Is Your Security Dashboard Ready for the Cloud?

The ability to feed key security information onto a big screen dashboard opens up many new opportunities for managing the day-to-day security and maintenance workload as well as providing a useful method of highlighting new incidents faster than “just another email alert.”

Most Security Operation Centers I’ve visited in recent years have embraced having a few dedicated big-screen displays, but most are restricted to monitoring the on-premise architecture such as local firewalls and servers rather than taking a more holistic approach and accounting for the increasing use of cloud hosted infrastructure and services.

Security no longer starts and ends at the “front door,” with cloud playing a bigger role in more and more organizations. Here’s four things I think every company that uses cloud infrastructure should consider surfacing on their security dashboards.

Inventory and Discovery

The traditional model of server provisioning started changing with the growth of virtualization. No longer can you assume that new hardware would be purchased and entered into a CMDB.

With the growth of cloud infrastructure, the provisioning of new virtual infrastructure became even easier, but with that comes new challenges for your security processes. For that reason, making sure that newly detected devices are highlighted front and center on a dashboard makes a lot of sense and can help to understand the changes going on during provisioning of a new or updated application during the DevOps cycle. Ensuring security coverage against these new devices is key to making sure that gaps don’t develop over time.

Vulnerabilities and Priorities

When vulnerabilities are detected, it’s important that they are presented in a practical fashion. Simply listing every missing patch or misconfiguration often isn’t a sensible approach to managing your workload. A good dashboard should help reveal the most common and highest risk vulnerabilities in an easy-to-read fashion.

Tracking progress of investigations is important, too, in order to ensure you’re keeping on top of what’s been discovered as well as giving your security team a goal. Showing how old a vulnerability is, alongside its potential risk, can help provide a focus for teams as well as a sense of accomplishment when you clear down a challenging vulnerability from the dashboard.


If you’re carrying out regular scans of your cloud infrastructure via one or more scanning appliances and/or applications, it’s important to account not just for the health of the environment you’re monitoring but also for the status of the tools you’re using to provide the monitoring. Availability indicators for your monitoring architecture as well as alerting for whether or not scans are completing successfully ensures that you always have the full picture.


Alongside triaging vulnerabilities, ensuring compliance to your internal security hardening requirements is key.

Making sure that you are proactively and consistently implementing security procedures helps to minimize your company’s risk, and showing compliance levels (typically through a simple percentage score) can verify not just how secure your environment is today but also allow you to track your success over time, helping to demonstrate how everyday investment in your security configuration can help improve your security posture.

Getting the right information out and visible to your SOC team is key. Hopefully, these starting points will help you plan for your security dashboards to provide better overviews of your cloud security.


via:  tripwire

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Computer System Security Requirements for IRS 1075: What You Need to Know

The IRS 1075 publication lays out a framework of compliance regulations to ensure federal tax information, or FTI, is treated with adequate security provisioning to protect its confidentiality. This may sound simple enough but IRS 1075 puts forth a complex set of managerial, operational and technical security controls you must continuously follow in order to maintain ongoing compliance.

Any organization or agency that receives FTI needs to prove that they’re protecting that data properly with IRS 1075 compliance. Federal, state, county and local entities – as well as the contractors they employ – are all within its scope.

IRS 1075 is comprised of the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Federal Tax Information and Reviews
  3. Recordkeeping Requirement: IRC 6103(p)(4)(A)
  4. Secure Storage: IRC 6103(p)(4)(B)
  5. Restricting Access: IRC 6103(p)(4)(C)
  6. Other Safeguards: IRC 6103(p)(4)(D)
  7. Reporting Requirements: IRC 6103(p)(4)(E)
  8. Disposing of FTI: IRC 6103(p)(4)(F)
  9. Computer System Security
  10. Reporting Improper Inspections or Disclosures
  11. Disclosure to Other Persons
  12. Return Information in Statistical Report

The complete document describing IRS 1075 requirements is available here.

