Security Architect

Security Architect is a Hot New Job

Security Architect job description
Security Architect is just one of over 280 full job descriptions that are delivered electronically

Security Architect – The one position that CIOs and C-Level executives are looking to fill.  With all of the recent cyber-attacks and negative publicity they have generated there is a need for this proactive position.

Most of the other positions are focused on “after the fact” monitoring.  This one looks at what could happen and creates an architecture which address potential cyber-attacks and hacks.  The individuals operate on a philosophy that is easier to prevent something from happening versus trying to address problems after they occur.

Position Purpose

The individual in this position  assumes responsibility for data security including the planning, design and implementation of security measures which safeguard access to enterprise terminal files and data elements.  The administrator provides rapid response to user community’s request for security assistance.

They  secure enterprise information by determining security requirements; planning, implementing, and testing security systems; preparing security standards, policies, and procedures; mentoring team members.

The full job description for this position has just been released.

Security Architect read on…

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10 Best Practices for managing cyber-attack

10 Best Practices for managing cyber-attack

10 Best Practices for managing cyber-attack
10 Best Practices for IT Infrastructure are contained in this bundle of policies and procedures

10 Best Practices for managing cyber-attack have never been more important than today. They are:

  1. Stay calm, prioritize and don’t point fingers
  2. Assign response responsibility to a single point of contact
  3. Have both an incident response plan and a disaster recovery plan in place
  4. Take detail backups regularly – store backups on non-connected sites
  5. Have a business continuity plan in place with solutions that do not depend on the existing networks and data
  6. Have a PR/media and legal operational plan in place before the event
  7. Immediately notify customers
  8. Manage user/customer expectations
  9. Conduct a postmortem
  10. Implement policies and procedures that focus on infrastructure security
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Common Security Concerns

Common Security Concerns that CSOs and CIOs have

Security Manual Template - Common Security Concersn
CIOs and CSOs often are tasked to address user and C-Level management’s common security concerns. The Security Manual Template and its associated items address each of these in detail.

When the CIOs and CSOs discuss common security concerns these five topics always seem to appear:

  1. Surfing the web anonymously is a thing of the past – As online tracking systems become more sophisticated and harder to shake, the likelihood of private, anonymous browsing is becoming a long-ago memory. Take into account the latest ISP changes, where the U.S. government allows providers to not only track, but sell your browsing history without your consent. These changes in “net neutrality rules” require users to be more vigilant about their own browsing patterns. You can guard your activity by logging out of search engines before browsing, clearing your cache and search history, and switching to a private browser to minimize the various ways your browsing history is catalogued.Order Security Policies and ProceduresDownload TOC security policies
  2. Anyone gain access your webcam – Hackers can and do target cameras by disabling the light that notifies of access, and keeping tabs in order to commit some sort of crime. Many users have responded by putting dark tape or coverings over their computer’s webcam. But as more smart devices are created and purchased, the surface area for webcam hacking only expands. Think, for example, of all the places you take your smartphone, with its built-in camera almost always pointing in your direction. The malware used to hack webcams, known as RAT (remote access Trojan), is often spread through spam email. Once clicked, the software is capable of disabling your light so you’re never made aware of anyone watching.
  3. How to protect against identity theft – Be wary of sites asking for personal information to complete a basic task, such as subscribing to a newsletter. When submitting personal information, such as your address or payment method, check for https versus http and never submit this information to a party you’re not familiar with or for a request you don’t remember making.Protecting your identity, at its core, always comes back around to common sense behavior online. Understand risks, practice careful consuming, and taking precaution to diversify passwords and watch out for phishing schemes.
  4. Free antivirus software is not free – You get what you pay for in the area of antivirus and malware protection. If it is free a lot of people use it and when there is a security hole – hackers will attack.  That is opposed to paid programs were vendors constantly update the software to address new issues as the occur.
  5. Are tablets, Smartphones and Macs safe without antivirus software? – Though the Android and Mac OS X boast of operating systems that claims they are tough to breach, they still contains weak access points. Just like any tool that surfs the web or connects to wireless routers, security is needed to scan all those items you click. (Recent research suggests Macs are now more vulnerable than PCs.)While these devices have often carried around the title of most-secure operating system, it doesn’t hurt to back up your devices with the latest antivirus security protection.

