Following on the heels of Dell’s mega-purchase of EMC just over a week ago for a whopping $67 billion, this week saw the M&A turn to the security space with HP selling Tipping Point to Trend Micro for a comparatively paltry $300 million.

Since Trend Micro and Tipping Point have had a strategic partner relationship dating back to 2014, one would expect this acquisition to go relatively smoothly as compared to the possible clash of cultures awaiting Dell and EMC.

“This acquisition complements Trend Micro’s current threat defense expertise, extending its strength in endpoint, cloud, data center and breach detection to the network,” said Mike Spanbauer, vice president of research, NSS Labs. “By combining two strong brands, this move accelerates Trend Micro’s enterprise position into a non-competing segment, and provides a single, complete threat defense solution for enterprises seeking to make a critical security investment.”

From our perspective at Konsultek the new brand combination has the potential to bring some interesting capabilities to the market under one roof and we’ll be watching the process unfold. Only time will tell how smoothly the acquisition goes, but one thing it definitely signals is that many manufacturers are jockeying to shore up their security portfolio.

In the meantime, we believe that our preferred solution partner Sourcefire/Cisco (Cisco acquired Sourcefire in 2013) continues to provide the best in class investment when it comes to intrusion prevention. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and their Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) provide the very best firewall and intrusion prevention available.

At Konsultek we’re all about developing solutions that meet your needs both today and in the future. Pick up the phone and call 847-426-9355 to speak with someone from our friendly and knowledgeable security team today.

 

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Following on the heels of Dell’s mega-purchase of EMC just over a week ago for a whopping $67 billion, this week saw the M&A turn to the security space with HP selling Tipping Point to Trend Micro for a comparatively paltry $300 million.


Trend Micro and Tipping Point have had a strategic partner relationship dating back to 2014 so one would expect this acquisition to go relatively smoothly as compared to the possible clash of cultures awaiting Dell and EMC.

“This acquisition complements Trend Micro’s current threat defense expertise, extending its strength in endpoint, cloud, data center and breach detection to the network,” said Mike Spanbauer, vice president of research, NSS Labs. “By combining two strong brands, this move accelerates Trend Micro’s enterprise position into a non-competing segment, and provides a single, complete threat defense solution for enterprises seeking to make a critical security investment.”

From our perspective here at Konsultek the new brand combination has the potential to bring some interesting capabilities to the market under one roof and we’ll be watching process unfold.

In the meantime, we believe that our preferred solution partner Sourcefire/Cisco (Cisco acquired Sourcefire in 2013) continues to provide the best in class investment when it comes to intrusion prevention. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and their Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) provide the very best firewall and intrusion prevention available and that is why we prefer to use them when our customized security solution process indicates that that type of service is required.

At Konsultek we’re all about developing solutions that meet your needs both today and in the future. Please pick up the phone and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable security team today.

 

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In a slickly produced documentary film titled “The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet” Norton and film director Sean Dunne collaborate on what has to be the most innovative Internet security marketing piece ever created.

Gritty, and shot mostly in black and white, the film focuses not on the techy side of hacking but on the hackers themselves (and scammers too), their motivations, and the larger community of Râmnicu Vâlcea in which the film’s cyber criminals live.

It is an interesting way to raise awareness though as of this writing just a 147,289 people had viewed the YouTube version so there may be questions regarding the film’s ability to reach a larger audience.

With appearances from some of the hacking world’s most renowned people, such as Guccifer and Ice Man, a host of anonymous hackers plus Priest Constantin Câstea the film has plenty of characters to keep the 20 minute run-time interesting.

Hackers vs. Scammers

The film delineates the difference between hackers who are portrayed as curious technologists who get a thrill out of the challenge of infiltration vs. scammers who do not generally possess superior technology skills and are motivated simply by the financial gains of stealing.

All is Not Lost

The final message from Norton is that despite living in a world populated by hackers and scammers we as a society are continuing to get better at protecting our personal and organizational data through a combination of awareness, education and technology.

At Konsultek we pride ourselves on both educating and protecting our clients. Give us a call to discuss your particular situation and let’s see what we can accomplish together.

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Symantec’s April 2015 Volume 20 Internet Security Threat Report contains over 100 pages of interesting facts and research regarding Internet and information security.

One of the infographics contains data similar to what was reported by Verizon and was discussed here previously. The data pertains to the likelihood and prevalence of attacks by industry.

Symantec’s research corroborates Verizon’s findings that the manufacturing sector is amongst the most highly targeted (in this case, specifically by spear phishing attacks).

Source: Symantec April 2015 Volume 20 Internet Security Threat Report

Mining Industry a Likely Target for Illicit Data Mining!

It is interesting to note that if your organization falls in the mining space you were more likely than any other industry to have been targeted by a spear phishing attack. This seems an outsized risk for a somewhat low tech industry considering that, according to the Verizon data, “secrets” were the most commonly mined corporate information. More obvious targets would have been technology companies or perhaps pharmaceutical or financial companies.

One thing is certain, spear phishing and other types of corporate hacking are happening every day across a wide variety of industries. At Konsultek, we specialize in developing custom security solutions that work for organizations both large and small. To learn more about the potential vulnerabilities of your organization and what you can do to protect your intellectual property and trade secrets please pick up the phone and call (847)426-9355 to begin a dialogue.

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Personally, I hate the moniker “SMB” (Small and Mid-Size Businesses) because it seems to belittle the fact that to the owners of SMBs the business isn’t small, or mid-size. It is a huge investment in all that they do.

And, as chronicled on this blog more than once, SMBs are increasingly becoming the focus of cybercriminals looking to steal everything from employee records to intellectual property.

