The 2 questions I am asked most regularly are “What is your biggest concern in cybersecurity right now?”, and “What are your favorite resources for cybersecurity news and information?”

 As I’m sure you can imagine, my answers can shift quite rapidly depending on everything from current events to organizational goals and everything in between. This is also why they are 2 of my favorite questions to ask other industry professionals. Also, whenever I think about my most urgent cybersecurity concerns, I tend to think more in terms of the gaps that allow a particular threat to be successful vs the threat itself. Take ransomware for example. A ransomware breach can happen in a number of different ways that require a variety of tactics to protect against.

I believe there is always something to learn, so what better way to close out Cybersecurity Awareness Month than to share the responses to these favorite questions from a variety of professionals in the technology and security industry, including myself. Enjoy!

Q: What Concerns You Most About Business Security Practices Today?

A:

Keith Johnson – Senior Director of Security Solutions – Cerdant

“Even in 2020, many businesses continue to view security with a cost center mindset. Further, many organizations view their investment in security with the same level of enthusiasm as the rest of us view renewing our car insurance premium. Unfortunately, they strive to spend as little money and time as possible on it. It is important as security practitioners that we counter that perspective by positioning security as a business enabler and aligning the security team’s objectives with those of the organization as a whole. With the recent global pandemic, mindsets are beginning to slowly change as companies were forced to become more aware than ever before about the value security brings and how they can leverage security practitioners expertise to drive positive business outcomes, not just solve technical problems.  It is very encouraging to see companies begin to pivot, rethink, and make security changes that had been unimaginable before.”

 Eric Madden – President and Founder – Astute Technology Management

“Training. Bad things often happen because someone did something they shouldn’t have, or someone didn’t do something they should have. Most of the controls we put in place are to prevent/catch one of these two occurrences. For a majority of organizations, the most effective control will be training. While I’m a proponent of a structured training program, I’ve seen this create paralysis for smaller organizations. For these organizations I suggest starting with a simple question; ask a user (or group) “What do they think could happen if their username and password were stolen?” Let the conversation go from there.”

Joshua Skeens – CTO – Cerdant

“Many things are concerning for me today because technology continues to evolve at such a rapid pace. I fear that with technology evolving so quickly that not only are we creating technology that users don’t fully understand, but also, the people that are left to support and secure the technology can’t do so in the proper way. They can’t gain the knowledge and understanding of this technology fast enough, to support it properly which leads to more security gaps and issues for businesses. We need to start a dramatic shift towards further education for current employees and create programs that get people interested in technology at a younger age. There is a skills gap and we need to close it as quickly as possible. I would also say the whole idea of the “silver bullet” that many vendors sometimes tout, and customers chase is a large concern. There is no, one, single product that is going to keep the bad guys away and keep you 100% safe. We need to stick to our best practices, create a layered defense, train our employees properly, and start looking at more detection methods if we want to be successful in securing our businesses. We can’t install just one program and call it a day; security is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Jeremiah Johnson – Principle Engineer – Cerdant

“The one thing that almost always gets pushed down the “to do” list is reviewing network alerts and security logs. In so many breach cases, the writing was “on the wall”, however someone simply didn’t have time to review those logs and catch the threat. The wonderful thing about network security in 2020/21 is that we have many AI (Artificial intelligent) driven technologies that can self-mitigate many threats in real time.”

Connie Matthews – CEO and Founder – Reyncon Security

 “Not focusing on the basics. Implementing expensive tools when the basics are not covered doesn’t provide the coverage you may think. Remember:”

  • Security is a journey, not a destination.
  • Apply practical controls that make sense based on the size and complexity of your environment.
  • Look at common frameworks as a starting point, for example – NIST Cyber Framework – https://www.nist.gov/cyberframework
  • Start with the “Basics” and grow your security posture

Jason Palm – Senior Network Security Engineer – Cerdant

“One of the biggest areas of opportunity in business security practices today is verifying that security measures are working as expected. Ideally, businesses should be performing regular vulnerability scans, conducting penetration tests, and running phishing tests. Conducting exercises that simulate an actual attack are critical to understanding if the security posture of a business is actually effective.”

Q: What Are Your Favorite Resources For Cybersecurity News and Information

A:

Eric Madden – President and Founder – Astute Technology Management

 “I read Total Defense’s Security Tip of the Day almost daily. The tips are more personal in nature, and the more personally we take security the stronger our defense.”

Jeremiah Johnson – Principle Engineer – Cerdant

Podcast: Darknet Diaries – Gives you real information about the threats/breaches and outcomes of unchecked network vulnerabilities. https://darknetdiaries.com/

Twitter: Troy Hunt – @troyhunt – Troy created haveibeenpwned.com based on his massive research into password data dumbs. He seems to always be in the mix for large data breaches.

Roger Newton – Senior Network Security Analyst – Cerdant

“Some of my favorite websites and blogs:”

 Keith Johnson – Senior Director of Security Solutions – Cerdant

 “As I have a long commute every week, I’m a huge fan of podcasts. In my current rotation are:”

Kevin Roberts – Senior Network Security Engineer – Cerdant

Websites:

Podcast: Defensive Security Podcast – https://defensivesecurity.org/