Please consider taking this survey as we are interested in your cybersecurity needs and are exploring products (apps etc.) to create and fulfill market needs.
What Do I mean when I say "Start With Some Cybersecurity"?
At Fixvirus.com we will help you design your own Cybersecurity department, or help you with just enough Cybersecurity.
What do i mean 'with just enough Cybersecurity'?
I think it is safe to say that most of us do not think about the security of our phones, computers and tablets. As a whole people want their electronic devices to work.
Is this indicative of what we want in our companies? Do we expect the IT department to keep us safe and secure? We don't want to think about this we just want it to happen.
So what to do? Why does the IT department need oversight? Because testing their abilities in a nice way tells them they are doing a good job and tells you the IT job is being done well.
You can still get hacked, but at least the i's were dotted and T's crossed.
The key in our environments anyway is what happens after the hacker is in. You don't want them to steal anything and get away with it. You have to set up methods to track down when a hacker is doing their work and shut down the exfiltration (or stealing of data to an external machine).
So to start we have to audit the environment and count all the computers before doing the next steps.
- audit environment - count the computers, find out what is running on the computers. (count computers = find them all and review what is running on them)
- Audit the software since just knowing what hardware or in virtual machines, the instances of servers is not enough. We must know the type and version of software running, since a vulnerability alert can cause PCI compliance to be in jeopardy. The criminal hacker is looking for your software, so you should know what is in your environment as well.
- Doing vulnerability assessments means trying to uncover unpatched software in your environment. ( just like the criminal hacker would do and like you are supposed to do for PCI compliance - HIPAA compliance and all other governance) as it only makes sense.
- What about the Zero-day attacks? the attacks that cannot be patched? Since the hackers found a problem that can be exploited. Well for these situation we have to have a detect and monitor program. Check the logs, check the network traffic (which means a SIEM - Security Information Event Manager) and IPS (Intrusion Prevention System).
- Although the SIEM-IPS systems will not prevent all attacks, they will prevent a lot and with vigilance we can keep up with attacks on our environment with enough resources.
[Image from NIST(National Institute of Standards and Technology) 800-37 documents¹]
If risk management is to work properly in an entity it must be assessed given enough time to review all your data and usage of computers.
So yes the first thing one must do is to find out what and how your Info tech is being used. so don't just learn what is running on each computer, but rate each item to its risk factor:
You must classify data from High importance, to Low importance.
High Importance data can then be properly classified in Cyber Risk categories.
We will review each step of the path to better Cybersecurity again and again as that is what we are all about.
Contact us to discuss Contact me Tony Zafiropoulos 314-504-3974
Our hashtag #testYourSecurity should be everyone's hashtag that wants more Cybersecurity.
As Robert Graham says in his blog Errata¹ It is Human nature to do a number of Cybersecurity No No including fall for Phishing scams (even the experts fall for them). A well crafted email will look like it is coming from a trusted source not from a stranger. So to avoid phishing scams one needs to look for more than just "is this email from someone I know?"
- A phishing Scam is where an unsuspecting email user clicks on a fake email and on it's attachment. The attachment then infects the computer due to the malicious software(malware) actually hiding within the attachment.
- Password reuse - due to laziness and bad practices employees use the same passwords on several sites. When a weak security site is hacked the hacker has your password and now can guess where else you might use it (banks, email account, and more)
- SQL injection (for programmers). This is a computer programmer topic.
Consistently reusing passwords across many sites is human nature (laziness). But doing so in your hobby site and using the same password in your email account and facebook is a recipe for disaster.
Once a hacker has your email account they can change everything.
For the programmer it requires more work to sanitize data input and to make sure that an attacker won't use an ingenious method to insert some malicious code
Is Robert right? Are people really 'stupid' regarding these 3 items?
I would not be so harsh as to call everyone Stupid.
As a society we will be hacked in one form or another, but the reason is not stupidity, as most people understand the basics that hacking means to use ingenious ways to get around the standard.
Another thought that is wrong in general is the false belief that we could design something that is foolproof, or at least it does not have to be worked on constantly.
I think we need to assume that we will need to consistently patch and fix our computers. we also need to see that the computer is a tool written by humans and used by humans.
Unless one has the mindset of the attacker and the tools and setup of sophisticated attacks one cannot really see the potential dangers under every rock. The IT people in every company are busy trying to connect and work on every system in your network. They do not spend every day researching new attack methods. Attacking test computers
You have to have a separate group of people with a separate pair of eyes to review your network defense, computer system setup and more.
