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Why We Can't Afford To Give Up On Cybersecurity Defense
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Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/23/2015 | 11:38:54 PM
Low-tech security culture
To speak of training and security culture, it really touches all levels of the organization -- and information security should be top of mind even in low-tech contexts.  (After all, social engineering is the skilled hacker's top choice when it comes to finding weaknesses.  All it takes is a slip-up during a phone call.)
macker490
macker490,
User Rank: Ninja
5/19/2015 | 8:18:08 AM
White List Thinking
We need a "Sea Change" to Whitelist Thinking.

it is necessary to authenticate many messages, certainly those dealing with money, -- or software.

The Essential Element to this change in thinking deals with the symmetric nature of our customary identification data.   Name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number -- even Company Letterhead Stationary -- can all be easily compromised in the digital world.   These keys -- once released in public -- are compromised forever.   In this they act like the symmetric keys used on basic encryption where the decryption key is the same as the encryption key: a shared secret.

The trouble is our traditional identification data are a shared secred -- with everyone in on it.   See KREBS essay on "Superget" -- a DarkWeb service selling these symmetric keys

this is why we need to move to the general use of PGP

PGP is based on asymmetric keys: the signing key is private and the authentication key is public.   This means you can produce an authenticated document in public -- without compromising your identity -- i.e. your private key

many detractors claim this is too complicated for ordinary people.  This is a myth that needs to be dispeled. As packaged technology it is no more difficult to use PGP than it is to use the PIN on a debit card to get cash from an ATM.   Practice using the ENIGMAIL plug-in for the Thunderbird eMail client.

There are two keys to progress in fighting hacking

1. use a secure operating system.   A secure operating system is one which will not allow itself to be compromised by the activity of an application program -- such as a web page.

2. authenticate transactions -- including software downloads, eMail, tax forms &c -- using PGP

Half-way measures have been ineffective.   It's time to recognize hacking as a problem that must be addressed in a serious manner.

 
BPID Security
BPID Security,
User Rank: Strategist
5/18/2015 | 8:11:52 PM
well done.
Thanks for a well considered and well written post.

 

As always we want easy. We don't want maintenance. We want things to work so we don't have to. So we buy cars with low maintenance and trade them out on a lease, our phones are disposable when the 32 year contract is up, and we expect internet security should work out of the box.

Jeff, it is just the way it is. Our entire modern culture is avoidance and avoiding responsibility.

Good article - excellent points, but it isn't about to change. We will continue to drive and talk on our cell phones and we will continue to ignore best practices in security and when there is a breach we will point fingers.


Thanks again. good post.


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