All agency information systems used for receiving, processing, storing or transmitting FTI must be hardened in accordance with the requirements in IRS 1075. Agency information systems include the equipment, facilities and people that collect, process, store, display and disseminate information. This includes computers, hardware, software and communications as well as policies and procedures for their use.

The computer security framework was primarily developed using guidelines specified in NIST SP 800-30 Revision 1, Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments, and NIST SP 800- 53 Revision 4, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. Only applicable NIST SP 800-53 controls are included in IRS 1075 as a baseline. Applicability was determined by selecting controls required to protect the confidentiality of FTI.

Let’s focus on Section 9: Computer System Security.

IRS 1075 requires organizations and agencies to protect FTI using core cybersecurity best practices like file integrity monitoring (FIM) and security configuration management(SCM). Both of these technologies depend upon a known, secure baseline. Any deviations from this baseline signal authorized or unauthorized changes that could bring your systems out of compliance or expose them to attacks.

According to IRS 1075, all organizations and agencies that handle FTI must do the following:

  • Determine the types of changes to the information system that are configuration controlled
  • Review proposed configuration-controlled changes to the information system and approve or disapprove such changes with explicit consideration for security impact analyses
  • Document configuration change decisions associated with the information system
  • Implement approved configuration-controlled changes to the information system
  • Retain records of configuration-controlled changes to the information system for the life of the system
  • Audit and review activities associated with configuration-controlled changes to the information system
  • Coordinate and provide oversight for configuration change control activities through a Configuration Control Board that convenes when configuration changes occur
  • Test, validate and document changes to the information system before implementing the changes on the operational system

Tripwire can help with its Tripwire Enterprise software.

One of Tripwire Enterprise’s most fundamental capabilities is establishing a secure baseline configuration for your system and tracking all changes against that baseline. Tripwire Enterprise ensures the integrity of your files and systems, keeping a record of all changes that take place and producing audit-ready reports to make proof of compliance easier.

Tripwire Enterprise supports IRS 1075 Policy Compliance hardening guidelines out of the box.

If your organization or agency handles federal income tax information of any sort, you are required to stay in compliance with IRS 1075. Failure to do so can lead to heavy fines and even criminal charges, but Tripwire technology makes ongoing compliance simple and keeps you audit-ready at all points in time.



via:  tripwire

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14 million customer records exposed in GovPayNow leak, a payment system used by thousands of federal and state government agencies in the U.S. and recently acquired by Securus Technologies, has leaked 14 million customer records.

Information exposed includes the last four digits of payment cards, names, phone numbers and addresses, according to Brian Krebs, who discovered the leak.

Anyone could view the information by changing the digits in the URL of an online receipt that the service gives users when they pay parking citations, fines or make other financial transactions.

“GovPayNet [which is doing business as GovPayNow] has addressed a potential issue with our online system that allows users to access copies of their receipts, but did not adequately restrict access only to authorized recipients,” according to a company statement sent to KrebsOnSecurity, which also said there was no “indication that any improperly accessed information was used to harm any customer, and receipts do not contain information that can be used to initiate a financial transaction.”

Noting that most of the information exposed “is a matter of public record that may be accessed through other means,” the company said. “Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution and to maximize security for users, GovPayNet has updated this system to ensure that only authorized users will be able to view their receipts.”

Calling the breach at the Indianapolis-based company “fairly minor” compared to others over the last year, Nick Bilogorskiy, cybersecurity strategist at Juniper Networks, said, “Online payment providers, especially those doing business with the government, should take special care to protect their customers’ receipts by using HTTPS and checking that the user is logged in and has permissions to view them.”

Bilogorskiy also recommended, to “avoid information disclosure and directory traversal issues,” that companies deny “anonymous web visitors the ability to read permissions for any sensitive data files and removing any unnecessary files from web-accessible directories.”

Pravin Kothari, CEO of CipherCloud, noted the security incident – which exposed data from as far back as 2012 – isn’t the first for Securus, which bought the company in January.

“Securus has had other issues with cybersecurity over the past few years including the misuse of a service that tracked convicted felons’ cellphones, hackers penetrating this same system and subsequently stealing logins and legitimate credentials, and finally another flaw in May that allowed unauthorized access to accounts by guessing answers to the security questions,” he explained.