Let me explain it for you if you still have questions.
Tony Zafiropoulos - 314-504-3974
There are a lot of compliance Standards to keep up on:
HIPAA¹ - Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act
PCI DSS² - Payment Card Industry Digital Security Solutions
ISO 27000³ - International Organization for Standardization (HQ in Geneva, Switzerland) I discussed ISO before : http://oversitesentry.com/ngfw-tech-half-battle-in-orgs/
Among others (Sarbanes Oxley)
But what if you don't even know what you have?
Have you spent the time to look at all of your digital data?
What do you use every day? Excel and Word files?
Have you had a 3rd person look at your data and review the outcome with you?
Did you set up a Risk management matrix? Likelihood -- Consequences
Maybe you don't really know what database is the most important?
This is a framework diagram from NIST document :
It is important to set a number from 1 to 5 to the importance of different digital properties.
Set an importance to impact to your business (low-medium-high
the ensuing matrix will tell you in a glance what you need to know for business risk and what resources you should spend and why.
Contact me Tony Zafiropoulos 314-504-3974 and I will be happy to discuss this with you as I have done this with clients.
It is good to know what you have and how to protect it.
Houston we have a problem - a kind of misunderstanding which leads to apathy.
Example: I wonder if you knew this week a new ransomware threat came out. I should also say that every week new ransomware comes into the "wild", into our computers. (For example in the week of 3/28 - 4/1 we discuss in our blogpost [at Oversitesentry(5)] how to prevent the Locky ransomware and how the Petya Ransomware will now destroy your Master Boot Record (MBR) or the actual usage of the hard drive.
The following picture is from an older ransomware so we can discuss what ransomware is and does.(and what to fear and be proactive about it).
Ransom means that the criminal has found a way to take something of yours and is now trying to extort money out of you so you can get that back. In this age we are talking data files.
Imagine that you are working on a Word document - like a proposal for a client. Now somehow ransomware software got on your computer, once the software runs ... it then tries to encrypt your files. Since you are still working on your proposal you try to save the file and it does not work - you cannot save the file as the file you saved to is now renamed and reconfigured(encrypted).
As you try to open other files you notice the encryption does not allow your files to be opened.
If you thought on your feet you can do a "save as" with the current file being worked on and thus at least save the current file. But hundreds maybe even thousands of the rest of your files are now encrypted.
This is obviously a problem, and can put you into a standstill. Will it matter if your files are on the cloud? Unfortunately it depends on how sophisticated the criminals will program, and it is definitely possible to get all files encrypted. The name of the game is money $$$ and if the hackers in eastern Europe are making more money as a hacker than a programmer at legitimate companies than our adversary will improve their attacks.
You cannot avoid this phenomenon for too long. The criminals are looking to make up to $7Bil dollars:
This is easy to figure out - As of 2013 there were 220 million PC's in the USA (I'm not even counting the world). 10% of PCs are not patched correctly (from my blog post and research here at Oversitesentry.com¹ and more background²) Microsoft Statistics as they know how many PCs are being patched.
We know from news reports and experience that an unpatched computer is susceptible to these types of attacks. Thus I have drawn a conclusion - 22million PCs are susceptible and with that the criminal has a potential 6.6Bil$ ransomware market - and if there are a few computers that the hacker can steal more information that he can resell then one can project $7Bil ransomware market. That is a lot of potential money...
So we can't assume the threats will be the same as last year, in fact the threats will become more sophisticated and dangerous.
Instead of throwing up our hands and giving up... the thing to do is to make sure you spend more time on security this year.
Patching your computer is actually not so easy because not all updates are good updates³. So sometimes IT pros recommend to wait until the patch/update has been tested and only then will it be installed. This process takes time even in the best run IT department. there is always some bits of time which create some vulnerability.
Testing your backup is also an important part of security defense. Since if Ransomware gets through you can't afford to see if the criminals wrote good Ransomware software to recover your data when you pay. Our recommendation is to never pay - assume you will lose data and backup - test the backup to make sure you will recover all data properly.
You can't get away from it these days - A company which has computers on the Internet cannot just have a regular firewall anymore - must get a NGFW (Next Generation FireWall) which now will inspect the traffic and is essentially another layer of defense.
