Cyber Security Awareness and Vulnerabilities Blog

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Typing on computer with security shield

How Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) Improves Security, Efficiency, and Compliance

Aug 29, 2019
In the complicated, tangled web of managing user rights, permissions and accounts, keeping track of who has access to different resources can seem nearly impossible. Organizations today are facing increasing demands, mandates, and compliance regulations as they manage access and support countless devices and systems that contain data critical to the organization. Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solutions have provided the capability to create and manage user accounts, roles, and access rights for individual users in an organization.
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IT Security

When is a False Positive Not a False Positive in Cybersecurity?

Aug 15, 2019
The phrase “false positive” has become so ubiquitous in Information Security that we often don’t stop to consider what it means or how it is used. Many use the term to describe every alert generated by a tool that does not lead to the discovery of a true infection when investigated. If every alert activated for trivial information is considered a false positive, this may overstate the intention and function of the tool and may even give the user a false sense that the tool has more features than it actually does.
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Alert symbol in computer code

Silencing the Bells: How a SIEM Can Prevent Alert Fatigue

Jul 29, 2019
Security teams are perpetually busy protecting their organization’s data, so with the incessant pings of relentless security notifications, it’s no wonder that they feel as though their ears are ringing. As organizations grow and add more and more tools, the danger of alert fatigue grows. With hundreds of alerts pouring in, it’s difficult to discern which ones truly need attention. Worrisome vulnerabilities and dangerous malware can easily slip through the cracks, even though a security team was technically warned of the threat.
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Security Tips

10 Reasons Linux Attacks Happen and How to Avoid Them

Jul 28, 2019
It was once hard to believe, but Linux users are now starting to understand that the malware-free experience they once had is quickly disappearing. And it’s a big wake-up call.
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Security Tips

How to Use Social Engineering Penetration Tests to Protect Against Phishing Attacks

Jul 22, 2019
As long as you have an email address, you will forever be sent phishing emails attempting to lure you into some malicious activity. While we’re all familiar with the concept of these emails, it’s another thing entirely when it comes to designing one. Pen testers are given just such a task when they are charged with simulating a phishing campaign for an organization.
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Security Tips

How to Manage Identities for Contractors, Consultants, and Other Non-Employees

Jul 17, 2019
For years, organizations have recognized the need to pay close attention to and manage the access that their employees have with the help of identity governance and administration solutions.  More recently, organizations are also being faced with the reality that they need to apply the same level of governance to non-employees as well. According to a 2018 Opus-sponsored Ponemon study, 59 percent of companies said they have experienced a data breach caused by one of their vendors or third parties. Many of these breaches go undetected.
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Security Compliance

Secure Transactions: A PCI DSS & PA-DSS Overview and Compliance Checklist

Jul 8, 2019
  With the advent of the Internet in the late 1990s, credit card fraud surged. Though credit card companies came out with their own individual security programs, merchants accepting multiple types of credit cards had difficulty meeting multiple standards.  Eventually, credit card companies banded together to create the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which was introduced by card service operators worldwide in 2004.                                               
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Virus Protection

Sophos Alternative for UNIX Centralized Management for Antivirus: We're Here to Stay

Jun 10, 2019
Recently, Sophos announced that as of January 2020, management of their antivirus solution for UNIX via their centralized management console would no longer be supported. In reaction to this decision, we would like to take the time to reaffirm our commitment to maintaining support for UNIX cybersecurity. We’re dedicated to not only continuing service for these critical operating systems but releasing ongoing updates that will provide additional value and evolve with these technologies.
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Red and blue colors combining

What’s Your Defense Strategy? Best Practices for Red Teams, Blue Teams, Purple Teams

May 29, 2019
Want to determine the safety of a car? Perform a crash test. One of the most common ways to test the strength of something, particularly when it comes to technology, is by putting it through a stress test. Naturally, this same principle is a critical component of cybersecurity. One of the most effective ways to try and find your security infrastructure’s weaknesses, and your security team’s ability to detect and respond to attacks, is through red team/blue team tests.
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ROI

One (Big) Way to Reduce Helpdesk Costs While Increasing Security

May 21, 2019
  IT teams handle a great number of tasks that enable an organization to run smoothly. These include handling questions related to technical support for the company’s computer systems, software, and hardware, in addition to performing regular system updates and meeting periodic training needs. Yet research shows that helpdesks are also spending anywhere from 20-50 percent of their time dealing with password requests. Why are helpdesks so bogged down with password management tasks, and how can you free up their time while also prioritizing security?
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Computer with ransomware

Diversionary Tactics: The Use of Ransomware as Misdirection

May 9, 2019
Companies today are seeing a disturbing trend when it comes to the most common attacks they are facing. Ransomware is on the rise and no OS is immune. In fact, most reports show that malware on Linux has tripled since 2015. According to the 2019 Malware Report from Cybersecurity Insiders, respondents ranging from technical executives to IT security practitioners from organizations of varying sizes, across multiple industries, offer clarity on what kinds of attacks their organizations are experiencing.
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What is?

What is Rubber Stamping and Why is it a Serious Cybersecurity Concern?

