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Stories by Mathias Thurman

Who's calling, please?

Some security weaknesses can't be found with a scan or a vulnerability assessment of the infrastructure. As a security manager, you have to keep your eyes open for things that aren't as secure as they should be, based on any evidence that comes your way. That happened to me a few weeks ago, in just about the best way possible. We were able to take steps to tighten security in a particular area after an incident that could have been damaging but actually wasn't. I wish all our security lessons could be so benign.

Written by Mathias Thurman16 Jan. 15 05:47

Security Manager's Journal: A ransomware flop, thanks to security awareness

People like to ask the security manager, "What keeps you up at night?" My usual answer: "Employees." And there's good reason. About 95% of the security incidents my department responds to are a result of an employee doing the wrong thing, whether it's clicking on an evil link within an email, installing a malicious program or sending a sensitive document outside the company.

Written by Mathias Thurman31 July 14 23:25

Security Manager's Journal: Virtual machines, real mess

It started out as a simple call to the help desk from an engineer at one of our major development centers: Phone calls were being dropped. Soon, similar complaints were coming in from other engineers, as well as from sales associates, who said the inability to maintain phone calls was making it difficult to close deals.

Written by Mathias Thurman22 April 14 00:37

Security Manager's Journal: Stopping vendors from making us a Target

Thank you, Target! It's a pity that security managers have to capitalize on other organizations' misfortunes to broker change within their own enterprises, but the notorious Target breach of late last year just might get me some things I think my company has needed.

Written by Mathias Thurman24 March 14 14:13

Security Manager's Journal: Time to tweak the security policies

Every fall, I conduct a policy review. I think it's a good idea to have this on my calendar, because no policy, no matter how well crafted, is meant to last for all time. New standards arise and old ones are modified, making some policies deficient. Or a security incident, an audit or some business reality that was previously unacknowledged emerges to demonstrate how a policy falls short.

Written by Mathias Thurman18 Nov. 13 16:03

Security Manager's Journal: Found: 30 unmanaged servers that shouldn't be

We just found 30 servers that can't be accounted for. Thirty Internet-facing servers with no malware protection and patchy patch histories. I need to take a deep breath and figure out just how bad this is and what we can do to stop this sort of thing from happening again.

Written by Mathias Thurman04 Nov. 13 15:19

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