The Last Watchdog

ROUNDTABLE: Why T-Mobile’s latest huge data breach could fuel attacks directed at mobile devices

The Last Watchdog

TMobile has now issued a formal apology and offered free identity theft recovery services to nearly 48 million customers for whom the telecom giant failed to protect their sensitive personal information.

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GUEST ESSAY: How SPDX helps reconcile interdependencies of open, proprietary software

The Last Watchdog

Software today is built on a combination of open source and proprietary software packages. Developers can reuse and build on the packages created by others, which results in the rapid creation of new capabilities and technologies. Related: How SBOM factors into DevSecOps. This reuse creates dependencies, all of which don’t necessarily stay updated at the same pace.

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ROUNDTABLE: Kaseya hack exacerbates worrisome supply-chain, ransomware exposures

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It was bound to happen: a supply-chain compromise, ala SolarWinds, has been combined with a ransomware assault, akin to Colonial Pipeline, with devasting implications. Related: The targeting of supply chains. Last Friday, July 2, in a matter of a few minutes, a Russian hacking collective, known as REvil, distributed leading-edge ransomware to thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across the planet — and succeeded in locking out critical systems in at least 1,500 of them.

MY TAKE: What NortonLifeLock’s $8 billion buyout of Avast portends for consumer security

The Last Watchdog

So NortonLifeLock has acquired Avast for more than $8 billion. This deal reads like to the epilogue to a book titled The First 20 Years of the Supremely Lucrative Antivirus Market. Way back in 1990, Symantec acquired Norton Utilities and made Norton the heart of its antivirus subscription offering. Related: The coming of ubiquitous passwordless access.

How to Avoid the Pain and Cost of PCI Compliance While Optimizing Payments

Speaker: P. Andrew Sjogren, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Very Good Security, Matt Doka, Co-Founder and CTO of Fivestars, and Steve Andrews, President & CEO of the Western Bankers Association 

In this webinar, we have a great set of panelists who will take you through how Zero Data strategies can be used as part of a well-rounded compliance and security approach, and get you to market much sooner by also allowing for payment optimization. They’ll share how to grow your business faster and minimize costs for both security and compliance

SHARED INTEL: ‘Credential stuffers’ leverage enduring flaws to prey on video game industry

The Last Watchdog

The video game industry saw massive growth in 2020; nothing like a global pandemic to drive people to spend more time than ever gaming. Related: Credential stuffers exploit Covid 19 pandemic. Now comes a report from Akamai detailing the extent to which cyber criminals preyed on this development. The video game industry withstood nearly 11 billion credential stuffing attacks in 2020, a 224 percent spike over 2019.

NEW TECH: How the emailing of verified company logos actually stands to fortify cybersecurity

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Google’s addition to Gmail of something called Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) is a very big deal in the arcane world of online marketing. Related: Dangers of weaponized email. This happened rather quietly as Google announced the official launch of VMCs in a blog post on July 12. Henceforth companies will be able to insert their trademarked logos in Gmail’s avatar slot; many marketers can’t wait to distribute email carrying certified logos to billions of inboxes.

NEW TECH: DigiCert Document Signing Manager leverages PKI to advance electronic signatures

The Last Watchdog

Most of us, by now, take electronic signatures for granted. Related: Why PKI will endure as the Internet’s secure core. Popular services, like DocuSign and Adobe Sign, have established themselves as convenient, familiar tools to conduct daily commerce, exclusively online. Yet electronic signatures do have their security limitations.

GUEST ESSAY: Why it’s worrisome that China has integrated Huawei switches into telecoms worldwide

The Last Watchdog

In the previous discussion, China’s 14th Five-Year Plan was summarized to capture relevant aspects of dual circulation, the Digital Silk Road (DSR), and the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) that aim to advance China as an economic, technological, and foreign policy powerhouse.

GUEST ESSAY: A primer on the degrees of privacy tech companies assign to your digital footprints

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In recent years, brands have started butting up against the line between convenience and privacy. Shoppers love the convenience of personalized experiences that their data powers, but then horror stories such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal make people skeptical about how much information companies should be collecting and sharing. Related: Apple battles Facebook over consumer privacy.

Black Hat insights: WAFs are getting much more dynamic making them well-suited to protect SMBs

The Last Watchdog

A cornucopia of cybersecurity solutions went on public display today as Black Hat USA 2021 convened once more as a live event in Las Vegas. Related: Kaseya hack raises more supply chain worries. For small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) cutting through the marketing hype can be daunting.

