Monthly ArchivesNovember 2011

What Does Your Perfect Setup Look Like? standard

The uses and appearances of information technology has changed dramatically over the last ten years. And the ten years prior to that, and the ten prior to that. It’s amazing to think that the devices most of us carry around in our pockets are more powerful than some desktops twenty years ago, and more powerful than rooms filled floor to ceiling with computer hardware forty years ago. The use cases have changed as well—so much so that we have monetized IT to the point where we cannot conduct business without it. Protecting our IT systems isn’t just a “nice to have” anymore, it’s required to protect the investments entrusted to us. Ten years ago phones were phones, and you had ...

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Collateral Damage is One Click Away standard

Social engineering is now recognized as one of the top threats to enterprise security. I think we all have had side conversations with security leaders inside companies validating this concept for years, but not until recently have we seen it pass other threats in such a public forum. Those same security leaders have struggled with mitigating the threat because they instinctively jump to a Draconian view of information security policy enforcement as the only solution. It certainly would be effective in some ways, but morale would plummet and the creative technophiles would find ways to free themselves from such Athenian legislation. The irony is that many of these controls are not only designed to protect our information assets, but also ...

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Man Up MDs! standard

Doctors have been the butt of jokes for years. But this post is no joke. Over the last five years I’ve been exposed to the back-of-house operations in healthcare in ways that helps put the front-of-house issues I observed into perspective. But one thing has always driven me batty, and I’ve never been able to figure out why. I’ve met some extremely talented doctors in my time that absolutely shocked me with their sheer intellect and problem solving abilities. But when it comes to protecting the information of the patients they serve, they just cannot be bothered. Even when they attempt to be bothered, many of them miss the point. MDs must understand that malpractice lawsuits aren’t the only thing ...

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Exploiting Human Trust and Complacency standard

I was speaking with an industry insider a few weeks ago and he started asking questions about supply-chain security. We kicked off a rather awkward discussion whereby I dipped into my SCM educational background and he tried to convey his actual meaning which was much closer to informational supply chains, or better yet, the flow of trusted information. This lead to a great hour of discussion about an attack vector that I call, Exploiting Human Trust and Complacency. I’ve blogged about social engineering and the new perimeter (Sally in Accounting) in the past, and this expands upon that very notion. How do attackers take advantage of this attack surface, and how are they so successful? Before we delve into that, ...

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PCI DSS Feedback Period Begins TODAY standard

Remember all that stuff about a three-year life cycle? Well, it’s now officially phase 4, the beginning of the feedback period! What needs fixing in your opinion? What needs clarification? Theoretically, you should have had some time to investigate how the new version impacts your environment, and thought about implementation if not already validated against 2.0 this year. Unless your acquirer tells you otherwise, you will be validating against 2.0 next year. So far, the biggest complaints I have heard from stakeholders is the lack of cloud and mobility as well as confusion around scope. One of my issues (which I am unsure if the Council is willing to solve) is around the sampling methodology and risk assessment thresholds that ...

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