Information Security Risk and the Need for Quantitative Ratings

ERIC JOHNSON | April 26, 2016

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Credit rating models transformed the way we do business and have existed for almost a century. Now, these same models are inspiring a new way of managing vendor security risk by using externally collected security data to assess and quantify security performance.

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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 is Ransomware and What You Need to Know to Stay Safe?

Article | March 5, 2020

While there may be more than 1 billion pieces of malware prowling the internet for a chance to infect victims, one particular piece of nastiness has been inflicting financial losses and security headaches for years.Known as ransomware, its sole purpose is to block access to computer systems or files until the victim pays a ransom. These ransom demands fluctuate wildly, from the equivalent of a couple of hundred dollars to several hundred thousand. In the simplest terms, ransomware is a piece of malicious software that prevents users from using their devices or accessing their personal or important files, unless a sum of money is paid. Payment is usually demanded in cryptocurrency, such as Monero or Bitcoin. Victims are told to purchase these digital assets and then transfer them to the attackers.

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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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Security by Sector: Medical IoT Gets Much Needed Dose of Cybersecurity

Article | February 20, 2020

The subject of how information security impacts different industry sectors is an intriguing one. For example, how does the finance industry fare in terms of information security compared to the health sector, or the entertainment business? Are there some sectors that face greater cyber-threats and risks than others? Do some do a better job of keeping data secure, and if so, how and why? Information security risks and challenges in the healthcare industry are well documented and much maligned. There are several reasons why the healthcare sector is particularly vulnerable, but one of the chief causations is the high amount of connected yet insecure devices commonly used within hospitals, clinics and medical centers. For example, a report from researchers at healthcare cybersecurity company CyberMDX discovered that connected medical devices are twice as likely to be vulnerable to the BlueKeep exploit compared to other devices on hospital networks.

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ConRes

ConRes is a private, Women-Owned IT solutions provider that helps organizations overcome challenges in four key areas: cloud, data center, digital infrastructure and security. By partnering with best-in-breed manufacturers, we bridge the gap between the manufacturer and the customer, making it easier for organizations to design, procure, implement and support IT solutions.

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