Author Archives: Kevin Jones

Benefits and Best Practices of Adaptive Security

The DevOps environment has been changing rapidly, and adaptive security has become a widely used response to this. The main purpose of adaptive security is to create layers of security providing threat detection, visibility, and prevention that continue to evolve and become better.

History of Adaptive Security

The term “Adaptive Security Architecture” was created in 2008 by Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in 2010. It was designed to anticipate and respond to threats, all while reducing threat amplification, velocity, attack surface, and the recovery time. This is an architectural model that imitates a biological immune system from a microscopic level.

Biological systems are designed to respond to changing conditions and adapt. They are able to respond to threats in a dynamic way, which mimics the involuntary immune system response. These systems are made of several components that are not dependent on one entity in order to survive.

Defining Adaptive Security

Adaptive security is a type of security mode that monitors threats continuously and improves as threats change and evolve. With traditional security methods, organizations use firewalls, intrusion defense systems (IDS), antivirus software, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS). In truth, while they are a powerful defense, they are no longer enough. Environments are no longer static, and security systems should be integrated within continuous deployment IT.

Adaptive Security Benefits

The main benefit of adaptive security is for early detection of threats and an automatic and autonomous response for any malicious event. Other benefits include:

  • Containing threats when they occur.
  • Preventing the theft and sabotage of data.
  • Reducing time dwelled on threats.
  • Stopping the spread of a pandemic.
  • Recognizing ongoing security breaches.
  • Avoiding a monoculture systems environment.

Adaptive security is designed to evolve and be more complex in order to defend against evolving security threats.

Best Practices of Adaptive Security

There are four stages in adaptive security architecture:

  1. Predict: To assess the risk and anticipate malware and attacks, then implement the baseline systems.
  2. Prevent: To isolate and harden systems, thus preventing security breaches.
  3. Respond: Investigating incidents and designing policy changes, plus conducting a retrospective analysis.
  4. Defect: Prioritizing risks and defects and learning how to contain threats and incidents.

Combining these four stages creates a system with the ability to respond to suspect behaviors.

Adaptive Security Solutions

For an effective adaptive security system, they require a robust solution that incorporates different features and measures to predict threats and ensure a comprehensive network, as well as endpoint protection.

A proactive approach to security enables organizations to adapt to ever-changing threats. And this is exactly what adaptive security provides.

Also Read,

Importance of Security Analytics

The Biggest Malware Threats To Businesses in 2019

Threats and Security Solutions for IIoT

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Importance of Security Analytics

Security analytics is a process of collecting data, aggregating, and using tools to analyze the data in order to monitor and identify threats. Depending on the tools being used, this process can incorporate diverse sets of data in detecting patterns and algorithms. Security analytics can also collect data from several points, such as:

  • Cloud sources.
  • Endpoint devices.
  • Network traffic.
  • Non-IT contextual data.
  • Business applications and software.
  • External threat intelligence.
  • Access management data.

Adaptive learning techniques have also become available through recent developments that fine-tune detection models depending on experience, learnings, and anomaly detection for security analytics. They can accumulate and analyze data in real time from:

  • Geographical location.
  • Asset metadata.
  • IP context.
  • Threat intelligence.

The data collected by the tools can then be used for immediate detection of threats or for future analysis to identify patterns and create better protocols or defenses.

Security Analytics Benefits

Organizations get several key benefits when they use security analytics:

Proactive Security

Security analytics can analyze the data from several different sources in order to identify threats and security incidents based on the findings. They do this by analyzing logged data, along with other sources, to pinpoint the correlation between all of them.

Regulatory Compliance

One of the most important aspects of security analytics is compliance. Depending on the industry, organizations that manage sensitive data are required by law to comply with regulations for security. By maintaining proper analytics for threat detection, organizations can ensure their compliance with these regulations.

Improved Forensics

In conducting forensic investigations on security threats and breaches, analytics play a vital role. Since it has collated and gathered data from different sources, personnel can use security analytics to identify what happened and repair any damages that were caused by the breach. This also helps in creating proactive policies to avoid a similar attack or breach.

