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 John H. Sawyer
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Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
News & Commentary Posts: 272
Articles by John H. Sawyer
posted in June 2009

Don't Let Legacy Media Foil Your Forensic Investigation

6/29/2009
When performing incident response and forensics on a compromised system, the focus of analysis is on the most immediately available and relevant sources of evidence. Volatile data collected from a running system, the hard drive, network flow data, and logs collected on a central server all serve as useful sources for determining the particulars of the incidents. But what about incidents that go back further, requiring you to dig into backup tapes -- and potentially very old ones?

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Data Leakage Through Nontraditional Networks

6/19/2009
Securing our company's data is our job. We build up layers of defense to protect it when it is housed within our corporate network and corporate computer systems. Firewalls, VPNs, encryption, and data leakage prevention all help in some way to protect the data that we don't want anyone else to have. Sometimes, however, we are stuck in the situation where we don't control the network or systems that portions of our data ends up on.

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Developers Often Left Out Of Security Training

6/17/2009
A good friend was telling me recently about a risk assessment he was involved with in which his organization found some vulnerabilities in the Web application. When they asked the developer about them, the response was, "What is cross site scripting?" Wow -- how is it that in this day and age that someone, who probably considers themselves to be a competent Web developer, doesn't know XSS? Ask them about SQL injection, and the response would probably be the same.

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Cost Analysis Of Multifactor Authentication

6/10/2009
A recent article on integrating the YubiKey, a USB token that can provide one-time passwords (OTP), and WordPress reminded me of how few people I know actually use multi-factor authentication to secure their resources. Instead, they rely on the passwords for users to authenticate to Websites and VPNs with nothing in between them and an attacker who might steal that password. The insecurity of passwords is a topic that's b

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Security Incident Ratings Made Easy

6/3/2009
Management likes numbers. They get the the warm fuzzies when numbers can be graphed in a way that they can quickly discern what's going on. Of course, if the numbers are bad, then they may not feel those warm fuzzies. In the IT security world, we try to provide useful numbers to show what a great job we're doing, but it's hard to quantify thwarted attacks -- other than relying on numbers from an IPS and anti-malware system.

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