So, it was with more than a little trepidation that I read an article at Entrepreneur.com that offered 5 tips for making SMBs more secure from cyber threats. Sometimes these types of articles can, in my opinion, lead the very same SMBs they are hoping to help down the wrong path. I was pleased to find the major points of this article to be based upon sound fundamentals.

To recap their recommendations:

1. Create a Cyber Security Culture

This is ultra-important and is a primary piece of every Konsultek engagement.  The culture must extend beyond the IT department and focus on high-level departmental processes.

2. Establish a Security Management Strategy

Hmmm. The top two recommendations and no mention of technologies yet? Exactly! Security culture, process and strategy are the hallmarks of organizations of all sizes that are well prepared when cyber criminals come knocking.

3. Get Organized and Share Your Findings

Here is where a partner like Konsultek can really help. Whether it is one of our educational events or one of our training programs we are proud of our role as facilitator in the world of best practices sharing.

4. Have a BYOD Policy and Plan

Mobile vulnerabilities remain large and voluminous. The need for your employees to access your network via mobile devices will have likely been outlined in your Security Management Strategy so this recommendation is aimed more directly at device security and mobile end-point security.

5. Choose a Security Approach that is “Right-Sized” for Your Business

This is where Konsultek really shines. With a client base that covers Fortune 100 companies to local not-for-profits, our consultants and engineers are well versed in working with all types and all sizes of organizations. Cyber security should always be organization and process driven, not product driven and we pride ourselves in our ability to develop cost effective and powerful solutions for organizations just like yours.

Still confused about where to begin on your quest for cyber security? Not a problem. Just give us a call at (847)426-9355 and we’ll begin a dialogue. The call is always free and the education you’ll receive will be value-filled and powerful.

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It was recently reported by the New York Times and others that more than 100,000 taxpayers had their past tax returns accessed by criminals. These criminals then created fraudulent returns and requested refunds from the IRS totaling more than $50 Million before the I.R.S. identified the ruse and took action.

What you may not realize is that this “hack” and data-breach didn’t rely upon a group of ethically-questionable coding maladroits to gain entrance to the I.RS. system through some back-door vulnerability. Rather, the criminals sauntered right up to the front desk (metaphorically speaking) and requested the information using the victims very own credentials.

You see, in a case that parallels the Starbucks coffee caper previously highlighted on our blog, the real “hacking” – the acquisition of the victims’ personal information – had taken place in some previous venue at some previous time.

Armed with a variety of personal information including Social Security numbers, home addresses and birthdates it was relatively simple for the criminals to complete a multi-step authentication process and then request previous tax returns and other filings according to the I.R.S.

With these tax documents in hand the criminals proceeded to file fraudulent returns that resulted in the nearly $50 million in returns.

“We’re confident that these are not amateurs,” John Koskinen, the I.R.S. commissioner, said. “These actually are organized crime syndicates that not only we, but everybody in the financial industry are dealing with.”

Indeed. According to the I.R.S in 2013 alone they were bilked out of $5.8 billion in fraudulent claims. That is big business by anyone’s measurement and certainly big enough to continue to attract the most sophisticated criminal elements.

Compounding the issues for the I.R.S. is the widely available nature of personal information thanks to prior breaches at places such as Home Depot and Target. Heck, with the general population’s seemingly endless need to “tell all” on social media sites such as Facebook, many of the “security” questions used for authentication purposes such as your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your high school are already public knowledge.

If there is an upside to this latest high profile breach it is that organizations of all types will begin to explore additional means of authentication in order to make fraudulent access more difficult.

Much like the I.R.S. your organization’s data security is directly related to both human and technology factors. At Konsultek we have the experience to provide guidance and solutions on both fronts. Our expertise is just a phone call away. We look forward to speaking with you. Call us at (847) 426-9355.

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In what is becoming a seemingly common theme, FireEye and their consulting arm Mandiant (acquired in 2014) are at the center of uncovering another high profile data breach. This time the victim is CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield.

Earlier this year the dynamic duo of FireEye and Mandiant were brought in to assess the internal IT systems at CareFirst. On April 21st, as reported by securityaffairs.co they had “discovered evidence of unauthorized accesses to the database on June 19, 2014.”

Fortunately for CareFirst no evidence of additional attacks against the CareFirst systems was found.

FireEye the “Go To” Company for Breaches

As reported by USA Today, FireEye (FEYE) has been the “SWAT” team brought in to investigate high-profile attacks against Target, JP Morgan Chase, Sony Pictures, Anthem and others over the past two years. “Often times they ask us to be side-by-side with them when they announce their breach,” said FireEye CEO David DeWalt.

For those of you who don’t follow the players in the security industry as closely as we do, Mr. DeWalt was the CEO of McAfee when in 2010 he orchestrated its sale to Intel for just under $8 Billion.

It would appear as though FireEye has gained the confidence of some of the largest and most high profile organizations in the world and we certainly believe that confidence is warranted. At Konsultek we have been weaving FireEye’s next generation of threat prevention into our custom solutions for over two years.

FireEye’s unique “sandbox” approach to threat prevention allows potential threats to be identified and addressed in the safety of a quarantined evaluation space so that your systems are never at risk.

FireEye’s approach to threat detection and prevention offers several advantages:

  • Cloud based – potential threats are “detonated” in controlled virtual environments outside your network.
  • Machine learning – as more threats are detected and dealt with the FireEye engine learns, applying collective intelligence to protect your system.
  • Real time – since FireEye is cloud based “updates” happen in real time so your protective shield is always up to date.
  • Centralized Management System – consolidates and simplifies all facets of FireEye’s protection into one simple to use interface.

Ready to learn more about how FireEye and Konsultek can help secure your network and data? Please, just give us a call at (847)426-9355, we’re always available to listen!

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