Back to the Office: Privacy and Security Solutions to Compliance Issues for 2021 and Beyond

Speaker: Mike Cramer, Director of HIPAA & Data Security at The Word & Brown Companies

Now that companies are slowly allowing employees to return to work at the office, it's time to re-evaluate your company’s posture towards privacy and security. Join Mike Cramer, Director of HIPAA & Data Security at The Word & Brown Companies, for a discussion that will focus on compliance and the types of privacy and security measures your company should be aware of, as well as tips and methods for implementing these measures.

GUEST ESSAY: What it will take to train the next generation of cybersecurity analysts

The Last Watchdog

It is no secret that there is, and has been for some time, a shortage of trained cyber security professionals in corporate IT Security teams. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania observed that “nowhere is the workforce-skills gap more pronounced than in cybersecurity.”. Related: Deploying ‘human’ sensors’ According to data gathered by CyberSeek under a Commerce Department grant, there are currently nearly 465,000 unfilled cyber jobs across the US alone.

Black Hat insights: How Sonrai Security uses graph analytics to visualize, mitigate cloud exposures

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Modern civilization revolves around inextricably intertwined relationships. This is why our financial markets rise and fall in lock step; why climate change is accelerating; and why a novel virus can so swiftly and pervasively encircle the planet. Related: What it will take to truly secure data lakes. Complex relationships also come into play when it comes to operating modern business networks. A lack of understanding of these relationships is a big reason why cloud breaches happen.

Black Hat insights: The retooling of SOAR to fit as the automation core protecting evolving networks

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In less than a decade, SOAR — security orchestration, automation and response — has rapidly matured into an engrained component of the security technology stack in many enterprises. Related: Equipping SOCs for the long haul. SOAR has done much since it entered the cybersecurity lexicon to relieve the cybersecurity skills shortage. SOAR leverages automation and machine learning to correlate telemetry flooding in from multiple security systems.

Black Hat insights: All-powerful developers begin steering to the promise land of automated security

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Software developers have become the masters of the digital universe. Related: GraphQL APIs pose new risks. Companies in the throes of digital transformation are in hot pursuit of agile software and this has elevated developers to the top of the food chain in computing.

Black Hat insights: Deploying ‘human sensors’ to reinforce phishing email detection and response

The Last Watchdog

Human beings remain the prime target in the vast majority of malicious attempts to breach company networks. Related: Stealth tactics leveraged to weaponize email. Cybersecurity awareness training is valuable and has its place. Yet as Black Hat USA 2021 returns today as a live event in Las Vegas, it remains so true that we can always be fooled — and that the prime vehicle for hornswoggling us remains phishing messages sent via business email.

Black Hat insights: How to shift security-by-design to the right, instead of left, with SBOM, deep audits

The Last Watchdog

There is a well-established business practice referred to as bill of materials, or BOM, that is a big reason why we can trust that a can of soup isn’t toxic or that the jetliner we’re about to board won’t fail catastrophically. Related: Experts react to Biden cybersecurity executive order. A bill of materials is a complete list of the components used to manufacture a product. The software industry has something called SBOM: software bill of materials.

GUEST ESSAY – Notable events in hacking history that helped transform cybersecurity assessment

The Last Watchdog

Assessing the risks involved in using the latest technology is something our culture had to adopt in the early days of the computer. New technologies come with risks — there’s no denying that. Related: How Russia uses mobile apps to radicalize U.S. youth. Miller. To minimize their impact, implementing preventive security measures into these advanced systems is crucial.

GUEST ESSAY: A breakdown of Google’s revisions to streamline its ‘reCAPTCHA’ bot filter

The Last Watchdog

Most of us internet users are obviously familiar with CAPTCHAs: a challenge or test that is designed to filter out bots (automated programs) and only allow legitimate human users in. Related: How bots fuel ‘business logic’ hacking. The basic principle behind CAPTCHA is fairly simple: the test must be as difficult as possible (if not impossible) to solve by these bots, but at the same time it must be easy enough for human users not to hurt user experience.

SHARED INTEL: How ‘observability’ has enabled deep monitoring of complex modern networks

The Last Watchdog

An array of promising security trends is in motion. New frameworks, like SASE , CWPP and CSPM , seek to weave security more robustly into the highly dynamic, intensely complex architecture of modern business networks. Related: 5 Top SIEM myths. And a slew of new application security technologies designed specifically to infuse security deeply into specific software components – as new coding is being developed and even after it gets deployed and begins running in live use.