Use Cases of Security Analytics

There are several use cases for security analytics. This includes detecting threats, improving data visibility, monitoring network traffic, and even analyzing user behavior. Here are more use cases of security analytics:

  • Detect suspicious patterns from user behavior analysis.
  • Monitor employee activity.
  • Detect data exfiltration by hackers.
  • Analyze network traffic to identify potential threats.
  • Detect insider threats.
  • Identify improper account use.
  • Hunt for threats.
  • Find compromised accounts.
  • Demonstrate compliance whenever there is an audit.

And above all, the main goal of any security analytics is to take raw data and turn that into actionable insights to pinpoint and identify potential threats and provide an immediate response. This adds a critical layer of security on the amount of data generated by users, software, applications, networks, and others.

Also Read,

New Hybrid Computing, Same Security Concerns

What is Network Security and its Types

Microfocus, Endace: Strong Network Analytics System To Be Developed

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What is the COBIT and why you need to know about it

Business processes today are largely dictated by the technology around them. Cloud computing, big data, and social media are just a few technologies that shape and affect a business as they generate huge amounts of data. This can be used to get ahead of the competition, but it also creates challenges in terms of governance and management. This is where the COBIT comes into play.

Defining Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies

The Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies, or more commonly known as the COBIT, was designed to help organizations and businesses implement, monitor, develop, and improve their information management and IT governance.

The COBIT was established by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, or ISACA. They published this framework together with the IT Governance Institute, or ITGI.

The Evolution of the COBIT

The COBIT was initially published in the mid-1990s. The focus was mainly on doing audits, specifically on helping financial auditors navigate IT frameworks. Today, it has evolved to doing more than just audits. The third version of the COBIT released by ISACA introduced management guidelines.

The fourth version added guidelines on ICT governance. The latest version used today, released in 2014, focused more on information governance, along with risk management.

Core Principles of the COBIT 5

The COBIT 5, the latest in this series, is centered around five core principles:

  1. Meeting the needs of stakeholders.
  2. Having a comprehensive coverage of the organization.
  3. Creating a single unified framework.
  4. Creating a more holistic approach for business.
  5. Making a distinction between management and governance.

The COBIT Framework Goals

The latest release of the COBIT framework puts together the guidelines from the fourth version, along with Val IT 2.0, and the Risk IT Framework. According to ISACA, these updates are meant to:

  • Streamline information sharing within the organization.
  • Use strategy and IT to achieve business goals.
  • Minimize security risks on information and provide more controls.
  • Provide efficient costing for technology and IT.
  • Integrate recent findings into the COBIT framework.

Companies making use of several frameworks like CMI and ITL will find it easier to govern their IT.

Benefits of the COBIT 5

There are several benefits associated with the COBIT 5. First, it allows you to supervise and manage information security in a more efficient manner. It helps ensure compliance and manage vulnerabilities.

When it comes to risk management, the COBIT 5 allows you to improve on the enterprise risk and keep one step ahead of evolving regulatory compliances.

Framework of the COBIT 5

There are several components that make up the COBIT 5, including:

Main Framework

This creates the basic guidelines, foundation, and best practices related to IT governance. They are then integrated with the needs and requirements of the organization. The main goal of the main framework is to allow the organization to align its goals with its IT.

Process Descriptions

This allows the business to have a reference process model, along with a common language used by each member of the organization. The descriptions cover planning, creating, implementing, and monitoring the processes involved in IT. This helps everyone in the organization understand the processes and terminologies.

Control Objectives

This is where the complete list of requirements can be found for effective control of the processes involved in IT. This can actually help improve all IT processes.

Management Guidelines

These guidelines of the COBIT detail people’s responsibilities and what tasks are expected of them. They also show how to measure the organization’s performance with implementing the COBIT 5.

Maturity Models

These models assess the company’s maturity in terms of coping up with growth. This helps plug the gaps, if found.

The COBIT Certifications

The COBIT 5 certification is available from ISACA, which teaches you all about this framework, along with:

  • How to apply the COBIT 5 in essentially any situation.
  • How to use this with other frameworks.
  • How to understand what challenges this framework addresses.

There are two paths to certification:

  1. Implementation path, which focuses more on the application of the COBIT 5 in business models and challenges.
  2. ASSESSOR path, which focuses more on how to review processes that require change.

