Cybersecurity is all about Infosec!

“Using smart technology is not smart unless infosec procedures are set in place.” Laith Alkhouri

We are inundated with shiny and new.

The newest mobile device, the newest computer, the newest operating system, the newest application or apps, all that newness.

All of that smart technology!

Individuals and organisations often forget, in the rush to get things to market, the first reiteration of shiny and new can have some serious flaws and issues.

We forget it too!

Going back a couple of years when everyone was jumping on the band wagon of “you need an app for that“, some of the NFL teams released apps for you to track you favorite team, keep up with the stats and buy their merchandise.

They forgot that a financial transaction needed access to either credit card information or bank account details.   These transactions were in plain text in transmission as well as when stored on the device.

No encryption.

If you purchased that jumper then you had a really good chance of having your financial details stolen.

To stop themselves from being sued they put all of the onus on everyone using the system through a comprehensive waiver.   You agreed to the terms and conditions probably without realising it, you agreed when you installed the app.

The way all of the software companies manage their apps are the same.   You want to use the app then it is your problem because you agreed to the terms and conditions.

The legal beagles have not caught up with this yet.   As a user, are we not entitled to have some semblance of security and safety when using a product.

Are we not entitled to sue someone when using their product and something happens?

When did that change?

I suggest that when you install your next app that you have a look at the terms and conditions before you say yes.   In most cases you have no rights what so ever if something is stolen, according to them.

Oh look something shiny and new, I just have to have it!

 

Roger Smith is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one in 3 sections of Amazon.   He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

What is the difference between a Penetration Test and a vulnerability scan?

Ransomware for Medical devices – what happens then?

One of the biggest problems with our bright new shiny digital world is everything we do or use today has some level of digital components.
We know that everyday computers, smart devices, mobile devices and gaming platforms, are digital in nature.
We forget that Fitbits, Internet of Things devices and medical devices also have some level of digital incorporated into them.
So what happens to these devices if they become infected with malware, even worse if that malware is a ransomware.
If I had a pacemaker installed in my body and the medical staff lost control of it (that is what malware and Ransomware does, removes their control and gives it to someone else) I think that I would get a little panicky.

Definitely a WTF moment.

Most medical devices are either WiFi or blue tooth enabled.   That makes them relatively easy to break into.
Researchers have been looking at compromising medical devices and in 2015 there were 25 known vulnerabilities in some of the most popular devices.   What about the unknown ones, how many of them were there?
We all saw what happened with IOT devices when Mirai was released on the internet late 2016.   It compromised a certain level of device that had a hard coded username and password in the system.
We also saw what happens when the wannacry ransomware hit and the fall out from that in May 2017.

Now imagine a wannacry variant that targets your pacemaker.   “Give us $1000 or we stuff around with your heart!”  That would certainly make your life pretty interesting.
What’s to stop it happening?   Whats to stop it happening right now?
I keep coming back to people taking responsibility for the code they write.   I think we need to have a serious look at our new and shiny world and do something about it.  Before it is too late and people start dying!

We need to think things through.

Think like the bad guys.
Oh, and before you say “why would they target my pacemaker?” In most cases it is because they can.
Roger Smith is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.
He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one in 3 sections of Amazon.   
He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI
He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.


What is the difference between a Penetration Test and a vulnerability scan?

Duty of Care in a cybercrime world!

We are all connected in today’s world through the invisible and mostly unknown world of the internet.
We practically do everything in “cyber” space.   From ordering food, organizing a date to storing our whole lives in bits and bytes.
Email, social media, web and mobility are all driving our world.
Everything is connected to the internet!
So who is responsible for making sure all that information, all of those little bits of information is safe.
Is it the person who supplies that information?
Is the organisation collecting it and storing it?
Is it the Governments responsibility?
We all know that it can’t be the people who are are collecting and storing the information.   The giants of the internet tell us they are just a platform!
We click through all of these legal documents, acceptable use policies, that have been designed to protect them from practically every eventuality.
SME’s don’t have that luxury.   Our reputation is our only constant and we need to keep it safe.   When it comes to SME’s, ask these questions.
What is the difference between a Penetration Test and a vulnerability scan?

What is the difference between a Penetration Test and a vulnerability scan?

If you are collecting that information – What’s your duty of care?   

Have you done everything in your power to protect that information?
Have you done everything to comply with all of those regulatory requirements that make doing business difficult?
To support your clients, customers and staff are you protecting their information?
If you are supplying the information – what is your duty of care?
Have you asked the simple question, how much information am I putting out there.   When I take a photo and upload it to social media have I removed the geo tags.
When I get into a conversation with someone on social media am I checking their “humanness”, are they really that person?
Am I mistrusting everyone, am I paranoid about everything, am I aware of some of the things that can significantly impact my life, both in the real world or in the digital.
These are the questions that we need to ask and here is some advice.
In today’s world have you done this?
  • “TRUST NO ONE”
  • Be aware
  • Get paranoid and
  • Use some common sense.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity), Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, Presenter for the Business Security Intensive, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

Why do we still believe these 6 idioms about the Internet?

