Monthly Archives: September 2017

Charles Leaver – Equifax Breach Underlines The Need For Vulnerability Lifecycle Management

Written By Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Charles Leaver


The following heading hit the news last week on September 7, 2017:

Equifax Inc. today announced a cyber security event possibly impacting roughly 143 million U.S. customers. Lawbreakers made use of a U.S. website application vulnerability to get to particular files. Based upon the business’s investigation, the unauthorized access happened from the middle of May through July 2017.

Lessons from Past Data Breaches

If you like your job, appreciate your role, and dream to maintain it, then do not leave the door open to attackers. A major data breach frequently starts with an un-patched vulnerability that is readily exploitable. And then the inevitable occurs, the cyber criminals are inside your defenses, the crown jewels have actually left the building, the press releases fly, high-priced specialists and external legal counsel rack up billable hours, regulators come down, claims are flung, and you have “some major ‘splainin’ to do”!

We have yet to see if the head splainer in the existing Equifax debacle will endure, as he is still in ‘splainin’ mode, asserting the infiltration began with the exploitation of an application vulnerability.

In such cases the normal rhumba line of resignations is – CISO initially, followed by CIO, followed by CEO, followed by the board of directors shakeup (specifically the audit and business obligation committees). Don’t let this take place to your professional life!

Steps to Take Right Away

There are some commonsense actions to take to prevent the unavoidable breach catastrophe resulting from unpatched vulnerabilities:

Take inventory – Inventory all system and data assets and map your network topology and connected devices and open ports. Know your network, it’s segmentation, what devices are attached, exactly what those devices are running, what vulnerabilities those systems and apps expose, what data assets they gain access to, the level of sensitivity of those assets, what defenses are layered around those assets, and exactly what checks remain in place along all prospective access points.

Improve and get tougher – Carry out best practices recommendations for identity and access management, network division, firewall software and IDS configurations, os and application configurations, database access controls, and data encryption and tokenization, while simplifying and cutting the number and complexity of subsystems throughout your enterprise. Anything too intricate to manage is too complex to secure. Choose configuration solidifying heaven over breach response hell.

Continually monitor and inspect – Periodic audits are needed but inadequate. Continuously monitor, track, and assess all appropriate security events and exposed vulnerabilities – create visibility, event capture, analysis, and archiving of every system and session login, every application launch, every active binary and vulnerability exposure, every script execution, every command provided, every networking contact, every database transaction, and every delicate data access. Any gaps in your security event visibility develop an opponent free-fire zone. Establish essential performance metrics, track them ruthlessly, and drive for ruthless improvement.

Don’t accept functional excuses for insufficient security – There are always secure and effective operational policies, however they might not be pain-free. Not suffering a devastating data breach is long down the organizational discomfort scale from the alternative. Functional expedience or running traditional or misaligned top priorities are not valid excuses for extenuation of bad cyber practices in an escalating danger environment. Lay down the law.

Charles Leaver – Lessons Learned From Equifax And What To Do

Written By Michael Levin And Presented By Charles Leaver


Equifax, one of the 3 major U.S. based credit reporting services just announced a significant data breach where hackers have taken sensitive information from 143 million United States consumers.

Ways that the Equifax security infiltration WILL impact you:

– Personal – Your individual and family’s identity info is now known to hackers and will be targeted!

– Company – Your organizations could be impacted and targeted.

– Nationally – Terrorist, Country States and organized crime groups could be involved or use this data to commit cyber crimes to obtain funds.

Protecting yourself is not complicated!

Five recommendations to secure yourself right away:

– Subscribe to a credit tracking service and/or lock your credit. The quickest way to be informed that your credit is compromised is through a credit tracking service. Equifax has already started the procedure of setting up complimentary credit tracking for those impacted. Other credit tracking services are readily available and ought to be thought about.

– Monitor all your financial accounts including credit cards and all savings accounts. Ensure that notifications are switched on. Make sure you are receiving instant text and email notices for any changes in your account or enhanced balances or transactions.

– Secure your bank and financial accounts, guarantee that two-factor authentication is switched on for all accounts. Learn about two level authentication and turn it on for all monetary accounts.

– Phishing e-mail messages can be your most significant day-to-day danger! Slow down when managing e-mail messages. Stop immediately clicking on every e-mail link and attachment you recieve. Instead of clicking on links and attachments in e-mail messages, go separately to the sites beyond the email message. When you get an e-mail, you were not anticipating from a name you recognize think about calling the sender independently before you click links or attachments.

– Strong passwords – think about changing all your passwords. Develop strong passwords and protect them. Utilize various passwords for your accounts.

Other Security Considerations:

– Backup all computers and upgrade operating systems and software applications routinely.

– Social network security – Sharing too much information on social media increases the threat that you will be taken advantage of. For example, informing the world, you are on holiday with photos opens the danger your house will be burglarized.

– Secure your devices – Do not leave your laptop, tablet or phone unattended even for a moment. Do not leave anything in your automobile you don’t desire taken because it’s simply a matter of time.

– Internet of things and device management – Understand how all your devices link to the Internet and exactly what info you are sharing. Check security settings for all devices including smart watches and fitness bands.

The value of training on security awareness:

– This is another crime, where security awareness training can help to minimize danger. Understanding new crimes and frauds in the news is a basic part of security awareness training. Ensuring that staff members, family and friends know this fraud will significantly decrease the likelihood that you will be taken advantage of.

– Sharing new scams and criminal activities you hear about in the news with others, is important to guarantee that individuals you appreciate do not succumb to these types of criminal activities.