The COBIT certification is useful for many companies and roles such as IT directors, managers, audit committee members, and more.

Also Read,

NIST Cybersecurity Framework For Organizations To Follow

Importance of Employee Awareness and Training For Cyber Security

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Memory Forensics: The Key to Better Cybersecurity

When companies fall victim to a cyberattack, the first thing they do is eliminate the threat. But for cybersecurity investigators, that’s just the first part of their job. Like real-world investigators, cybersecurity experts need to gather and analyze evidence of the attack to improve cybersecurity policies or to present it in court during a hearing. Cyber investigators do their evidence gathering through memory forensics.

What Is Memory Forensics?

Memory forensics is the process of collecting memory dumps and analyzing them for evidence of how a cybercrime happened or to find the origins of a malware breach. This is usually done after a cyberattack, but cybersecurity specialists can also do this as a routine check-up for malicious injections that could be running in the system.

Memory forensics is a way to backtrack events that led to a successful security breach and to help specialists know how to improve their company’s cybersecurity.

What Is Memory Forensics? — How Is Memory Forensics Done?

 Memory forensics, also known as memory analysis, can be broken down into three parts: retrieval, analysis, and documentation.

  1. Retrieval

The first part of memory forensics is the retrieval phase. Because all activities done and actions taken in a computer are recorded in the system’s memory, cyber investigators need to retrieve the system memory to see when and where the cyberattack began. It’s like retrieving an airplane’s black box after a crash.

To retrieve the system’s memory, cyber investigators perform a memory dump. This is a procedure where data in a system’s RAM is read and transferred to a storage device. Retrieving RAM data is important, since this is “volatile” data, meaning that it is only retained when the system is on and disappears once the system is turned off.

If there is no cyberattack or breach, memory dumps can help IT specialists understand a crash event and how it happened. There are many kinds of memory dump tools available in the market.

  1. Analysis

 The second phase is memory analysis. This is the part where cyber investigators look through the system’s memory dump for signs of malicious activities. Investigators take memory analysis seriously, and they will search for hidden folders and retrieve deleted or encrypted files.

Memory analysis can take days or months to complete. Retrieved memory dumps are examined using different analyzing tools and software.

  1. Documentation

 The last phase of memory forensics is the documentation phase. All pieces of evidence and significant activities discovered during memory analysis are recorded. Once the collected memory dumps are thoroughly analyzed, investigators take note of every detail of the event and carefully create a report.

This report is then validated by running tests on the system and checking for inconsistencies. After validation, the report is ready for presentation in court and other legal proceedings or to company management to help improve cybersecurity.

Conclusion

 No matter how strong a company’s cybersecurity is, they can still be victims of a cyberattack. And when that happens, it’s crucial to know when and how the cyberattack happened so vulnerabilities can be addressed and cybercriminals can be tracked down.

If you’re worried about your cybersecurity, now is a good time to do your own memory forensics to see if you have been compromised.

Related Blogs:

What You Need to Know About Cloud Forensics

Top 10 Computer Forensics Tools For Analyzing A Breach

 

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What Is an Intrusion Prevention System?

When you need a tool to find and detect malicious activity within a network, an intrusion prevention system (IPS) fills that role. They first detect any malicious activities in the network, create a report on the information, and try to block or stop it from further operating.

An intrusion prevention system expands the capabilities of an intrusion detection system (IDS), which monitors network and systems traffic. The advantage of an IPS over an IDS is the fact that these are found in-line, at the path of the source and the destination, and can block malicious activities from occurring in the network.

How Do Intrusion Prevention Systems Work?

Usually found behind a firewall, an intrusion prevention system functions as an additional layer of filtering for malicious activities. If something gets through the firewall, the IPS is there to catch it. They are capable of analyzing and taking action on network traffic. Actions include sending out alerts to admins, dropping potentially dangerous packets, stopping traffic from a source of malicious activities, and even restarting connections.

It is important to note, however, that an IPS should be efficient so it does not hinder the performance of a network. At the same time, the intrusion prevention system should be able to act quickly and accurately to catch malicious activities in real time and detect false positives.

