First steps Trump should take on cybersecurity

| December 22, 2016

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Despite all the hullabaloo about cybersecurity during the presidential campaign — from the WikiLeaks dumps of hacked emails to the Russia-linked breach of state electoral machinery — there was surprisingly little substantive talk by the candidates about how to stop cyberattacks. Now it will be up to President-elect Trump and his administration to figure out ways to thwart the cyber crime that is occurring with greater frequency and severity against businesses, governments and critical infrastructure. Shoring up cybersecurity is a massive and complex issue, but the new administration can take positive near-term steps in its own backyard by better protecting government data and creating accountability for departments and agencies.

Spotlight

Okta, Inc.

Okta is the foundation for secure connections between people and technology. By harnessing the power of the cloud, Okta allows people to access applications on any device at any time, while still enforcing strong security policies. It integrates directly with an organization’s existing directories and identity systems, as well as 4,000+ applications. Because Okta runs on an integrated platform, organizations can implement the service quickly at large scale and low total cost. Thousands of customers, including Adobe, Allergan, Chiquita, LinkedIn, and Western Union, trust Okta to help their organizations work faster, boost revenue and stay secure.

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5 Benefits of Investing in Cyber Security & IT solutions in 2021

Article | June 2, 2021

Cyber Security has quickly evolved from being just an IT problem to a business problem. Recent attacks like those on Travelex and the SolarWinds hack have proved that cyber-attacks can affect the most solid of businesses and create PR nightmares for brands built painstakingly over the years. Investing in cyber security training, cyber security advisory services and the right kind of IT support products, has therefore, become imperative in 2021. Investing in cyber security infrastructure, cyber security certification for employees and IT solutions safeguards businesses from a whole spectrum of security risks, ransomware, spyware, and adware. Ransomware refers to malicious software that bars users from accessing their computer system, whereas adware is a computer virus that is one of the most common methods of infecting a computer system with a virus. Spyware spies on you and your business activities while extracting useful information. Add social engineering, security breaches and compromises to your network security into the mix, and you have a lethal cocktail.

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CYBERSECURITY AND CORONAVIRUS: KEEPING YOUR BUSINESS SAFE

Article | March 19, 2020

Measures to mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 have led to an unprecedented increase in remote working across the board. Our guest author Philip Blake, European Regional Director at EC-Council and cybersecurity expert, outlines key challenges and tips for staying secure while away from the office. As governments and businesses work on mitigating the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing measures are leading to an increase in remote working across all sectors. The reasoning behind the measures is best left to health authorities, and are discussed at length elsewhere. The purpose of this article is to shed light on some of the key cybersecurity challenges around the sudden spike in remote work arrangements, and propose potential measures to keep networks as secure as possible during these times.

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Cybersecurity: Five Key Questions The CEO Must Ask

