2019 Smartphone Cyber Threats

CSO article discusses threats you should take seriously

2019 Smartphone Cyber Threats

Hundreds of millions of people use smartphones on a daily, if not hourly basis. It likely contains your most important personal and financial information. It is a critical 'weak link' in your life from a cyber threat perspective.

CSO Magazine has just published an article discussing the six top mobile phone cyber threats and we agree you should keep these in mind. 

Click here for tips on protecting your smart phone.

Cybersecurity Awareness and Training

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Cybersecurity Awareness and Training

Your employees are arguably your largest attack vector. Therefore, one of the absolute best things you can do to improve your organization’s security posture is to provide employees with effective security awareness training.

Click here for ways to provide effective Security Awareness & Training.

How to Launch a Career in Cybersecurity

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

How to Launch a Career in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a high-growth industry with a serious shortage of available talent. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce there are currently over 300,000 open cybersecurity positions across the United States and experts expect the labor shortage to continue. Because of this, rather than making hiring decisions based on experience, organizations tend to hire based on potential. Organizations evaluate a candidate’s potential to learn the technical skills based on a range of skills and traits such as problem solving and critical thinking, opening up the doors to a wider range of candidates.

Click this link for tips on pursuing a career in Cybersecurity.

How Secure is Your Password?

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

How Secure is Your Password?

If you had 10 security professionals in a room and asked them to create the most secure password, you’d probably walk out with 11 different answers. However, all security professionals will agree that a strong, secure password is your first line of defense from the ever increasing barrage of information breaches and malicious users.

Click here for tips on creating a more secure online experience.

Struggling over NIST SP 800-171?

NIST has an early Holiday gift for you!

Struggling over NIST SP 800-171?

The National Institute of Standards and Testing has recently published a new document that should help guide organizations that must comply with the CUI/CDI regulations, such as DFARS 252.204-7012 and FAR CFR 32 Part 2002. 

They announced the release of this draft publication this month, along with the following information:

It’s crunch time for government contractors. They only have until Dec. 31, 2017, to demonstrate they are providing appropriate cybersecurity for a class of sensitive data called Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)(link is external). Otherwise, they risk losing their contracts. For organizations that may be struggling to meet the deadline, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a new publication intended to help.

NIST’s Draft Special Publication (SP) 800-171A(link is external)Assessing Security Requirements for Controlled Unclassified Information, is a guideline for any organization seeking to comply with the CUI regulation governing the safe handling of information that is important to the U.S. government. CUI is a diverse classification that includes information involving privacy, proprietary business interests and law enforcement investigations.

Click here to download NIST SP800-171A publication.

 

Clarifications on DFARS 252.204-7012 & NIST SP 800-171

Notes from June 2017 DoD DFARS Information Day & MDA NDIA-TVC DFARS Track

As we get ever closer to the end of the year deadline for DoD contractors to complete their compliance of DFARS 252.204-7012, additional information has become available. 

On June 23, there were two events that provided additional clarification on the DFARS 7012 clause:

  • The DoD held an Industry Information Day on June 23, 2017 to address questions regarding DFARS Case 2013-D018 (related to cloud services), DFARS 252.204-7012, and 252.239-7010 (also related to Cloud Computing Services).
  • The Missile Defense Agency's National Defense Industry Association's Tennesee Valley Chapter was held on June 21-22, 2017.

The most important take-away from both events is the DoD is not contemplating any changes to the DFARS clauses addressing cybersecurity.

DoD Contractors should not expect any relief on the requirement to meet compliance by the end of this year, Dec 31, 2017. 

Additional clarifications and information can be read here.

Protecting Critical Infrastructure

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Protecting Critical Infrastructure

Our day-to-day life depends on the country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications, and power along with other networks and systems. A disruption to this system, some of which may be connected to the internet, can have significant and catastrophic consequences for our nation. Securing our nation’s critical infrastructure is therefore our shared responsibility. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS: Critical Infrastructure Security) offers several resources for the public to use in being proactive towards our security.

Click here for tips on protecting Critical Infrastructure.

Social Engineering: The Easiest Way to Hack?

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Social Engineering: The Easiest Way to Hack?

It has often been said that the easiest hack in IT security is the Social hack. Why? People are creatures of habit and, with insufficient training and a bit of prodding, are far easier to “con” than a firewall or IDS.

Webster’s defines Social Engineering as “an act of psychological manipulation of a human” and "any act that influences a person to take an action that may or may not be in their best interests."

Click here to learn more about Social Engineering.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

In this day and age, technology seems to permeate evermore into not only our own lives, but our children’s as well. The general consensus towards the rapid integration of technology seems to be positive in most cases, and allows for the simplification and expedition of day-to-day tasks. As general computer knowledge and overall use continues to climb, our children are getting more facetime with technology than ever before. Fortunately for the iPad playing pre-teens, this baseline familiarity with technology will handily transfer to their future professional careers, albeit unbeknownst to them.

Click here for ways to inspire youth towards a promising career in Cybersecurity.

Make Your Home a Haven with Online Safety

Be Online Aware! October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Make Your Home a Haven with Online Safety

Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices ‒ like looking both ways before crossing the street and holding an adult’s hand in a crowded place. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. Learning good cybersecurity practices can also help set a strong foundation for a career in the industry. With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household ‒ including children – learn to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure.

Click here to read more about basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyber threats.

 

Keep Updating Your Computer & Phone OS!

Major OS design flaw could have serious ramifications

Keep Updating Your Computer & Phone OS!

A serious flaw in the design of almost every CPU and/or operating system will result in cybersecurity-required updates, or patches, being published for Microsoft, Apple, and Linux operating systems.

One of our cybersecurity engineers noticed a flurry of Linux and Windows emergency kernel patches being published that are enabling and implementing KPTI (Kernel Page Table Isolation) protections (or barriers). Enabling KPTI for all operating systems will likely impact the computer's performance, in some cases running 30% slower.

[ Jan 4, 2018 Update: This exploit was discovered by Google back in the early summer of 2017. The exploits are known as "Meltdown" and "Spectre" — two methods of exploiting a security vulnerability found in Intel, AMD, and ARM processors that, between them, threaten almost all PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, regardless of manufacturer or operating system. ]

Why is there a need to do this now?

Smart money seems to be that a variation of a known cyber attack, called rowhammer, has been found in the wild. This attack is likely a hypervisor exploit ... meaning the Big Brandsin the virtualization world (Amazon S3, Google Computer Engine, Microsoft Azure) could be at risk of a process in one Virtual Machine (VM) gaining access to data in another VM.

Click here to read more about this cybersecurity issue.

 

How NOT to respond to the Equifax Hacking News

Use ONLY the Equifax Website to check your account!

 

Another massive data breach has occurred. This time, one of the three primary credit records companies, has announced that almost half of all American's personal information INCLUDING Social Security Numbers, have been stolen from Equifax. Because the information includes names, addresses, SSI, credit card numbers and more, this breech may cause more harm to individuals than any previous cyber attack.

One thing you shouldn't do about this?  DON'T click on any website that promises to show whether your account is one of the stolen records. Some of those sites will definitely be set up to capture more information about you and won't even be related to the Equifax.

What should you do? Equifax has set up this website you should use to check your account status.