Cyber Risk Management Solutions
5 Questions Every CEO Should Be Asking About Cybersecurity

5 Questions Every CEO Should Be Asking About Cybersecurity

As the CEO or technology leader of your organization, is cybersecurity a priority or just another headache for you? Here are 5 questions to consider that may make it less of a headache and more of a priority. 


cybersecurityThe corner office may have its benefits, but there are endless headaches as well. When you are CEO, everything that happens in the company is ultimately your responsibility, and that includes data breaches and the theft of valuable intellectual property.

Threats to cybersecurity are not going away. In fact, they are increasing with every passing year. Hackers and other nefarious actors are becoming more and more sophisticated, and their spearphishing efforts have netted everyone from bank vice presidents and board members to IT experts and high-paid consultants.

These breaches in cybersecurity defenses can happen anywhere, but they are more likely to be successful when the CEO involved has failed to take the lead. As CEO, it is easy to hand off cybersecurity concerns to the IT department, but that shortsighted decision could have long-lasting consequences for your company and your career. Here are five questions every CEO should be asking about cybersecurity and IT infrastructure.

Question #1 – Am I Storing More Information Than I Should?

That which is not stored cannot be stolen, and the more information you capture, the greater your cybersecurity risk. As CEO, you should be asking yourself how much data you need to capture, what type of information is included and how it will all be stored.

Walling off highly sensitive information in databases that are not connected to the internet is standard practice in many industries, and it is definitely something to consider. There are other ways to protect sensitive data as well, including sophisticated encryption methods, dedicated storage and simply limiting the amount of information collected.

Question #2 – Will Outsourced IT Increase or Decrease My Cybersecurity Concerns

From small startups to huge Fortune 500 from corporations, businesses large and small have been outsourcing their IT infrastructures. Those firms are rushing to store their data in the cloud and ditching their in-house data centers in favor of the new managed service model.

It is tempting to think those moves are always for the best, but that is not always the case. As CEO, you should be asking yourself if a move to managed services will increase or decrease your cybersecurity concerns.

While outsourcing IT infrastructure and adopting the managed service model can enhance security, not all managed service providers are up to the task. Trusting customer data and critical files to a third party could have devastating circumstances if the firm you outsourcing IT infrastructure and adopting the managed service model can enhance security, not all managed service providers are up to the task.

Trusting customer data and critical files to a third party could have devastating circumstances if the firm you choose turns out to be less competent than they appeared. As the CEO, you bear the ultimate responsibility for the protection of that information, no matter who is physically handling it.

Question #3 – Have I Adequately Addressed Insider Threats?

Not all cybersecurity threats come from the outside, yet many CEOs fail to address the risk of insider sabotage or IT incompetence. When the data on your network is lost, stolen or damaged, it does not matter if the perpetrator is a Russian hacker, a disgruntled employee, a recently fired worker whose access was not immediately terminated or a fat-fingered IT trainee, the results are much the same.

Addressing insider risks is the job of every CEO, and if you have not yet done so, a cybersecurity audit is a good place to start. A top to bottom audit of your existing protocols and procedures could uncover weak spots you may not have thought about, so you can take steps to shore up your defenses against internal and external threats.

Question #4 – Is the Legal Team Taking a Leading Role in the Cyber Security of My Business?

It is easy to see cybersecurity as a problem for the IT department, but the impact of a data breach or the loss of proprietary information goes far beyond the network infrastructure. While the IT team should be taking the lead on all things cybersecurity, the legal department has a huge stake in the proceedings as well

The loss or theft of customer data could put the business you run in legal jeopardy, with class action lawsuits and individual claims from those affected. Depending on the industry you are in, a data breach could also come with serious governmental sanctions. Businesses in the healthcare industry are at special risk due to HIPAA regulations, but those in other industries should be just as concerned.

Question #5 – Have We Invested in the Latest Monitoring and Detection Tools

The best way to improve your cybersecurity defenses is to test them, yet many businesses fail to invest in the latest monitoring and detection tools. The proper implementation of these tools can help your business uncover deficiencies and find weak spots, so you can tailor your response and enhance your level of protection.

