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Mitigating Cyber-Risk While We’re (Still) Working from Home

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One click is all it takes for confidential information to land in the wrong hands. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to teach preventative cybersecurity to remote workers.

Over the past few months, we’ve become very familiar with the many cybersecurity perils posed by a largely (or fully) remote workforce. It’s clear that work-from-home (WFH) isn’t going away anytime soon — and neither are bad actors.

But as the fine line between working and living from home becomes increasingly blurred, it’s important to step back and recognize that with everything interconnected, one click is all it takes for confidential information to land in the wrong hands.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to teach preventative cybersecurity — in your own home, at the dinner table — and a myriad of zero-trust tools you can leverage to keep yourself and your family cyber smart and secure while we WFH and go to school from home. Like anything else, practice makes perfect — and the same is true for cybersecurity. The better you can understand and practice the cybersecurity fundamentals within your own home, the safer off you and your loved ones will be.

Why Incidental Security Matters
Let’s start with the basics. Every network, at home or work, sits behind network address translation (NAT) boxes that allow us to reuse RFC1918 private address spaces all over the world due to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses. NAT, often configured on enterprise firewalls or routers, provides some incidental security. For connections that need to originate from inside the corporate enterprise, it “accidentally” shields organizations from malicious Internet traffic coming in.

At home, most folks use a router provided by their Internet service provider. The home router has a firewall and NAT functionality so your family can safely connect out to your favorite websites, and those websites can send the data you asked for back to you.

However, with most employees now working at home, enterprise-grade firewalls at the edge of corporate networks are no longer protecting them or providing the needed visibility for IT to help keep the corporate users safe. That’s where having an endpoint security solution that can provide visibility, segment and limit access between different internal networks and laptop devices can come in handy.

With CISOs, government employees, and business executives sharing home networks with their 15-year-old gamers and TikTok addicts, it’s imperative to extend the principles of least privilege to the systems with important data inside the home network. Meaning that even if a bad actor gains access to your kid’s network, your laptop and organization’s internal assets stay in the clear. When it comes to proactively protecting against cyber threats, segmentation is one of the best ways to ensure that bad actors stay contained when they breach the perimeter. Because, let’s be honest, it’s bound to happen. And even if you don’t click on something, your child might.

Understanding Your Zero-Trust Toolbox
We already touched on segmentation as a zero-trust tool, but there are many other tools you can use at home and at work (when we get back there) to ensure that your devices, networks, and crown jewels stay safe and secure.

According to our new report, 70% of organizations use multifactor authentication (MFA), topping the list of most popular zero-trust tools. It’s a straightforward deployment (one you can use on your home devices via apps like Authy or Google Authenticator) and provides a valuable additional layer of security beyond just usernames and passwords. Similarly, 69% of security professionals use single sign-on (SSO) to sign in to their devices, enabling users to sign in once with strong credentials backed by MFA.

Other tools like segmentation can help extend the principles of “least privilege” to the end of your networks and assets, making it harder for bad actors (or well-intentioned kids) to break into and compromise your corporate devices.

Another way to keep cybersecurity top of mind in your home is to hold a “Security 101” lesson over your next family dinner to teach your family how to avoid malicious sites when downloading games, music, popular apps, or the personal information that can be unwittingly shared through social networks if you’re not careful about what you share and with whom you connect. Hypervigilance, communication, and effective cybersecurity tools are key when it comes to keeping your family and your crown jewels safe and secure.

All in all, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to boil the ocean to mitigate cyber-risk in your home — especially with the challenges and tight budgets we face in COVID-19. It’s important to be focused on actionable points and specific controls you can use to keep your families and data secure, whenever and wherever possible.

As chief technology officer and founder, PJ is responsible for Illumio’s technology vision and platform architecture. PJ has 20 years of experience in engineering, with a focus on addressing the complexities of data centers. Prior to Illumio, PJ was CTO at Cymtec. He also … View Full Bio

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Source: https://www.darkreading.com/risk/mitigating-cyber-risk-while-were-(still)-working-from-home/a/d-id/1338876?_mc=rss_x_drr_edt_aud_dr_x_x-rss-simple

Cyber Security

Newly Launched Cybersecurity Company Stairwell

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Chronicle

A $4.5 million seed funding round was closed by the recently launched cybersecurity firm Stairwell, which seeks to provide defence teams with more tools to detect adversaries.

Mike Wiacek, who previously formed Google’s Threat Research Division and co-founded Chronicle, Alphabet ‘s corporate security company, founded and led the new agency. As COO and general counsel, Jan Kang, former Chief Legal Officer at Chronicle, enters Stairwell.

Stairwell shared very little information about its devices, but identified them as user-centered tools designed to help security teams “understand the core relationships between their external and internal data sources,” thus helping them battle cyber attacks proactively.

Security teams today are exposed to siloed resources that are unable to detect environmental ties between their external and internal data sources to offer defence against generic risks at the baseline level only. “We began Stairwell so that security teams have a coherent view of what is good, what is evil, and why, so that they can actively protect themselves against the most advanced threats,” said Wiacek.

Accel led the funding round, but Sequoia Funds, Gradient Ventures, and Allen & Company LLC, as well as other angel investors, also participated.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/newly-launched-cybersecurity-company-stairwell/

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Cyber Security

StackRox Announced the Release of KubeLinter to Identify Misconfigurations in Kubernetes

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Kubernetes Misconfigurations

On Wednesday, Container and Kubernetes security firm StackRox announced the introduction of KubeLinter, an open source platform designed to help users find misconfigurations in implementations of Kubernetes.

KubeLinter is a tool for static inspection that tests YAML files that store configuration data for Kubernetes apps to ensure that best practises are followed for protection.

