11 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
EP 09: U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), America’s Elite Cyber Operations
EP 09: U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), America’s Elite Cyber Operations U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), located at Fort Meade, Maryland, is the nation’s 10th Unified Combatant Command. USCYBERCOM is responsible for directing, synchronizing, and coordinating cyberspace planning and operations in defense of the United States and its interests. As early as 1972, external consultants to the Department of Defense warned of grave dangers in terms of vulnerabilities in computers and network security. Fast forward to 1995, and then Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) – Air Force Lt. Gen. Albert Edmonds told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy School of Government that the United States military was indeed vulnerable to remote network attacks. Aware of the growing threats, the DoD and the armed forces responded with a series of measures aimed at addressing the issue head on. Various task forces and operations were created, yet it wasn’t until then Secretary of Defense Bob Gates inquired about – and ultimately put forth – a new sub-unified command – known as U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) on November 12, 2008, to which USCYBERCOM achieved operational status on May 1, 2010. With the launch of USCYBERCOM, the United States was ready and armed for battle in the new world of cyberwarfare. In a memo sent to the top brass of the entire United States military, Secretary Gates reinforced the importance of such unit like USCYBERCOM, noting how “Cyberspace and its associated technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to the United States and are vital to our Nation’s security…To address this risk effectively and to secure freedom of action in cyberspace, the Department of Defense requires a command that possesses the required technical capability and…must be capable of synchronizing warfighting effects across the global security environment…” And a massive data breach that occurred in 2008 within the Department of Defense highlighted the need for a unit such as USCYBERCOM. It all began when an infected flash drive was inserted into a U.S. military laptop at a base in the Middle East, whereby the flash drive’s malicious computer code then uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. Central Command. According to a cybersecurity report published by the DoD, it noted the following “That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control. It was a network administrator’s worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary.” This previously classified incident was the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever, and it served as an important wakeup call. The Pentagon’s operation to counter the attack, known as Operation Buckshot Yankee, marked a turning point in U.S. cyber defense strategy. According to USCYBERCOM, they have three main focus areas: (1).Defending the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) (2). Providing support to combatant commanders for execution of their missions around the world, and (3). Strengthening our nation’s ability to withstand and respond to significant cyber-attacks. So, a quick note to technology gurus out there, if you’re interested in an exciting government job, USCYBERCOM is seeking the following types of professionals: Cyber security specialists, cyber operations specialists, along with Network and Database Administrators. USCYBERCOM also played a role in the 2020 presidential election. Weeks before election day – November 3, 2020 – the United Stated deployed cyber operatives to Estonia in an effort to learn more about Russia’s cyberattack measures. Because Estonia has one of the more advanced I.T. networks in Europe, it allows the United States to work side-by-side with another country who has expertise in combatting ongoing Russian cyberattacks. This exercise, just prior to America’s election, gave USCYBERCOM an opportunity to observe and learn more about Russia’s cyber techniques. According to Brig. Gen. William J. Hartman, the commander of the Cyber National Mission Force, “The ability to share that information back with our whole of government partners is a key component of the defense of the elections,” General Hartman said. Estonian officials said Russia did not attack its military networks while the American team was deployed there, from Sept. 23 to Nov. 6.” And USCYBERCOM is reaching out thousands of miles away, to Australian, one of America’ longstanding allies, in developing joint cybersecurity initiatives. Specifically, the United States and Australia have signed an agreement to jointly develop and share a virtual cyber training range as the two countries seek to strengthen their partnership in cyberspace. The bilateral agreement will enable the US Cyber Command to incorporate the Australian Defense Force’s (ADF) feedback into its simulated training domain called Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE). The PCTE, an essential component of the US military’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture, allows for supporting of multiple independent cyber operations training activities simultaneously. And just in a blink of the eye, USCYBERCOM turned a young ten years old in 2020, and much has changed in the world of cybersecurity, which in turn, will require USCYBERCOM to change also – and it has. Specifically, USCYBERCOM began with the assumption that their core task was preventing attacks on the military’s networks – a defensive posture. But that has proven to be inadequate. Waiting for attacks to come the military’s way is not a method to success, which has resulted in USCYBERCOM initiating operations outside of its military networks – that’s code for saying that they’re on the offensive now, a shift from its original intent. But also, a shift that had to happen. In response to growing threats against America’s military, USCYBERCOM has the ability to “defend forward” anywhere in the world, in effect, responding to cyber threats before they reach America’s digital doorstep. That, according to Madeline Mortelmans, Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense Additionally, she also acknowledged that USCYBERCOM has the resources and expertise to conduct both defensive and offensive cyber operations. In all reality, USCYBERCOM has no choice but to go on offense as growing threats from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea – and other nation states – are forcing America’s hand in cyberspace. While the public is well aware of recent high-profile cyber attacks from these countries – such as the Sony Picture hack in 2014 by North Korea, or the attack on Saudi-Aramco in 2012 by Iran, there’s been a plethora of other nefarious cyber-attacks not as well-known. But going on the offensive also means having highly capable, well-trained personnel ready to take USCYBERCOM’s missions. And that’s a big challenge for USCYBERCOM – and many other federal agencies – finding talented cyberwarriors ready to serve their country. According to the NSA, “Our greatest challenge—also our greatest opportunity—is recruiting, training, and retaining a world-class force”. As these countries – and others – see it, they see their cyber capabilities as a way to level the playing in field in terms of offensive weaponry in today’s digital world. If they are going to continue to be denied nuclear weapons – as is America’s firm stance regarding North Korea and Iran – then why not turn to cyber? That’s exactly what countries are doing, and it’s exactly why USCYBERCOM is going on offense in recent years, and will continue to do so. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 09: U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), America’s Elite Cyber Operations appeared first on Charles Denyer.
