A Ransomware Discussion with Absolute’s Richard Henderson (Podcast)

RansomwareRichard Henderson, The Global Security Strategist for Absolute, and I spoke about the global Ransomware threat, its prevention, and what to do if you’re victimized by an attack. Richard and I disagree a bit on what you should do if you’re a Ransomware victim. I say that you should never pay. He says that there are circumstances where it makes more sense to pay the ransom.

I write the introductory column for ADMIN magazine and in the most recent issue (Number 40), I wrote about this very topic. I titled it, “Feeding Seagulls is Wrong.” It is a light-hearted look at feeding seagulls, which I compare to ransomware writers. To me, paying ransomware writers is like feeding seagulls: You’re down a bag of Cheetos (Some amount of Bitcoin) and the seagulls (Ransomware writers) are never satisfied.

Listen to the podcast. Read my column. Make a decision. And feel free to tweet me @kenhess to start a discussion.

Podcast details:

Length: 24:11 minutes. Format: MP3. Rating: G for all audiences.

Copyright 2017 The SecurityNOW Podcast Show. CC BY.

“Manage Access, Not Keys” with Tatu Ylönen (Podcast)

SSH CommunicationsGreetings SSH fans. Preston and I had the pleasure of speaking with SSH Communications Security founder Tatu Ylönen about keyless access and how system administrators and system security professionals should “manage access, not keys” when using the SSH protocol.

Preston and I debate the security of a decision to use passwordless and keyless access. During the call, we asked how to implement keyless access and what the deployment looks like to a system administrator. Preston and I are both system administrators, so we are definitely interested in the ins-and-outs of deployment.

Tatu YlönenAs always, Tatu is very engaging and extremely knowledgeable about the topic of security, SSH, and access management.

Podcast details:

Length: 15:52 minutes. Format: MP3. Rating: G for all audiences.

Copyright 2017 SecurityNOW. License: CC BY.

Cybersecurity Law with Heidi L. Shadid, Attorney at Law (Video)

Eller & DetrichHeidi Shadid of the Eller & Detrich Law Firm and I sat down for an interview that covered several aspects of Cybersecurity Law. We discussed how to engage her firm, what to do after a hack or breach, and what your responsibilities are for reporting a breach. Ms. Shadid is an Attorney with the Eller & Detrich Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma and includes Cybersecurity Law in her practice.

Her practice encompasses the following specialties:

Core areas of practice and experience

  • General Civil Litigation
  • Business Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • Employment Disputes
  • Cybersecurity Risk Management

Bar admissions

  • Oklahoma, 2010
  • Missouri, 2009
  • Kansas, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern & Western Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Copyright 2017 SecurityNOW – License: CC BY

Protecting Your Cyberlife

By Preston Smith

How significant are foreign hacks and cyber threats to the average person?

Does the thought of foreign hackers enter our daily lives?

Does anyone stop and think, “Wow, right now there are possibly thousands of entities trying to break into my cyberlife.”?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s just the work side of your cyberlife that they’re trying to gain access to. There may be more information from an organization, but if they can get even a little bit of your personal information, they’re going to try and get it!
Most of the time it isn’t even people who are testing and trying out ways to get into information. Often, it’s just a bot trying any IP addresses that it can reach. If a bot hits an IP address and receives an open request for a login, that response forwards onto the next bot that attempts to guess login credentials. Then that bot keeps trying, following whatever “might” be a logical limit (if the owner or admin bothered to set that option) on login attempts, so as not to lock out the account until it gains access.

A bot doesn’t care about how quickly it can access an account.; it can be very patient, especially since few, if anyone, checks access to accounts or, heaven forbid, to regularly change passwords! Of course, once a bot successfully logs in, it probably gives notification to the organization (or to the country) that started the bot so that the attacker can infiltrate and either place Stealth viruses or another bot to collect information, onto compromised systems.
The really challenging bots are some that have learned to hide on our systems. They collect everything about us that we put into a computer that we think is safe. Again, this is something that can happen on your home computer as well as on your work computer.

I don’t want to make us all psychotic about using our cyber devices. But I do want us to realize that international and foreign hackers are not just on the government’s doorstep! They’re at your door if you have any device with an IP address! Instead of freaking out about it and shutting everything off, let’s apply logic and strategy and make security a habit, not a chore. Use password managers so they can help us track how often to change passwords and to not use duplicate passwords anywhere.

Update software and firmware on everything. Don’t delay installing the latest updates as they usually include important security patches! Also, since firmware doesn’t seem to let us know when there’s a new version available, put together a calendar reminder to check your firmware on a regular basis!

Always have at least one (or even more) of the well-known antivirus software applications running on any device that it can be installed! Check that you have set your settings at a secure mode. Don’t ever accept the default settings from a program or an application. Read the options carefully, find what you would be comfortable with, and then set it one level higher (more restrictive) than you want.

Remember, it’s too easy to forget how much the bad guys want to get into your cyberlife! Think about things like “Does this device connect to the Internet?” “Does it have a login?” And here is the difficult question that really requires thought, “If someone gained access to this device, what information could they get or how much access would they have to my cyberlife?”

We must realize that our comfortable and exciting cyberlife is not the safest of environments. All it takes to feel more comfortable with our cyber choices is to be sure that we take complete control and know our risks and our protections.

Black Hat 2017 Conference Trends with Richard Henderson (Podcast)

Black Hat 2017I’ve never been to a Black Hat Conference but I’d love to go. Richard Henderson, Global Security Strategist for Absolute and regular SecurityNOW podcast guest, is going. Before he left, he shared some ideas and trends for this year’s conference in fabulous Las Vegas.
Richard and I discuss a lot of different things in this episode but our main focus is Black Hat 2017 and what he thinks the trends are going to be.

I think this was a fun one. Unfortunately, Preston was not able to join us, but we had a good time anyway. Richard is always a great guest and I think you’ll enjoy hearing a longer, calmer podcast than usual.

Podcast details:

Length: 36:22 minutes. Format: MP3. Rating: G for all audiences.

Copyright SecurityNOW 2017. License: CC BY

Social Media Security with Proofpoint’s Dan Nadir (Podcast)

ProofpointPreston and I had the opportunity to speak with Proofpoint‘s Vice President of Digital Risk on the hot topic of social media security. I say it’s a hot topic because it’s a hot topic for me because I’m not really a fan of most social media sites. I generally only use LinkedIn and Twitter. But there’s more to social media than Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There’s Instagram, Snapchat, and others. And security for all them is a big concern–or should be. In this podcast, we discuss the problems with social media security and some possible solutions.

Listen in and tell us what you think.

Podcast details:

Length: 19:59 minutes. Format: MP3. Rating: G for all audiences.

Copyright 2017 SecurityNOW  Licensing: CCBY

SecurityNOW’s Mid-Year 2017 Cybersecurity Review

HalfPreston and I took a few minutes to recap the year so far in cybersecurity and to catch you up on what’s going on with breaches, security tips, and ransomware. We have a lengthy (for us) conversation that covers all things cybersecurity for the first half of 2017 and all that it had to offer. I want you to pay particular attention to my five rules concerning ransomware. Please take this advice as wisdom from not only Preston and myself but from other cybersecurity professionals as well.

Podcast details:

Length: 33:56 minutes. Format: MP3. Rating: G for all audiences.

True Digital SecurityThis podcast was sponsored by True Digital Security.