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3/19/2016
09:00 AM
Sara Peters
Sara Peters
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Tell DR: What Are Your Biggest Unanswered Security Questions?

Fill us in, Dark Reading community. What challenges and mysteries leave you scratching your heads and throwing up your hands?

We know you're smart.

Yet, even smart, savvy security whizzes have questions they don't know the answers to. Obstacles they can't overcome. Broken things they can't fix. Mysteries they can't  solve. Mazes they can't escape. Problems, puzzles, and paradoxes that persist.

So be honest with us: what are yours?

Maybe you don't know how to respond when your CFO asks you for the security department's Return on Investment. Maybe you don't know how to react to a ransomware infection. Maybe you still just aren't sure what "advanced persistent threat" means. Maybe you want to know if your favorite cybersecurity celebrities are just like you. Maybe you can't figure out why more talented people won't join your security team. Maybe you need someone to explain encryption, or hacktivism, or Dr. Who and you're afraid to ask your co-workers.

Maybe it's none of those. So tell us.

Sure, we're curious, but we're not just being nosy. We want to help. Give us your most burning questions and Dark Reading will investigate. We'll report back with stories, videos, and events that might help you unravel some of the mysteries that boggle the minds, pain the souls, and waste the time of infosec professionals.

Spill your guts in the comments below.

 

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio
 

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/20/2016 | 3:49:33 PM
weighing in
"Maybe you can't figure out why more talented people won't join your security team."

A few months ago, I was asked to interview for a CISO position at a global mid-size enterprise.

For starters, the pay was below industry average.  Not too bad...except for the fact that, (1) the "requirements" in the job posting represented fanciful thinking -- even for industry standard -- and (2) as far as I could tell, the company's data protection policies were virtually nil outside of far-too-often mandated password changes.  (Meanwhile, the physical security was woeful.)  The person this company eventually hires will have to build everything pretty much from scratch.

What's more, the position was more of a "CISO-plus" role -- combining the roles of the CISO, the CCO, and the CPO.  Additionally, the job had three bosses -- but with no real budget for the department/goals of the role.

They still haven't filled the role -- and they've recently reposted the identical job posting except with a less impressive job title (apparently to try to disguise the fact that the pay is below average).

So, there's that.



jwsh143
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jwsh143,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2016 | 11:34:14 AM
Re: weighing in
How does a one person shop in a SMB handle information Security, compliance and audit?  300 employees.
Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
3/21/2016 | 11:39:04 AM
Re: weighing in
Oooh good one! I assume cloning yourself isn't in the budget...
jwsh143
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jwsh143,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2016 | 11:42:15 AM
Re: weighing in
Yep, cloning myself isn't in the budget.  I wish it was.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 12:00:29 PM
Re: weighing in
"... one person shop ..."

I really do not have an answer but this is the reality. Just one step at a time. Unless we start using robots.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 11:57:46 AM
Re: weighing in
"... the fact that the pay is below average .."

Unfortunately this is  always the case. They want you to do more work with less salary.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2016 | 8:01:34 PM
Re: weighing in
Well, it can't *always* be the case -- by virtue of what "below average" means.  ;)

But yes, I get the "Murphy's Law-ness" of it all.

In general, I've found that the companies that have better business plans, better business models, and better product or service quality tend to have better approaches to data protection.

(Emphasis on "tend")
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 12:04:59 PM
Re: weighing in
"... no real budget for the department/goals of the role. ..."

This is quite common, there is no real budget for security, it comes in after the attacks.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2016 | 8:04:32 PM
Re: weighing in
Indeed, I asked the CFO this question, and he was totally stunned by it.  He just told me a less graceful version of "I'd trust your recommendations" -- which is nice, but tells me nothing about the financial or risk-management side of things from his office's perspective.  Which apparently means they wanted me to do that part of it too.  CFO Jr.

Okay.  Fine.  That's cool.

But, you know, like, pay me for it maybe?  ;)
theb0x
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theb0x,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 11:20:09 AM
Darkreading
I would like to know why Darkreading/Information Week still to this day does not offer a secure member login? I suppose this is also a risk for any Authors that post articles to the site as well.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 12:07:27 PM
Re: Darkreading
"... a secure member login ..."

I assume because what we have here is a public data.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2016 | 11:55:46 AM
What else dont we know
My question is always around what are those unknown unknowns.
victorhotel
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victorhotel,
User Rank: Strategist
3/31/2016 | 3:40:03 PM
Backups for ransomware
There is no dearth of advice about protection from ransomware and it always mentions (glibly) the importance of making backups and keeping them offline. But the data may be crypto-locked before it gets backed up.

The key is to verify that the (daily) backups are clean, as a means of early ransomware detection and preventing good backups from being over-written.  Nowhere do I see detailed advice on verifying backup integrity:  a) How do you verify that a backup is not encrypted? Can it be automated or would it need a human to detect encrypted data?  b) Keep in mind databases, Exchange, Active Directory and data in non-readable formats.

One solution to automating the integrity check is to seed your data with known static data- static files, database records, a mailbox, etc. Only the seed data could be restored and checked against the expected value.  But this would be a custom solution, not something off the shelf as far as I know.  In fact, seed data could be copied (low-level copy to bypass ransomware hooks into the OS) to another system and checked against expected values even hourly, as an early warning system for ransomware.  Has anyone tried this approach?
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