IT Related Fraud issues addressed by Janco

 IT related fraud occurred in over 70% companies

Malware exposure is high in many enterprises

IT related fraud and alware infections cause a number of problems. Machines become unresponsive or sluggish resulting in users become frustrated and administrators spending precious time trying to find the problem.

Once an attacker is on the inside, his or her work is significantly easier since on most networks, systems on the inside are trusted.   To that end, in a review of over 300 security audits Janco has found a list of the greatest security weaknesses.

Enterprise Wde Security Weaknesses

The weaknesses are:

  • Using only single level verification for access to sensitive data
  • Having “public” workstations or access point is connected to a secure network
  • Sharing login credentials
  • Data validation for forms is contained in client-side JavaScript
  • Connect to network from an unsecure access point
  • Corporate web site is encrypted but the login process is not
  • Using weak encryption for back end management
  • Using unencrypted or weak encryption for Web site or Web server  management

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eReader Security Template

eReader Security Template released with version 12

eReader Security Template
eReader Security Template now address SIEM with both best practices and KPI metrics in addition to identity protection

eReader Security Template has just been released by Janco with its latest update of the security manual.  This is a major update as it the template now also includes KPI metrics and best practices for Security Information and Event Management (SEIM) as well as a chapter in Identity Protection.

This security template was first release in 1999 and has been updates between 3 to 4 times each year.  Currently the template is over 250 pages and includes chapters on the following topics.

  • Security policies – scope and objectives
  • Minimum and Mandated Security Standard Requirements
  • Vulnerability Analysis and Threat Assessment
  • Risk Analysis – IT Applications and Functions
  • Physical Security
  • Facility Design, Construction and Operational Considerations
  • Media and Documentation
  • Physical and Virtual File Server Security Policy
  • Network Security
  • Sensitive Information Policy
  • Internet and Information Technology Contingency Planning
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
  • Identity Protection
  • Ransomware – HIPAA Guidance
  • Outsourced Services
  • Waiver Procedures
  • Incident Reporting Procedure
  • Access Control Guidelines
  • Electronic Communication
  • Mobile Access and Use Policy

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Top 10 tips improve social networking security

Top 10 tips and best practices to improve social networking security

Top 10 tips improve social networking security – These best practices will improve social networking security and protect the enterprise’s social networking reputation.

  1. Educate employees – Educating employees of best practices can help improve the overall security of the business. Awareness through seminars, workshops, and other programs help educate how attackers use social media to target a brand via individual employees.
  2. Have employees use different passwords for different system – Encourage users to have multiple unique passwords. This can be support by implementing a cloud based password management system.
  3. Mandate strong passwords – Make it a requirement to have unique strong passwords.
  4. Have employees change passwords regularly – One every three or four months communicate with employees to tell them it is time to change their passwords.
  5. Do not share accounts – For social accounts that represent the enterprise only have one user per each and the linking e-mail account should be one that is in the enterprise domain and will remain with the enterprise in case the employee leaves or is terminated
  6. Implement two factor authentication – Many of the larger social networks provide two-factor authentication, commonly in the form of a code sent to their smartphone or email each time a new device or browser attempts to login to the account.
  7. Educate employees to NOT open email attachments or go to links where the originator is not known – Stress the practices of carefully reviewing URL links before clicking to make sure the company and site name are spelled correctly. Cybercriminals will often blast out links that are very similar to a real address adding, subtracting or rewording parts to differentiate them.
  8. Utilize antivirus and security software – . No matter how careful a user is, there’s always the risk of accidentally engaging with a malicious link – and just one unfortunate click can lead to months of recovery time.
  9. Don’t friend people you do not know – Companies should encourage employees to thoroughly vet a friend request before hitting “accept”. They should check to see if other colleagues are also connected to the account. If the account seems suspicious or you don’t know the individual, ignore or report the user, and refrain from clicking on any links they may have sent.
  10. Validate and verify – just because it is on the Internet does not make it true.

