Blog posts by John Tolbert

Blog

A Look at NIST’s Zero Trust Architecture

NIST, the US National Institute for Standards and Technology, recently released SP 800-207 Zero Trust Architecture . The NIST special publication examines the principles of and motivations for ZTA, as well as implementation considerations, security concerns, and suggestions for improvements to architecture. NIST SPs are authored primarily for consumption by other US government agencies. In practice, however, their documents often become de facto standards and guidelines used more broadly in industry. In this post I’ll review the strengths of the SP and identify areas for...

Blog

What Some Vendors Missed in MITRE ATT&CK Round Two and How to Fix the Gaps

MITRE recently published the detailed results of their second round of tests. This test pitted APT29 malware and methods against 21 cybersecurity vendors . The MITRE testing is an excellent benchmark for comprehensively exercising Endpoint Protection (EPP) and Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) tools in real-world scenarios where organizations find themselves under attack by Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). MITRE describes the environments, methodology, and operation flow of their testing regime in great detail here . The raw results are available for review, and they have...

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Top 5 Work from Home Cybersecurity Recommendations for Enterprises

As the business world moves to rapidly enable work-from-home (WFH), enterprise IT teams need to shift resources and priorities to ensure that remote workers are protected. Already we see malicious actors adapting and targeting remote workers more. My colleague Alexei Balaganski published a list of recommendations for small businesses . The Situation CheckPoint reports 4,000 domains related to coronavirus have been registered since January 2020, of which 3% are malicious and 5% are suspicious. Phishing attacks are increasing, which aim to capture remote workers credentials....

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Malicious Actors Exploiting Coronavirus Fears

Security researchers are discovering a number of malicious attacks designed to exploit public fears around COVID-19, more commonly just called coronavirus. The attacks to date take two major forms: a map which looks legitimate but downloads #malware, and various document attachments that purport to provide health and safety information related to COVID-19. The coronavirus heat map may look legitimate, in that it takes information from Johns Hopkins University’s page , which is itself clean . However, nefarious actors have created a package for sale on the dark web called...

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High Assurance MFA Options for Mobile Devices

In recent years much of the focus in the authentication space has been on MFA, mobile devices, and biometrics. Many technical advances have been made which also serve to increase usability and improve consumer experiences. There are a few reasons for this. MFA Multi-factor authentication is the number 1 method to reduce ATO (account takeover) fraud and prevent data breaches. We all know password authentication is weak and the easiest way in for malicious actors. MFA has been mandated by security policy in many organizations and government agencies for years. MFA is now also required...

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Applying the Information Protection Life Cycle and Framework to CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) became effective on January 1, 2020. Enforcement is slated to start by July 1, 2020. CCPA is complex regulation which does bear some similarities with EU GDPR. For more information on how CCPA and GDPR compare, see our webinar . Both regulations deal with how organizations handle PII (Personally Identifiable Information). CCPA intends to empower consumers to give them a choice to disallow onward sales of their PII by organizations that hold that information.  A full discussion of what CCPA entails is out of scope. In this article, I want to...

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More SEs + TEEs in Products = Improved Security

Global Platform announced in 4Q2019 that more than 1 billion TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) compliant devices shipped in 2018, and that is a 50% increase from the previous year. Moreover, 6.2 billion SEs (Secure Elements) were shipped in 2018, bringing the total number of SEs manufactured to over 35 billion since 2010. This is good news for cybersecurity and identity management. TEEs are commonly found in most Android-based smartphones and tablets. A TEE is the secure area in the processor architecture and OS that isolates programs from the Rich Execution Environment (REE)...


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