Doug Bedell — April 21, 2017, 10:34 pm

Robots Marching In…


New pieces of security gear continue to arrive on the scene – security robots. Briefs noted the arrival of security robots (along with drones and virtual reality) in a post last February, and they keep coming on.

The Security Magazine blog has the International Federation of Robots (IFR) projecting that “the number/use of industrial robots will grow by 15 percent through 2018.”

“Some of the robots.” Security adds, “are likely to be patrolling industrial facilities, parking lots, warehouses and other large unoccupied facilities. Perhaps shopping malls after hours will be one of the many facilities patrolled by robots.” You just have to keep them on your side.

Doug Bedell — April 19, 2017, 9:02 am

Pittsburgh Prepares for Smog, a Summer Security Concern


While this post is afield from perimeter security, it’s a great example of being prepared for adversity, a basic security tenet. Government Security News reports on an “emergency preparedness resilience workshop” by the City of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and Intermedix on the subject of . . . smog.

“The three organizations,” GSN advises, “put on a daylong workshop at the university aimed at exploring how emergency response technology would work with predictive simulations to prepare the region for an air quality combined with a heat wave disaster of the magnitude of the killer Donora smog event in 1948.”

“We recognize that air quality is one of the primary stressors facing the region,” said Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Pittsburgh. “In talking with emergency response professionals, some of their concerns center around the question of what happens when normal events occur simultaneously to create cascading effects that put strains on systems. What we aim to do is model a historical event, like the Donora smog, and place it in a modern context.”

Doug Bedell — April 14, 2017, 2:12 pm

Catching On to Corporate Security Risks


It takes some wading to get to the point, but Security InfoWatch has a post on a just-concluded event held by the Security Executive Council, its Next Generation Security Leader sessions.

Conglomerations of executive leadership in organizations – top executives and boards of directors – are recognizing that security challenges, digital or otherwise, are becoming more prevalent and that “they should endeavor to look across all functional groups to review and monitor their company’s diverse collection of risks.” Sure enough, but please, with less verbiage.

Doug Bedell — April 12, 2017, 11:35 am

Tech Support Scams Threaten Computer Security


Bruce Schnier refers us to a paper on technical support scams, in which “cyber criminals attempt to convince users that their machines are infected with malware and are in need of their technical support. In this process, the victims are asked to provide scammers with remote access to their machines, who will then ‘diagnose the problem’…”

Of course they will, the problem they’ve created! Be alert to who is asking for your digital attention.

Doug Bedell — April 11, 2017, 2:29 pm

In Dallas, A Whole Emergency System Was Hacked


Think it’s only individual computer users who need to worry about possible hacking into their affairs? Not so – last week, advises the Security Ledger, “Unidentified hackers set off all 156 of the City of Dallas’s civilian defense sirens late Friday evening and early Saturday morning, disrupting sleep for hundreds of thousands of residents. The sirens were activated more than a dozen times, according to a report by the Dallas Morning News. The stunt resulted in a flood of calls to 911 by confused residents and, according to published reports, was the product of a radio-frequency based attack on the sirens, triggering the devices using tones.

Via such incidents, hacking truly becomes an us-against-them security concern.

Doug Bedell — April 7, 2017, 1:36 pm

Perimeters to the Point


A lighter post to end the week, on variations of “perimeter” security. The word, perimeter, has a variety of meanings, as the Advanced Perimeter Systems blog notes. There’s the Neptun Deep Perimeter on the continental shelf of the Black Sea. And shots from the perimeter line on a basketball court. Not to mention the Perimeter Institute, “a world-leading centre for scientific research into foundational theoretical physics.”

So, when you’re considering how to protect your own perimeter, however vexing a task that may be, be comforted by knowing that you’re in a long line of company – that of a word with many meanings.

Doug Bedell — April 4, 2017, 8:39 pm

Now the Wealthy, At Least, Can Buy Cyber Insurance


How much wealthy people appreciate it, we don’t know. But they are better able, or even simply eligible, to buy insurance against computer security attacks than other folks.

The Security Ledger website advises that “Insurance giant AIG announced Monday (April 3) that it has started offering cyber insurance to protect individuals and families from ransomware attacks, data theft and cyber bullying. But don’t go looking to sign up at Wal-Mart: the service is only available to AIG’s high net worth and ultra high net worth customers.”

Some folks, at least, can rest more securely at their keyboards.

Doug Bedell — April 3, 2017, 11:52 am

Catching on to ATM Credit Card Skimming


Brian Krebs is a good security writer to visit regularly. Here, he advises on the danger of credit card skimming devices on ATM machines. It’s an increasingly hazardous world, or at least one in which to be regularly watchful!

Doug Bedell — March 31, 2017, 1:15 pm

What’s Going On With Internet Privacy, Security?


Bruce Schneier provides an explanation for all reports we’ve had lately on Congress altering our Internet privacy. “Think about all of the websites you visit every day,” Schneier writes. “Now imagine if the likes of Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon collected all of your browsing history and sold it on to the highest bidder. That’s what will probably happen if Congress has its way…”

“That this is not provoking greater outcry,” Schneier adds, “illustrates how much we’ve ceded any willingness to shape our technological future to for-profit companies and are allowing them to do it for us.”

Not a great computer security prospect, we’d say.

Doug Bedell — March 29, 2017, 11:50 am

Attacked? Your Customers Will Have Concerns – So Apologize


So, what if you what if you get hit by a cyber attack that disables your service to customers for a while and might prompt concerns about their web security?

To the rescue comes LT PR in Portland, OR, with “5 Ways to Respond Like a PR Pro During a Data Breach or Cyberattack.” Now you’ve got social media to consider as a channel. Where might your customers be browsing? And, of course, they should be on the e-mail list that you maintain.

Above all, apologize for any inconvenience or anxiety the cyber breach may have caused your customers.