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GUEST ESSAY: The Top 5 online privacy and data security threats faced by the elderly

By Lyle Solomon

What is it about the elderly that makes them such attractive targets for cybercriminals? A variety of factors play a role.

Related: The coming of bio-digital twins

Unlike many younger users online, they may have accumulated savings over their lives — and those nest eggs are a major target for hackers. Now add psychological variables to the mix of assets worth stealing.

Perhaps elderly folks who haven’t spent a lot of time online are easier to deceive. And, let’s be honest, the deceptive writing phishing assaults and other cyber threats today employ are skilled enough to fool even the most trained, internet-savvy experts.

Ever present threats

Some of our elderly may be concerned that any hint of weakness will convince their relatives that they can no longer live alone. Thus hackers rely on them not revealing they’ve been duped. That said, here are what I consider to be the Top 5 online threats seniors face today:

•Computer tech support scams. These scams take advantage of seniors’ lack of computer and cybersecurity knowledge. A pop-up message or blank screen typically appears on a computer or phone, informing you that your system has been compromised and requires repair.

GUEST ESSAY – The role of automation in keeping software from malicious, unintended usage

By Dan Chernov

Writing a code can be compared to writing a letter.

Related: Political apps promote division

When we write a letter, we write it in the language we speak — and the one that the recipient understands. When writing a code, the developer does it in a language that the computer understands, that is, a programing language.  With this language, the developer describes a program scenario that determines what the program is required to do, and under what circumstances.

If we make mistakes or typos in the text of the letter, its content becomes distorted. Our intentions or requests can get misinterpreted. The same thing happens when the developer makes errors in the code, resulting in inadvertent vulnerabilities.

Then the operating scenarios of the system become different from those originally intended by the software developer. As a result, the system can be brought into a non-standard condition, which was not provided for by the software developer. Thus, an attacker can manipulate these non-standard conditions for their own purposes.

As an example, let’s take SQL injection, one of the most well-known methods of hacking online applications. Suppose we have an online service, an online bank, for instance. We enter our login and password to sign in.  In a SQL injection attack the intruder inserts malicious code into the lines that are sent to the server for analysis and execution. With a user account, the attacker can bring the system into an abnormal condition and get access to other users’ accounts.

GUEST ESSAY: A Memorial Day call to upskill more veterans for in-demand cybersecurity roles

By Jack Koziol

It’s no secret that cybersecurity roles are in high demand. Today there are more than 500,000 open cybersecurity roles in the U.S., leaving organizations vulnerable to cyber threats.

Related: Deploying employees as threat sensors

Meanwhile, 200,000 well-trained and technically skilled military service members are discharged each year.

These individuals have many transferable skills that would make cybersecurity a prosperous civilian career. Yet, there’s still work to be done to make this path more accessible and known among the veteran and transitioning military community.

Fundamentally, cybersecurity professionals identify weaknesses and design systems and processes to protect any organization — government agencies, private companies — from cyberattacks. Veterans have the characteristics that make them ideal for these roles. They’re exceptional at working in high-pressure environments, managing confidential information, solving complex problems and responding systematically.

Better still, cybersecurity jobs offer the individuals who have served our country a fulfilling career. Cybersecurity jobs are always available and offer many options for people who want to work remotely or move around the country for family or career reasons. Plus — they tend to pay well too. The average salary is $116,000 annually plus benefits.

GUEST ESSAY: Why organizations need to prepare for cyber attacks fueled by quantum computers

By Skip Sanzeri

In today’s times, we are more aware of cyberattacks as these have become front-page news. We most recently witnessed this as Russia invaded Ukraine. Cyberattacks were used as the first salvo before any bullet or missile was fired.

Related: The role of post-quantum encryption

We live in an increasingly digitized world where digital footprints are left behind, leaving evidence of nearly everything we do. This enables our adversaries to gain extremely valuable information and to steal, disrupt or even harm with simple keystrokes on a distant computer.

Quantum computers pose yet another looming threat since it has been mathematically proven that quantum computers with enough power will crack all the world’s public encryption. When these computers come online, any company or federal agency that is not upgraded to post-quantum cybersecurity will leave its data vulnerable to attackers. Even worse, data that is being stolen today is sitting on servers in other countries waiting to be decrypted by quantum computers.

Why Now?

It is now more important than ever for companies to share cyberattack and ransomware data with the government to ensure that we can defend and prepare much better than before.