How an Intrusion Prevention System Detects Malicious Activities

There are several ways that an intrusion prevention system can find and detect malicious activities. The two main methods are statistical anomaly-based detection and signature-based detection.

Signature-based detection involves using a dictionary of identifiable signatures, located in the code of an exploit. This can be categorized further to two more methods: vulnerability-facing and exploit-facing. The first detects malicious activities based on specific network vulnerabilities, while the second one checks for common attack patterns.

For statistical anomaly-based detection, intrusion prevention systems use random samples of network traffic, then compare them to predetermined baseline performance levels. If something is off, it will then send out an alert or take action.

Comparing Intrusion Prevention Systems

There are four common types of an intrusion prevention system. First is the network-based intrusion prevention system, which has the ability to check and monitor the entire network to look for suspicious activities based on protocol activity.

A wireless intrusion prevention system, on the other hand, checks wireless security protocols to catch anomalies and suspicious activities.

Network behavior analysis checks the network traffic flow for unusual activities such as a spike in traffic or anything that may seem different, like a DDoS attack.

The final common type is the host-based intrusion prevention system, which is an installed software that checks a single host for suspicious activities.

Which Intrusion Prevention System to Use?

There are many offerings when it comes to intrusion prevention system. To help choose the best one, it is best to set a budget first, define the requirements of your network, and then research the different systems available in the market to see if they fit what you need.

Remember, an intrusion prevention system is not a comprehensive security solution. While it can be a valuable asset in any organization’s security to detect malicious activities, other tools are needed for endpoint security, data protection, incident responses, and more.

Also Read,

The Highly Competitive Web Application Firewall Market

On Firewalls and Their Role in Enterprise Security

What is the Difference between a Firewall, Router & Secure Web Gateway

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A Guide to Cyber Security Salary

In 2020, it is expected that the cyber security market will be around $170 billion. The Burning Glass Technologies Research provides data from 2015, which shows that the cyber security salary is about 9% more than other IT workers. However, there remains a lack of qualified professionals in this field. The workforce gap between cybersecurity professionals will reach around 1.8 million in 2022.

The CEO of ISC² David Shearer said in a press conference that 66% of workers know that they have far too few qualified workers ready to combat the current threats in the industry; another research shows a similar finding, wherein there is truly a shortage of cybersecurity professionals making a cyber security salary.

In the U.S., there were about 780,000 cybersecurity professionals with a cyber security salary in 2017. There were 350,000 job openings and a 0% unemployment rate for this field. This is impressive for any industry.

There is a growing need for experienced cybersecurity personnel. This just shows that there is tremendous potential in this field, including cyber security salary, job security, and advancement. Based on the analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 74% more job postings for cybersecurity.

Most Popular Cybersecurity Roles

There are many options for IT professionals to pursue a career in the field of cybersecurity and make a cyber security salary. They need strong communication skills, along with good knowledge of the threat landscape and the technologies and tools that are used by cybersecurity teams in order to detect, mitigate, and prevent threats.

If you want to proceed with this field, here are a few of the roles that are in high demand:

Security Architect

These are the people who put themselves in the shoes of a hacker to find ways to attack so they can prevent those types of attacks. They also maintain the enterprise computer system security. They should always be updated with the latest news and technologies in the industry.

Malware Analyst

There has been a rapid rise in ransomware attacks in the past few years. The role of the malware analyst is to defend against these threats. An example is the WannaCry ransomware attack that resulted in $4 billion in losses.

IT Security Engineer

This role focuses on the quality control of IT environments so security measures are in place to address threats.

Security Software Developer

There is a never-ending need for developers who can create tools, programs, and software to counter what hackers do.

Security Systems Administrator

This is who is responsible for defending the network and systems from unauthorized access and creating the requirements for security.

Data Security Strategist

More and more enterprises are moving toward AI, and this has led to a rise in demand for data security strategists because they focus on efficient data security functions and storage. They also help in creating policies for stored data.

Becoming a Cybersecurity Professional

Most of the cybersecurity professionals actually start out in the field as ethical hackers. They recognize how easy it is to hack into vulnerable systems, so they translate this knowledge into software and policies that can help protect endpoints, networks, and applications.