SHARED INTEL: Ramifications of 86 cities storing citizens’ data in misconfigured AWS S3 buckets

The Last Watchdog

The ethical hackers at WizCase recently disclosed another stunning example of sensitive consumer data left out in the open in the public cloud — for one and all to access. Related: How stolen data gets leveraged in full-stack attacks. This latest high-profile example of security sloppiness was uncovered by a team of white hat hackers led by Ata Hakçil.

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GUEST ESSAY: The Top 5 myths about SIEM –‘security information and event management’

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One of the most commonly repeated phrases in the security industry is, “Security teams hate their SIEM!”. Related: The unfolding SIEM renaissance. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is not what it was 20 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, SIEMs do take work through deployment, maintenance, and tuning. They also require strategic planning.

Black Hat insights: Will Axis Security’s ZTNA solution hasten the sunsetting of VPNs, RDP?

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Company-supplied virtual private networks (VPNs) leave much to be desired, from a security standpoint. Related: How ‘SASE’ is disrupting cloud security. This has long been the case. Then a global pandemic came along and laid bare just how brittle company VPNs truly are. Criminal hackers recognized the golden opportunity presented by hundreds of millions employees suddenly using a company VPN to work from home and remotely connect to an array of business apps.

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MY TAKE: Why companies and consumers must collaborate to stop the plundering of IoT systems

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has come a long, long way since precocious students at Carnegie Melon University installed micro-switches inside of a Coca-Cola vending machine so they could remotely check on the temperature and availability of their favorite beverages.

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MY TAKE: Surfshark boosts ‘DIY security’ with its rollout of VPN-supplied antivirus protection

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Surfshark wants to help individual citizens take very direct control of their online privacy and security. Thus, Surfshark has just become the first VPN provider to launch an antivirus solution as part of its all-in-one security bundle Surfshark One. Related: Turning humans into malware detectors. This development is part and parcel of rising the trend of VPN providers hustling to deliver innovative “DIY security” services into the hands of individual consumers.

Last Watchdog podcast: Unwrapping ‘resilience’ guidance discussed at RSA Conference 2021

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Resilience was the theme of RSA Conference 2021 which took place virtually last week. Related: Web attacks spike 62 percent in 2020. I’ve been covering this cybersecurity gathering since 2004 and each year cybersecurity materially advances. By the same token, the difficulties of defending modern IT systems has redoubled as organizations try to balance security and productivity. The outside pressures are indeed as daunting as ever.

SHARED INTEL: Microsoft discloses how the Nobelium hacking ring engages in routine phishing

The Last Watchdog

Microsoft has blunted the ongoing activities of the Nobelium hacking collective, giving us yet another glimpse of the unceasing barrage of hack attempts business networks must withstand on a daily basis. Related: Reaction to Biden ‘s cybersecurity executive order. Nobelium is the Russian hacking collective best known for pulling off the milestone SolarWinds supply chain hack last December.

GUEST ESSAY: 3 sure steps to replace legacy network security systems — in a measured way

The Last Watchdog

Keeping up with the pace of technology, information, and the evolving threat landscape is a challenge for all enterprises. Related: DHS launches 60-day cybersecurity sprints. To make matters more difficult, implementing new security software and processes to address these issues is another big hurdle, often causing disruption—and not the good kind.

GUEST ESSAY: A full checklist on how to spot pharming attacks — and avoid becoming a victim

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Cybercriminals use various techniques for conducting cyberattacks. One such popular way to infiltrate a system is Pharming. It is an online scam attack quite similar to Phishing. Related: Credential stuffing explained. The term Pharming is a combination of two words Phishing and Farming. It is a type of social engineering cyberattack in which the website’s traffic is manipulated to steal confidential credentials from the users.

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GUEST POST: How China’s updated digital plans impacts U.S. security and diplomacy

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In May 2021, China unveiled their updated Five-Year Plan to the world. This plan marks the 14th edition of their socioeconomic, political, and long-range objectives, and has set the tone for a Chinese-dominated supply chain that will be accomplished using antitrust, intellectual property, and standards tools to promote industrial policies. Their plan poses a grave threat to the US.

RSAC insights: How the ‘CIEM’ framework is helping companies manage permissions glut

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A permissions glut is giving rise to an explosion of new exposures in modern business networks. Related: Securing digital identities. Companies are adopting multi-cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures and relying on wide-open app development like never before. In doing so, permissions to make myriad software connections are proliferating. Taken together these man-to-machine and machine-to-machine connections result in cool new digital services.

