The Intelligent Choice for Cybersecurity

| January 17, 2017

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The cybersecurity market continues to experience explosive growth as companies seek better solutions to protect critical systems and data, struggle to fill nearly a million open job positions worldwide, and enhance their overall risk management posture. The continued growth stems from the reality that IT executives and SecOps staff face increased threats from evolving attack sophistication, and a mandate to ensure the organization is protected against compromise and the exfiltration, manipulation, or destruction of data. Moreover, the risk from these threats has grown exponentially as the modern world goes digital. Consider the fact that the average global cost of a data breach per lost or stolen record is $158 and the average time to identify a malicious attack is 229 days. In addition, ZDNet reported that the cost of ransomware attacks for 2016 will top $1 billion.

Spotlight

3Pillar Global

3Pillar Global is a new breed of digital product development company. We are borne from the world of hands-on software engineering and place an acute focus on business growth. 3Pillar’s key differentiator is what we call the Product Mindset. Our development teams are empowered to focus on the business problems clients face and how a digital product will impact their customers. All 3Pillar team members around the globe are trained on the Product Mindset’s core values – Build for Outcomes, Minimize Time to Value, and Excel at Change.

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The Coronavirus is Already Taking Effect on Cyber Security– This is How CISOs Should Prepare

Article | March 18, 2020

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Cybersecurity: Five Key Questions The CEO Must Ask

Article | March 18, 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. 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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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COVID-19 and Amygdala Hijacking in Cyber Security Scams

Article | March 18, 2020

What races through your mind when you see “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19”? Fear, anxiety, curiosity… these internal reactions can prompt actions that we may not normally take. Recent attacks have been sending out mandatory meeting invites that ask you to log in to accounts. Others have been receiving emails to put themselves on a waiting list for a vaccine or treatment. The heightened emotions we experience when we see emails, or messages like this, may prompt us to give personal information out more willingly than we usually would. Security awareness takes a back seat as emotion takes over. It’s known as amygdala hijacking. Why does this happen to us? The amygdala is a small part of the brain that is largely responsible for generating emotional responses. An amygdala hijack is when something generates an overwhelming and immediate emotional response.Many common cyber security scams use amygdala hijacking to their benefit. We see this used often in phishing, vishing, SMShing, and impersonation attacks. Chris Hadnagy of Social-Engineer, LLC did a case study on amygdala hijacking in social engineering.

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How much do behavioural biometrics improve cyber security?

Article | March 18, 2020

Experts often consider biometrics security the next big thing in cyber security. It encompasses a broad category that includes verifying a person's fingerprint, iris, gait and other factors that should be unique to the person checked. However, various tests proved that some biometric-based security has substantial room for improvement For example, researchers have hacked into smartphones that have fingerprint scanners by pressing the print of the rightful owner into a piece of Play-Doh and holding that impression against the reader. What those results indicate is that people should not assume that biometrics options are a foolproof choice for cyber security needs.

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Spotlight

3Pillar Global

3Pillar Global is a new breed of digital product development company. We are borne from the world of hands-on software engineering and place an acute focus on business growth. 3Pillar’s key differentiator is what we call the Product Mindset. Our development teams are empowered to focus on the business problems clients face and how a digital product will impact their customers. All 3Pillar team members around the globe are trained on the Product Mindset’s core values – Build for Outcomes, Minimize Time to Value, and Excel at Change.

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