13 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
EP 08: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #5. Ransomware on the Rise
EP 08: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #5. Ransomware on the Rise Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid. Ransomware variants have been employed for several years, with the goal of extorting money from victims by displaying an on-screen alert. Typically, these alerts state that the user’s systems have been locked or that the user’s files have been encrypted. Users are then told that unless a ransom is paid, access will be denied. The ransom demanded from individuals varies greatly, from as a little as a few hundred dollars to as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars. And ransomware attacks are growing more common with each passing day. Just ask City Hall in Atlanta, GA how damaging ransomware attacks can be. The City of Atlanta spent millions fighting a 2018 ransomware attack that was now believed to be perpetrated by two Iranians thousands of miles away. According to industry experts, businesses in 2021 will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. Additionally, it is estimated that the cost of ransomware to businesses will be more than $20 billion in 2021. Don’t want to become another ransomware statistic? Then make sure you’re undertaking the following I.T. best practices: 1. Back up your Data: This is the most obvious – and most critically important measure – any organization should be undertaking. As bad as a ransomware attack can be, not all is lost if you have a regimented backup system of critical files. I recommend redundancy in backups – specifically – a local backup of files, along with a secondary backup of files, such as backing up in the cloud. All three of the major cloud players – Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google GCP – all offer long-term storage services that are relatively inexpensive. 2. Perform Annual Security Awareness Training: While organizations spend untold sums of money on industry leading and next-generation security tools and solutions, they often fail to invest in security awareness training. After all, the best security tools are essentially worthless without trained, knowledgeable, and competent employees who are aware of emerging security issues and threats. There are a number of high-quality – and cost-effective – security awareness training solutions online. My two favorite are ESET and WEBROOT, so check them out today. In terms of ROI when it comes to protecting your organization, nothing beats out security awareness training. The more knowledgeable a user is about today’s growing cybersecurity threats, the safer your organization will be. 3. Think Before you Click!: Ransomware can enter into an environment in any number of ways, but often, it’s a click of a link that the trouble begins. Word to the wise – think before you click. More specifically, think twice about emails, links, and attachments from unknown or suspicious sources. I’ve personally seen a number of “too good to be true” emails come my way. From a free cruise to the Bahamas to a guaranteed loan up to $50,000, and many more, these type of solicitations may very well be nothing more than overzealous marketers, but they may also be ransomware attacks. Don’t take chances on emails, links, and attachments that you’re unsure of. 4. Patch your Information Systems: One of the most fundamentally important – yet often ignored measures – is undertaking regular security updates and patching to critical systems. Security and patching should be an “across the board” measure, meaning such initiatives need to be applied to the network and infrastructure, to production servers, to end-user workstations – essentially all the computing systems that could be affected my ransomware. High-profile reaches in recent years were often the result of security patches not being applied to information systems. What organizations need are clearly defined security and patch management policies, procedures, and processes. 5. Protect your Network with an IDS: An IDS, technically known as an “Intrusion Detection System” helps in alerting of suspicious network traffic and related activity. One properly fined-tuned by an experienced network engineer, and IDS becomes an essential element of an organization’s information security framework. 6. Whitelist Applications: Applications that are not allowed on your network need to be blocked – blacklisted. Similarly, applications that are allowed – those trusted – are to be whitelisted. The concept is relatively straightforward, unfortunately, many organizations fail to employ such basic measures. Whitelisting – and/or blacklisting – is a good practice, so make sure your organization is doing it. 7. Employ Role Based Access Control: Not every employees needs access to every information system, not even close. That’s why organizations need to employ the well-known concept of Role Based Access Control, simply known as RBAC. In the world of RBAC, users are only given the minimum and necessary access and permissions to systems for which they need to perform their job functions, and nothing more. 8. Separate Networks: It’s probably not a good idea in anything in life to put all your eggs in one basket, as they old saying goes. This is especially true when it comes to information security. Information systems should be logically and/or physically siloed out into buckets for ensuring proper isolation from one environment to the next. After all, an attack against a flat network – where everything is behind one main network that has no segregation – could effectively knock out your entire I.T. environment. Separate your network as best you can as this helps protect your network in the event of an attack. 9. Perform Vulnerability Scans Regularly: Scanning both internal and external facing networks – known as vulnerability scanning – is essential for identifying critical security gaps and vulnerabilities. There are dozens of high-quality providers offering cost-effective vulnerability scanning tools, such as NESSUS TENABLE and INRUDERO.IO 10. Conduct an Annual Penetration Test: It’s a good idea to perform a penetration test annually – or at least after significant changes to an environment – as pen testing, in my opinion, is arguably the single best indicator how secure – or how vulnerable – an organization’s network is. When performed by capable personnel, a pen test provides very meaningful evidence regarding the overall security of one’s I.T. environment. Many of today’s regulatory compliance mandates – PCI DSS, SOC audits, and more – require a pen test, regardless, every – and I mean every business – should perform an annual penetration test. 11. Monitor Who Has Access to your Environment: Access control is not just about internal employees, it’s about who on the outside can and does have access. Consultants, contractors, managed security services providers – they all are given access to your environment, and that’s where the problem begins. It’s not that these individuals or companies are malicious in nature, the bigger problem is that such access rights go unchecked, often left open and available long after somebody doesn’t need it. Hackers can often find these windows of opportunities, resulting in breaches. 