For IT Pros Only

Lets be clear: this is for IT people. Not because IT people are better looking and drive cooler cars than the general populace (which is true: most IT departments look like extras from the set of The Fast and Furious), but because unless you're familiar with things like the dark blackness that grips your soul when you discover that two NICs have the same MAC address on your network - you probably aren't going to appreciate this at all.

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Data Security
hacker motives hero

Hacker Motives: Red Flags and Prevention

Hackers are getting savvier. They’re constantly finding new ways to abuse system vulnerabilities and sneak into our networks. The worst part? The likelihood of a cyber attack is now higher than a home invasion. Most people don’t notice when their data has been compromised until it’s too late. The silver lining is that the rise in attacks allows us to analyze the patterns hackers follow and strengthen our defenses. Major cybersecurity attacks of the past…
C-Level, Data Security

CEO vs. CISO Mindsets, Part IV: Monte Carlo Breach Cost Modeling for CISOs!

My main goal in this series is to give CISOs insights into CEO and board-level decision making so they can make a winning case for potential data security purchases. In my initial dive last time, I explained how CISOs should quantify two key factors involved in a breach: the frequency of attacks, and then the probability that the breach itself exceeds a certain cost threshold. Knowing these two ingredients (and that there are numbers or…
Data Security

DHS Emergency Directive 19-01: How to Detect DNS Attacks

On January 22, 2019, the United State Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a warning for a DNS infrastructure hijacking attack against US government agencies. Let’s dig into the specifics of the DHS warning and look at how you can better protect and monitor your DNS services. What is a DNS Infrastructure Hijacking Attack? The Emergency Directive 19-01 calls this attack a DNS Infrastructure Hijacking attack. DHS says that the attackers stole user credentials powerful…
Data Security
DNS domain name system

What is DNS, How it Works + Vulnerabilities

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the internet’s version of the Yellow Pages. Back in the olden times, when you needed to find a business’ address, you looked it up in the Yellow Pages. DNS is just like that, except you don’t actually have to look anything up: your internet connected computer does that for you. It’s how your computer knows how to find Google, or ESPN.com, or Varonis.com. For two computers to communicate on…
Compliance & Regulation
PCI compliance

What is PCI Compliance: Requirements and Penalties

PCI compliance is a set of standards and guidelines for companies to manage and secure credit card related personal data. The major credit card companies – Visa, Mastercard, and American Express – established Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) guidelines in 2006 in an effort to protect credit card data from theft. Experts say credit card fraud costs businesses billions of dollars each year in the United States. It should be obvious that…
Data Security

Varonis Version 7.0

Version 7.0 of the Varonis Data Security Platform is here – featuring new cloud support and advanced threat detection and response capabilities: new event sources and enrichment; out-of-the-box threat intelligence applied to Varonis security insights; and playbooks that arm customers with incident response plans right in the web UI so customers can easily follow best-practice responses to security incidents.  New Dashboards Highlight Cloud, Active Directory and GDPR Risks Active Directory risk dashboards, GDPR dashboards, and Office 365 dashboards offer at-a-glance visibility…
Data Security
Illustration of guy with red blindfold over his eyes

12 Most Disregarded Cybersecurity Tasks

Used for strategic planning, process improvement and reaching customers, data is just as important as a company’s other resources like employees or inventory. You could even say, data is gold. This golden data is also in high demand for competing companies and the malicious individuals that can profit from stealing and selling trade secrets. With the importance and abundance of data available today, the stakes of not having a comprehensive cybersecurity program in place in…
C-Level, Compliance & Regulation

Wyden’s Consumer Data Protection Act: How to Be Compliant

Will 2019 be the year the US gets its own GDPR-like privacy law? Since my last post in this series, privacy legislation is becoming more certain to pass. Leaders from both parties are now saying they will focus on privacy in 2019. Consider yourself warned! I’ll continue my journey from last time into the Wyden legislation since it’s a good baseline. Sure there are other bills, but they share some common elements. I’ve already discussed Wyden’s…
Data Security

How To Use PowerShell for Privilege Escalation with Local Computer Accounts

What is Privilege Escalation? Privilege escalation is when an attacker is able to exploit the current rights of an account to gain additional, unexpected access. While this can be caused by zero-day vulnerabilities, state-level actors crafting attacks or cleverly disguised malware most often it’s a result of a simple account misconfiguration. From there, attackers can escalate through a series of small vulnerabilities that when chained together result in a potentially catastrophic data breach. Why Shouldn’t…
Data Security
smb port hero image

What is an SMB Port + Ports 445 and 139 Explained

The SMB protocol enables “inter-process communication,” which is the protocol that allows applications and services on networked computers to talk to each other – you might say SMB is one of the languages that computers use to talk to each other. How Does The SMB Protocol Work? In early versions of Windows, SMB ran on top of the NetBIOS network architecture. Microsoft changed SMB in Windows 2000 to operate on top of TCP and use…
Data Security
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How Major Companies Find Leaks

Serious data leaks are increasingly prevalent in the news. We mostly hear about the immediate impact of those leaks and the steps taken to fix them, but how much do we actually know about how companies find and prevent these leaks? A lot of companies require employees to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to legally hold leakers accountable, but this isn’t the most effective method to prevent leaks. Major corporations like Google and Apple also take…
Data Security

Varonis Gets Lightning Fast with Solr

Any security practitioner that has had to perform forensic analysis on a cybersecurity incident likely describes the process as “searching for a needle in a stack of needles.” Even Tony Stark’s magnet isn’t going to help. Anyone who has used a SIEM or any other monitoring system to figure out how gigabytes of data was stolen knows how difficult that task can be. Varonis leverages Solr to optimize and streamline the process of analyzing data…