August 25, 2014
What if life offered a financial safety net, an assurance that the path would be relatively smooth, even if things didn’t play out as planned along the way? What if you could set your business up to benefit from such a structure, promoting current-staff stewardship of your network and data while protecting the same assets and opportunities for the next generation? These questions are especially poignant during the annual budgeting process, and they become part of a more holistic planning process for your organization.
August 1, 2014
It has been reported that nearly 74,000 new viruses or strains were created every day of 2013. Every day. Granted, most of these are readily eliminated or mitigated by antivirus software and proper digital hygiene, but the fact remains that every day new threats emerge, with lessons learned from the previous day’s failures, ready to knock on your door once again. And these are bad actors that manipulate the infrastructure, seem to work only in their personal best interest, and very often show no signs of any redeeming value. Like Congress.
July 25, 2014
Okay, so it’s probably not the CIA you’re thinking of. This CIA is potentially even more vital to the success of your business or organization than the one with the secret agents and covert operations. CIA is an acronym used in the cyber community to characterize security,* and it serves as a good starting point in exploring the important role ICS can play in protecting your team’s vital network infrastructure.
July 10, 2014
That buzzing in your ear punctuated by the tiny sting on the back of your neck serves as a reminder that summer is upon us. We break out the bug spray and even send pesticide-laden trucks into the evening streets to protect us against the onslaught of mosquitoes. Turns out they’re not the only pests on the horizon.
July 18, 2014
If we use social media in the hiring process, does employee presence in that space increase organization vulnerability?
Increasingly, recruiters and employers are using social media to screen candidates. On the bright side, candidates can and are rewarded for the creativity and writing skills they display. The dark side is the overwhelming tendency to dismiss candidates whose expressed views or social habits differ from the employer’s. Like it or not, this seems to be the new normal.
June 30, 2014
As we celebrate our national spirit now 238 years in the making, let’s look nostalgically at the business of yesterday, before markets were global, when deals were sealed with handshakes, and algorithms were just complicated math problems. These were the halcyon days of punchcard data and paper files, Leviathan computers and two-martini lunches.
It was a time of innocence. Like Mad Men with pocket protectors.
Threats were visible, precautions quantifiable. Budget decisions were easier. (more…)
June 19, 2014
Data Yard Sale
eBay recently revealed that in February or March of this year their site was breached and personal information from 145 million of their users was exposed. While frantically changing passwords and circling the security wagons, I sought a cultural correlation from my college Western Civ textbook. You too? Now that’s a coincidence. Here’s what I came up with. (more…)
June 26, 2014
In the world of college football, we have learned never to underestimate the power of a rolling tide. On the political playing field, though, we’re not sure what to make of a rising tide. It has been described as both global warming and climate change, but the inconvenient truth remains that our world is experiencing some rather dramatic short- and long-term changes. Your organization needs to prepare for both. (more…)
June 12, 2014
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch:
Before the break, our hero and ICS front man was engaged in some of the vital mechanisms of IT security. He was assessing risk, providing forensic services, modernizing legacy applications, slaying dragons, and rescuing damsels in distress. All in a day’s work for an ICS Specialist. Let’s pick up the action with danger hanging in the balance. (more…)
June 5, 2014
IT Security looms large on the world stage. Cyber attacks on commercial and governmental concerns make almost daily appearances in the media. The importance of securing networks and data cannot be overstated, but cyber security suffers a paralyzing lack of star power, a desperate dearth of the glitz and glamour that might elevate our status. Here at ICS, we’ve decided to hitch our wagon to a star.
Enter Tom Cruise as our unsolicited, uncompensated, uninvolved, involuntary, and imaginary spokesperson. His movie roles have been diverse, action-packed, and compelling, and these characters are the faces of our portfolio of services. Dim the house lights and roll the film. (more…)
May 28, 2014
May 21, 2014
It’s 2014. Do You Know Where Your Data Is?
You have racks of servers and migrate data religiously to the cloud and off-site storage. Your IT staff builds a firewall and posts a guard. Your commitment to network security is unparalleled in the industry. That’s the good news. The bad news? Security is always about the weakest link.