On March 15, 2022, a new bipartisan legislation cyber incident reporting law called the “Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act” was passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden which requires critical infrastructure leaders in commercial enterprises and government to report cyber incidents to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cyber and infrastructure security agency (CISA).

GUEST ESSAY: Deploying ‘XDR’ can help companies avoid the security ‘vendor-silo’ trap

By Christian Espinosa

According to recent data from Oracle and KPMG, organizations today employ over 100 cybersecurity products to secure their environments. These products play essential roles in detecting and preventing threats.

Related: Taking a ‘risk-base’ approach to security compliance

However, because they generate thousands of alerts every day, this vast sprawl of security sources adds even more work to already over-stretched security teams. It could create a cybersecurity ticking time bomb.

Many organizations have recently undertaken rapid digital transformations in response to the ongoing pandemic and a societal shift toward a “work from anywhere” future. This hybrid model has created exciting opportunities for employees and organizations and significantly raised the security stakes.

Most combine the cloud, Office 365, and Active Directory to store and transfer sensitive corporate data, and they need security solutions to protect their entire environment as it grows and evolves. The once “protective perimeter” surrounding enterprise IT has dissolved, transforming it from a closed environment into one that spans far and wide with copious entry points.

To address this security challenge, organizations are deploying more security products today. This seems to be creating new problems in vendor sprawl, further burdening security teams with more to do. The challenge is that disparate vendors do not represent data in the same way, so there is no correlation between dashboards and metrics.

When organizations have two or three security platforms protecting their environment, security teams must toggle between them and make sense of disparate data sets. This often results in a lack of clarity, inhibiting them from seeing the big picture of what is really happening in their security environment. This is why cyber gangs tend to favor layered attacks. They’re harder to identify across disparate security data sets.

GUEST ESSAY: Here’s why managed security services — MSS and MSSP — are catching on

By Morten Kjaersgaard

The unification revolution of cybersecurity solutions has started – and managed security service providers are leading the way. Managed security services (MSS) refer to a service model that enable the monitoring and managing of security technologies, systems, or even software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. Here’s more on the various types and benefits of MSS, as well as the state of the MSS(P) market in 2022!

Related: Reviving ‘observability’ to secure complex networks

Fully-managed vs. co-managed

The current unification in the cybersecurity market is driving a massive movement towards fewer vendors, which at the same time means more polarization of either using MSS/MSSP or doing the security work internally.

In terms of Managed Security Services, they can be fully-managed or co-managed. In the case of fully-managed security services, the provider of security services owns the security technologies and maintains and monitors the incidents gathered by these tools and technologies. Fully-managed security services represent, of course, a particularly good bet for budget-conscious companies or for those who lack the internal capabilities to study and handle a wide range of technologies

Co-managed security services best suit those companies that capitalize a variety of security systems but lack the internal security personnel needed to monitor these solutions 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Managed security services providers (MSSP) can help their customers learn more about the capabilities and functioning of each tool, as well as set up the appropriate configuration, allowing their employees to focus on more strategic security objectives.

Tipping the scale favorably

Whether you prioritize cybersecurity or not, cybercriminals will always prioritize (their own) profit, as the attacks described in our 2021 Threat Report prove. Under these circumstances, it’s crucial to understand that MSS can truly help you tip the scales in your favor. Here’s why:

•Managed security services provide round-the-clock monitoring 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. A significant advantage, because handling business security … more

GUEST ESSAY: A primer on content management systems (CMS) — and how to secure them

By Sebastian Gierlinger

You very likely will interact with a content management system (CMS) multiple times today.

Related: How ‘business logic’ hackers steal from companies

For instance, the The Last Watchdog article you are reading uses a CMS to store posts, display them in an attractive manner, and provide search capabilities. Wikipedia uses a CMS for textual entries, blog posts, images, photographs, videos, charts, graphics, and “talk pages” that help its many contributors collaborate.

Chances are strong that your corporate website uses a CMS, and perhaps you have a separate CMS for documents and other files shared by your employees, partners, and suppliers.

Security is essential for a CMS. That’s obviously true if the content in that system requires some level of privacy and access control for internal use, such as for legal documents, customer contracts, and other assets. Security is also necessary if your retrieval system (such as a website or mobile app) has a paywall or is restricted to only a subset of people, such as customers or resellers.

What about public information? Even if you give your content away, you don’t want to allow unauthorized people to add, delete, or tamper with your files.