For 25 years the internet has been around.
Since its inception, thanks Tim, we have seen how it can be used for ‘good’, but we have also seen, in the last 10 years, how it can be used for bad, evil and nasty stuff.
The bad utilization is starting to have significant impact on the business world but we still have a number of areas where we do not see the dangers.
These are some of the internet attitudes that we come across constantly:

It will not happen to me

In one word, OK two – automated systems.
The free automated systems that are now available to any bored 14 year old cause major problems for anyone connected to the internet or digital world.

I have anti virus, that’s all I need.

We are constantly shown that most business organisations think in one dimension when talking about the Internet.
The fact that the bad guys and even the automated systems think in a multi faceted approach when it comes to targeting us.   Anti virus will find 95% of attacks and stop about 85%.
That leaves a significant number of areas where AV will not protect you at all

My password is strong enough for me

I was recently watching an interviewer on one of the late night shows that was sent out to the streets to ask people for their passwords.   The ridiculous easy way, in which she got that information, was astounding.
One of the other features to come out of it was people still use dictionary words, personal information, easy to remember sequences.
Passwords have to be complex, unique and more than 9 characters.   Its not easy for you it is easy for them.

I only trust my friends on social media

On my Facebook recently there has been a spate of people who are already my friends asking to hook up on Facebook again.
It can be very difficult making sure that you do not fall for this type of scam

3d people – man person with umbrella and arrows. Protection against problems

I am not rich and famous why would they pick on me

On the Internet everyone has something of value.
Even though you may not have money or access to money, trade secrets or you think your personal information is not important you still have one thing that the cyber criminal considers important.
You have some sort of technology that they can then use to target other people from and hide their attack behind.

Digital security is very expensive

The fundamentals are not.
Use a firewall, use an anti-virus, back everything you consider important up, patch it all and use a decent password.
None of these are expensive, but they all lift anyone out of the realms of easy targets.
In addition here are a couple more – Trust no one and be paranoid.

I don’t need a back up because it will never happen to me

If you think that your information on your digital device is not worth backing it up then ask yourself this question – if I lost my laptop, dropped my phone in the toilet or my tablet was stolen what information could I not live without.
That’s the information that needs to be backed up.
Backups are for any digital device that has your information on that is irreplaceable.
The bad guys have changed, we have not.
They’re are smarter, more persistent and definitely more brazen.   We have to adapt to their changes and make sure we are protecting ourselves, if we don’t no one else is
Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity), Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, Presenter for the Business Security Intensive, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

6 cybersecurity countermeasures your organisation needs right now

Modern organisations use and need access to today’s technology but understand little of the actual underlying systems.

This creates a huge problem for the cybersecurity of the organisation.

With due diligence to the fore you would think that implementing a cloud solution would be relatively easy, everyone is doing it and of course it will make the organisation more competitive.

But will it?

Today’s organisational technical environment are a hash of unrelated systems needed to fit a niche requirement, combined with the least available spend and with the best return available.

It is no wonder that inter operability becomes a huge problem when combined with the cybersecurity aspects of protecting the organisation.

Now tie that in with the business compliance requirement and you can see how big a problem business security becomes.

There are a number of strategic requirements that can be used to make the organisation more secure.

They are:

Education

Teach your children well, never mind the children, teach your staff an understanding of cybersecurity and securing your business. Your staff are usually the first line of defence and the last line of resistance.

They will see something happen, open an attachment, follow a malicious link and they need to be able to recognise what they have done and then do something about it.

Realise that they have gone to a malicious website and unplug the network card.

Technology

Invest in the best.

The newest operating systems and applications, the best firewall you can afford to buy, the most secure wireless and VPN system.

They are all important in protecting your organisation.

But, they all need to be updated and patched as required.

Data management

Who has access to what and what can they do with it. Where is it stored and have you got a backup of all critical data.

Those questions are all part of the risk management component of an organisation.

When it comes to risk and data always err on the best protection that you can afford.

User access

Restrict access to system.

Need to know, yes its an old saying but it still has currency in today’s world.

Make it a rule that no administration account has access to the internet or has an email account. These are the primary attack vectors for a cyber criminal.

Policies, procedures and processes

Build them and they will protect your organisation. There is a fine line between over restrictive and non existent.

All of the three P’s should be designed to support business functionality.

Back it up

No matter the expense, an investment in a backup strategy, a disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan can mean the business will survive a silly mistake.

No matter the situation a decent strategy around recovery will save you every time.

Your organisation can come to a complete stop with one interaction with a dedicated bad guy. Make sure that you are not exposing your organisation to that problem

Everyone within the organisation has a requirement to look for the signs that depict a cyber attack.

Use them, educate them and make sure that everyone knows that the requirements are within their job purview.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity), Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, Presenter for the Business Security Intensive, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.