Article | December 15, 2020

Just about every single day, somewhere in the world, a company falls victim to cyber attackers, even with millions spent on cybersecurity. Every company is a target because they have data and there are too many doors, windows and entryways for cyber attackers to get in, whether on-premise or in the cloud. It is not a question of if, but when, the attackers will get in. Prevention efforts are of course important, but since attackers will get in, equal attention must be on detection going forward. And the focus must be on early detection, otherwise, it will be too late. My book, Next Level Cybersecurity, is based on intensive reviews of the world’s largest hacks and uncovers the signals of the attackers that companies are either missing or don’t know how to detect early, apart from all of the noise. So, the attackers are slipping by the cybersecurity, staying undetected and stealing data or committing other harm. In the book I explain the Cyber Attack Chain. It is a simplified model that shows the steps that cyber attackers tend to follow in just about every single hack. There are five steps: external reconnaissance; intrusion; lateral movement; command and control; and execution. At each step, there will be signals of the attackers’ behavior and activity. But the signals in the intrusion, lateral movement and command and control steps provide the greatest value because they are timely. The external reconnaissance step is very early and the signals may not materialize into an attack, while detecting signals in the execution step is too late because by this time the data theft or harm will have already occurred. My research uncovered 15 major signals in the intrusion, lateral movement and command and control steps that should be the focus of detection. My research of the world’s largest hacks reveals that if the company had detected signals of the attackers early, in the intrusion, lateral movement or command and control steps, they would have been able to stop the hack and prevent the loss or damage. My book shows how to detect the signals in time, using a seven-step early detection method. One of the key steps in this method is to map relevant signals to the Crown Jewels (crucial data, IP or other assets). It is a great use case for machine learning and AI. There is a lot of noise, so machine learning and AI can help eliminate false positives and expose the attackers’ signals early to stop the hack. There are two blind spots that just about every single company world-wide faces that cyber attackers will exploit, beginning in 2019, that companies must get on top of. One blind spot is the cloud. There is a false sense of comfort and lack of attention to detection, thinking the cloud is safer because of the cloud provider’s cybersecurity or because the cloud provider has an out-of-the-box monitoring system. However, if the company fails to identify all Crown Jewels and map all relevant cyber attacker signals for the monitoring, the attackers will get in, remain undetected and steal data or commit other harm in the cloud. The other blind spot is Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices (e.g. smart TVs, webcams, routers, sensors, etc.), with 5G on the way, will be ubiquitous in companies world-wide. While IoT devices provide many benefits, they are a weak link in the chain due to poor built-in security and lack of monitoring. Cyber attackers will focus on IoT devices to make the intrusion, then pivot to get to the Crown Jewels. Detecting early signals of cyber attackers trying to exploit IoT devices will be critical. Companies world-wide need to make cybersecurity a priority, starting in the board room and with the CEO. It all starts at the top. My intensive reviews of the world’s largest hacks reveal in each case a common theme: inadequate or missing CEO and board cybersecurity oversight. Here are five key questions from my book that the CEO must take the lead on and together with the board ask of the management team to make sure the company will not become the next victim of cyber attackers and suffer significant financial and reputational harm: Have we identified all of our Crown Jewels and are not missing any? Do we know where all of the Crown Jewels are located? Have we identified all of the ways cyber attackers could get to the Crown Jewels? Have we mapped high probability signals of cyber attackers trying to get to the Crown Jewels with each Crown Jewel? Are we sifting through all of the noise to detect signals early and reporting to the CEO and the board in a dashboard report for timely oversight? If your answer is No to any of the questions or you are unsure, you have a gap or blind spot and are at risk, and you must follow up to get to a high confidence Yes answer. In my book, Next Level Cybersecurity, I provide other key questions to ask and a practical seven-step method to take cybersecurity to the next level to stay one step ahead of the attackers. It is written in plain language for boards, executives and management, so everyone can get on the same page and together mitigate one of the most significant and disruptive risks faced today, cybersecurity.

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A COVID-19 Cybersecurity Poll: Securing a Remote Workforce

Article | March 17, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe, and cities and states impose social-distancing measures, businesses are sending their users home to work. And this massive, unprecedented shift to distance working brings with it a whole new set of cybersecurity challenges. For instance, a lack of IT resources can bite many organizations as they move to enable remote strategies. And when workers and students are sent outside the normal perimeter, managing device sprawl, and patching and securing hundreds of thousands of endpoints, becomes a much a bigger challenge. Threatpost editors wanted to learn more about challenges and best practices from the IT and security professionals on the front lines of this. Please take a few minutes to take the Threatpost poll. The answers will be collected the results will be published in an article later this week.

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Spotlight

Okta, Inc.

Okta is the foundation for secure connections between people and technology. By harnessing the power of the cloud, Okta allows people to access applications on any device at any time, while still enforcing strong security policies. It integrates directly with an organization’s existing directories and identity systems, as well as 4,000+ applications. Because Okta runs on an integrated platform, organizations can implement the service quickly at large scale and low total cost. Thousands of customers, including Adobe, Allergan, Chiquita, LinkedIn, and Western Union, trust Okta to help their organizations work faster, boost revenue and stay secure.

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