12. Put in place a Comprehensive Telecommuting/Remote Work Policy: Everyone is remote working these days – and it’s not a fad – so companies need to have in place comprehensive policies and procedures that outline telecommuting and remote work practices. A good starting point is to begin by developing a telecommuting policy, one that covers best practices in terms of systems that can be accessed, the types of access used for secure connections, and much more. 13. Prohibit Removable Media Devices: Did you know that one the biggest data breaches ever at the Department of Defense happened years ago when unsuspecting DoD personnel inserted USB/thumb drives loaded with malicious software onto the government’s military network? It took the DoD years to recover from the breach, but as a business, you don’t have years to recover from an attack, or could you ever. Bottom line – ditch the removable media devices and don’t allow them – EVER – on your network. 14. Watch Where You Surf: Safe websites – those that you frequent regularly – can pose a risk in terms of ransomware and other dangerous malware finding its way onto your computer, and ultimately, your network. What you need to be careful of are websites that offer enticing offers – and more specifically – websites that you’ve never heard of before. One of the most common ways that malware can be spread are through websites with poisoned advertisements – a well-known concept known as Malvertizing. Specifically, Malvertising is the use of online advertising to spread malware, which typically involves injecting malicious or malware-laden advertisements into legitimate online advertising networks and webpages. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 08: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #5. Ransomware on the Rise appeared first on Charles Denyer.
11 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
EP 07: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #4. Cybercrime Expands
EP 07: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #4. Cybercrime Expands What technically is cybercrime? Well, not to get all wrapped up in a long-winded definition, cybercrime is essentially criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network or a networked device. The vast majority, but not all, of cybercrime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers seeking to make a financial profit. And cybercrime can be carried out by both individuals and/or organizations. Some cybercriminals are very well-organized and sophisticated, use advanced techniques and are highly technically skilled. Others are novice hackers that probably barely know how to connect to the Internet (now that’s a scary thought!). There’s no end in sight with cybercrime. It’s simply going to expand – rapidly and aggressively – costing the global economy a staggering $6 Trillion annually by 2021. “DDoS attacks, ransomware, and an increase in zero-day exploits are contributing to last year’s prediction becoming a reality,” according to IT businessman and celebrity Robert Herjavec, more commonly known as a Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank. Furthermore, according to Herjavec, “It’s concerning that all of the hype around cybercrime – the headlines, the breach notices etc. – makes us complacent. The risk is very real and we can’t allow ourselves to be lulled into a sense of inevitability. We all have a role to play in how we protect our businesses from the accelerating threat of cybercrime.” And here are some of the most common forms of cybercrime: Email and internet fraud. Identity fraud (where personal information is stolen and used). Theft of financial or credit card payment information. Theft and sale of corporate data. Cyberextortion (demanding money or an attack will be undertaken). Ransomware attacks (which is essentially a type of cyberextortion). Cryptojacking (where hackers mine cryptocurrency using resources they do not own). Cyberespionage (where hackers access government or company data). So, let’s take a look at very disturbing statistics on cybercrime: An attack happens every 39 seconds. That, according to a study conducted by at the University of Maryland. The study is one of the first to actually quantify the near-constant rate of hacker attacks of computers with Internet access. Cyber Attacks are common. How common? According to a recent study, approximately 78 percent of organization throughout the U.S. have experienced a cyber-attack in the past year. Cybercrime is Rampant for Individuals. Roughly in in four Americans say that they or someone in their household has been a victim of cybercrime in the past year. Phishing Scams are Everywhere. According to a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, close to $2 Billion was lost in a recent year for consumers. That number actually seems low – and it is – because not everyone reports fraud, and that’s for a number of reasons. Perhaps they just ignore it. Perhaps they’re too embarrassed to report it. Who knows, but what we do know is that fraud reports are vastly understated in terms of occurrences and money lost. So, what really is phishing? Phishing is a form of social engineering — phishers essentially pose as a trusted organization, then hope to trick you into providing valuable information. Phishing attacks are showing no signs of slowing down, but, if you’re careful, you can avoid falling victim to them. Remember something very important, your bank or credit card provider will never ask you to provide account information online. When emails ask for this information, that’s the first sign that this is probably a scam. The vast majority of phishing scams are sent by email – after all, email is one of society’s main forms of communication Additionally, these scams are rampant, and cybercriminals are getting very good in terms of phishing scams looking authentic. Email phishing scams are essentially designed to look like they originate from a legitimate source, such as your bank, PayPal, Amazon customer support, you name it. I won’t bore you with the details of all the technical jargon regarding the different types and classifications of email phishing scams, but what’s you do need to be aware of are some of the most common examples of these scams, such as the following: Your account is about to be suspended or deactivated for any number of reasons. We need your bank account credentials to confirm a recent transaction. We need your social security number and date of birth to confirm your identity Remember this, if it sounds suspicious, it probably is. To be on the look for phishing campaigns, ask yourself these following questions when an email comes your way that you’re not sure of: 1. Does the URL, the actual web address (if it is provided in the email), look correct? 