Welcome!

Log Management Authors: David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez, Eric Robertson, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, PowerBuilder, Weblogic, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Log Management, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

Linux Containers: Blog Feed Post

The Threat Behind the Firewall

I had a different name for this blog entry but just ‘Jump Drive’ is an awful blog title

I had a different name for this blog entry but just ‘Jump Drive’ is an awful blog title.  They go by many names; jump drive, USB drive, flash drive, memory stick and a few others, but removable media is a serious threat to IT organizations.  Graduating from floppy disks, as early as 2003 articles were warning against the possible threats introduced with these devices – 256Mb for $160 back then – and yet we still see some sort of incident reported almost once a week!  From consultants, to government employees, to Mortgage lenders, to the International Space Station, what used to be a giveaway staple at trade shows, these tiny less-than-two-inch drives can hit and hurt you in a multitude of ways.

They can infect your Network. Just last week, the London Council’s systems were infested with Conficker-D due to an employee sticking an infected USB drive into a work computer.  Not only were the systems shut down, including their VoIP, they were unable to process parking tickets, library fines, benefit claims and rent collections.  With system repairs added to that, their bill will eclipse £500,000 ($825,000 USD).

They can deliver Malware.  As of 2008, 10.3% of malware was delivered by USB storage.  One of the biggest threats here is the AutoRun features on USB drives – just stick it in and the program launches.  One way to get your malware delivered is to just leave a bunch of infected, cool-looking USB drives in the parking lot of thedarth potential victim.  Unsuspecting, curious employees see the drive and wonder, ‘ohh, what’s on this?’  Before they even open email, they’re shoving the unknown stick into their computer to find out.  Mission Accomplished.  It could even happen with your own, purchased jump drive.  Maybe you have some important files that you need while traveling or at a conference and you don’t have (or didn’t bring) your laptop.  No problem, just find the USB port on the public kiosk or partner computer and problem solved.  Not so fast.  Either one of those un-trusted computers could be infected themselves – passing the strain on to you – which eventually makes it’s way onto your unit/network when you simply re-insert it.  USB threats can also come from a reputable vendor with their product documentation.

They can steal your Data. With the size and speed of some of the newer USB drives, it’s become fairly easy to quickly copy entire folders or even entire hard drives to a USB stick.  While I don’t touch on it that often, corporate espionage is alive and well especially in today’s economy.  Often due to regulation, companies are now storing much more data than ever before but not protecting or restricting access to that data.  While the spy might be external, insider threats have grown and disgruntled employees have IT departments concerned.  According to a Cyber-Ark survey, “74% of the 200 information technology pros surveyed know how to circumvent security to access sensitive data, and 35% admitted doing so without permission.”  The increased use of personal devices in the workplace also makes it difficult to track where and when data goes.  Earlier this year, the Ponemon Institute found that 88% of data breaches were caused by employee based negligence. Locking down devices, even within your own office, has become critical.

They can lose your Data. By the sheer fact that they are small, inexpensive, and we probably have a few extras, losing one of these doesn’t seem like a big deal.  But when a $10 device holds millions of dollars worth of sensitive data, it becomes a big deal.  Just last week in the UK, The Home Office had to revise it’s numbers pertaining to a data loss.  An unencrypted USB stick went missing in 2008 by one of it’s consultants and the new estimate jumped by 250,000 records.  The memory stick is still lost.  A couple others include a worker who copied data (against policy) so they could work at home and lost the stick, which was unencrypted.  Luckily, this one was found since it contained sensitive data on children but the BBC also lost a stick last year that contained kids personal data.  And even ‘Dear Deirdre’ admitted to losing a memory stick containing the personal matters of her readers.  Ponemon also found that while encryption is used widely to protect data on VPN, file servers and databases, mainframe and USB flash drive encryption are the least deployed applications.

Geeze!  But those things are so useful!’  I hear you.  I’m not suggesting eliminating all removable media, like the DoD, but there are a few pointers when they are in use.

Understand the risks involved and communicate to users.  While you might not restrict the use of USB sticks, it might be a good idea to remind your users of the potential perils when using them.

Create a Policy around the use of jump drives.  Maybe only IT provided devices can be used, or only encrypted devices or none at all.  Maybe disable or lock down USB ports on laptops that are connecting remotely.  Disable USB (maybe via Group Policy) on any un-trusted (non-IT) computers requesting access to the network.  Make sure your policy also includes what areas/subnets/VLANs of the network the user can access so sensitive data is not inadvertently removed.

Encrypt the data.  If your users are able to access sensitive data and it’s likely to be copied (for whatever reason), encrypted USB devices are the way to go.  Heck, there are even fingerprint secured USB sticks on the market.

Educate your users.  Educating your crew on all the perils of data security, Data Loss Prevention, how to handle sensitive materials and the ramifications of not doing so, can help.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infrastructure throu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...