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Feds' Shift to Mobile Creates Security Cracks
February 05, 2014
Federal employees quickly have become strong adherents of mobile devices. In a recent survey, 90 percent of government employees said they used at least one mobile device -- laptop, smartphone or tablet -- for work purposes. However, the enthusiasm by federal workers for the use of mobile devices has not been matched by appropriate concerns for security.
Target Fiasco Shines Light on Supply Chain Attacks
February 03, 2014
The holiday data breach at Target was opened up with stolen credentials from a vendor in the company's supply chain, according to reports that surfaced last week. That kind of attack is getting more and more common these days. "About 80 percent of data breaches originate in the supply chain," said Torsten George, vice president of marketing for Agiliance.
IT Weaknesses Paved the Way for Target Hackers
January 30, 2014
The Target data breach exposed more than 100 million customers, riled up U.S. intelligence agencies, sparked a Justice Department investigation, involved the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, triggered congressional hearings, and led several banks to re-issue their credit cards. The hacker has variously been identified as a 17-year-old Russian or one or more other cybercriminals.
Google Joins Enterprise Cloud Slugfest in Earnest
December 03, 2013
The Google Compute Engine became generally available on Tuesday, almost 18 months after its introduction at last year's Google I/O. "We have been taking time and doing careful work to ensure that as we open Compute Engine to developers, they have a great experience with things like billing and support, tools, and our operating system support," said Google spokesperson Elizabeth Markman.
NSA's Malware Infection Spree Leaves Network Managers Powerless
November 26, 2013
The United States National Security Agency reportedly has seeded 50,000 networks worldwide with malware designed to steal sensitive information. The report -- the latest in a series of published disclosures based on documents released by Snowden -- is likely to fuel the controversy raging around cybersurveillance by the U.S. and its allies -- the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Feds Hankering for Mobile IT Management Solutions
October 09, 2013
The acquisition process for the latest innovation must keep pace with the ever changing IT landscape. In the public sector, that process has surfaced in acquisition vehicles related to cloud technology, data management and IT security. For the U.S. government, the GSA has become a focal point for developing contract vehicles and programs to facilitate the acquisition of innovative IT.
BYOD Security Is All About Juggling Risks
September 23, 2013
Allowing workers to use personal phones and tablets to do their jobs has created security risks in the workplace, but those risks can be minimized if they're managed. What should such a risk management program do? "The first step is you have to protect the device," said IBM Application, Data and Mobile Security Director Caleb Barlow. That includes everything from provisioning to data wiping.
Cracking the BYOD Security Nut
September 23, 2013
While so-called BYOD isn't necessarily new -- IT departments, after all, have been supporting mobile road warriors since the 1980s -- the rising tide of end users seeking the use and support of their own consumer devices is different. It's so different that IT departments are grasping for any standard or proven approaches that make BYOD access of enterprise resources both secure and reliable.
Federal Networks Can't Handle Planned IT Upgrades
September 18, 2013
Ambitious plans to improve federal information technology systems could easily founder on the shoals of deficient networks. Government agencies currently are striving to meet the challenges associated with initiatives in five major areas: cloud technology; Big Data management; cybersecurity requirements; data center consolidation; and, increasingly, mobile IT.
Needle in a Haystack: Harnessing Big Data for Security
September 14, 2013
The combination of the polymorphic nature of malware, failure of signature-based security tools, and massive amounts of data and traffic flowing in and out of enterprise networks is making threat management using traditional approaches virtually impossible. Until now, security has been based largely on the opinions of researchers who investigate attacks.
No End to the Headaches Endpoints Give System Defenders
September 03, 2013
If there's one attack surface that's attracting growing attention from digital marauders, it's a system's endpoints. With the proliferation of BYOD, securing connections can be a defender's nightmare. Endpoints have an allure for attackers because they offer multiple attack vectors, such as social engineering attacks, spearphishing, USB infection, and compromise of WiFi networks and routers.
4 Quick and Dirty SaaS Technical Controls
September 03, 2013
Because of the rapid pace of SaaS adoption, many security practitioners have found themselves scrambling to ensure the security of the specific technologies their enterprises want to employ. However, the dynamics of SaaS can make this a challenging exercise. This is because most of the options for specific security controls are, by necessity, of the contractual or procedural variety.