In the spring, a hacker swiped 2,800 logins and passwords from Securus, on the heels of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate the wireless carriers that allow law enforcement to have “unrestricted access to the location data” of their customers after a former Missouri sheriff was indicted for, among other things, tracking the cell phones of numerous persons, including some state troopers, without the benefit of a court order.

The issues prompted wireless carriers like Verizon to review their location aggregator programs and terminate existing location data sharing agreements with third-party brokers.

Many of the “flaws are simple to find and fix. That’s not the issue,” said Kothari. “The issue is that there will always be open vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and missing updates that attackers can exploit. You cannot fix them all.”

It’s inevitable that attackers will penetrate networks, given increasing numbers and an escalating volume of persistent attacks,” he said.

“Best practices today position safekeeping of your data, at all times, in a pseudonymized form,” Kothari said. “This makes it an order of magnitude harder for the attackers to acquire useful information which they can exploit from within your on-premise networks or your cloud services.” displays an online receipt when citizens use it to settle state and local government fees and fines via the site. Until this past weekend it was possible to view millions of customer records simply by altering digits in the Web address displayed by each receipt.


via:  scmagazine

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ICO Receiving 500 Breach-Related Calls a Week Since GDPR Took Effect

The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been receiving 500 calls pertaining to data breaches since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect.

Speaking before hundreds of senior business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI’s) fourth annual Cyber Security Conference, ICO deputy commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone revealed that of the 500 breach-related calls received weekly by the Office, a third of them aren’t warranted or pertain to events that don’t qualify as data security incidents.

All of these unnecessary reports could be an indication that organizations are eager to comply. Dipple-Johnstone clarified that many of the reports tend to “over-report” the details of a perceived security incident. He attributed this phenomenon to organizations’ desire to manage their risk or a prevailing perception that they need to report everything, reported ITPro.

Despite these attempts to maintain transparency, some companies failed to comply with the ICO’s reporting requirements. Dipple-Johnstone explained that some of the data breach reports received by the Office were incomplete. In other notices, organizations mistook the mandatory reporting period of 72 hours as 72 “business” hours, not three consecutive days from the moment of discovery.

These findings came at around the same time that cloud and data firm Talend disclosed a majority of organizations’ failure to comply with certain elements of GDPR. Specifically, it found that just 35 percent of EU-based companies were fulfilling subject access requests (SARs) filed by customers looking to access their data held by controllers within the legal time frame. Outside of Europe, only a half of organizations were meeting those deadlines.

Dipple-Johnstone said the ICO will be working with organizations to help them with their data protection efforts going forward. He also made a point of indicating how the ICO doesn’t always issue fines following an investigation into a potential data security incident. As quoted by ITPro:

The small number of fines we issue always seem to get the headlines, but we close many thousands of incidents each year without financial penalty but with advice, guidance and reassurance. For every investigation which ends in a fine, we have dozens of audits, advisory visits and guidance sessions. That is the real norm of the work we do.

Data protection goes beyond implementing security technologies like encryption and machine learning. It also involves investing in those who use those solutions.


via:  tripwire


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Cyber attack led to Bristol Airport blank screens


Broken screens at Bristol Airport

The screens at the airport stopped working on Friday morning

Bristol Airport has blamed a cyber attack for causing flight display screens to fail for two days.

An airport spokesman said the information screens were taken offline early on Friday to contain an attack similar to so-called “ransomware”.

They are now working again at “key locations” including in departures and arrivals, and work is continuing to get the whole site back online.

The spokesman said no “ransom” had been paid to get the systems working again.

Ransomware is a form of malware in which computer viruses threaten to delete files unless a ransom is paid.

Spokesman James Gore said: “We believe there was an online attempt to target part of our administrative systems and that required us to take a number of applications offline as a precautionary measure, including the one that provides our data for flight information screens.

“That was done to contain the problem and avoid any further impact on more critical systems.

Out of order departure boards at Bristol Airport

A spokesman said whiteboards and marker pens had to be used in place of display screens.

