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Steps forward

 

GUEST ESSAY: A call for rethinking incidence response playbooks

By Liz Maida

We see it week after week. Insidious cyber threats that spread throughout enterprises like wildfire and proliferate around the globe, interfering with crucial work and holding data hostage. These attacks make the news cycle for a few days, security teams wring their hands over it, and then forget all about it – until the next attack. Lather, rinse, repeat.

When will the security community get smarter about our approach to identifying and thwarting cyber threats, instead of just responding to the one at hand?

Related video: Tempered Networks introduces identity-based networks

The known threat of today — whether it’s malware, social engineering or phishing — inevitably morphs into the zero-day threat of tomorrow. Which means that all the tactical work security teams …more

PODCAST: Why ‘machine learning’ is perfectly suited to mitigating network breaches

By Byron V. Acohido

The essence of  “machine learning” is that ML is perfectly suited to extracting value from large sets of data.

Thus, whether you realize it or not, ML has come to intersect with just about every aspect of daily living. ML today is used pervasively to profile our online behaviors. When we search for something on Google, make a purchase on Amazon, stream a movie from Netflix, post to Facebook, or Tweet, all of that data is stored and analyzed. And now ML advances are being applied to vehicle and driver data to rapidly steer us (pun intended) towards everyday dependence on driverless vehicles.

But there is another arena where one would expect ML to be making a much larger impact than it has to date: cybersecurity.

Related article: 2018 – Year of the CISO

Consider this: the typical corporate IT system is a sprawling amoeba generating large sets of data, minute-by-minute, day-by-day, from dozens of disparate systems. Hidden in this tumult of network logs are the fingerprints of threat actors actively stealing and disrupting – or getting into position to do so. …more

PODCAST: The quest for relevant, actionable threat intelligence

By Byron V. Acohido

In the war on cyber crime, access to rich stores of threat intelligence has never really been the problem.

Quasi-government entities, like the United States Computer Emergency and Readiness Team (US-CERT,) and industry sharing groups, like the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACS,) supply a rich baseline of threat data.

Related video: Why the NIST framework is vital to baseline security

Meanwhile, cybersecurity companies like FireEye, Symantec, CrowdStrike, Palo Alto Networks, Dell SecureWorks, Kaspersky Lab and countless others routinely share some of their hard won intel publicly, for the greater good, while keeping some intel close — for primary use by their paying customers.

In 2013 a couple of buddies working as security analysts at organization deep within the U.S. military complex got frustrated by their inability to truly leverage the deluge of threat intel in an efficient way. So the two analysts, Ryan Trost and Wayne Chiang, launched ThreatQuotient. …more

MY TAKE: The way forward, despite overwhelming cyber threats

By Byron V. Acohido

NEW YORK CITY – Cyber Connect 2017 cybersecurity summit that just wrapped up at the beautiful Grand Hyatt located adjacent to Grand Central Station here in the Big Apple. I got the chance to be on the other side of the interview, sitting down with John Furrier and David Vellante, co-hosts of The Cube. We did it live; here’s the recorded stream.

GUEST ESSAY: “Chess Master Project’ should restore resiliency to U.S. power grid

By Paul Myer

The evolving risk of a coordinated, catastrophic, cyberattack on U.S. energy delivery systems (collectively known as “the power grid”) via vulnerable Industrial Control Systems (ICS), resulting in wide spread, prolonged power outages, is not a new concern to energy industry executives or government policy makers.

Owners and operators of energy sector assets understand the possible impacts of coordinated physical and cyber-attacks which threaten reliability and resilience of U.S. energy delivery systems. They experienced havoc and disruptive economic and social impacts from the prolonged power outages over wide-spread areas resulting from the 2003 North East Blackout and the 2011 Southwest Blackout events.

Related podcast: How Russia’s election tampering relates to Ukraine power grid attacks

However, with an industry-standing focus on grid reliability, a lack of qualified cyber security experts, and reliance on the fact that a hypothetical cyberattack event resulting in wide spread outages has not yet occurred on the U.S. power grid, energy sector utilities have become complacent in their cyber protection strategies. …more

Q&A: How the ‘PKI ecosystem’ could be the answer to securing the Internet of Things

By Byron V. Acohido

Google is making a big push to compel website publishers to jettison HTTP and adopt HTTPS Transport Layer Security (TLS) as a de facto standard, and it’s expanding use of this important encryption technology.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), are the underpinnings of secure online transactions. They come into play in the form of digital certificates issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs) —  vendors that diligently verify the authenticity of websites, and then also help the website owners encrypt the information consumers type into web page forms.

This robust protection gets implemented by leveraging an encryption and authentication framework called the public key infrastructure (PKI.) This all happens in the blink of an eye when you visit …more

PODCAST: ‘Homomorphic encryption’ emerges as the Holy Grail of cloud computing

By Byron V. Acohido

I recently learned that there is an acute limitation to otherwise empowering cloud storage and processing services, such as Amazon EC2, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. It has to do with the circumstances under which business data gets transported to, and stored in, cloud storage facilities.

Some context: Organizations today do a terrific job encrypting data kept in storage (data at rest) and also encrypting data as it is being transported to and from cloud storage facilities (data in transit.) However, to actually do a simple search, or otherwise access and massage this data when it is stored up in the cloud, both the query and the stored data must be decrypted. And herein lies the security shortfall.

Related article: Encryption …more