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Local Governments Targeted for Ransomware – How to Prevent Falling Victim

Local Governments Targeted for Ransomware – How to Prevent Falling Victim

Jul 21, 2023 Password Security / Cybersecurity
Regardless of the country, local government is essential in most citizens' lives. It provides many day-to-day services and handles various issues. Therefore, their effects can be far-reaching and deeply felt when security failures occur. In early 2023, Oakland, California,  fell victim to a ransomware attack . Although city officials have not disclosed how the attack occurred, experts suspect a phishing email is the most likely cause. As a result, city officials brought down their servers to contain the attack. Governments have been the target to many ransomware attacks  and breaches. As most local governments maintain a small IT staff, there is potential for shared passwords, reused credentials, and a lack of multi-factor authentication security, exposing vulnerabilities for a breach.  Oakland is Breached It was first noticed on a Wednesday evening in early February; when Oakland, California city officials quickly took most services' backend servers offline and posted a m
Preventing Insider Threats in Your Active Directory

Preventing Insider Threats in Your Active Directory

Mar 22, 2023 Password Security / Active Directory
Active Directory (AD) is a powerful authentication and directory service used by organizations worldwide. With this ubiquity and power comes the potential for abuse. Insider threats offer some of the most potentials for destruction. Many internal users have over-provisioned access and visibility into the internal network. Insiders' level of access and trust in a network leads to unique vulnerabilities. Network security often focuses on keeping a threat actor out, not on existing users' security and potential vulnerabilities. Staying on top of potential threats means protecting against inside and outside threats. Active Directory Vulnerabilities From the outside, a properly configured AD domain offers a secure authentication and authorization solution. But with complex social engineering and phishing email attacks, an existing AD user can become compromised. Once inside, threat actors have many options to attack Active Directory. Insecure Devices With "Bring Your Own
Cybercrime (and Security) Predictions for 2023

Cybercrime (and Security) Predictions for 2023

Dec 19, 2022 Password Policy / Data Security
Threat actors continue to adapt to the latest technologies, practices, and even data privacy laws—and it's up to organizations to stay one step ahead by implementing strong cybersecurity measures and programs.  Here's a look at how cybercrime will evolve in 2023 and what you can do to secure and protect your organization in the year ahead.  Increase in digital supply chain attacks  With the rapid modernization and digitization of supply chains come new security risks. Gartner predicts that  by 2025, 45% of organizations worldwide will have experienced attacks  on their software supply chains—this is a three-fold increase from 2021. Previously, these types of attacks weren't even likely to happen because supply chains weren't connected to the internet. But now that they are, supply chains need to be secured properly.  The introduction of new technology around software supply chains means there are likely security holes that have yet to be identified, but are essenti
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Demonstrate Responsible AI: Get the ISO 42001 Compliance Checklist from Vanta

websiteVantaCompliance / Security Audit
ISO 42001 helps organizations demonstrate trustworthy AI practices in accordance with global standards. With Vanta, completing the requirements for ISO 42001 compliance can be done in a fraction of the time. Download the checklist to get started.
Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks

Defending Your Commits From Known CVEs With GitGuardian SCA And Git Hooks

May 20, 2024Software Security / Vulnerability
All developers want to create secure and dependable software. They should feel proud to release their code with the full confidence they did not introduce any weaknesses or anti-patterns into their applications. Unfortunately, developers are not writing their own code for the most part these days. 96% of all software contains some open-source components, and open-source components make up between  70% and 90% of any given piece of modern software . Unfortunately for our security-minded developers, most modern vulnerabilities come from those software components.  As new vulnerabilities emerge and are publicly reported as  Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures  (CVEs), security teams have little choice but to ask the developer to refactor the code to include different versions of the dependencies. Nobody is happy in this situation, as it blocks new features and can be maddening to roll back component versions and hope that nothing breaks. Developers need a way to  quickly  determine if
What the CISA Reporting Rule Means for Your IT Security Protocol

What the CISA Reporting Rule Means for Your IT Security Protocol

Dec 02, 2022 Incident Reporting / Password Policy
The new  Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA)  requires CISA to create rules regarding cyber incident reporting by critical infrastructure organizations. The RFI and hearings precede a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that CISA must publish sooner than  24 months  from the enactment of CIRCIA, which the President signed into law  in March . The sessions and NPRM are steps toward creating the new rule.  CISA is  soliciting expert opinion on what to include  in a report but is taking steps to implement the change soon. Here's what that change means for businesses in the US and what you can do about it now.  Overview of the CISA reporting rule  Owners and operators of critical infrastructure must file cyber incident reports with CISA  within 72 hours . They must report ransom payments for ransomware attacks  within 24 hours . Other businesses can take part voluntarily.  The CISA Director can  subpoena  organizations in noncompliance to compel
Why Ransomware in Education on the Rise and What That Means for 2023

Why Ransomware in Education on the Rise and What That Means for 2023

Oct 24, 2022
The breach of LA Unified School District (LAUSD) highlights the prevalence of password vulnerabilities, as criminal hackers continue to use breached credentials in increasingly frequent ransomware attacks on education. The Labor Day weekend breach of LAUSD brought significant  districtwide disruptions to access to email , computers, and applications. It's unclear what student or employee data the attackers exfiltrated. There is a significant trend in ransomware breaches in education, a highly vulnerable sector. The transitory nature of students leaves accounts and passwords vulnerable. The open environments schools create to foster student exploration and the relative naivete in the sector regarding cybersecurity invite attacks.  The breach at LAUSD and what happened afterward Four days post-breach, reports came that criminals had offered credentials for accounts inside the school district's network  for sale on the dark web  months before the attack. The stolen credential
IT Security Takeaways from the Wiseasy Hack

