Last week, I was horrified to discover a problem with my vulnerability scanner. The product I use relies on a user account to connect to our Microsoft Windows servers and workstations to check them for vulnerable versions of software, and that user account had never been configured properly. As a result, the scanner has been blind to a lot of vulnerabilities. And this has been going on for a long time.
Security / Opinions
I mentioned in a previous article that we are using a "loaner" Palo Alto Networks firewall, with all the bells and whistles. Our testing led to all sorts of interesting discoveries, and I certainly hope that the executive staff will agree that the increased visibility makes this sort of new-generation firewall well worth the investment.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt shocked everyone last week by telling The Wall Street Journal that Google isn't killing Google Glass.
By now, you've probably been lectured about the importance of using strong passwords by your company's IT department, technology-savvy friends and any number of tech writers. You get it, so I won't repeat the lecture. However, the passwords you think are strong might not be.
It's a time-honored tradition: U.S. businesses find ways to skirt inconvenient or expensive laws by moving operations to other countries. Thus we have had U.S. corporations operating overseas to exploit child labor, run sweatshops or avoid taxes and rigorous health and safety inspections. Now the U.S. government says something similar is happening in regards to email.
Though she may have broken no laws, Hillary Clinton acted irresponsibly in using a personal email account to conduct official U.S. government business in her capacity as secretary of State.
Having been at my new company for several months now, this week I was invited to inform executive management about the state of our security. I had half an hour to formally introduce myself and talk about my philosophy, my initial findings and the priorities I think we need to have.
Lenovo pre-installing Superfish software was a security disaster. Whether Lenovo was evil, or, as they eventually claimed, merely incompetent, it's hard to trust them going forward. If nothing else, their initial denials that anything was wrong, leave a lasting impression. Of course, Superfish, along with the software that they bundled from Komodia, also deserve plenty of blame for breaking the security of HTTPS and SSL/TLS.
Several electronic and mobile payment options have become available, but most of us in the U.S. are still using plain-vanilla credit and debit cards with magnetic stripes. They use technology that dates to the first Nixon administration. That's not a problem in itself; I have no problem with time-tested security measures that work effectively. But just look around: Data breaches are everywhere, and those magnetic-stripe cards are often implicated.
As the White House and Congress consider new cybersecurity legislation, some middle-market companies may still be questioning whether the cybersecurity crisis is a real threat for their businesses.
White Castle might not be the first company that comes to mind when high tech is mentioned, but the restaurant chain found itself in the middle of the patent troll controversy when it started sending menu updates from its headquarters to digital screens in restaurants around the country.
Sometimes I wonder whether any company will ever fall victim to an unsophisticated cyberattack. Because after every attack that comes to light, we hear that same excuse: It was a sophisticated attack.
The downside of email, chat, text and messaging apps is that they make you feel like you're communicating privately, with only the intended recipients. And that your messages are private. Until they're not.
Thank goodness for that signature on the back of my credit card. If it weren't for that smudged scrawl, a thief might steal my card (or card number) and make fraudulent purchases. Or steal my identity. Right.
When Amazon unveiled its cloud-based corporate WorkMail email offering last week (Jan. 28), it stressed the high-level of encryption it would use and the fact that corporate users would control their own decryption keys. But Amazon neglected to mention that it will retain full access to those messages -- along with the ability to both analyze data for e-commerce marketing and to give data to law enforcement should subpoenas show up.
Federal regulators have been throwing their weight around lately, and mostly to good effect for consumers and users of mobile technology.
If you tuned into Parks And Recreation Tuesday night, you were treated to an episode where social media startup Gryzzl attempts to win over the hearts and minds of its new neighbors in the fictional town of Pawnee with boxes full of gifts, delivered via Amazon-esque drones.
January 2015 is already winding down, but it's not too late to think about the lessons of 2014. For anyone in information security, 2014 was a year marked by spectacular breaches. It ended with Sony Pictures Entertainment getting its clock cleaned by hackers, quite possibly from North Korea. Wouldn't it be great if 2015 doesn't include the same sort of clock cleaning at your company?
In the last few weeks it's possible some of your Facebook chums posted messages on their walls in which they tried to revoke permission for the social network to use and distribute content they post.
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