Blog posts by Alexei Balaganski

Blog

Can Your Antivirus Be Too Intelligent Sometimes?

Current and future applications of artificial intelligence (or should we rather stick to a more appropriate term “Machine Learning”?) in cybersecurity have been one of the hottest discussion topics in recent years. Some experts, especially those employed by anti-malware vendors, see ML-powered malware detection as the ultimate solution to replace all previous-generation security tools. Others are more cautious, seeing great potential in such products, but warning about the inherent challenges of current ML algorithms. One particularly egregious example of “AI security...

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Do You Need a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer?

Well, if you ask me, the short answer is – why not? After all, companies around the world have a long history of employing people with weird titles ranging from “Chief Happiness Officer” to “Galactic Viceroy of Research Excellence”. A more reasonable response, however, would need to take one important thing into consideration – what a CAIO’s job in your organization would be? There is no doubt that “Artificial Intelligence” has already become an integral part of our daily lives, both at home and at work. In just a few years, machine...

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Meet the Next-Generation Oracle

Oracle OpenWorld 2019 has just wrapped yesterday, and if there is a single word that can describe my impressions of it, that would be “different”. Immediately noticeable was the absence of the traditional Oracle Red spilling into the streets around the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the reason behind it is the new corporate design system called Redwood. You can already see its colors and patterns applied to the company’s website, but more importantly, it defines new UI controls for Oracle applications and cloud services. Design, however, is by far not the...

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The Best Security Tool Is Your Own Common Sense

Earlier this week, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (popularly known as BSI) has released their Digital Barometer 2019 (in German), a public survey of private German households that measured their opinions and experience with matters of cybersecurity. Looking at the results, one cannot but admit that they do not look particularly inspiring and that they probably represent the average situation in any other developed country… According to the study, every fourth respondent has been a victim of cybercrime at least once. The most common types of those...

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Facebook Breach Leaves Half a Billion Users Hanging on the Line

It seems that there is simply no end to a long series of Facebook’s privacy blunders. This time, a security researcher has stumbled upon an unprotected server hosting several huge databases containing phone numbers of 419 million Facebook users from different countries. Judging by the screenshot included in an article by Techcrunch , this looks like another case of a misconfigured MongoDB server exposed to the Internet without any access controls. Each record in those databases contains a Facebook user’s unique ID that can be easily linked to an existing profile along with...

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Security Vendor Imperva Reports a Breach

Imperva , a US-based cybersecurity company known for its web application security and data protection products, has disclosed a breach of their customer data. According to the announcement , a subset of the customers for its cloud-based Web Application Firewall solution (formerly known as Incapsula) had their data exposed, including their email addresses, password hashes, API keys, and SSL certificates. Adding insult to injury, this breach seems to be that of the worst kind: it happened long ago, probably in September 2017, and was unnoticed until a third party notified Imperva a week...

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VMware to Acquire Carbon Black and Pivotal, Aims at the Modern, Secure Cloud Vision

Last week, VMware has announced its intent to acquire Carbon Black, one of the leading providers of cloud-based endpoint security solutions. This announcement follows earlier news about acquiring Pivotal , a software development company known for its Cloud Foundry cloud application platform, as well as Bitnami , a popular application delivery service. The combined value of these acquisitions would reach five billion dollars, so it looks like a major upgrade of VMware’s long-term strategy with regards to the cloud. Looking back at the company’s 20-year history, one cannot...

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Passwordless for the Masses

What an interesting coincidence: I’m writing this just after finishing a webinar where we talked about the latest trends in strong authentication and the ways to eliminate passwords within an enterprise. Well, this could not have been a better time for the latest announcement from Microsoft, introducing Azure Active Directory support for passwordless sign-in using FIDO2 authentication devices. Although most people agree that passwords are no longer an even remotely adequate authentication method for the modern digital and connected world, somehow the adoption of more secure...

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API Security in Microservices Architectures

Microservice-based architectures allow businesses to develop and deploy their applications in a much more flexible, scalable and convenient way – across multiple programming languages, frameworks and IT environments. Like with any other new technology that DevOps and security teams started to explore in the recent years, there is still quite a lot of confusion about the capabilities of new platforms, misconceptions about new attack vectors and renewed discussions about balancing security with the pace of innovation. And perhaps the biggest myth of microservices is that their security...

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Oops, Google Did It Again!

Like many people with a long career in IT, I have numerous small computer-related side duties I’m supposed to perform for my less skilled friends and relatives. Among those, I’m helping manage a G Suite account for a small business a friend of mine has. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised to receive an urgent e-mail alert from Google yesterday, telling me that several users in that G Suite domain were impacted by a password storage problem. Turns out, Google has just discovered that they’ve accidentally stored some of those passwords unencrypted , in plain text....


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