Studies suggest that even in the dark ages before tablets and smart phones, more than 60% of your core data was housed on or readily accessible through the personal computers and laptops of your employees, machines that exist in the world beyond your walls, in coffee shops and carpool, hotel lobbies and airport lounges. Imagine how that number has expanded now that we all have exponentially more computing power in the palm of our hands. Your data is everywhere. Are you using protection?
May 14, 2014
Imagine an older Marlon Brando lounging languidly atop your server racks, slicing an apple and waxing poetically about the tyranny of data, while your IT manager, buried up to his chin in untested security procedures and antiquated protocols, an RJ-45 crimper clinched in his teeth, struggles to eliminate the threat of man’s heart of darkness. You can almost hear the whispered prognosis: The Horror, The Horror.
May 5, 2014
April 29, 2014
The human tragedy of a plane crash acknowledged but set aside for the moment, consider the contrasting types of loss generated by similar events. For a business or an organization assessing its risk threshold, the real issue is operational recovery and stability.
Statistical Inevitability and Unanswered Questions
April 22, 2014
OpenSSL, the vehicle through which the Secure Sockets Layer protocol protects most websites that encrypt data, has reminded us again of both the vulnerability and security of open source development. The Heartbleed bug, an accidental code addition about two years ago, exploits the heartbeat option within OpenSSL, a mechanism that allows fluid connectivity between user and server via small, hidden signals or pings. Hackers breach the system by sending false signals that fool a website’s server into releasing sensitive information. Hence the vulnerability.
Heartbleed, though, also demonstrates the security of open source development. While its revelation created initial fear and chaos, the Heartbleed bug was fixed within about four days, largely because lots of eyes were on the prize, each pair of which had a vested interest in the elimination of the Heartbleed threat. Imagine if the SSL vehicle had been proprietary, owned by a quiet company with no taste for conflict or liability. Now that’s a hot mess. (more…)
March 31, 2014
Our company graciously provides first-class health coverage to team members and their families. One aspect of our health plan is the opportunity for each member to have an annual check up. As I have gotten older (and wiser, I hope), I have taken advantage of this perk in hopes of getting an early jump on something that could impact my physical health, ability to work, and ability to provide for my family, etc. Common sense, right? But what the heck does this have to do with cyber security? (more…)
March 12, 2014
Can I get in your network? You betcha I can. As a matter of fact, there’s a good chance I’m already there. Now, here’s the really fun part: you let me in. (more…)
March 5, 2014
Recently, Splash Data released a list of the 25 worst passwords for 2013. It contained all the usual suspects for “so easy to hack as to be utterly useless.” If your password is on this list, please keep reading: http://splashdata.com/press/worstpasswords2013.htm (more…)
February 27, 2014
We’ve all been there. Racing between appointments, suddenly realizing that you forgot to send one of your best clients an important document that needs to arrive within 10 minutes. Being the super resourceful all-star executive (although sometimes forgetful), you stop off at your local coffee shop, order your mocha latte and quickly connect your laptop to the free Wi-Fi. You draft your email, attach your important document, and press send with one minute to spare. The day is saved!
Upon returning to the office, you see your IT security staff running around with their hair on fire yelling something about an intruder who breached the network and stole a 10,000-record database of sensitive customer information and how it can cost the company up to $3 per record to mitigate and protect your valuable customers. (more…)
January 18, 2014
Consider a Risk Assessment like checking the doors and windows on your network. With all of the confidential corporate and customer information in your database, you would never consider leaving those doors and windows open. But beyond the entryways that are easy to see, are there other access points that are not so obvious? Is your network at risk of experiencing a devastating breach? (more…)
January 10, 2014
If you’ve been considering the various technical security assessments available to your organization, then chances are good you’ve heard of a Penetration Test, but do you know whether you need an internal or an external penetration test? How often should these tests be scheduled? What can you expect the test to find? (more…)
December 15, 2013
When searching for the right Business Continuity Planning (BCP) firm, there are several important factors that should be taken into consideration–not the least of which are location, experience, and support structure. It is important to know that the expectations of your organization will be met, if not exceeded, and that the firm will educate you in the Business Continuity planning process. (more…)
December 8, 2013
Navigating the various types of Security Assessments and selecting an IT security service provider can be a daunting task; however, it does not have to be. Understanding the available services and defining your organization’s needs at the beginning can help you get started on the right foot, which will ultimately save both time and money. (more…)