2. Are there any grammatical errors and typos in the message? 3. Does the message seem overly aggressive and urgent? 4. Have you ever had a message from this organization before in terms of the subject matter and request? If it looks suspicious, don’t click on any link or download any attachment! Predators are on the Prowl Online: Here is a scenario that plays out tens of millions of times each day in the United States; Your child comes home from school and goes up to his/her bedroom, closes the door and goes online. Who is he or she engaging with online? It’s one of the biggest concerns that parents have when their children go online. The biggest fear of all? Are they unknowingly engaging with sexual predators? According to FBI, “online predators are everywhere online,” and are working hard to engage children online. Predators aren’t scary looking and don’t stand out. They look like you or me or anyone down the street. They are “mostly male, although we are seeing an alarming trend of female predators. Male predators are often married with children. A professional, upstanding in the community but leading a deviant lifestyle through the Internet.” The costs are enormous: How much is cybercrime costing the global economy? It’s hard to put an exact number on it, but it’s in the hundreds of billions, according to most experts. According to a recent estimate published by the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the U.S. economy is losing roughly $100 billion a year to malicious cyber activity – yes, I said BILLIONS! The stark reality about cybercrime in 2021 – and for the foreseeable future – is clear; it’s here to stay, will only increase over time, and the hackers – and their attack methods – will become more brazen and sophisticated at every click of the mouse. Your best defense? Begin implementing a rock-solid cybersecurity program, and now! According to most security experts, adopting a comprehensive, well though-out cybersecurity program yields benefits that far exceed such costs. And to be clear, such a program simply can’t be developed overnight, but when complete, organizations should see a true change in terms of overall security posture. You’ve got to start somewhere, so start developing your every own customized cybersecurity program today. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 07: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #4. Cybercrime Expands appeared first on Charles Denyer.
7 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
EP 06: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part III
EP 06: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part III China seeks a methodical, deliberate, and calculated approach to cyberwarfare against the United States. Instead of making front page news with likes of the Sony attacks and WannaCry ransomware attacks like North Korea, the China are the “silent dragon”, pushing forth with a plan to seamlessly infiltrate America’s economic engine by any number of means. According to security expert Kevin Townsend, “China is conducting a low and slow cyberwar, attempting to stay under the radar of recognition in the same way that individual hackers use low and slow techniques to remain hidden. If this analysis of the long-term goal of China is correct, then the threat from Chinese cyber operations is more dangerous and insidious than commonly thought. The policy is not one of direct confrontation but more designed to slowly maneuver the global economy until dominance shifts from the U.S. to China.” Further evidence of China’s aggressive tactics against the United States are highlighted in a recent report (2018) report from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. Titled, “Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace,” the report offers a scathing indictment of China’s nefarious activities: “China has expansive efforts in place to acquire U.S. technology to include sensitive trade secrets and proprietary information. It continues to use cyber espionage to support its strategic development goals—science and technology advancement, military modernization, and economic policy objectives. China’s cyberspace operations are part of a complex, multipronged technology development strategy that uses licit and illicit methods to achieve its goals. Chinese companies and individuals often acquire U.S. technology for commercial and scientific purposes. At the same time, the Chinese government seeks to enhance its collection of U.S. technology by enlisting the support of a broad range of actors spread throughout its government and industrial base.” The report’s most damming statement; “We believe that China will continue to be a threat to U.S. proprietary technology and intellectual property through cyber-enabled means or other methods. If this threat is not addressed, it could erode America’s long-term competitive economic advantage.” Shell companies. Cyber espionage. Attacks on America’s critical infrastructure. Aggressive tactics on the world stage. China is flexing its muscles – make no mistake – a serious concern for America. Avoiding Direct Conflict As of now – and this may change – China’s intent is not to provoke direct conflict with the United States, rather, to observe, survey, and gain access to America’s technologies for helping China compete against the West. No question, China wants to dominate the world in almost every imaginable way – economically, militarily, socially – yet they’re playing the game with a certain element of elusiveness. At a Senate Judiciary Committee, assistant attorney general John Demers noted the following regarding the Chinese, “The playbook is simple — rob, replicate and replace. Rob the American company of its intellectual property. Replicate the technology. And replace the American company in the Chinese market and one day in the global market.” Almost every military, economic, and cybersecurity expert agrees that China is America’s biggest long-term strategic threat. China wants to be what the United States has been for the past century – the world’s leading superpower, and it will use every available resource it has to achieve this lofty goal. Its military is growing, its economy is modernizing, and its technology capabilities are rapidly improving. China is on the move and the United States should be very concerned in terms of its long-term impact. China’s defense spending is second only to the United States. It’s built and launched its first aircraft carrier. It’s developing advanced defense systems. It’s also establishing overseas military bases. Chinese President Xi Jinping has grand ambitions for his military, such as a pledge to fully complete the modernization of China’s armed forces by 2035, and by 2050, he wants a military in place capable of winning wars all throughout the world. Huang Xueying, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference confidently stated how “We [China] are now more focused on boosting indigenous research and development capabilities in all possible ways, especially precision…”. That’s because in the no-so-distant past, China relied heavily on foreign technology, and when it couldn’t get it, it would simply try and copy it as best as possible. The Chinese are now pulling away from being an importer of other technologies, instead, pushing hard to design, develop, manufacture, and put to use their own intellectual property. It’s based on national pride, and also a sounding to the world that China has arrived and is ready to dominate – at least in their eyes. And according to then Vice President Mike Pence, “China wants nothing less than to push the United States of America from the Western Pacific and attempt to prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies”. Muddying the waters even more between the United States and China is the ongoing trade wars that have erupted in recent years. With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the White House has become fixated on slapping China with a barrage of tariffs – and to no surprise – China retaliating back with their own financial muscle. The back and forth tariffs and tough-talk seems to have no real end in sight, and while scores of studies have been published both embracing and criticizing the Trump’s tough stance on trade with China, some experts worry about that the real issue is being overshadowed – China’s growing cyber-espionage measures. Perhaps the most ominous reflection regarding China came from FBI Director Wray, who in 2018 stated that “China’s goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S. as the world’s largest global superpower.” Trade wars. Cyber wars. The real battle for America in the new millennium will be with China. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 06: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part III appeared first on Charles Denyer.
10 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
EP 05: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part II
EP 05: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part II What’s on China’s wish list when it comes to nation state attacks? Almost anything, the experts say. Anything that can disrupt our economic way of life. Anything that can give the Chinese an upper hand over the Unites States. In late January, 2019, the United States Justice Department announced criminal charges against Huawei Technologies, the largest communications equipment manufacturer in the world. Included in the litany of charges in the court filings were bank and wire fraud, violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, along with conspiring to obstruct justice relating to the actual investigation. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray noted how “firms like Huawei “pose a dual threat to both our economic and national security, and the magnitude of these charges make clear just how seriously the FBI takes this threat.” Wray also stated how China is trying to “to get secret information about our trade, our ideas, and innovations…” using “…an expanding set of unconventional methods each time to achieve their goals.” Wray warned that the threat of cyber espionage from China “affects companies in all regions and in all sectors of the US economy.” Authorities also unsealed a separate 10-count indictment in Washington state, charging two affiliates — Huawei Device Co. and Huawei Device USA — with conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile regarding a phone-testing robot. According Annette Hayes, first assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington. “Huawei clearly knew it was part of an organized effort to steal technology…This is part of Huawei’s M.O.” In the summer of 2020, Wray was on the offensive again, unleashing a blistering attack on the Chinese, arguing that their cybersecurity attacks amount to one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.” Said Wray during an address at the Hudson Institute, “The stakes could not be higher, and the potential economic harm to American businesses and the economy as a whole almost defies calculation.” When asked if the United States had any idea of the financial damage incurred on America’s economy due to Chinese Cybersecurity attacks, Wray said he didn’t know of an exact number, but added that “every figure I’ve seen is breathtaking.” Wray also added that “To achieve its goals and surpass America, China recognizes it needs to make leaps in cutting edge technology, but the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimizes, in effect, cheating twice.” A Thirst for Global Power and Dominance So, how did the world’s most populous country (1.4 billion) become such a force in cyberterrorism? For starters, more than half of China’s population is online, so that’s quite a few hackers to choose from when the government goes looking for the best and brightest. And China has been launching cyber-attacks for the last two decades, with great success. As far back as 1999, the Chinese government was busy hitting foreign websites with a series of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. But that was child’s play compared to China’s current cyberterrorism climate – state sponsored, covert cyber espionage. Over the years, China has been able to steal highly sensitive source code from Google, break into government databases, and much more. Even more alarming was a report from the nonprofit Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology describing how China’s espionage essentially supports the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan for the 2016 to 2020 period, which calls for technology innovations and socioeconomic reforms. China’s goal? An “innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive growth.” Even more disturbing from the report is the charge that most of the technology needed to make China’s plan a reality will come from theft of trade secrets from companies in other countries. According to Michael Fuchs, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think tank. “I think it is very fair to say that China sees this cyber espionage for economic purposes as a necessary component of its national strategy to grow economically and to become a more powerful country, and that it is not going to stop — at least not with the current set of pressure that is being exerted by the U.S. and others.” China shows no slowing down with its extensive list of cyberterrorism and cyberespionage measures. It continues to attack America’s critical infrastructure, going after aerospace, technology, and much more. Though there is not an exact number on the financial damage inflicted on the United States from China’s cyber-attacks, an independent commission recently reported the costs to be as high as $300 billion, with approximately 50 to 80 percent of the attacks coming from China. America’s response to the growing cyber