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Walmart denies hack occurred

14,600 emails addresses and passwords posted – Walmart denies hack occurred

Walmart denies hack occurred
Incident Communication Plan

Walmart denies hack occurred after email address and passwords were posted.   – Over 14,600 email addresses and plain-text passwords associated with Sam’s Club’s online store were dumped on Pastebin, a text sharing site. Walmart denied a hack occurred.

The title of the password dump said that the accounts listed belonged to the retail giant. The company which has over 650 locations across the US and tens of millions of members.

Walmart said “.. looked into this issue and there is no indication of a breach of our systems. It is most likely a result of one of the past breaches of other companies’ systems. Because customers often use the same usernames and passwords on various sites, bad actors will typically test the credentials they obtain across many popular sites. Unfortunately, this is an industry-wide issue,” said a Walmart spokesperson.

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That is no way to inspire confidence in the security of an enterprise’s website.

To survive an incident such as a business interruption, security breach, or a product recall, organizations need more than a successful communication strategy – they need an incident communication plan.

The overall objectives of a incident communications plan should be established at the outset. The objectives should be agreed upon, well understood, and publicized. For example, will the primary objective of the communications plan be for communications only to employees, and only during a disaster? Or is the intent to advise customers of interruptions to service? Or is it for investors and stockholders? Or regulatory agencies? Or is it some combination of these?

New York Security Compliance

New York Security Compliance Mandates added

New York Security Compliance – The State of New York announced a series of new rules strengthening cybersecurity requirements for financial firms. This is the latest in a series of announcement aimed at protecting clients, consumers and financial entities from the “ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks.

New York Security ComplianceThe Governor of New York said, “New York, the financial capital of the world, is leading the nation in taking decisive action to protect consumers and our financial system from … state-sponsored organizations, global terrorist networks, and other criminal enterprises.” Even if your firm isn’t directly subject to these new regulations, it’s safe to assume that this approach will be rapidly adopted by similar regulatory bodies domestically and around the world.

The current draft calls for the “encryption of all nonpublic information held or transmitted”, but because they tie it tightly to access control, acceptable usage policy, and data retention. Simple encryption won’t be enough to comply with the New York mandates.

To comply with New York Security Compliance mandates CFOs, CIOs, and CSOs, and firms should:

  • Implement more dynamic ways to protect data. Enterprises will need to deploy more dynamic forms of data protection that extend beyond their current systems. When the requirement for encryption and data-loss protection spans not just records and managed systems, but anywhere data can travel, traditional means of encryption and monitoring are scale able. Organizations will need to enforce granular limitations on access privileges, implement new audit systems to document data governance, and be able to remotely apply data disposition and destruction rules.
  • Tie access control and privilege management to identity. In a complex technology ecosystem, it’s no longer feasible to define access and privilege at the system, device, or perimeter. Identity is the one attribute that crosses on-premises, cloud, and un-managed services, and provides a consistent way to set, audit, and control access to confidential information. Ultimately, encryption, access controls, and data-in-use protections must persist independent of the kinds of data protected, where it’s stored, or how it’s shared.
  • Prioritize solutions to balance simplicity and security. Too often, risk and security teams have simply added new solutions to their portfolio in response to regulations and enforcement. Unfortunately, this has often created a complex, hard-to-navigate forest of tools, hurdles, and collaboration dead-ends for employees. The downside of that is it creates incentives for otherwise well-intentioned people to avoid following policy, increasing the risk of a material breach.
  • Make audit a primary concern. In the past, the requirement for an audit trail on data access was seen as an add-on. In the worst case, it was an afterthought, something built last as a reaction to risk and compliance needs. But, by thinking differently about this rich trove of data, you can improve your visibility into data use and your ability to identify dangerous behavior in advance. In many cases, you will be able to proactively stop data loss before it happens. With a strategy that protects data directly, by deploying identity-driven access controls and dynamic permissions, you can use the data from each user interaction to build a better picture of where data is traveling, and to whom.
  • Take a more dynamic approach to data protection. Adhere to mandates and be ready to tell any auditor about your enterprises ability to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your enterprise’s information.

