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PODCAST: Why your browser presents a big risk

By Byron V. Acohido

While many organizations have set up defenses for malware that could come in through email, the browsers we use to access the internet might be of equal or greater risk.

I spoke with Lance Cottrell, Ntrepid’s chief scientist, about browser security—or lack of security—and what can be done to protect devices and networks. Some takeaways:

Living with insecure browsers

No one can really opt out of using the web, Cottrell says. “It’s integral to everything we do all the time. But at the same time, it is, because of its capabilities, uniquely vulnerable out of all the applications that we use.”

The real challenge is maintaining functionality and security at the same …more

INFOGRAPHIC: How humans can be a company’s most important firewall

By Rodika Tollefson

Lack of resources is one of the top barriers preventing small- and medium-size businesses from implementing cybersecurity training for employees. But smaller organizations have several advantages when it comes to training—and a much smaller training scope could have a bigger impact on preventing a data breach.

There’s no question that SMBs are vulnerable. Of 16,401 IT and IT security practitioners at small- and medium-size businesses surveyed by Ponemon Institute in 2016, 55 percent had experienced a cyber attack at their organization in the past 12 months. The study, sponsored by Keeper Security, also found that 50 percent had a data breach involving customer and employee information in the same period.


PODCAST: Former White House CIO — companies need cyber defense strategy

By Byron V. Acohido

Theresa Payton honed her cybersecurity skills as the White House’s first female chief information officer, under President George W. Bush. Payton is now president and CEO of cybersecurity consulting company Fortalice Solutions. I had the chance to interview her at the recent Enfuse 2017 cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas.

We discussed how digital attacks have increased, what strategies embattled organizations should embrace and why über-competitive tech security vendors need to learn to share threat intelligence more readily. Here are a few top takeaways:

DIY hacking increases When Payton was at the White House, she says cyber criminals and terrorists had to have skill and talent to break into digital systems. Now, with emerging technologies, “it’s never been easier and …more

PODCAST: Why small- and mid-sized businesses should strongly consider using an MSSP

By Byron V. Acohido

How Armor got started stands out. Founder and CEO Chris Drake was serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, when he was selected to build some of the Army’s first private and secure websites.

After his military service, Drake started a marketing and web development company focused on securing critical data and systems for commercial websites. One day a well-known poultry company came to Drake for help responding to a major security breach around the holiday season, a breach that impacted its customers at a particularly bad time.

Filling a need

Drake couldn’t find a provider that offered a level of security he felt the poultry …more

VIDEO: Why the rising use of biometric authentication is driving states to regulate privacy

By Byron V. Acohido

Using biometrics to verify one’s identity is no longer something you’d expect to see only in a Hollywood depiction of a dystopian future. Biometric identification has been in practical use for a while now, and the technology is getting more sophisticated every day.

As you might expect, privacy concerns have arisen along the way. And now the legal ramifications are getting more complicated.

Washington state last month passed House Bill 1493: pioneering legislation forbidding businesses from obtaining or selling biometric information without the consent of the individual. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected any day to sign the new law, which is directed at concerns about the use of biometric identifiers to commit identity fraud.

I recently sat …more

PODCAST: Putting machine learning to work ferreting out data anomalies

By Byron V. Acohido

Machine learning has been a staple of our consumer-driven economy for some time now.

When you buy something on Amazon or watch something on Netflix or even pick up groceries at your local supermarket, the data generated by that transaction is invariably collected, stored, analyzed and acted upon.

Machines, no surprise, are perfectly suited to digesting mountains of data, observing our patterns of consumption, and creating profiles of our behaviors that help companies better market their goods and services to us.

Yet it’s only been in the past few years that machine learning, aka data mining, aka artificial intelligence, has been brought to bear on helping companies defend their business networks.

I spoke with Shehzad Merchant, chief technology officer at Gigamon, …more

Q&A: Why you should think twice about taking your laptop, smartphone on business travel

By Byron V. Acohido

International business travelers take heed: Starting now, and even more so going forward, you’ll need to carefully consider how your computing devices serve as a conduit to sensitive company data.

This includes everything stored directly on your smartphones and laptops—and everything reachable from your personal computing devices that may be stored in the internet cloud.

Electronic media searches by government authorities already were on a steeply rising curve due to terrorist threats. For instance, digital device searches at U.S. border crossings rose to 23,877 in 2016 vs. just 4,764 in 2015.

Related article: Snowden expounds on government surveillance at Privacy XChange Forum

Then in early March, President Trump issued an executive order signaling that travelers entering the United States—including attorneys with cloud access to …more