AWS: The Cloud Is Falling
August 26, 2013
Amazon Web Services were impacted in some areas on Sunday, six days after Web stores in the U.S. and Canada went down for about 30 minutes, causing losses estimated at up to $45 million. The latest outage lasted about an hour and impacted Facebook's Instagram, Twitter's Vine and Airbnb, among others. Amazon blamed the problem on a networking device that caused packet losses, which it replaced.
Major US Media Succumb to Unsophisticated Syrian Hack Attacks
August 16, 2013
The Syrian Electronic Army on Thursday claimed credit for hack attacks that took control of portions of a handful of major U.S. news sites via an article-recommendation service they all use. SEA reportedly gained control of them by entering an administration portal for Outbrain and inserting links in some of the recommended articles at the bottom of the Web page, thereby redirecting readers to its own site.
Google Changes Net Neutrality Tune in Fiber Spat
July 31, 2013
The FCC is looking into a complaint that Google Fiber's ban on hosting computer servers on its network violates its Open Internet Order and Rules. Google Fiber told the FCC, among other things, that its policy was fully consistent with the Order and Rules, but critics contend the company has done an about-face on its previously vociferous support for Net neutrality.
BlackBerry Wraps Enterprise Security Blanket Around iOS, Android
June 26, 2013
If you own an iPhone or Android mobile phone and work at a BlackBerry shop, it will be simpler from now on to keep your personal information and apps segregated from those you use for work. That's thanks to BlackBerry's Tuesday release of Secure Work Space, an iOS and Android solution that gives handsets running those operating systems capabilities previously reserved only for BlackBerry hardware.
Criticism: A Security Chief's Most Valuable Resource
May 17, 2013
This past week, a lesson about enterprise information security found its way to me via a somewhat unorthodox channel: specifically, an episode of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. In this particular episode, the upshot was that Ramsay wasn't able to help. Why not? The owners weren't able to take criticism. There's a lesson in this for those of us in the network and security space.
Cisco's Data Center Sales Spark Q1 Earnings
May 16, 2013
Cisco's quarterly earnings report beat Wall Street expectations this week, giving investors a hint of confidence in the constantly evolving tech industry. The networking company reported a net income of $2.48 billion, or 46 cents per share. That's up from the $2.17 billion it earned during the same time last year. Revenue was up 5.4 percent to $12.22 billion.
Millions of Livingsocial Users Now Prime Phishing Targets
April 29, 2013
LivingSocial's customers received some bad news on Friday: The popular daily deal site had been hacked, compromising some 50 million members' customer data. There was some good news -- credit card data was not affected, the company promised in its notice to customers. Also, the Facebook credentials of users who connected to LivingSocial using Facebook Connect were not compromised.
Android: A Second Career in Security?
April 23, 2013
Many of us have a wealth of decommissioned corporate-provisioned mobile devices: We've bought them, handed them out, and seen them used successfully for years. Now they're on their way to the great docking station in the sky. However, because these devices are already off the books adapting them for specific security functions can mean achieving certain goals practically for free.
Provo Is Next Stop on the Google Fiber Express
April 20, 2013
One week after the announcement that the Google Fiber network would come to Austin, Texas, Provo found out it will be the third city to get the search company's gigabit high-speed service. The Utah city, home to a much-criticized, money-losing fiber optic network, will sell it to Google for $1. The announcement means the company will eventually provide the city with Internet service that is 100 times faster.
Dutch Spam Fight Boils Over Into Largest-Ever DDoS Attack
March 27, 2013
A week-old squabble between two Dutch groups -- the spamfighting Spamhaus Project and Web hosting service Cyberbunker -- has resulted in what has been called the largest distributed denial of service attack in Web history. The cyberfight reportedly has spilled over onto the global Internet and slowed down some data communications, especially in Europe.
FCC Buckles on Cybersecurity
March 20, 2013
Internet service providers are resisting the Federal Communications Commission's recommendations for implementing security best practices, the agency has reported. The ISP members of the Communications, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) say they believe additional evaluation is required to determine whether those best practices should apply to their industry.
RIM Releases BYOD-Friendly IT Management Software
January 23, 2013
Research In Motion released a new version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service mobile device management software on Wednesday. This comes just over a week before the official launch of the new BlackBerry 10 OS and compatible handsets, and just days after RIM CEO Thorsten Heins suggested the company might abandon the hardware market and sharpen its focus on software.

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