Ask yourself if the business you run is on the cutting edge of cyber defense protection or lagging far behind the competition. If the answer is the latter it is time to talk to the IT department, and the board.

As CEO, your responsibilities run wide and deep, and those concerns include the need for cybersecurity. If you have not already done so, you should be asking yourself the five questions outlined above. The answers you give, and the steps you take next, could prevent your company from being the next victim of a devastating cybercrime.

 

 

 

Cybersecurity Simplified

7 SIEM Problems You Will See in 2019

It is a reality that cybercrime is booming, the attacks suffered by companies of all kinds worldwide are becoming more numerous and more sophisticated. A SIEM is a necessary solution, but that comes with certain SIEM problems. 

siem problemsGovernments, public companies, and private companies must devote year-on-year, massive budget allocations to try to combat and mitigate the attacks of cybercrime. Even if you are a small to medium-sized company, you need to find out how to combat cyber criminals. 

With the aim of being able to solve this situation and face different threats, with a greater degree of security and knowledge, the popularly known as “SIEM” (Security Information and Event Management) systems have appeared, tools which are demonstrating their excellent performance before scenarios full of threats and attacks, which makes companies consider almost an obligation the fact of having an optimized SIEM among their computer security systems.

Only a few clicks separate us from a host of attack modes (DDoS, Botnets, malware installation, Spam or Phishing emails, and etc.), with which any user, domestic or business can be surprised, the simplest way and without realizing it, contribute to compromising the safety of your home or company.

SIEM is a platform that centralizes the collection, storage, and interpretation of relevant security data. Many compliance regulations require a way to log security events coming into your organization. A SIEM is often purchased as a way of meeting those compliance regulations, but with a SIEM comes certain SIEM challenges

A SIEM allows an analysis of the situation of multiple locations from a unified point of view, this situation, which facilitates the detection of unusual trends and patterns. 

Most SIEM information systems work by deploying multiple agents that collect security-related events, from different data sources from different environments and even from different physical locations.

Many organizations believe that setting up a SIEM is quite easy and effective, but they do not realize about the SIEM Problems which we are going to talk about here.

Following are the Top 7 SIEM Problems you will See in 2019:

1. Deploying a SIEM is not enough to completely secure your organization

SIEM solutions have limitations that make them ineffective without the right support and third-party solutions.
Unlike a Firewall Security or IDS, a SIEM does not monitor security events but uses log data stored by them. It is therefore essential not to neglect the implementation of these solutions.

2. A sharp configuration

SIEM is a complex product that requires support to ensure successful integration with the company’s security controls and the many hosts in its infrastructure.

It is important to not just install a SIEM with the manufacturer and/or default configurations, as they are often insufficient. Configurations must be customized and tailored to the users’ needs. Likewise, for the reports, it is better to create your own analysis reports, adapted to the different identified threats. Otherwise, there is a real risk that you will not be able to enjoy the benefits of a SIEM solution.

3. Budget Issues

Collecting, storing, and analyzing security events are tasks that seem relatively simple. However, their collection, storage, and execution of compliance reports, application of patches and analysis of all security events occurring on a company’s network are not trivial – the size of storage media, computing power for information processing, the integration time of security equipment, setting up alerts, and lot more. The initial investment can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to which must be added the annual support.

In addition, hardware and software licenses cover one-third of the SIEM Costs. In this way, expenses are more than expected and it is one of the major SIEM problems.

Analyzing, configuring, and integrating reports require the expertise of experts. For this reason, most SIEMs are managed directly within an often outsourced SOC (Security Operations Center). The bearer of great promises, the misconfigured SIEM can bring a lot of disappointments.

4. Maintenance and Configuration are Complex

According to many surveys, 75% characterize the time spending on customizing and configuring SIEM at the time of the implementation phase.

Once SIEM purchased, usually it takes 90 days or more of time in just installing before it starts working.