Others gain knowledge through joining different organizations or even the military, which has some of the highest standards when it comes to cybersecurity.

In order to advance in the career of cybersecurity and make a good cyber security salary, you need to:

Ask Questions

There is no single professional in the security business who knows it all. With the rapid pace of new threats and technologies, there is no one person who would have all the available information.

Promote your Work

Good security work can sometimes go unnoticed. People who are outside the IT industry do not understand the importance of what you do and why security policies are important. So, you need to take the lead in promoting these policies in the organization.

Communicate

This is a very technical field, but you should not speak in jargon when you are talking about threats and security needs to employees and other departments, so they understand key policies and processes.

Keep Learning

It is important to keep up with every evolving threats and technologies so you know how best to defend the organization.

Educational and Background Requirements

There are several degree options that you can study in order to become a proper cybersecurity professional and make a good cyber security salary:

  • Internet security.
  • Computer forensics.
  • Cryptography.
  • Data recovery.

There are certifications you can take as well, such as:

  • CISA.
  • CISM.
  • CISSP.
  • Certified Penetration Tester.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker.
  • Certified Computer Forensics Examiner.

Cyber Security Salary

Based on recent data, the average annual cyber security salary from 15 cities in the United States are the following:

  1. Minneapolis: $127,757.
  2. Seattle: $119,349.
  3. San Francisco: $119,346.
  4. Dallas: $117,890.
  5. Denver: $117,308.
  6. Chicago: $111,303.
  7. Austin: $110,190.
  8. Salt Lake City: $106,207.
  9. New York: $102,271.
  10. San Jose: $99,075.
  11. San Diego: $98,303.
  12. Washington: $92,191.
  13. Boston: $88,453.
  14. Los Angeles: $86,072.
  15. Arlington: $74,254.

While salaries can vary based on location, role, experience level, and company, it is obvious that cyber security professionals are in high demand and are compensated properly with a cyber security salary. As the landscape of threats continue to expand, more and more security professionals are needed to create policies, tools, and applications to keep modern enterprises safe.

Also Read,

The Role of a vCISO in Enterprise Security

Why Cybersecurity Recruitment On The Rise?

Australia’s Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals, Highlighted by the Government

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Best Mobile Antivirus Guide – What You Should Know About Mobile Security App?

Nowadays, the mobile phone industry is growing every year and it also uses more advanced technology, applications, and features. Even so, still it became prone to hacking, malwares and even scamming that many people should be aware of. That is mainly because hackers and scammers target millions of mobile users to become a victim.

That is why it is highly recommended to search for the best mobile antivirus and install it on your mobile phone for your security and protection purposes. There are lots of software applications that could be perfect for your mobile phones and even applicable to your tablets or laptops too. You can find free and paid security antivirus apps that you can use for your mobile security. You can find more if you will continue reading.

Why you should install a mobile security app?

Since smartphones have Internet access, it becomes open to any kind of hacking, viruses, and malware, if you are not fully aware of protecting or securing it.

If not secured with any mobile protection apps, your smartphones, tablets and even laptops could be accessible to hackers and scammers. The results could be an annoyance and hassle for you that there is a possibility of deleting all your information, hacking your accounts, data breaching, and worst is scamming. Of course, you do not want this to happen to you.

Thus, it is highly recommended to always make your smartphones or tablets to be updated with its recent software apps. This could help you to fix and repair the system of your mobile phones as well as updating the old into a more advanced and secure system.

Always do the backup for your important information such as videos, photos, files, etc. Also, I have given an example of the built-in security protection for your Apple iOS and to your Google Android smartphones below.

Do you need mobile antivirus for your Android?

Yes, you will need one, either free or paid antivirus app, you need to make your Android devices be secure and protected from viruses and malware.

Even though Google Play Protect is the best features that makes your mobile phones virus-free, still it is highly recommended to have the best mobile protection app for your Android. The Google Play Protect is a security center that you can easily download legal or compatible applications for your smartphones.

It does not support any apps that are not trusted as well as not compatible with its software applications. This is perfect because it automatically works on without requiring the users to switching it on or off. Despite that this Google Play Protect was designed for protection in Android, still, some users have experienced slow detection of malware and viruses on their smartphones.

