Compliance

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Our top 5 findings from IT security audits

What are the top things we have learned from performing 200+ security audits? 1.  The “major issues” do not change Good security is good security, and you can think of the major security issues as being giant “targets” within your organization.  Targets which the bad guys hope will come into their line of fire, and they are regularly shooting at. You can easily spot and name these targets: User awareness, access control, backups/recoverability, etc.  These are the primary topics that most compliance requirements are based on. Identifying these large targets and putting in the appropriate safeguards to make these targets [...]

By | 2018-12-07T16:21:24+00:00 May 25th, 2018|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Data Breach, Information Security, Research, Viruses, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Our top 5 findings from IT security audits

Everything you wanted to know about Ransomware…but were afraid to ask

What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents users from accessing their computer system or files until a sum of money (ransom) is paid. In the malware landscape, ransomware has earned itself a well-deserved nasty reputation. There are two types of ransomware identified in this branch of the malware family tree; 1) locker ransomware and 2) crypto ransomware Locker ransomware effectively locks Windows access preventing the user from accessing their desktop or files. Typically designed to prevent access to one’s computer interface, Locker ransomware mostly leaves the underlying system and files unaltered.  A message would be [...]

By | 2018-12-07T16:14:54+00:00 May 18th, 2018|Data Breach, Encryption, Information Security, Malware, Privacy, Uncategorized, Viruses, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Everything you wanted to know about Ransomware…but were afraid to ask

Best Practice: Securing Windows Service Accounts and Privileged Access – Part 2

In the first post I covered best practices for securing service accounts.  In this post, I am going to discuss some key elements in securing priveleged access.  Keep in mind, Microsoft has published a comprehensive guide to securing an Active Directory. Keep in mind that many of these things will require additional work on the front end, but that is usually due to poor existing practices.  Once processes are in place, these key components should not add significant overhead to administrative tasks. No users should regularly reside in Domain Admins (DA) or Enterprise Admins (EA) groups Straight from the horse's mouth: As [...]

By | 2016-03-21T09:57:50+00:00 February 18th, 2016|Asset Management, Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Microsoft|Comments Off on Best Practice: Securing Windows Service Accounts and Privileged Access – Part 2

Best Practice: Securing Windows Service Accounts and Privileged Access – Part 1

I recently had a client ask me about our recommendations for securing service accounts within Active Directory.   We talked for a bit, and then I decided to write them down.  This post will have two parts, the first part is for Service Accounts and then the second post will be about privileged accounts. What is the minimum privilege needed? If the account will only use local resources on a single device, use a local account on that device. If the account needs permission to see users, computers, groups etc use a domain service acct. When only read access to [...]

By | 2016-02-18T11:02:18+00:00 February 18th, 2016|Asset Management, Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Microsoft|Comments Off on Best Practice: Securing Windows Service Accounts and Privileged Access – Part 1

2015 Cyber Security Awareness Month

What is Cybersecurity? According to US-CERT, "The activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and the information contained therein are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation." In other words, it is the people, processes and technology that manage or maintain the Integrity, Availability, and Confidentiality of the systems and data with which an organization functions.  Many times these roles are shared with IT which in turn can come with its own challenges.  Often times, IT is focuses solely on availability, or up-time and ease of use, and both [...]

By | 2015-10-02T09:15:18+00:00 October 2nd, 2015|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Information Security, Research|Comments Off on 2015 Cyber Security Awareness Month

Third Party Apps: Consider The Risks

What are 3rd party tools? Everyone, from individuals to enterprises, uses third party tools and applications on their workstations, servers and mobile devices.  Some examples are Adobe Reader, Java, WinRAR, and many more.  They are applications that are run or installed, but are typically not centrally managed by your organization. Why are they important to an organization? Many times these tools are required to carry out critical job functions.  These can be running applications that require Java applets, fax services, custom written applications and so on. What risks can they introduce? Since these applications are usually not centrally managed, their [...]

By | 2015-10-01T09:22:47+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Adobe, Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Java, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Third Party Apps: Consider The Risks

Ransomware! – It’s here to stay…

“My firm WILL be affected by ransomware.” If you intone that rather gloomy mantra to yourself every morning before you go to work, you might end up being prepared to deal with the situation when it happens. Ransomware is a type of malware that most often encrypts the contents of a hard drive and then rather helpfully offers you an email address or phone number to contact for removal instructions. And did I mention they’re going to ask for payment for the key to your now locked-up hard drive? They’ll ask for payment. And when the email with the funny [...]

By | 2015-10-02T08:39:49+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Data Breach|Comments Off on Ransomware! – It’s here to stay…

Android Security Flaw: Stagefright – What You Need to Know

Update: As of Thursday, August 6th, 2015, Google and some phone carriers are pushing out a security fix to address this vulnerability. Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/after-stagefright-samsung-and-lg-join-google-with-monthly-android-patches/ What is StageFright? Stagefright is a remotely exploitable software bug in Android that can allow an attacker to perform arbitrary operations on the affected device through remote code execution and privilege escalation.  This flaw currently affects versions 2.2 and newer of the Android operating system. Source: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/07/950-million-android-phones-can-be-hijacked-by-malicious-text-messages/ How Can This Affect Me? An attacker can send specially crafted MMS (multimedia) text messages to the victim device, which require no end-user actions upon receipt, for the vulnerability to succeed.  The [...]

By | 2015-08-06T14:42:18+00:00 July 28th, 2015|Android, Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Privacy|Comments Off on Android Security Flaw: Stagefright – What You Need to Know

The Hitlist: International Travel

International travel is common in today's business world.  Many times businesses assume that their standard policies can apply to any international destination.  We recently had a client contact us about traveling to their international office in a country that is typically known for lacking respect for other's privacy.  They asked us, considering this client would be discussing corporate trade secrets and other senstive info, what precautions they should take. We gave them a list of recommendations and explained that many of these would not make travel simple from a technological standpoint, but would provide them the most security benefit.  These [...]

By | 2015-01-28T09:21:23+00:00 October 17th, 2014|Compliance, Research, The Hitlist|0 Comments

What every organization should know about HIPAA

What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule? Accoprding to HHS.gov, "The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically." In other words, the privacy rule sets forth standards to protect health related information specifically controlled by organizations that handle electronic forms of medical records. What is the HIPAA Security Rule? Also according to HHS.gov, "The HIPAA Security Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ electronic personal health information that is created, received, used, or [...]

By | 2014-09-30T08:25:37+00:00 September 30th, 2014|Compliance, Data Breach, HIPPA, Information Security, Research|0 Comments