5. A Large Volume of Alerts to Regulate

SIEM solutions typically rely on rules to analyze all recorded data. However, the network of a company generates a very large number of alerts (on average 10000 per day) which can be positive or not. As a result, the identification of potential attacks is complicated by the volume of irrelevant logs.

The solution is to define precise rules that are generally written by a SOC and the perimeter to be monitored: what should be monitored first? The perimeter? The house? Network / system / app? Which technology to prioritize? etc.

6. Staffing Budget Higher than Expected

SIEM solutions receive security logs from a wide variety of systems: computers, servers, authentication systems, firewalls and more.

These logs record all events occurring on systems and networks. Their review can help you monitor activities, respond to events and protect your systems. Because a company’s logs track millions of events every day, the function of a SIEM solution is to store and analyze in real-time all of these security alerts generated by network applications and devices.

In addition, to work properly, SIEM solutions require 24/7 monitoring of alerts and logs. Trained staff or a dedicated team is required to view news, conduct regular reviews and extract relevant reports.

Many businesses assume that installing SIEM is quite easy but in reality, they do not realize that SIEM will require setting a specially trained and skilled staff to get most out of the SIEM data and respond to its reports. And thus staffing budget goes higher than expected which is another SIEM problems.

7. No Evidence of the Security Breach

An informed cyber attacker knows that event logs are usually sent in batches, rather than in real time, to limit the impact of their transmission on network bandwidth.

The hacker thus has an access window to the operating system, including the underlying logging system. If it can clear the log logging access with administrator rights before it is sent, you will not have any evidence of the security breach. No proof, no offense.

On the other hand, if the attacker succeeds in performing system authentication without triggering an anomaly alert or using malware, no event will be generated by the network monitoring systems.

The solution to these SIEM problems is to find the best tool that works best for your IT team. It is advisable not to select any solution rashly or blindly.

Considering Outsourcing the Management of your SIEm

Top Cyber Security Testing Tools in 2019

Top Cyber Security Testing Tools in 2019

Which cyber security testing tools should you use in 2019? Check out the list of the top tools our security experts are using. 

security testing tools

Cyber attack is one of the nightmares of big companies.  Keeping their confidential records from being hacked is their biggest concern.  Banks, multi-national corporations and defense departments of every countries, they are all at risk.  This is the reason why, most of them invested a lot for securing their computer system and resulted in employing cyber specialists and buying modern technology.

Security Testing Tools

Cyber security is the reason of the birth of these many cyber security penetration testing tools.  These tools are use by security experts to test every computer systems for vulnerability of being hacked.  This testing tools are designed for different area of the system, checking its designed and pinpointing the possible area of attacked.

Here is a list of several security testing tools:

  • Metasploit. A collection of penetration tools which is used by cyber security experts to manage security evaluations and discover vulnerabilities. It used to evaluate the security condition of your infrastructure.
  • NMAP. Otherwise known as network mapper, this tool is used to monitor the host server and perform mapping of server vulnerability.
  • Wireshark. It is a very handy tool that is helpful in keeping up the real time details, of every activity that transpire in your system. It is an analyzer and an sniffer, which helps assess the vulnerability of your network.
  • Aircrack-ng. Set of utilities used to analyzing the weakness of a WIFI network. It captures data packet and export it to text files for analysis as a way of securing your WIFI network.
  • John the Ripper. Traditional password is the most popular security risk, as cyber criminals tend to take advantage of this weakness. Hackers used these passwords to compromise the system, by putting on damage on it or stealing important information. Expert used this tool, to simulate attack, to pen point its vulnerability.
  • Nessus. It is a paid-for tool, used to scan for vulnerabilities in your system. Easy to use, it also provides fast and accurate scanning for your system. In just a click of a button, it can also provide you with a complete and accurate result of the weaknesses of your network.
  • Burpsuite. Widely used, this is a utility to check the security of a web-based application. Consisting of various tools, it carries out different security tests. The tests includes mapping of attack surface, analyzing request and responses between servers and many more.

These are just some of the widely known cyber security penetration tools, which are being used by cyber security experts, to secure important credentials of big companies and other important government agencies worldwide.  It is up for the security experts, to determine, what types of tools your system requires.

