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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)

Malware Delivery – Understanding Multiple Stage Malware

To some of us, seeing an email with malware embedded in a PDF, Word or Excel attachment is common. In fact, it has become the new norm for malware delivery to use file types that are not obviously malicious (versus something like a .exe). Gone are the days of wide-open acceptance of all file extensions for attachments within an email. In today's network defense-in-depth techniques, one of the layers is naturally email security. This includes the scrutinizing of emails for embedded links or attachments that could be potentially malicious, scanning attachments for possible detect... (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)

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)

Social Networking - A Playground for Cyber Criminals

As a Security Analyst, I witness very sophisticated Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks as well as low level cyber criminals attempting to steal bank information, credit card data and website login credentials. One commonality that the cyber criminals and the APT share is the method for gaining access to information, which typically occurs through an end users email. When it comes to the criminal element of cyber attacks, I am often amazed at the lack of sophistication and effort that is asserted against their victims. It leads me to ask the question, "How on earth are these... (more)