX.3 Production Support and Client Training. FDM is renowned for its superior performance and high-class solutions, which are tailored to suit individual clients and projects. A profound understanding of current technologies allows FDM to deliver even the most complex projects successfully. Our flexible approach continues to add value across the globe, which is why many of our clients have been loyal to FDM for decades.

OTHER ARTICLES

5G and IoT security: Why cybersecurity experts are sounding an alarm

Article | March 2, 2020

Seemingly everywhere you turn these days there is some announcement about 5G and the benefits it will bring, like greater speeds, increased efficiencies, and support for up to one million device connections on a private 5G network. All of this leads to more innovations and a significant change in how we do business. But 5G also creates new opportunities for hackers.Gartner predicts that 66% of organizations will take advantage of these benefits and adopt 5G by 2020 — with 59% of them planning to use 5G to support the Internet of Things across their business. Already, manufacturers including Nokia, Samsung, and Cisco have either started developing 5G enterprise solutions or have publicly announced plans to do so. In the enterprise, full deployment of private 5G networks will take time, as it requires significant investments to upgrade legacy network infrastructures, observers say. In the meantime, there are instances of devices in the workplace already operating on a 5G network.

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What Does It Take to Be a Cybersecurity Professional?

Article | August 30, 2021

While eating dinner at a Fourth of July cookout last weekend, my nephew described why he had so many career options as a pilot: There’s a shortage of pilots, and many existing pilots will be retiring soon. Other current pilots need to be retrained, because they fell behind in various ways during the pandemic. New people want to get into the field, but there are many hard requirements that can’t be faked, like flying hours, or unique experience on specific aircraft. There are many job openings and everyone is hiring. My response? Sounds a lot like our current cybersecurity career field. Professionals in cyber are seeing almost the exact same things. And yes, there are many, perhaps thousands, of articles on this topic saying different things. Everyone is focused on the shortages of cyber pros and the talent issues we currently face. But how hard is it to get into a cyber career for the long term? How can someone move into a fulfilling career that will last well beyond their current role? One reason I like the pilot training comparison is that becoming an excellent cyber pro takes time and commitment. If there are any “quick wins” (with minimal preparation or training) in cybersecurity careers, they probably won’t last very long — in the same way that flying large airplanes takes years of experience. After I got home that night, I saw this article from TechRepublic proclaiming “you don’t have to be a tech expert to become a cybersecurity pro.” Here’s an excerpt: “Ning Wang: I think that we’re in a pretty bad state. No matter which source you look at, there are a lot more job openings for cybersecurity than there are qualified people to fill it. And I have worked at other security companies before Offensive Security, and I know firsthand, it is really hard to hire those people. … “You may think that you have to have so much technology background to go into security. And again, I know firsthand that is not the case. What does it take to be a great cybersecurity professional? And I think from my observation and working with people and interacting with people, they need a creative mind, a curious mind, you have to be curious about things. … “And then even if you have all of that, there’s no shortcuts. If you look at all the great people in cybersecurity, just like all the other fields, that 10,000-hour rule applies here as well.” My response? I certainly agree that advanced degrees and formal certifications are not required (although they help). Still, the 10,000-hour rule and determination are must-haves to last in the long term. Here’s what I wrote for CSO Magazine a decade ago on the topic of “Are you a security professional?”: “Many experts and organizations define a security professional based upon whether or not they have a CISSP, CISM, Master’s Degree in Information Assurance or other credentials. Or, are you in an organization or business unit with 'security' in the title? While these characteristics certainly help, my definition is much broader than that. "Why? I have seen people come and go in the security area. For example: Adam Shostack started his career as a UNIX sysadmin. Likewise, you probably know people who started in security and left, or who still have a different job title but read blogs like this one because their job includes something less than 50% information security. (That is, they wear multiple hats). Others are assigned to a security function against their will or leave a security office despite their love for the field (when a too-tempting opportunity arises). Some come back, others never will.” WHY BECOME A CYBER PRO? This CompTIA article outlines some of the top jobs in cybersecurity, with average salaries: 1. Cybersecurity Analyst $95,000 2. Cybersecurity Consultant $91,000 3. Cyber Security Manager/Administrator $105,000 4. Software Developer/Engineer $110,140* 5. Systems Engineer $90,920 6. Network Engineer/Architect $83,510* 7. Vulnerability Analyst/Penetration Tester $103,000 8. Cyber Security Specialist/Technician $92,000 9. Incident Analyst/Responder $89,000 * Salaries marked with an asterisk (*) came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The article also walks through many of the steps regarding education, certifications and skills. Of course, there are many other great reasons to get into a cyber career beyond pay and benefits, including helping society, the fascinating changes that grow with new technology deployment, a huge need, the ability to work remotely (often), and the potential for a wide variety of relationships and global travel if desired. Becoming a CISO (or CSO) is another important role, with CISO salaries all over the map but averaging $173,740 according to Glassdoor. OTHER HELPFUL ARTICLES ON BECOMING A CYBER PRO Yes, I have written on this topic of cybersecurity careers many times over the past decade-plus. Here are a few of those articles: • “The case for taking a government cyber job: 7 recommendations to consider” • “Why Are Some Cybersecurity Professionals Not Finding Jobs?” • “Why You Should Consider a Career in Government Cyber Security” • “Play a Game - Get a Job: GCHQ’s New Tool to Recruit Cyber Talent” FINAL THOUGHTS Many people are now considering career changes as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cybersecurity is one of the hottest fields that has staying power for decades. At the same time, Bloomberg is reporting that U.S. job openings are at record levels. Also, Business Insider is offering a template to revamp your resume and get a remote job anywhere in the world. So even if the obstacles look daunting, a career in cybersecurity may be just the long-term change you are looking for. Article Orginal Source: https://www.govtech.com/blogs/lohrmann-on-cybersecurity/what-does-it-take-to-be-a-cybersecurity-professional