IT Security Takeaways from the Wiseasy Hack

Sep 22, 2022
Last month Tech Crunch reported that  payment terminal manufacturer Wiseasy had been hacked . Although Wiseasy might not be well known in North America, their Android-based payment terminals are widely used in the Asia Pacific region and hackers managed to steal passwords for 140,000 payment terminals. How Did the Wiseasy Hack Happen? Wiseasy employees use a cloud-based dashboard for remotely managing payment terminals. This dashboard allows the company to perform a variety of configuration and management tasks such as managing payment terminal users, adding or removing apps, and even locking the terminal.  Hackers were able to gain access to the Wiseasy dashboard by infecting employee's computers with malware. This allowed hackers to gain access to two different employee's dashboards, ultimately leading to a massive harvesting of payment terminal credentials once they gained access. Top Lessons Learned from the Wiseasy Hack 1 — Transparency isn't always the best policy  While i
Racoon Stealer is Back — How to Protect Your Organization

Racoon Stealer is Back — How to Protect Your Organization

Jul 25, 2022
The Racoon Stealer malware as a service platform gained notoriety several years ago for its ability to extract data that is stored within a Web browser. This data initially included passwords and cookies, which sometimes allow a recognized device to be authenticated without a password being entered. Racoon Stealer was also designed to steal auto-fill data, which can include a vast trove of personal information ranging from basic contact data to credit card numbers. As if all of that were not enough, Racoon Stealer also had the ability to steal cryptocurrency and to steal (or drop) files on an infected system. As bad as Racoon Stealer might have been, its developers have recently created a new version that is designed to be far more damaging than the version that previously existed.  New Racoon Stealer Capabilities The new version of Raccoon Stealer  still has the ability to steal browser passwords, cookies, and auto-fill data. It also has the ability to steal any credit card numbe
Before and After a Pen Test: Steps to Get Through It

Before and After a Pen Test: Steps to Get Through It

Oct 21, 2021
An effective cybersecurity strategy can be challenging to implement correctly and often involves many layers of security. Part of a robust security strategy involves performing what is known as a penetration test (pen test). The penetration test helps to discover vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your security defenses before the bad guys discover these. They can also help validate remedial efforts and solutions put in place to overcome previously discovered security vulnerabilities.  Let's look more closely at the pen test. What is included in a penetration test? How are they performed, and by whom? What steps should be taken after a penetration test? What is a penetration test? 1 — Simulated cyberattack A penetration test is, for all practical purposes, a simulated cyberattack on your business. However, it is carried out by the "good guys." An outside resource often conducts a penetration test, whether a third-party security consulting company or another security entity. Securit
Reduce End-User Password Change Frustrations

Reduce End-User Password Change Frustrations

Jul 22, 2021
Organizations today must give attention to their cybersecurity posture, including policies, procedures, and technical solutions for cybersecurity challenges.  This often results in a greater burden on the IT service desk staff as end-users encounter issues related to security software, policies, and password restrictions.  One of the most common areas where security may cause challenges for end-users is password policies and password changes. What are these issues? How can organizations reduce end-user password change frustration? First, let's consider the standard password policy, its role, and general settings affecting end-users. What are password policies? Most organizations today have a password policy in place. So, what is a password policy? Password policies define the types and content of passwords allowed or required of end-users in an identity and access management system. Various aspects of the password that businesses control may include the password's required
Crafting a Custom Dictionary for Your Password Policy

Crafting a Custom Dictionary for Your Password Policy

Jul 12, 2021
Modern password policies are comprised of many different elements that contribute to its effectiveness. One of the components of an effective current password policy makes use of what is known as a  custom dictionary  that filters out certain words that are not allowed as passwords in the environment.  Using custom dictionaries, organizations can significantly improve their cybersecurity posture and filter out obvious passwords that provide poor security for user accounts. When using password dictionaries in your password policy, there are many different approaches to consider. First, let's consider crafting a custom dictionary for your password policy, including general guidance on how these are created, configured, and how you can easily use custom dictionaries in an active directory environment. Why customize your dictionary?  Custom dictionaries are born from the need to "think as a hacker thinks." Compromised credentials are one of the leading causes of maliciou
Strengthen Your Password Policy With GDPR Compliance

Strengthen Your Password Policy With GDPR Compliance

Jun 17, 2021
A solid password policy is the first line of defense for your corporate network. Protecting your systems from unauthorized users may sound easy on the surface, but it can actually be quite complicated. You have to balance password security with usability, while also following various regulatory requirements. Companies in the EU must have password policies that are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Even if your company isn't based in the EU, these requirements apply if you have employees or customers residing in the EU or customers purchasing there. In this post, we will look at GDPR requirements for passwords and provide practical tips on how to design your password policy. Remember, even if GDPR isn't required for you now, the fundamentals of a data protection regulation plan can help strengthen your organization's security.  Password requirements for GDPR compliance You may be surprised to discover that the GDPR laws do not actually mentio
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