threats from China – and other nation-state cyber attackers – has to be multi-faceted, and must include collaboration with the U.S. government and the private sector. A recently issued United States Department of Defense Cyber Strategy noted that “we must ensure the U.S. military’s ability to fight and win wars in any domain, including cyberspace. This is a foundational requirement for U.S. national security and a key to ensuring that we deter aggression, including cyber-attacks that constitute a use of force, against the United States, our allies, and our partners.” A History of Cyberattacks that Keeps Growing Make no mistake, China has an army of hacker’s intent on attacking the United States with sophisticated methods in the ever-escalating cyber war. Some of the more recent attacks tied to China include the following: A Chinese national by the name of Lizhong Fan who worked for an Arizona counterterrorism center reportedly stole a massive amount of sensitive American security information and then suddenly disappeared. Fan was hired by the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center in 2007, subsequently given access to large amounts of data – such as Arizona’s driver’s licenses list, police databases, and possible intelligence information. Fan walked out of the building one day, never to return, but took with him a number of laptops and hard drives. Not surprising, the Chinese have vehemently denied any of the charges levied against them. And a Shanghai-based group of hackers based in Shanghai with reported ties to the People’s Liberation Army in China had, in recent years, undertaken dozens of cyber-attacks on U.S. companies, such as Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin, and others. Embassy officials have once again denied that China’s involvement with thy cyber-attacks, stating such allegations were “unprofessional.” William Carter, deputy director of the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), views the professionalization of China’s cyber capabilities as another way to delegitimize the United States. Specifically, not only is China seeking to gain influence in Asia, it desperately seeks to raise its standing in the international arena for all things related to cyber. In its push toward professionalization, China is therefore consolidating its private-sector capabilities with its military intelligence services, effectively focusing on long-term strategic goals, rather than disruptive attacks that are the norm for countries like Russia, North Korea, and Iran. China wants to have its cake and eat it too. They want to be seen as good guys, but also a country with formidable cyberwarfare skills that can be unleashed at a moment’s notice. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 05: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part II appeared first on Charles Denyer.
8 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
EP 04: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part I
EP 04: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part I China has long been a thorn in America’s side when it comes to nation state attacks, and for some various obvious reasons. China wants to be in the know about everything America does, as China feels threatened by America’s technology might. Their quest for global domination requires China to learn everything they can about how America’s infrastructure works, which means stealing valuable information at any cost. According to U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia, “Especially concerning have been the efforts of big Chinese tech companies – which are beholden to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) – to acquire sensitive technology, replicate it, and undermine the market share of U.S. firms with the help of the Chinese state.” Republican Senator Jim Risch notes how “China is going to be a major competitor of ours in every way that there is…” China clearly saw the role of high technology in the aftermath of America’s stunning victory in Gulf War I, in 1991. Impressed by the United States military power, China adopted a strategic policy aimed at “winning local wars in conditions of modern technology, particularly high technology” regarding future military encounters. In 2004, just a year after the start of Gulf War II, China’s strategy shifted to that of “winning local wars under conditions of informationization.” As the Chinese saw it, “informationization has become the key factor in enhancing the warfighting capability of the armed forces.” China: A Rising Power in Cybersecurity Then, in 2013, a study by the Academy of Military Science, titled, “The Science of Military Strategy”, emphasized the importance of cyberspace as a new, yet essential domain in today’s growing military affairs. And in 2015, China further expressed the importance of cybersecurity in a Ministry of National Defense paper, titled “China’s Military Strategy,” defining cyberspace as a “new pillar of economic and social development, and a new domain of national security,” while also stating that “China is confronted with grave security threats to its cyber infrastructure” as “international strategic competition in cyberspace has been turning increasingly fiercer…” and “…countries are developing their cyber military forces.” Two of China’s core objectives for cybersecurity are; (1). national security interests, (2). along with maintaining social order at home. From a social order perspective, China’s leaders are well aware of the power social media can play for billions of people, and the consequential changes that can come about. From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, China knows full well the power of the Internet in creating change, but potentially also, social unrest. In the eyes of Chinese leaders, they only have to look back to 1989 and the Tiananmen Square protests as evidence of the power of public persuasion. Who can forget the brave soul who stood firmly in front of a column of tanks as they advanced across the square, shifting his position each time the front tank tried to maneuver around him? The video was smuggled out of China and given to a worldwide audience for all to see. This, all well before the dawn of the Internet and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. From a national security perspective, protecting its critical infrastructure at home is of top concern for China. Interestingly, while countless publications have been authored detailing China’s cyber assault on the United States, China itself knows full and well that their country is a prime target also. In recent years, the Chinese government has taken steps to better protect its own “critical information infrastructure” (CII). For example, operators of CII are instructed to follow specific security procedures, to store certain data within mainland China, along with utilizing new security review processes when acquiring IT equipment and services. New Law of the Land In 2017, China enacted the