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New ‘Haken’ Malware Found On Eight Apps In Google Play Store

Article | February 21, 2020

Researchers have identified eight malicious Android apps in the official Google Play marketplace distributing a new malware family. The “Haken” malware exfiltrates sensitive data from victims and covertly signs them up for expensive premium subscription services. The eight apps in question, which have since been removed, had collectively been downloaded 50,000 times. The apps were mostly camera utilities and children’s games, including “Kids Coloring,” “Compass,” “qrcode,” “Fruits coloring book,” “soccer coloring book,” “fruit jump tower,” “ball number shooter” and “Inongdan.” The apps legitimately function as advertised, but in the background covertly perform an array of malicious functions. “Haken has shown clicking capabilities while staying under the radar of Google Play,” said researchers with Check Point Research, in an analysis on Friday. “Even with a relatively low download count of 50,000+, this campaign has shown the ability that malicious actors have to generate revenue from fraudulent advertising campaigns.

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Here’s What Universities Need to Know About Cyber-Attacks

Article | June 1, 2021

Over the last year, the education delivery model has changed rapidly. Universities have learnt to operate entirely remotely and now that learning may resume in person, a hybrid education model will likely continue. The transition from physical to online models happened so quickly that it left many IT networks exposed to serious harm from outside forces. With a hybrid model, there is likely a widening attack surface area. A recent spate of attacks suggests that cyber-criminals are taking notice of the seemingly infinite weaknesses in learning centers defenses. But why? One of the primary reasons is that universities operate large corporate-sized networks, but without the budgets to match. Add to that, teachers and students aren’t given training to use and connect their technology in a safe way. To avoid falling victim to devastating cyber-attacks which often have dire consequences, we share three lessons universities need to quickly take on board. Your Research is Valuable to Cyber-Criminals There is a hefty price tag on some of the research conducted by universities, which makes it particularly attractive to cyber-criminals. The University of Oxford’s Division of Structural Biology was targeted in February by hackers snooping around, potentially in search of information about the vaccine the university has worked on with AstraZeneca. It’s not just gangs of cyber-criminals targeting research facilities, last year Russian state backed hackers were accused by official sources in the US, UK and Canada of trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research. With world-leading research hidden in the networks of universities, its unsurprising that last year over half (54%) of universities surveyed said that they had reported a breach to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). The research conducted by many UK universities makes them an attractive target for financially motivated cyber-criminals and state-sponsored hackers in search of valuable intellectual property. To add insult to injury, ransomware attackers are doubling their opportunity for pay off by selling off the stolen information to the highest bidder, causing a serious headache for the victims while potentially increasing the value of their pay-out. Personal Information of Students and Staff Can Easily Fall into the Wrong Hands Based on tests of UK university defenses, hackers were able to obtain ‘high-value’ data within two hours in every case. In many cases, successful cyber-attacks are followed by not only a ransom note demanding payment for the recovery of frozen or stolen data, but also the added threat of sharing any sensitive stolen information with the public.

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Spotlight

FDM Group

FDM Group is an international IT services provider with centres in the UK, Mainland Europe, North America and Asia. FDM services over 130 clients worldwide in 8 service areas: Project Management Office, Business Analysis, Data and Operations, Testing, Development, Production Support, MX.3 Production Support and Client Training. FDM is renowned for its superior performance and high-class solutions, which are tailored to suit individual clients and projects. A profound understanding of current technologies allows FDM to deliver even the most complex projects successfully. Our flexible approach continues to add value across the globe, which is why many of our clients have been loyal to FDM for decades.

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