“The indications are that this was a speculative attempt rather than targeted attack on Bristol Airport.”

Mr Gore said flights were unaffected, but contingency measures and “manual processes”, including whiteboards and marker pens, had to be used in place of display screens.

“At no point were any safety or security systems impacted or put at risk.”

He said it had taken “longer than people might have expected” to rectify due to a “cautious approach”.

“Given the number of safety and security critical systems operating at an airport, we wanted to make sure that the issue with the flight information application that experienced the problem was absolutely resolved before it was put back online.”

No flights are understood to have been disrupted as a result.


via:  bbc

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Google, Apple and 13 other companies that no longer require employees to have a college degree

The economy continues to be a friendly place for job seekers today, and not just for the ultra-educated — economists are predicting ever-improving prospects for workers without a degree as well.

Recently, job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of 15 top employers that have said they no longer require applicants to have a college degree. Companies like Google, Apple, IBM and EY are all in this group. But currently, EY’s non-degree requirements are applicable to candidates in the UK.

In 2017, IBM’s vice president of talent Joanna Daley told CNBC Make It that about 15 percent of her company’s U.S. hires don’t have a four-year degree. She said that instead of looking exclusively at candidates who went to college, IBM now looks at candidates who have hands-on experience via a coding boot camp or an industry-related vocational class.

Check the list below to see what other top companies you can score a job at if you don’t have a college degree:

Google has expanded its Google for Jobs initiative, launched last summer, to feature a job search tool that uses AI technology. The company believes it will radically change the online job-seeking experience.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google has expanded its Google for Jobs initiative, launched last summer, to feature a job search tool that uses AI technology. The company believes it will radically change the online job-seeking experience.

1. Google

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 4.4

Current openings include: product manager, recruiter, software engineer, product marketing manager

Hiring locations include: Mountain View, CA; Austin, TX; San, Francisco, CA

Click to view openings

Ernst and Young building in Berlin, Germany.

Patti Domm | CNBC

Ernst and Young building in Berlin, Germany.

2. Ernst & Young (EY)

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.7

Current openings include: assurance services senior, risk advisor, experience management manager, tax services senior

Hiring locations include: Alpharetta, GA; San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA

Click to view openings

Penguin and Random House in Deal Talks

Joseph Devenne | Getty Images

3. Penguin Random House

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.8

Current openings include: marketing designer, publicity assistant, senior manager of finance, production assistant

Hiring locations include: New York, NY; London, England; Colorado Springs, CO

Click to view openings

jetcityimage | iStock Editorial | Getty Images

4. Costco Wholesale

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.9

Current openings include: cashier, stocker, pharmacy sales assistant, bakery wrapper

Hiring locations include: Baton Rouge, LA; Vallejo, CA; Kalamazoo, MI

Click to view openings

Vehicles drive through the parking lot outside a Whole Foods Market Inc. location in Willowbrook, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Vehicles drive through the parking lot outside a Whole Foods Market Inc. location in Willowbrook, Illinois.

5. Whole Foods

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.5

Current openings include: grocery team member, cashier, bakery team member, whole body team member

Hiring locations include: Napa, CA; Petaluma, CA; Tigard, OR

Click to view openings

The New York Hilton midtown hotel is show in this December 2013 photo.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The New York Hilton midtown hotel is show in this December 2013 photo.

6. Hilton

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 4

Current openings include: event manager, front office manager, housekeeper, hotel manager

Hiring locations include: San Rafael, CA; Napa, CA; Indianapolis, IN

Click to view openings


John Greim | Getty Images

7. Publix

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.7

Current openings include: pharmacist, retail set-up coordinator, maintenance technician, job fair

Hiring locations include: Lakeland, FL; Atlanta, GA; Deerfield Beach, FL

Click to view openings

Apple CEO Tim Cook greets guests at the grand opening of Apple's Chicago flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. 

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook greets guests at the grand opening of Apple’s Chicago flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. 