Cyber Security Law of the People’s Republic of China, commonly referred to as the China Internet Security Law, as further evidence of pushing forward with robust requirements relating to cybersecurity. Notable highlights of the law include the following: Clearly states requirements for the collection, use and protection of personal information. Frequently mentions the protection of “critical information infrastructure”. Requires personal information/important data collected or generated in China to be stored domestically. Critical cyber equipment and special cybersecurity products can only be sold or provided after receiving security certifications. Enterprises and organizations that violate the Cybersecurity Law may be fined up to RMB1,000,000. As more Chinese gain access to the Internet and the luxuries of the new digital China, vulnerabilities to cyber threats are increasing also, prompting the country’s leadership to adopt aggressive cyber defense measures as a top priority. China may very well be home to some of the largest technology firms in the world – regardless – they still rely heavily on other companies all throughout the world. Chinese leadership is pushing hard to build a true and viable cybersecurity ecosystem, one that supports cyber defense initiatives at home, while allowing for rapid and growth and expansion abroad for Chinese technology firms. Recently, one such firm, Qihoo 360, heeded the call for a return to China in hopes of helping further the country’s cybersecurity agenda as a world leader. Qihoo 360 actually delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in 2016, subsequently relisting in 2018 on the Shanghai exchange. And while Qihoo 360 and countless other Chinese tech companies are vying to be leaders on the world stage, they often face heavy criticism for their questionable business activities. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 04: China’s Relentless War of Cyber Espionage & Cyber Attacks against the United States – Part I appeared first on Charles Denyer.
8 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
EP 03: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #3. AI Will Accelerate
EP 03: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #3. AI will Accelerate Artificial Intelligence – simply known as “AI”, is intelligence demonstrated via processing by machines, particularly, computing systems. Remember the fear many years ago, “will robots replace humans”? Thankfully, that won’t happen anytime soon – or hopefully, ever – but AI is growing aggressively, becoming one of technology’s great disrupters of the new millennium. AI is everywhere, used by almost everyone, every day. Familiar with Apples’ personal assistant, Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa? Sure, you are – that’s AI working for you. Have a NEST thermostat in your house, then you’re no doubt aware of how it constantly adjusts its settings based on historical data – that’s called behavioral algorithms that “predictively” learns from prior heating and cooling settings. Other examples of commonly used AI platforms are Tesla, Netflix, even music giants Pandora and Spotify. In fact, many of the initial wave of IA tools have been based on behavioral algorithms that essentially analyze data and then provide the user with what many call a “unique user experience” based on their prior actions. But that’s just the beginning of AI, it’s going to absolutely explode in the coming years, with big changes on the horizon for 2021 and beyond. By 2021, artificial intelligence (AI) augmentation will create a $2.9 trillion of business value and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally, that, according to Gartner, Inc. So, what’s “augmented intelligence”? According to Gartner, it’s “…a human-centered partnership model of people and AI working together to enhance cognitive performance,” which includes decision making and new experiences. According to Gartner, “Augmented intelligence is all about people taking advantage of AI…As AI technology evolves, the combined human and AI capabilities that augmented intelligence allows will deliver the greatest benefits to enterprises.” Furthermore, Gartner also notes that ““Digital workplace leaders will proactively implement AI-based technologies such as virtual assistants or other NLP (Natural Language Processing)-based conversational agents and robots to support and augment employees’ tasks and productivity…However, the AI agents must be properly monitored to prevent digital harassment and frustrating user experiences.” AI is permeating every conceivable industry, no question about it, and by 2021, estimates are that approximately 75% of enterprise applications will use AI. The IDC also predicts that by 2021, 15% of customer experience applications will be continuously hyper personalized by combining a variety of data and newer reinforcement learning algorithms. There’s also benefits when it comes to AI and cybersecurity as many of these systems can “learn” and adapt in helping keep organizations safe and secure. Specifically, cyber security firms are now front and center in building and configuring AI systems that can detect, identify, quarantine, and ultimately thwart cyber-attacks from both external and internal threats. But AI could potentially be weaponized for what many see as disastrous consequences. Everything in technology seems to have a double-edge sword, and AI is no different. Currently, both the US and Chinese military (with many other countries fast on their heels) are testing what’s known as “swarming drones” – inexpensive, unmanned aircraft capable of overwhelming enemy targets, and more. A report from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a research arm of the US intelligence community, noted that “China is no longer in a position of technological inferiority relative to the United States but rather has become a true peer that may have the capability to overtake the United States in AI.” In the United Kingdom, tests are still underway for an eventual fully operational combat aerial vehicle – the Taranis drone – that is expected to be fully operational by 2030, effectively replacing human pilots flying the Tornado fighter planes that are part of the Royal Air Force. And South Korea uses a Samsung SGR-AI sentry gun that is capable of firing autonomously to police its border. The machine-gun wielding robots, built by a subsidiary of Samsung, have heat and motion detectors to identify potential targets more than 2 miles away. These are just a handful of examples of the almost endless uses of AI in today’s ever-changing military apparatus. But what if the weaponization of AI falls into the wrong hands? It’s only a matter of time, according to industry experts, who say the genie is out of the box when it comes to smart technology, especially AI. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 03: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #3. AI Will Accelerate appeared first on Charles Denyer.