Apr 28, 2019
Bulk approvals of requests to have access to any of the various systems and assets quickly becomes a security concern. In order to avoid giving into the temptation to rush approvals of these requests without adequate review, organizations must first understand the damage that can result from overusing approvals, why it happens, and how this can be prevented.
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Security Tips

The Cybersecurity Dangers of the Dark Web and How to Protect Your Organization

Apr 24, 2019
Even as its top marketplace, Dream Market, prepares to close its doors, the dark web continues to thrive. In fact, Darkode, one of the most well-known hacking forums and black markets, has recently reopened. And what are some of the most common wares at these underground markets? Organizational data, and the tools needed to get more. As long as the dark web exists, organizations must learn more about the threat they pose, and how to protect themselves.
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Identity & Access Management

Five Reasons You Need Identity Governance & Administration

Apr 18, 2019
Demands on organizations continue to intensify – the precarious balance of requests for more access with the need to be more secure is difficult to maintain. Additionally, all of this is to be achieved faster, with fewer resources. It is more important than ever for each organization to develop a strategy for managing and governing user access in an automated manner. A well-defined Identity Governance Administration (IGA) program is becoming an increasingly critical piece of an organization’s security portfolio.
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Security Tips

Five Malicious Insider Threat Indicators and How to Mitigate the Risk

Apr 4, 2019
With the prevalence of cyber attacks from individuals and groups looking to exploit corporate vulnerabilities and sensitive information assets, companies sometimes overlook another common threat: their own employees. It’s incredibly disheartening to think of trusted current or former colleagues looking to exploit sensitive information for their own monetary gain, but it’s increasingly common. Luckily, there are some telltale signs of this malicious activity that can enable you to identify and rectify problems as quickly as possible using the strategies detailed.
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Virus Protection

Teaching Old Malware New Tricks: How the Latest Mirai Variant Targets New Devices

Apr 3, 2019
Learn how Mirai works, what its newest features are, and how you can protect your organization from this destructive malware strain. 
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Six Stages of Penetration Testing

Apr 3, 2019
  Through penetration testing, you can proactively identify the most exploitable security weaknesses before someone else does. However, there’s a lot more to it than the actual act of infiltration. Penetration testing is a thorough, well thought out project that consists of several phases. Read on to learn about what it takes to complete a successful pen test.
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Security Tips

How to Secure the Internet of Things

Mar 30, 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) stands to have a tremendous impact on business – and life – as we know it. Gartner estimates that by 2020 the IoT will grow to 26 billion units installed, and IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services. In the meantime, the cost of adding IoT capability to consumer products will gradually decrease, and connectivity will become ubiquitous. New industries will develop and old ones will disappear altogether or evolve into something entirely new.
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Digital skull

What Are Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)?

Mar 30, 2019
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are a cybercrime category directed at business and political targets. APTs require a high degree of stealth over a prolonged duration of operation in order to be successful. The attack objectives typically extend beyond immediate financial gain, and compromised systems continue to be of service even after key systems have been breached and initial goals reached. APTs can best be summarized by their named requirements:

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Implementing Privileged Access Management Solutions

Mar 21, 2019
For the second year in a row, Privileged Access Management (PAM) is listed as a top security priority by Gartner. Despite being around for decades, PAM tools are becoming increasingly vital as organizations’ access privileges become more complex. In fact, experts predict that more than two thirds will implement PAM in their enterprise by 2020.

Cryptoviral Extortion: The Enduring Problem of Ransomware

Mar 12, 2019
In 1989, the first instance of ransomware was delivered to thousands of people on floppy disks and demanded that money be sent in the form of a cashier’s check or international money order to a P.O. box in Panama. These days, ransomware has become increasingly more streamlined. Just about anyone can purchase a ransomware strain off the dark web and deploy it without needing to be all that tech savvy. Additionally, using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin helps attackers stay anonymous and untraceable. Though modern ransomware is simple to use, its effects can be far reaching and long lasting.
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Security Compliance

Staying Accountable: A Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Overview and Compliance Checklist

Mar 10, 2019
Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, a number of instances of financial fraud were uncovered in large public corporations, leading to a growing feeling of distrust in the market. Back in 2001, for instance, a scandal surrounded the American energy company Enron when they were discovered to have used fraudulent accounting practices and loopholes to hide their losses in financial reports. This incident, along with numerous other scandals like it, prompted the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to provide more oversight.                      
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Fingers types with digital security icons

Penetration Testing: Breaking in to Keep Others Out

Mar 3, 2019
What is Penetration Testing? Penetration testing is a direct test of an application, a device, a website, an organization, and even the people that work at an organization. It first involves attempting to identify and then attempting to exploit different security weaknesses that can be found in these various areas.
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Security Tips

Monitoring Application Security with SIEM

Feb 6, 2019
It always seems like the clichéd image of a security expert is them sitting in a dark room with upwards of four to six bright monitors displaying different complex tasks. Regardless of how many monitors they use, we know security teams are using just as many, if not more, complex tools. According to analyst firm EMA’s Security Megatrend Report, 75% of respondents use more than six consoles to do their jobs.
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IT Security

Evaluating Security Information and Event Management: Eight Criteria for Choosing the Right SIEM Solution

Jan 23, 2019
Imagine if you had cuckoo clock, but instead of chiming at the top of the hour, it chimed after every minute. Not only would you be overwhelmed by noise, you’d also have a hard time figuring what time it was. This is increasingly the experience of IT Teams as they are inundated with syslog events, with no time to discern which alerts should take precedence over others.