8. Apple

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 4

Current openings include: design verification engineer, engineering project manager, iPhone buyer

Hiring locations include: Santa Clara, CA; Austin, TX; Las Vegas, NV

Click to view openings


Jeff Greenberg | Getty Images

9. Starbucks

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.8

Current openings include: barista, shift supervisor, store manager

Hiring locations include: Dublin, GA; San Francisco, CA; Compton, CA

Click to view openings

Pedestrians walk past a Nordstrom Inc. store.

Ben Nelms | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pedestrians walk past a Nordstrom Inc. store.

10. Nordstrom

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.6

Current openings include: retail sales, cleaning, stock and fulfillment, bartender

Hiring locations include: Phoenix, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Scottdale, AZ

Click to view openings

A cashier scans a customers purchases at a Home Depot store in New York.

Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A cashier scans a customers purchases at a Home Depot store in New York.

11. Home Depot

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.5

Current openings include: department supervisor, customer service sales, store support

Hiring locations include: Colonial Heights, VA; South Plainfield, NJ; San Diego, CA

Click to view openings

Pedestrians walk in front of the IBM building in New York.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Pedestrians walk in front of the IBM building in New York.

12. IBM

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.4

Current openings include: financial blockchain engineer, lead recruiter, contract and negotiations professional

Hiring locations include: San Francisco, CA; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Austin, TX

Click to view openings

Pedestrians pass in front of a Bank of America Corp. branch in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.

Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pedestrians pass in front of a Bank of America Corp. branch in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.

13. Bank of America

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.5

Current openings include: client service representative, client associate, analyst, executive assistant

Hiring locations include: Tulsa, OK; Wilmington, DE; New York, NY

Click to view openings

Diners eat at a Chipotle restaurant in Chicago, Illinois.

Getty Images

Diners eat at a Chipotle restaurant in Chicago, Illinois.

14. Chipotle

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.4

Current openings include: district manager, kitchen manager, service manager

Hiring locations include: Sandy, UT; Woburn, MA; Pleasant Hill, CA

Click to view openings

Lowes Retail Store Sign

Getty Images

15. Lowe’s

Glassdoor company rating on a five-point scale: 3.3

Current openings include: plumbing associate, commercial sales loader, lumber associate

Hiring locations include: Westborough, MA; Omaha, NE; Mooresville, NC




via:  cnbc

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Amazon S3 Security Step-by-Step

Bucket Policies and Defense-in-Depth: Amazon S3

Excellent paper by Rajat Ravinder Varuni and Rafael Marcelino Koike. I read it and it will help me when I have to talk with “people whose heads are in the cloud”.

In this blog post, we show you how to prevent your Amazon S3 buckets and objects from allowing public access. We discuss how to secure data in Amazon S3 with a defense-in-depth approach, where multiple security controls are put in place to help prevent data leakage. This approach helps prevent you from allowing public access to confidential information, such as personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI).

via:  Stephen Northcutt

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Configuration Hardening: Proactively Guarding Systems Against Intrusion

The concept of configuration hardening has nice imagery to it. When we use it to describe battle-hardened soldiers who have been tested in combat, a grim, determined image invariably leaps to mind. The same thing happens when we speak of hardened steel that’s been repeatedly quenched and tempered or of hardened fortifications and bunkers.

But what does this state of “being hardened” mean in the context of information systems? What do we mean when we talk about operating system hardening techniques to repel exploits and withstand intrusions? Much of this is captured in three simple concepts:

  1. Ensure a system’s security configurations are appropriately set given the job it needs to do.
  2. Ensure operating system software, firmware  and applications are updated to stay ahead of exploits that attack flaws in the underlying code.
  3. Ensure this process runs continually, leveraging and employing as much automation as possible.

What is Configuration Hardening?

Configurations are, in an almost literal sense, the DNA of modern information systems. “Configuration settings” are the attributes and parameters that tell these systems—from servers to network devices and from databases to desktops and applications—how to act and how to behave.