A research recently performed by StackRox found that most events linked to Kubernetes are caused by human error, with two-thirds of cases claiming misconfigurations.

Usually, checking settings is performed manually, but the company claims it’s not an easy task and it sometimes results in mistakes. The aim of KubeLinter, which is a command-line tool, is to automate the process of testing YAML files and Helm charts (used for configuration management) before they are deployed in a Kubernetes cluster.

The tool has built-in tests for typical misconfigurations, such as ensuring that the maxim of least rights is enforced, following proper hygiene of the mark, ensuring that it does not run as core, the availability of preparation probes, and the use of criteria for resources. Users will also build custom tests.

On developer computers, KubeLinter can be run, but it can also be built into the continuous integration (CI) frameworks of an enterprise.

We built KubeLinter to provide a safer, more automated way for the Kubernetes group to detect misconfigurations and deviations from best practises that restrict organisations from understanding the full potential of cloud-native applications, “said Ali Golshan, co-founder and CTO of StackRox.” Ultimately, the release of KubeLinter as an open source tool would help users of Kubernetes build hardened environments that are increasingly immune to the inherent risks created by regular changes in configuration typical in development practices.’

On GitHub, the source code for KubeLinter is available and the Kubernetes community has been encouraged to contribute to the tool, which is currently defined as being in a very early development stage.

A short video has also been published by StackRox describing why it built KubeLinter and how users can contribute to the project.

StackRox recently received financing of $26.5 million, taking the company’s overall funding secured to $61 million.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/stackrox-announced-kubelinter-misconfigurations-in-kubernetes/

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Cyber Security

How Was 2020 Cyber Security Awareness Month?

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Global corporate enterprise and indeed global society is aware of the concept of cyber security. Personally Identifyable Information (PII) data leaks, continued personal phishing expeditions and state-based adversary hacking have all brought cyber security into focus for the average person.

The average Board member is certainly more aware of the value of cyber security than in years past due in part to ransomware payments. And front-lines employees are certainly more aware of the value of cyber security due to an increased understanding of what not to do.

The state of cyber security is indeed strong. As the Cyber Security Hub Year End Report will elucidate, nearly 80% of the community feels that the overall state of cyber security, meaning operations, resiliency, compliance, awareness, etc., is improving.

But that is of course through the end of the day today. As cyber security professionals know, it’s all about tomorrow. And tomorrow is going to be a bear.

Awareness

A few years of the Mid-Year and Year End reports has shown a sustained focus and expense on Security Awareness. Cyber security executives seem comfortable with the returns to date. But we are now in a whole new world and the pre-pandemic security awareness quotient does not cut it.

Key Questions:

  • How often are you in front of the organization regarding security awareness?
  • Are you expediting security awareness the same way that you’ve always done it?
  • Is each person in the organization aware of all of the new threat vectors?

Automation

The Cyber Security Hub Automation Report is fresh out with some key takeaways. More needs to be done than there is dollars to do. Automated attacks are on the rise and the global pandemic has not been kind to budgets. That means that organizations must make choices on if they can handle any amount of cyber security automation investment.

The luckier ones are making choices on what to automate with a better understanding of the fact that while automation might eventually reduce overhead, the human resources needed to make automation work have to be found and added first.

Key Questions:

  • Do you have budget for automation?
  • If yes, do you have the talent you need for automation?
  • If no, what technical debt do you have that you could lose?

Cloud-First

We just started the Zero Trust conversation and we have to also start the SASE conversation. Our friends at Okta have a handy chart that shows four levels of a Zero Trust organization. The first level is level zero (no-relation). Common wisdom has most of global corporate enterprise at either level zero or level one. Most folks think that less than 10% are at level 3 (that’s the highest level).

The Cyber Security Hub Year End Report will showcase the fact that 75% of the community is telling us how they stopped worrying and learned to love the VPN. (That’s a reference to the title of Dr. Strangelove if you’re keeping score at home). The point being- a significant portion of the community is on the just at the front end of figuring out IAM & PAM for their organizations.

So we’ve got a long way to go on establishing a Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA). And a ZTNA is only one piece of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). SASE is not brand new. Gartner released their first analysis of the concept at the end of last year. Solution providers do have offerings and the top of the market is buying.

Key Questions:

  • Where are you on the IAM/PAM continuum?
  • Where are you on the Zero Trust continuum?
  • Where are you on the SASE continuum?

Business Enablement

As you might know, we’ve consistently shared that cyber security has gone from the Department of No to the Department of Know ensuring that cyber security isn’t in the way of business enablement.

We’ve also covered the fact that the cyber security budget conversation with the board must no longer be based on fear but on risk. The budget conversation as we understand it is best presented by choices.

“If we implement X, spending Y, we’ll reduce risk by Z. If we don’t implement X, risk will increase by Alpha by Year End 2021.”

A significant portion of budgets for 2020 and maybe even some of 2021 were spent in March and April of 2020. The cyber crime rate is going up. To thwart the threats, cyber security executives must be tough. You’ve got threat vectors on all sides. And your budget has been shattered. (That’s a reference to Shattered by the Rolling Stones if you’re keeping score at home).

Key Questions:

  • How are you going into the budget conversation for 2021?
  • Are you able to educate the board and CEO using a risk paradigm?

Happy Cyber Security Month from Cyber Security Hub. You’ve got to be a CISO to know how much mental and intestinal fortitude is needed to get the job done. We have awareness and appreciation of how hard the job is- and the fact that it just keeps getting tougher. So take a breath, focus as you do, get back out there and keep us safe. Thank you for doing the job.

Source: https://www.cshub.com/executive-decisions/articles/how-was-2020-cyber-security-awareness-month

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