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10 step security

10 step security for third party access to enterprise systems

10 Setps for security in cloud Security plan10 step security for 3rd party access to enterprise systems are a must with the increased use of internet processing and use by day to day business operations.

Security and compliance are key to maintaining control of sensitive and confidential information. All of the product offerings of Janco are geared towards proving tools to help C-Level executives and top IT professionals maintain the privacy of its users and enterprise data.

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  1. Create an asset inventory and tracking to reduce the risk of network-connected assets being out of compliance with policy.
  2. Understand the cloud-based environment where all users are considered remote, and apply controls similar to how they have historically provided access to third parties.
  3. Make changes in how the organization manages and controls these various user-types by incorporating concepts such as zero-trust, network abstraction, extended identity validation and full-session recording to effectively reduce the overall risk and isolate any potential impact caused by third parties or remote user actions.
  4. Define a plan which meets the requirements for external contractors, employees, and B2B entities.
  5. Coordinate third party access plan in conjunction with their business units and develop a solid communications plan.
  6. Create rules for access using the appropriate level of controls commensurate with their given risk profiles, to include: isolation/segmentation, encryption, and federation integrations.
  7. Establish access points and rules for data availability to third parties
  8. Invest in ways to authenticate third-party users beyond simple username and password.
  9. Define metrics which address compliance variances and risks, and build an end-to-end security and risk view for the entire enterprise.
  10. Create a reporting system which track access, access violations, downloads and total usage. This should be real-time and have assigned individuals monitor and report and deviations.

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Top 10 Security Predictions

Top 10 Security Predictions

Top 10 Security Predictions – Many organizations fail to realize the benefits of security information management due to the often exhaustive financial and human resource costs of implementing and maintaining the software. However, Janco’s’ Security Manual Template – the industry standard – provides the infrastructure tools to manage security, make smarter security decisions and respond faster to security incidents and compliance requests within days of implementation.

Top 10 Security Predictions from Janco Associates are:

  1. Over the next several years almost all of vulnerabilities exploited by hackers will continue to be ones known by security and IT professionals for at least one year.

    Top 10 Security Predictions
    Top 10 Security Predictions
  2. Robotics will take over many security operations. China will lead the way with 30-40K students training in universities with this technology. US will lag for several years.
  3. Shadow IT will be responsible for over one third of attacks experienced by enterprises.
  4. The need to prevent data breaches from public clouds will drive many organizations to develop data security governance programs.
  5. Over the long term enterprises engaged in application development will secure applications by adopting application security self-testing, self-diagnosing and self-protection technologies.
  6. Future cloud-based providers will include network firewall, secure web gateway (SWG) and web application firewall (WAF) platforms in their offerings.
  7. Identity as a service (IDaaS) implementations the focus of several new companies.
  8. Use of passwords and tokens in will drop 55%, due to the introduction of bio-metrics.
  9. A majority of IoT device manufacturers will not be able to address threats from weak authentication practices.
  10. More than 25% of identified enterprise attacks will involve IoT.

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Top 10 Technology Travel Tips – International

Top 10 Technology Travel Tips – International

Travel, Electronic, and Off-Site Meeting Policy
Top 10 Travel Tips

Top 10 Technology Travel Tips – When people traveling, especially internationally, not only is technology at risk but also sensitive personal and work information.  Below are 10 tips taken from Janco’s Travel, Electronic, and Off-Site Meeting Policy.