SHARED INTEL: Report details how cyber criminals leverage HTTPS TLS to hide malware

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Google was absolutely right to initiate a big public push a couple of years ago to make HTTPS Transport Layer Security (TLS) a de facto standard. Related: Malicious activity plagues the cloud services. At the time, in the spring of 2018, only 25 percent of commercial websites used HTTPS; today adoption is at 98 percent and rising. Far beyond just protecting websites, TLS has proven to be a linchpin of network-level communications across the board. Guess who else has been leveraging TLS?

MY TAKE: How consumer-grade VPNs are enabling individuals to do DIY security

The Last Watchdog

Historically, consumers have had to rely on self-discipline to protect themselves online. Related: Privacy war: Apple vs. Facebook. I’ve written this countless times: keep your antivirus updated, click judiciously, practice good password hygiene. Then about 10 years ago, consumer-grade virtual private networks, or VPNs, came along, providing a pretty nifty little tool that any individual could use to deflect invasive online tracking. Consumer-grade VPNs have steadily gained a large following.

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NEW TECH: DigiCert unveils ‘Automation Manager’ to help issue, secure digital certificates

The Last Watchdog

How do you bring a $9 billion-a-year, digitally-agile corporation to a grinding halt? Related: Why it’s vital to secure IoT. Ask Spotify. When the popular streaming audio service went offline globally, last August, we saw a glimpse of just how tenuous digital transformation sometimes can be. Someone reportedly forgot to renew Spotify’s TLS certificate. The outage lasted about an hour, until the certificate in question got renewed.

GUEST ESSAY: What everyone should know about the pros and cons of online fingerprinting

The Last Watchdog

When it was first introduced, device fingerprinting – or online fingerprinting in general – was meant to create a safer, more responsible internet. The idea was that by fingerprinting devices used to connect to the internet we could achieve better accountability.

ROUNDTABLE: Targeting the supply-chain: SolarWinds, then Mimecast and now UScellular

The Last Watchdog

It’s only February, and 2021 already is rapidly shaping up to be the year of supply-chain hacks. Related: The quickening of cyber warfare. The latest twist: mobile network operator UScellular on Jan. 21 disclosed how cybercriminals broke into its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform as a gateway to compromise the cell phones of an undisclosed number of the telecom giant’s customers.

GUEST ESSAY: ‘Cybersecurity specialist’ tops list of work-from-home IT jobs that need filling

The Last Watchdog

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic turned many office workers into work-from-home (WFH) experts, the trend toward working without having to commute was clear. Related: Mock attacks help SMBs harden defenses. As internet bandwidth has become more available, with homes having access to gigabit download speeds, a whole new world of career paths has opened for those who want to control their work hours and conditions.

MY TAKE: Massive data breaches persist as agile software development fosters full-stack hacks

The Last Watchdog

Data leaks and data theft are part and parcel of digital commerce, even more so in the era of agile software development. Related: GraphQL APIs stir new exposures. Many of the high-profile breaches making headlines today are the by-product of hackers pounding away at Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) until they find a crease that gets them into the pathways of the data flowing between an individual user and myriad cloud-based resources.

RSAC insights: Introducing ‘CWPP’ and ‘CSPM,’ new frameworks to secure cloud infrastructure

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A greater good has come from Capital One’s public pillaging over losing credit application records for 100 million bank customers. Related: How credential stuffing fuels account takeovers.

BEST PRACTICES – 9 must-do security protocols companies must embrace to stem remote work risks

The Last Watchdog

Technology advancements have made it relatively easy for many employees to carry out their regular job duties from the comfort of their home. Related: Poll confirms rise of Covid 19-related hacks. This is something companies are under pressure to allow to help minimize the spread of Covid 19. The main problem for remote workers is the threat to online security. Remote workers face having both their personal and work-related information compromised.

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MY TAKE: Even Google CEO Sundar Pichai agrees that it is imperative to embed ethics into AI

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It took a global pandemic and the death of George Floyd to put deep-seated social inequities, especially systemic racism, front and center for intense public debate. Related: Will ‘blockchain’ lead to more equitable wealth distribution?

GUEST ESSAY: ‘CyberXchange’ presents a much-needed platform for cybersecurity purchases

The Last Watchdog

There is no shortage of innovative cybersecurity tools and services that can help companies do a much better job of defending their networks. Related: Welcome to the CyberXchange Marketplace In the U.S. alone, in fact, there are more than 5,000 cybersecurity vendors. For organizations looking to improve their security posture, this is causing confusion and vendor fatigue, especially for companies that don’t have a full time Chief Information Security Officer. The vendors are well-intentioned.

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