Public Sector Tech Security: Take Care Before a Catastrophe Occurs

In today’s world, digital security is more important than ever. Long gone are the days where you only needed to worry about physical security for offices. Now, banks, law offices, government facilities, and private companies all depend on their technology being protected from a range of threats. It’s essential for a seamless continuity of daily life to identify and quickly respond to these threats as they occur.

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Help, I Have Moved to Containers and Now I’m Blind

Containers and microservices are becoming a very popular option for deploying applications. There are many benefits of containers, faster deployments, reproducibility of environments, cost optimizations, isolation, and flexibility in general.

There is one glaring problem that is seen right after initial deployment, monitoring and troubleshooting is exponentially more complex when it comes to containers. Containers are designed to run programs in an isolated context, and that means that they tend to be opaque environments. Because of this, the same visibility tools we’ve all been using for years are now failing to perform as expected. Now, you suddenly realize you are flying blind.

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So You want to Work in Cybersecurity, eh?!

There is a massive need for cybersecurity professionals today and the need is only growing. We’ve seen estimates of anywhere between 2-3 million vacant jobs over the next three years. The demand is definitely bullish and showing no signs of stopping. With this being said, breaking into an industry is always a difficult thing to do and nothing should be assumed, even with the massive demand of unfilled positions. Here are a few areas I’d suggest if you’re looking to not only get into security, but become successful.

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Site Reliability Engineering – From DevOps to NoOps

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a practice that combines software development skills and IT operations into a single job function. Automation and continuous integration and delivery are used to reach the goal of improving highly dynamic systems. The concept originated with Google in the early 2000s and was documented in a book with the same name, Site Reliability Engineering (a must read). SRE shares many governing concepts with DevOps—both domains rely on a culture of sharing, metrics and automation. SRE can be thought of as an extreme implementation of DevOps. The role of the SRE is common in cloud first enterprises and gaining momentum in traditional IT teams. Part systems administrator, part second tier support and part developer, SREs require a personality that is by nature inquisitive, always acquiring new skills, asking questions, and solving problems by embracing new tools and automation.

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Azure Goes Boom to Remind Us Infrastructure and Multi-cloud Still Matter

Microsoft’s had significant difficulties recovering from its most severe Azure outage in years. On September 4, 2018 there was a weather related power spike at Microsoft’s Azure South Central U.S. region in San Antonio. That surge hit crippled their HVAC system. The subsequent rising temperatures triggered automatic hardware shutdowns. More than 30 cloud services, as well as the Azure status page were taken out in the process.

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What You Should Know About Driving Down MTTD and MTTR

Effectively connect people, process and technology to minimize MTTD and MTTR

There’s a reason it’s said that what gets measured gets managed. In order to successfully achieve a goal, you have to be able to measure progress. It’s the only way to know if you’re heading in the right direction.

That’s why any security operations team worth their salt will be paying close attention to both their mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) metrics when it comes to resolving incidents.

The average dwell time for attackers still sits somewhere within the ranges of 100 – 140 days and frankly, we can do better. Security operations teams need to be fanatical when it comes to lowering these metrics within their organizations.

Significantly reducing dwell time, MTTD and MTTR starts with an understanding of attacks. From there, you need multiple groups working together in harmony enabled by technology to automate and orchestrate incident response processes.

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Am I Already Using the Cloud and is it Safe?

Often when speaking to people about the cloud, their first reaction is that it isn’t safe and they won’t use it. Odds are that they, and most everyone else who owns an Internet connected device, is already using the cloud.

Let’s take a step back and define the cloud. In essence, it’s just a network of servers — which are large, super-powerful computers. Anything that’s referred to as “cloud-based” or “in the cloud” means it primarily lives online, instead of on something physical in your possession like a CD or your computer’s hard drive.

A good rule of thumb for determining whether something is “cloud-based” is asking yourself the following question: Can I easily log into this service from another device, like my phone or a different computer? If the answer is yes, then the service is probably based in the cloud.

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Vulnerability Assessment versus Penetration Assessment

We get asked this question frequently, “What the difference between a vulnerability assessment and penetration assessment?”. It’s a great question and one we’d like to shed a bit more light on throughout this blog. Both engagements are aimed towards shedding light on areas within your cybersecurity posture that need improvement. We regularly perform vulnerability assessments and penetration tests for our clients tasked by regulatory compliance to adhere to a particular standard or to increase their security posture. Both of these tests play an important role within your organization by enlightening you on areas of weakness and decreasing risk from adversaries.

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Podcast: CISO Speak – Incident Response

This months podcast features host Larry Bianculli speaking with guest CISO Agim Bracovic from BNB Bank, as well as our very own Matthew Pascucci, cybersecurity practice manager, at CCSI, on Incident Response. How do you build a team of qualified IR resources with current staff? How do you prepare and train an incident response team?…

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Why a Zero-trust Network with Authentication is Essential

Zero-trust networks are often deemed compromised and untrusted, making authentication variables essential to security. Expert Matthew Pascucci explains a zero-trust security model. In the past, we’ve done a great job of making networks accessible. But with this increased availability, we’ve opened the door for attackers to move more easily around networks. However, as we introduce…

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Cloud Migration Strategies for SMBs

It is now widely accepted that Cloud computing can help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) lower operating expenses and improve application performance – and the public clouds are helping small businesses to either replace or supplement their on-premises IT needs. While having a sound migration strategy in place is crucial, equally important is to ensure…

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CompTIA Cyber Roundtable, NYC

This past week Matthew Pascucci, Cybersecurity Practice Manager at CCSI participated in a Cyber Roundtable. Check out this article about the roundtable discussion by Teresa Varela-Lauper. Dr. James Stanger is CompTIA’s Chief Technology Evangelist. He’s a CompTIA super hero in my book….traveling all over the world, speaking at events, impacting and representing the IT industry…

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Podcast: CISO Speak – Policy and Procedure

This months podcast features host Larry Bianculli speaking with guest CISO Jeff Jennings from Healthplex, as well as our very own Matthew Pascucci, cybersecurity practice manager, at CCSI, on policy and procedures. Where do you begin to write company policy and procedures? What are the best practices and how to ensure adaptation? Jeff Jennings and…

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What is an MSSP?

This short blog should provide a sufficient answer to everyone who has heard the term MSSP, but never knew what the heck it was. In 2018, everything is constantly evolving. Whereas smaller companies historically housed all software on their own hardware housed in their own data center, with its own security and productivity tools: today…

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