Cyber security is a worldwide problem and unless this is addressed properly, every human and every businesses in this world, are at risk, of losing their vital information.  This information can be used by these criminals or sell it to syndicates, to be used in their illegal activities.  

Security Testing Tools: Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is commonly user service to check the viability of your cyber security stems.

When a penetration test is launched, the aim is to carry out a risk assessment on your organization’s security system and controls. This is done by evaluating and picking out the parts of your security firewall that may be targeted by attackers. These parts are then subjected to an attack through a penetration test. When vulnerabilities in the security system are detected, the individual or company may then find out ways to eliminate the potential risk that may arise from these loopholes. This may be done by either getting rid of the defective systems or strengthening them to ensure that they are not exploited.

Read more about the 7 Reasons you need a Penetration Test in 2019.

The evolution of the information technology is so fast, that everything is already dependent to computerization of everything.  From business industries, to governments in every country, they are all dependent on computers and the internet.  With this development, cyber security experts are trying their best, to be able to find ways to protect computer systems of big corporations, government agencies and private individuals.  The goal here is to keep their important information’s secured from being hacked.

What are these Security Penetration Testing tools?

Security Penetration Testing Tools are instruments that are used by cyber security experts, to check your computer system’s vulnerability to such cyber attacks.  It’s is because of the fast evolution of the computer technology, that system updates are inevitable.  Computer system should be tested, to able to determine, which part of their system is vulnerable. These is the reason employing these security testing tools.

Here is a list of some of popular Security Penetration Tools in addition to the tools listed above: 

  • Wifiphisher. This tool is an access point tool.  Using wifiphisher in assessment will lead to actual infection of the system.
  • Burp suite. This tool is best used with a web browser.  This tool is essential to check applications of their functionality and security risks.
  • OWASP ZAP. Another application tool, this one is better used for starters in application security.
  • CME. This exploitation tool helps to automate assessing the security of large active directory network.
  • PowerSploit. It’s a set of modules to be used for assessments.
  • Immunity Inc.-Debugger. This tool is use by security experts to write exploits, analyze malware and a lot more features.
  • THC-Hydra. A network log-in cracker, the tool holds several details to allow users to get started.

When is it necessary to do the testing?

The frequency of testing varies from each team.  It is up to the teams own life cycle and the availability of its application and resources.  Key exercises can performed with in a life cycle, such as in the design mode, while others can take place in the implementation mode.

A wider network and application analysis requires the acceptance of the customer and also done in the deployment phase of the project.

The methods used in penetration testing are:

  • Internal Testing.  Here, a tester which has the capability to access beyond the firewall will do a simulation attack on the system.
  • External Testing. This method targets company data that are visible to the web, such as the company’s website, emails and servers.
  • Blind Testing. Given only the name of the target, the tester gives security personnel real time scenario of an application assault.
  • Double Blind Testing.  Here in this method, security personnel have zero knowledge of the simulation, which make them unprepared of such eventuality.
  • Targeted testing.  This method shows teamwork between the tester and the security personnel, giving them a chance to hear from a hacker’s mindset.

Of course, if these tools aren’t familiar to you, penetration testing is a steep learning curve. It’s best to stick with a professional to do the work for you.

Conclusion: Security Testing Tools

There are many security testing tools on the market today. But none can match the experience of an educated and tested security team or individual.  Contact us for more questions about penetration testing. 

 

Assessment and Testing Services

Don’t Let the Internet of Things Compromise Your Security

Don’t Let the Internet of Things Compromise Your Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become entrenched into every aspect of the modern pace of life. Learn how to incorporate cybersecurity into your IoT strategy from the beginning. 

internet of things

The Internet of Things, a broadly distributed, intelligent, autonomous network of smart devices, is already being rolled out all over the world, and with it come security concerns for every business network. Eventually expected to hit more than 25 billion objects by 2020, these devices can be as bulky as a soda vending machine or as innocuous as a smartwatch.