A regular firewall cannot inspect data like Social Security numbers or Credit card numbers. set up correctly you can do many things with a NGFW(4) . Here is one: If I see my social security numbers then email me. I.e. if somebody is stealing these numbers then email me!
Because the criminals have such a large budget you can't just trust your capable IT department, you have to make sure that everything is working as it should. Test the IT department
I would be happy to discuss this diagram where your IT department works on the output and Fixvirus.com uses CEH(Certified Ethical Hackers) to test your environment.
If you want to discuss how to improve your security (audit security, test backup, and more) in 2016 contact me 314-504-3974 email@example.com Tony Zafiropoulos Now.
We have added many pages in the last few days. And will continue to add pages in the coming months.
Notice how the menu opens at "Our Services"
Now there are three submenus - Offensive, Defensive Cybersecurity services, and Reports.
Offensive Cybersecurity Services
Reports for the test audits
The Psi(Ψ) Service - or Wifi - Report Psi
Defensive Cybersecurity Services
Security and PCI compliance is part of defense
HIPAA compliance documents do not tell you exactly what to do in your network.
Instead they are a framework to fulfill, here is a link to the HHS information in case you are interested:
HHS is the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
But unfortunately the details of what should be done is opaque at best.
An interesting sidenote (The Criminals do not care about compliance or security, just whether they can hack your network resources) check our blogpost: http://oversitesentry.com/website-files-ransomed-not-just-personal-files/ )
So in essence to protect PHI (Personal Health Information) as in medical data, one has to perform basic security practices. And this has to be documented for any potential audits.
Contact Us as we help with compliance or documentation details.
Blogpost on HIPAA compliance from my blog:
Notice the tidbit of 10% of all organizations will be audited by Office of Civil Rights and if they so choose they will do some serious social engineering on your org.
Always better to be pro-active. make sure you have a good security policy in place. Set up a methodology of security not just a compliance checkbox policy.
If you are not 100% certain?
Are you 95.5%? that is 2 sigma(σ) if you want 99.9999% then that is 6 sigma(σ)
The attackers are coming
check this link:
The link explains what is obvious to all - we need the Internet and the criminal knows that so they will find any mistakes that you made/ are making.
The Criminals are working when you are sleeping in relatively lawless environments trying to find a way to make more money - your money.
Here is a link if you dare to check about the "Russian Carders Army"
A video by McAfee and FBI explaining background of Russian attackers(criminals) http://bcove.me/vchfpcni
I don't know if you understand yet, if you have any problems in your defenses, the hackers will find it, and it is only a matter of time before your company will be hacked, your company will be extorted, your equipment will be used for the criminal ends.
This phenomenon is not new and will not stop.
Risk management failed us - because the system that is not important may have mistakes, and once hacked allows the more important machines to be hacked as well. So risk management failed.
We can no longer make judgements with risk and say this machine is more important and can have less problems than others. ALL machines are important
We can help you MAKE sure that you are as close to 100% certain as possible.
I believe companies need to run a minimal set of vulnerability analysis
Which I explain here:
The idea is to at least cover your basic vulnerabilities with a regular scan, because one has to be perfect, there are too many attacks heading our way for you not to test your defenses with outside help.
Of course you can (and should have a layered defense strategy) like in this link:
Or with Six Sigma (σ)
we need Six Sigma Security
(image from www.simplilearn.com)
And the only way to achieve it is with testing testing testing.
In QA that is how six sigma is performed to 99.9999% error free.
Good Security means doing good basic IT.
And sometimes it also means keeping up with new compliance initiatives by industry or government.
This year October 1, 2015 there is a new Payment Card Industry(PCI) rule going into effect. On October 1st the liability of a security breach will go to the merchant not the bank or processor.
Here is an article that discusses certain aspects of the http://news.investors.com/technology/032015-744412-latest-point-of-sale-endpoint-security-tackles-expensive-breaches.htm Point Of Sale system.
EMV (the Europay MasterCard Visa credit card standard) will come to the US by October 1st as well. And if you will get new machines anyway get ones which have point-to-point encryption.
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
- Insecure remote access used by attackers
- Weak or Default passwords and setting commonly used
- Lack of network segmentation
- Malware deployed to capture t card data.
- Absence of antivirus tools to detect malware
If you add a firewall and Intrusion Prevention Systems you will protect yourself even further.
Then add the Polliwall, now it will be almost impossible for the standard criminals to take your systems. None of us can defend against the nation states, but if we can defend against everyone else then we have created the defensive system for 2015.