Unfortunately, these systems are made to “do work” and not to “be secure.” In other words, they’re shipped infinitely capable but effectively insecure. Modern computer systems have over 1,000 well-known ports with which to get work done. They also have another 40,000 or so “registered” ports and yet another 20,000 or so “private” ports. These in turn support a vast number of services and processes.

There’s a nice analogy that helps us get our arms around this: If we translate a server’s “ports and processes and services” to the “doors and gates and windows” in a house, we see information systems as unimaginably large, fundamentally porous houses.

Security configuration management

Security configuration management becomes the job of determining which of these doors and gates and windows should be open, closed or locked at any given time.

Of course, this notion of whether something should be “open or closed or locked” is very conditional—it depends on circumstances like “when” or “where.” If I’m going away for a week, I double-check that everything in my house is locked down tight.  If I’m only going to be gone for an hour, I may leave the back door unlocked.

And if it’s the height of summer, I may have an air conditioner in a window that comes right off the front porch. In this case, I’ve knowingly traded an inherent security weakness (I can’t lock that window until autumn!) for comfort.

To drag this analogy back to the modern computer network, we need to amplify our numbers exponentially. The first thing we note is that the number of “configuration items”—doors and gates and windows that need to be monitored and assessed just to achieve a basic level of security—becomes staggering:

  • Network device configurations can have an average of 2000 lines of code for each device.
  • Each device configuration can contain hundreds of parameters for about 20 different IP protocols and technologies that need to work together.
  • A Fortune 1000 enterprise can have over 50 million lines of configuration code in its extended network.
System hardening best practices

At the device level, this complexity is apparent in even the simplest of “vendor hardening guideline” documents. These are vendor-provided “How To” guides that show how to secure or harden an out-of-the box operating system or application instance. Some examples:

  • The hardening guide for Oracle Solaris v11 has 55 of these critical configuration items. (My house has just 30 doors and windows, by comparison.)
  • The vmWare guide for vSphere 5 highlights 60 critical security items that must be checked
  • For Windows 2008, the Microsoft guide for minimal system hardening includes 158 settings that need to be immediately secured out of the box (it’s is a big house).

This still falls short of a number of settings that need to be managed in prescriptive guides for information security. Prescriptive guidance comes from sources like the Center for Internet Security’s (CIS) “Benchmarks,” the Defense Information Systems Agency’s “Security Technical Implementation Guides” (DISA STIGs) or NIST 800-53 and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s “Recommended Security Controlsfor Federal Information Systems and Organizations.”

The degree of “prescriptive-ness” in these standards refers to the level of specific guidance they provide: a non-prescriptive guide like SOX might say “Passwords should be complex.” But prescriptive guidelines like the ones above provide specific values that must be attained for each control.

Compared to the simple SOX standard for passwords, CIS requires passwords that:

  • Are at least 8 characters in length for standard enterprises servers
  • Are at least 11 characters for critical systems
  • Are changed every 90 days but not more often than once a day
  • Are different from the previous 24 passwords created by the user
  • Contain characters from multiple classes: alphabet, numeric, special characters, etc.
  • Are not saved or stored in any form of reversible encryption

Because of this level of control, prescriptive standards like CIS tend to be more complex than vendor hardening guidelines. Some standards, like DISA or NIST, actually break these down into more granular requirements depending on Hi/Med/Lo risk ratings for the systems being monitored.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that there are dozens more—a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms and abbreviations – that provide guidance across industry segments and areas of interest. “NERC CIP” requirements provide standards for critical infrastructure protection in the energy space, while HIPAA requirements govern systems that store or transmit patient health records. The list is long and covers virtually every industry and nearly every region or country.

In any industry or setting, the discipline of security configuration management seeks to find a balance between security and usability: somewhere between “server passwords are allowed to be blank” and a ridiculous work-stopping requirement like “the system needs to have a new, never-used, complex 30-character password that’s changed every 48 hours” rests that ongoing balance.


via:  tripwire

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Bomgar to Acquire BeyondTrust

Announcement email:


I am excited to announce that BeyondTrust is being acquired by Bomgar, a global leader in privileged access management solutions. The acquisition is scheduled to be complete in October 2018, and the integration into Bomgar will happen over the coming months.