Computer security has lagged innovation in the industry for years. First through primitive floppy drives and then increasingly via the internet, as more and more machines were brought online, viruses and malware have cut through operating systems and productivity software almost without effort. No comprehensive defenses have ever emerged, and slapdash protection like antivirus scanners lag the threats by design.

Nonetheless, the patched-together defenses have been sufficient to allow the modern internet to function and even prosper with only a steady drip of breaches… albeit breaches costing approximately $6 trillion each year. With an average cost of $2.4 million and a time to recover of 50 days according to industry consultancy Accenture, businesses have been taking hits but making enough money in the process to write them off as just another cost of doing business.

But the advent of the IoT is likely to change that equation dramatically, and for the worse. While businesses today spend around $93 billion in cybersecurity services, the rapid explosion in both the number of devices to be secured and the difficulty of securing their proprietary and possibly unsupported operating systems will skyrocket.

To control those costs, it is imperative for businesses to develop strong, proactive strategies for securing their networks for the Internet of Things.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security released a guide to strategic principles for companies to follow in this effort. The six steps are ones that every business and IT manager should know.

Incorporate Security at the Design Phase

Both the design of IoT devices and networks that will be supporting them will have to be carefully built from the ground up for security. Unlike today’s LANs and WANs, security cannot simply be an afterthought. Network-level security by default is the best practice, using explicit permissions for protocols and devices sending packets instead of the common default-permit procedures usually allowed on today’s networks.

Building networks tolerant of disruption and compromise is also important. Redundancy and segmentation capabilities can rapidly seal off compromised devices or network segments, allowing company business to proceed unmolested in other parts of the organization.

Advance Security Updates and Vulnerability Management

Some 80 percent of malicious attacks are conducted against security vulnerabilities that have already been found and fixed by the original vendors. Patch management is a chronic problem in today’s networks and it will only get worse with millions of more devices flooding corporate systems.

The brunt of this problem will fall on vendors themselves, but companies can assist them by selecting devices with strong patching support and moving aggressively to eliminate out-dated or unsupported IoT peripherals.

Build on Proven Security Practices

Although the IoT will undoubtedly lead to a sea change in corporate information security practices, the rest of the internet and its attendant weaknesses will not simply disappear. Current best practices are still important and can, in fact, mitigate many potential IoT vulnerabilities along with the more traditional holes they are designed to cover.

A solid, in-depth defense strategy that does not put all your security eggs in one basket is something every company should already have. Businesses that already use this technique are miles ahead when it comes to being prepared for their IoT roll-out.

Prioritize Security Measures According to Potential Impact

Risk models in the IoT may not conform to current ideas for structuring network security. IoT devices will cover the gamut from welding robots to coffee machines. Each of these is likely to have different intended uses and network environments and will come from the factory built with that use in mind.

But if there is anything that today’s internet has taught us, it is that users find their own applications for devices. IT departments will have to prioritize their security strategy to deal with unintended uses and to aggressively identify new devices on networks.

Promote Transparency Across IoT

Identifying and managing devices generally requires a new and powerful kind of transparency. Corporate networks that are managed piece-meal without network monitoring systems that cut across departmental boundaries will be especially vulnerable to insidious IoT breaches.

This transparency also has to include vendors, who will need to promote better customer awareness of device capabilities and vulnerabilities. Businesses buying IoT products will need to insist on a far greater amount of information about what they are plugging into their networks than is common today.

Connect Carefully and Deliberately

That leads to the final point, which is that IoT rollouts should be conducted carefully and deliberately. Only after engaging every other step in the strategic blueprint should IoT networks be brought online, and then only with close monitoring. Selective connectivity should be the rule of the day, even when this means preventing users from bringing in their own systems.

As DHS points out in their guide, mitigation in this area is a constantly evolving, shared responsibility. Businesses will have to learn to work more closely than ever with vendors of IoT devices, and those vendors will have to provide better support for longer periods more effectively than ever before if they hope to remain players in the market.

Like today’s internet, though, the IoT has the potential to entirely remake commerce and the daily life of every human being on the planet, and the economic benefits of ensuring security will pay huge dividends on the investment.

Tiered Cyber Risk Management Services