I’ve read a fair amount of cybersecurity books across a wide spectrum of topics—early hackers, cyber-crime, hacktivists, nation state activity, etc. A few years ago, new books were few and far between, but this is no longer the case. I recently posted a blog/book report on Kim Zetter’s fantastic book, Countdown to Zero Day. Allow me to recommend another good one, @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex, by Shane Harris.
Just about every cyber-attack follows a similar pattern: An end-user is fooled into clicking on a malicious link, downloading malware, or opening an infected file. This is one of the early stages of the famous Lockheed Martin “kill chain.”
In a blog I posted last week, I described that enterprise organizations are encrypting more of their network traffic. This is a mixed blessing in that it can protect data confidentiality and integrity but it also opens a camouflaged threat vector back into the organization. To address this risk, a majority (87%) of organizations decrypt and then inspect SSL/TLS traffic looking for things like reconnaissance activity, malware, and C2 communications according to ESG research.
In order to assess IT spending priorities over the next 12-18 months, ESG recently surveyed 601 IT professionals representing midmarket (100 to 999 employees) and enterprise-class (1,000 employees or more) organizations in North America and Western Europe. All respondents were personally responsible for or familiar with their organizations’ 2014 IT spending as well as their 2015 IT budget and spending plans at either an entire organization level or at a business unit/division/branch level.
As part of a whistle-stop tour of Northern California, President Obama held a White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University last Friday. Much to the delight of the Silicon Valley crowd, the President signed an executive order (right there on stage at Stanford) to promote data sharing about digital threats. The summit also highlighted industry leaders like Apple CEO Tim Cook, and large critical infrastructure organizations like Bank of America and Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Encrypted traffic has become increasingly ubiquitous at most organizations. According to new ESG research, a vast majority (87%) of organizations surveyed encrypt at least 25% of their overall network traffic today. Network encryption is a security best practice as it protects the privacy and confidentiality of network traffic as it travels from source to destination.
When you work in the cybersecurity domain you face some daunting challenges. For one thing, cybersecurity is always changing – there are new offensive and defensive tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) constantly that you try to keep up with. Alternatively, cybersecurity is an extremely broad topic, spanning technology, regulations, law enforcement, geo-political conflict, critical infrastructure, etc.
For the past few years, everyone seems to be down on antivirus software. This sentiment was exhibited in a recent ESG research report, The Endpoint Security Paradox. When asked to identify challenges associated with their antivirus software, 34% of security professionals complained about too many false positives that classify benign files/software as malware, while 33% said that products are not nearly as effective at blocking and/or detecting malware as they should be.
ESG Founder and Senior Analyst Steve Duplessie interviews Senior Analyst Jon Oltsik on his 2015 predictions for the Information Security segment.
As part of my job, I speak with lots of CISOs about their day-to-day activities, challenges, and responsibilities. Motivated by a few of these discussions last summer, I posted a blog called the CISO-centric Information Security Triad, which defined the three primary CISO priorities: security efficacy, operational efficiency, and business enablement.
Jon Oltsik is an ESG senior principal analyst and the founder of the firm’s information security service. With over 25 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of information security and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Recently, Jon has been an active participant with cybersecurity issues, legislation, and technology within the U.S. federal government.
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