Do you also need a mobile security app for your Apple iOS? 

Apple iOS is more impenetrable compared to the Androids devices. That is because of the Apple iOS built-in security protection that is being implemented and administered by Apple. It offers more locked down features compared to Android mobile phones. Also, all of its software applications come at Apple’s App Store where they have first checked the apps for the security of its users.

It is not highly recommended to use iPhone protection app, free or paid to your Apple iOS, but it is needed that your iPhones should be updated with the latest software or app updates. Also, you need to be aware of some scamming operations online such as the entering on the fake e-commerce or shopping websites that only uses your information to scam your accounts.

What are the best mobile security brands best for your mobile phones?

If you are looking for the best mobile software app brand, then you should consider checking out the big brands of PC antivirus software too. They also offer mobile security apps just like on their PC security protection software. Such examples of the big security software brands are the Bitdefender, Avast, McAfee, Norton, Trend Micro and Kaspersky. There are some offers also on unpopular mobile security brands such as the 360 Security, Lookout, and Webroot.

Usually, these brands offers paid or premium security software packages that prices range from £5 up to £50. You can also choose or try the free antivirus security that they offer. Usually, brands such as Webroot Security Free, Avira Antivirus Security 2018, Norton Security and Antivirus, Bitdefender Antivirus Free, and Sophos Mobile Security offers free mobile security packages.

But if you are looking for the best and extra protection for your mobile phones, then go for the paid packages because surely you will be securely protected by its specific features and protections. You can always choose to try free mobile protection apps for your mobile phones. At least, you are aware that there is a free installed antivirus that reminds you to not getting involved on that website because of malware being found on it.

Do you need to choose the paid mobile security package? 

The answer is it depends on you. If you think your Android or Apple mobile devices are too important or too valuable for you, then surely choosing the paid mobile protection app is your choice. Paid or premium packages offers more security features compared to free package offers. Usually, they come with more useful and helpful features just like cloud-based or online back-ups of your important information and even eliminating stolen mobile devices.

Free mobile security apps that come from popular software brands such as Avast, BitDefender, McAfee, Lookout, and AVG offers great basic features that are useful to its users. If you are just looking for protection against malware, then these free antivirus app could perform great because it offers basic tools to detect malware sites. Only, you need to know that these free antivirus apps have limitations on time and features. Thus, just in case you are not happy with its service, then you can always check the options of the paid or premium packages they offered.

You can always find different user reviews online for the best free and paid mobile software apps.

So, what are the different mobile antivirus features that premium apps offer?

Here are some examples of the best features that surely you will find it useful for your mobile security and protection:

Anti-phishing – detects unreliable websites and preventing you from accessing it because it might harm your device or breach data.

App lock – provides password lock that can protect your mobile device from its different users.

Backup – backup your files and other important information through saving it on cloud storage and even to your mobile device. Usually, this backup feature happens when you schedule it doing it when you will perform the remote wipe. This can be restored only on the compatible device.

Call/SMS blocking – filtering out and blocking the voice and text messages if they come from suspicious numbers.

Parental controls – prevents to access parental guidance content.

Privacy adviser – checking out the different applications that you download to your device and scanning it to determine which one requires more access.

Remote location – you can find your mobile device location on a map through the GPS.

Remote lock – this features prevents unauthorized access to your mobile device through locking it down remotely through SMS or web interface. Other app features offer more customized screen lock information that might display the contact information of the owner for a safe return.

Remote photo – this feature helps you to identify unauthorized users of your mobile device through taking pictures and sending it back to your email or through taking pictures if the wrong password failed many times.

Remote wipe – wiping all the contacts, photos, calendars, memory card and other important information in your mobile device just in case it was lost to preserve your privacy of information.

SIM lock – locking down your mobile device when the time that your sim card is being removed.

Uninstall protection – This will prevent hackers to bypass your installed mobile security software and to delete all your data. It requires a password to delete the applications.

Related Blogs:

5 Mobile Security Threats That You Should Be Cautious of in 2018

Mobile Security and why it is Important

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