  1. If it’s not necessary, don’t travel with a computer or tablet.
  2. Whenever possible, arrange to use loaner laptops and handheld devices while traveling.
  3. If you are bringing a laptop with you, make sure you have the proper plug adapter.
  4. Install a host-based firewall, and configure it to deny all inbound connections.
  5. Disable file, printer sharing, and Bluetooth. Apply full disk encryption, picking a long, complex password
  6. Update all software immediately before travel.
  7. Always clear out browser cache before you leave.
  8. Backup your computer
  9. If you are bringing private data, not on a computer, copy the data onto an encrypted USB memory device
  10. Change the password for your accounts email, Gmail, Facebook, etc.
    1. Utilize complex passwords – Assume the workstation or medium will be lost or stolen.
    2. Memorize the password, or keep it in a secure location on your person.
    3. Password protect the login, and require the password after screen-saver.
    4. NEVER set browser to remember passwords.

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10 Security Assessment Questions

10 Security Assessment Questions

Security Assessment and Compliance Management
Security Assessment and Compliance Management

Security Assessment Questions

  1. To stop a breach tomorrow, what does the enterprise need to differently today?
  2. Does the enterprise know if the company has been breached? How does it know?
  3. What assets are being protecting, what are they being protected from (i.e., theft, destruction, compromise), and who are they being protected them from (i.e. cybercriminals or insiders)?
  4. What risks does the enterprise face if it is breached (i.e., financial loss, reputation, regulatory fines, loss of competitive advantage)?
  5. Does the enterprise’s IT security implementation match the enterprise’s business-centric security policies?
  6. Are formal written policies, technical controls or both in place? Are they being followed?
  7. What is the enterprise’s security strategy for IoT?
  8. What is the enterprise’s security strategy for BYOD and “anywhere, anytime, any device” mobility?
  9. Does the enterprise have an incident response plan in place?
  10. What is the enterprise’s remediation process? Can the enterprise recover lost data and prevent a similar attack from happening again?

Security Compliance – Comprehensive, Detailed and Customizable for Your Business

The Security Compliance Policy and Audit Program bundle provides all the essential sections of a complete security manual and walks you through the creation of each step. Detailed language addressing more than a dozen security topics is included in 220 plus page Microsoft Word document, which you can modify as much or as little as you need to fit your business requirements. The template includes sections on critical topics like:

  • Risk analysis – Threat and Vulnerability Assessment via Electronic Forms
  • Staff member roles
  • Physical security
  • Electronic Communication (email / SmartPhones)
  • Blogs and Personal Web Sites
  • Facility design, construction and operations
  • Media and documentation
  • Data and software security
  • Network security
  • Internet and IT contingency planning
  • Insurance
  • Outsourced services
  • Waiver procedures
  • Incident reporting procedures
  • Access control guidelines
  • PCI DSS Audit Program as a separate document

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10 Tips to protect your personal information

10 Tips to protect your personal information

10 tip to protect personal information
Protecting Personal Information

10 Tips to protect your personal information – According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, it takes 600 hours to restore your identity after a theft has taken place. The FTC’s new online resource aims to streamline the process of reporting identity theft to the FTC, IRS, credit bureaus, and to state and local officials.

ID theft happens when criminals use your personal information to file for a tax refund with the IRS or process a credit application to purchase an item or withdraw funds from the victims account(s). Victims usually learn of the crime after having their tax returns rejected because their impostors beat them to it, check bounce, or the victim receives dunning notices. N