Read the press release:

This acquisition is a great fit for both companies. The combination of Bomgar and BeyondTrust creates a global leader in Privileged Access Management that protects organizations against today’s biggest cybersecurity threats, while empowering them to push their businesses forward. The resulting company, which will be called BeyondTrust, will:

  • Deliver the world’s most comprehensive privileged access security solution, combining BeyondTrust’s market-leading privileged access management platform with Bomgar’s advanced privileged session and endpoint protection solutions.
  • Enhance and accelerate innovation to more quickly deliver innovative software that improves your security posture without forcing you to compromise business agility or productivity.
  • Create an expansive partner ecosystem to scale and improve how we reach and support our more than 19,000 combined customers.

I assure you that there will be no immediate changes to BeyondTrust’s products, support, or services in conjunction with this acquisition. However, if you do have questions related to this acquisition, please read the FAQ article here:

If you have any additional questions, please contact us via the website at

Kevin Hickey
President & CEO, BeyondTrust

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How to dictate text and speak commands in Windows 10

Need an alternative way to work in Windows 10 beyond your keyboard and mouse? Try your voice.

Using your voice to control Windows can be a helpful option if you physically can’t or don’t want to use your mouse and keyboard. You can dictate text to create emails, documents, and more.

Windows has long provided its own Speech Recognition tool to set up and use voice dictation. Windows 10 adds to the mix with its own speech settings. The trick is to get Windows to understand you clearly enough so the process is worth the effort. Learn the best way to set up and use voice recognition in Windows.

In any supported version of Windows, including Windows 10, you can set up voice dictation in Windows through Control Panel. To do this, open Control Panel in icon view and click the icon for Speech Recognition. At the Speech Recognition screen, click the link to Start Speech Recognition (Figure A).


Figure A


Choose the type of microphone you’re using, and then dictate the displayed words to teach Windows your voice. After you’re finished, the Speech Recognition bar pops up at the top of the screen. You can immediately begin dictating text.

Open a document, email, or other file in which you want to dictate. Click the microphone icon on the Speech Recognition bar to start listening mode. Dictate your text. You can dictate punctuation, symbols, and other parts of speech as well as specific actions such as “new line” and “new paragraph.” To find out what you can say, right-click the Speech Recognition bar and select Open Speech Reference Card. When you’re finished, click the microphone icon again to turn off listening mode (Figure B).

Figure B


If Windows is having trouble understanding your words, right-click the Speech Recognition bar, move to Configuration, and select Improve Voice Recognition. Windows takes you through a lengthy series of screens where you dictate certain sentences to help it better pick up your speech (Figure C).

Figure C


You can also view and modify certain settings for speech recognition. From the Speech Recognition Control Panel window, click the link for Advanced Speech Options. From here, you can opt to create a new voice profile, take the training for your current profile, opt to run Speech Recognition each time Windows starts, give Windows permission to review your documents and emails to better understand the words you use, and configure your microphone (Figure D).

Figure D


The Control Panel applet is an effective way to set up speech recognition, but it is time consuming. In Windows 10, you can also get started by accessing the relevant options in the Settings app. Open Settings. Go to Ease Of Access and click the setting for Speech. Scroll down the page and enable the switch to Turn On Speech Recognition. That action displays the Speech Recognition bar (Figure E).

Figure E


As an alternative to activating the Speech Recognition bar, you can use the speech recognition built into Windows 10. At the Speech setting in Ease Of Access, click the link to Get More Info About Dictation—a Microsoft support page explains how to use dictation and what commands you can say in Windows 10. In Settings, go to Privacy and select Speech, Inking & Typing. If this option is turned off, the button will say Turn On Speech Services And Typing Suggestions—click that button to turn on this service (Figure F).

Figure F


To use the Windows 10 speech recognition, open a document, email, or other file into which you want to dictate. Hold down the Windows key and press H to trigger the dictation toolbar. You can now dictate your text. When you’re done, press Win key + H to turn off the dictation toolbar (Figure G).

Figure G




via:  techrepublic

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