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Security through Intelligence

Cory Marchand

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Top Stories by Cory Marchand

When I was working on a network assessment team for one of my customers, I would routinely hear upset voices when we would present our findings. The most common thing that the executives would say was, “Wait a minute, aren’t we current on our updates? I saw the compliance report, and we were all green right?” “All green right?” What that Information Security Officer was referring to was a slide that was presented to him showing the level of compliance that the hosts on his network were currently reporting. To him, this meant secure.  It meant that all of his systems were patched to the current patch levels, all anti-virus was up to date, and all 3rd party systems were also updated.  Being “green” was interpreted as “secure” – not only by this executive, but to those reporting to him. Little did he know that while he was having his weekly meeting with his IA staff... (more)

Cyber Threat Analysis Not Just for the Military

"Cyber Threat Analysis" is the practice of effectively fusing knowledge of an organizations network vulnerabilities, both internal and external (including essential IT systems), and matching these against actual cyberattacks and threats seen out in the wild.  The output of this fused analysis is an advanced defensive detection mechanism with a final goal of enhancing the defensive posture of the network against real cyber threats. Security Intelligence We at Cyber Squared refer to this as "Security Intelligence".  Security Intelligence transitions our clients from a state of react... (more)

Malware Analysis - A Cost Effective and Quick "How To"

Malware analysis can be a time consuming process, especially when dealing with a sample from skilled attackers with time and money on their side . There is no doubt that fully reversing malware and finding out how it works is the most effective way to learn how to defend against it, but most businesses don't have the time or the professional resources to do it. There are ways in which you, a Computer Network Defender, can glean enough information from malware to be used in IDS and AV signature creation, DNS poisoning and blocking as well as sharing with the CND community. This can... (more)

Addressing the Root Cause – A Proactive Approach to Securing Desktops

The computers on your network are protected from malware right? If you are operating an environment based largely on Windows based PCs you likely have some kind of anti-virus installed and centrally managed. If you have purchased a more complete desktop protection suite, you probably even have a Host Based IDS/IPS protecting your machine from incoming malicious TCP scans, or possible outbound connections to known malicious sites (like google.com occasionally). Operating system firewall activated? Yep! AV signatures current? Check! Global Threat Intelligence updated? Uh, yeah....s... (more)

Effective Report Writing Applied to Cyber Security

In almost all professions, report writing is a requirement.  Typically, reports document the success and failures of a particular action. While it may not be your favorite part of the job, report writing does validate your work to the customer. In our profession, Cyber Security, we have the unique challenge of communicating highly technical information in a non-technical format, so that the impact of our efforts can be understood. Early in my career I hated writing reports.  Back then, I had a hard time understanding why reports were so important.  Little did I know that the cou... (more)