  1. Monitor credit reports – By law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from the major bureaus: Equifax, Experian, Trans Union, and Innovis.
  2. Never provide personal information over public Wi-Fi or a network that’s not password protected.
  3. Password protections – the longer the better. Try disguising familiar phrases using a cipher.
  4. Don’t use the same password on all accounts and change them up frequently. The more variation, the better.
  5. Never store passwords on your computer. If you need to do it digitally, use an external hard drive or USB and disconnect it from the computer when you are finished.
  6. Watch out for phishing emails – Throw up an immediate red flag if you receive any email asking to confirm passwords, bank account numbers, or Social Security Numbers. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
  7. If you do receive a suspicious-sounding email, contact your service provider directly to verify its authenticity. If your bank is requesting updated information, log onto your online banking account and update it there (instead of clicking on the link in the email). If your account does not show need for an update, you’ll know the email was a scam.
  8. Take physical precautions – Do not carry your Social Security card with you or write it down on checks. Only give out your SSN if it is an absolute necessity. When filling in forms for organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other companies, leave the area asking for your SSN blank.
  9. Shred bills, credit offers, and expired credit cards to prevent dumpster divers from getting your personal info.
  10. Layer your cyber-security – Layer defenses with a firewall, antivirus, and anti-malware that includes anti-spyware.

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Disaster Recovery Business Continuity with Security

Disaster Recovery Business Continuity with Security

Every company, regardless of size, needs a concise approach  disaster recovery business continuity with security in case of an emergency.

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Disaster Recovery Business Continuity with Security
Disaster Recovery Business Continuity with Security

Data is the lifeblood of every company, and often, it is a competitive advantage and the only thing that differentiates one enterprise from another. Who has the most loyal customers, the best service, and the most innovative strategies all boils down to information residing on the enterprise’s Information Technology and application systems. For this reason disaster recovery and business continuity are a definite need.  In addition, there are  security requirements that need to be met.  With mandated requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and ITIL, executive management is depending on you to have the right security policies and procedures in place.

Disaster Recovery Business Continuity with Security

Google has addressed this and describes it in a video that is has placed on youtube.

10 step security implementation process :

  • Make security an executive directive
  • Implement clear security guidelines
  • Provide specifics for security compliance
  • Enforce that everyone follows the rules
  • Provide formal training program
  • Communicate Security
  • Monitor security compliance
  • Establish security compliance metrics
  • Provide security compliance feedback
  • Audit security with a third party 

Cyber attack stages

Cyber attack stages

 

Cyber attack stages - Security Manau
Cyber attack stages

Stages of a cyber attack’s life cycle need to be understood so that CIO’s can create an effective defense strategy. Malicious cyber attacks continue to threaten sensitive data — whether it is personal data or company sensitive data — one fact remains: attackers will continue to exploit weakness to infiltrate systems and extract data that they can turn into money. The life cycle of attacks is as follows.Order Security ManualDownload Selected Pages

Identify and define potential attack vectors

The first step attackers usually take is to identify members of staff within the organization and the best attack vectors to utilize. This is done by scanning the organization’s public facing websites and gathering as much information about the sites as possible, while simultaneously performing scans against the internal networks.

Initial attack

Using several identified attack vectors, hackers attempt to gain access to an organization’s network. Using different IP addresses and a significant number of computers, the hackers will kick off an automated dictionary attack and after only a few short days malware is installed on the victim’s computer.

Command and control

With the malware in place, the attackers can now begin an in-depth recon against the internal network. The attackers will attempt to escalate privileges on the victim’s account, and create new user accounts with administrative and privileged access.

Discover and spread

With access to the network, the hackers begin to spread it across the organization’s entire network. With a significant presence within the network allowing them to wait, while making detailed asset maps, noting employee patterns and any other information that can assist them in their long term goal: data theft.

Extract and ex-filtrate

Attacks siphon data out of their target company’s environment. They will do this by moving the targeted data to a remote server. After several weeks or possibly even months of siphoning data, the attackers can end their campaign. However, before exiting, they will ensure that they make several network modifications to enable them to return at anytime in the future.

Discovery and clean up

When the organization finally discovers the compromise, typically more than 200 days to detect a breach, stopping the attack begins.