8 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
EP 02: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #2. Growing Cyber Attacks
EP 02: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #2. Growing Cyber Attacks The world is awash in cybersecurity attacks, and there seems to be no end in sight. What was once a rarity is now being accepted as commonplace in today’s world as data breaches just keep coming and coming, an almost one-way freight train that can’t be stopped. Think of the recent high-profile cyber-attacks and how devastating they’ve been – the Sony Pictures breach of 2014, Yahoo’s compromise of hundreds of millions of user accounts from 2012 to 2014, and to top it all off, Equifax, the company who makes a living reporting, securing, and monitoring credit files, and their massive – and no doubt embarrassing – data breach that occurred in 2017. Keep in mind that not all cyber-attacks lead to data breaches – many times they do – but often the purpose of such an attack is to create chaos, confusion for the masses, disrupting services heavily rely on. As for 2020, the following high-profile cyber-attacks and data breaches either occurred or were reported on: Landry’s Restaurants Brands: On January 2, 2020, dining conglomerate, Landry’s, announced a point-of-sale malware attack that targeted customers’ payment card data. The malicious code is expected to have picked up payment details from credit and debit cards swiped on Landry’s order entry systems between the period of March 13, 2019 and October 17, 2019. The stolen consumer data included credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, verification codes, and cardholder names. In February, 2020, it was reported that cosmetic giant Estee Lauder had a non-password protected cloud database containing hundreds of millions of customer records and internal logs that became exposed online. It is estimated that a total of 440,336,852 individual data pieces were exposed, according to researcher Jeremiah Fowler at Security Discovery. And a 2018 study by the Ponemon Institute, conducted in collaboration with Raytheon, highlighted the following issues relating to cybersecurity by the year 2021: A data breach from an unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) device in the workplace is predicted to be very likely over the next three years (i.e., 2021). 82% of respondents predict unsecured IoT devices will likely cause a data breach in their organizations with 80% saying that such a breach could be “catastrophic.” Breaches involving what the report called involving “high-value information” will have the greatest negative impact on organizations by 2021. According to the report, “Respondents were asked to rate cyber threats to their organizations from 1 = low risk to 5 = high risk. In 2018, only 22% of respondents say cyber warfare is a high risk, yet by 2021, 51% of respondents say it will be a high risk. The cold hard truth is that hackers are good at what they do, and getting better all the time. Remember, they only have to be right once, whereas businesses have to be right every time when it comes to effective InfoSec and cybersecurity measures. That’s not a winning formula, and its exactly why breaches will continue in 2021, and why they’ll also grow in terms of occurrences and severity. So, is all lost and can nothing be done against what seems to be an onslaught of never-ending cyber-attacks coming our way? Not so fast, and let’s not get down on ourselves. Yes, there are effective measures that can be used for pushing back on such attacks, but the bigger question is this: Are businesses truly prepared to face the music and invest in comprehensive InfoSec and cybersecurity resilience measures? We can only hope. Talk is cheap, as the old saying goes, but businesses will need to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam in terms of investing in information security strategies that work. This means acquiring proven security tools and solutions, hiring competent and well-qualified I.T. personnel, training employees on current and emerging security issues, and more. But more than anything, businesses need an about-face change when it comes to security. This is not a start and stop strategy, a one-and-done scenario that’s turned on and off like a light switch. This is about a true culture change whereby security is engrained into the mindset of the organization. Implementing information security the “right” way will have profound benefits for years to come, no question about it. Businesses can spend all the money that want on industry leading security tools and solutions, but without a “security first” mindset, one’s information security and cyber resilience programs are dead on arrival. I’ve heard countless stories of organizations investing heavily in high-priced network security tools, only to find these products sitting on standby gear as they’ve failed to be implemented at all. And with a tight labor market where well-qualified, highly-experienced security and compliance professionals are hard to come by, challenges will continue to mount for organizations. Buying security products and doing nothing with them, well, that’s not security, that’s nothing but a waste of both time and money. Changing the corporate culture is the very first – and most important element – when it comes to protecting organizational assets from growing cyber-attacks. Train your employees on emerging security issues, threats, trends, and best practices. Make security a priority with every new-hire in terms of training. Bring in experts from the outside for helping educate your employees. Do whatever you need to do for creating a corporate culture that understands security, and its overall importance. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 02: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #2. Growing Cyber Attacks appeared first on Charles Denyer.
11 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
EP 01: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #1. Cybersecurity Skills Shortage
EP 01: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #1. Cybersecurity Skills Shortage If recent years have seen a tight labor market, then expect 2021 to be even tighter. According to a Forbes magazine report, they had this to say. “The labor market is tight right now, and this is the biggest challenge business leaders face today. And I’ve got bad news for you: It’s not going to get better anytime soon.” That, according to Bill Conerly, contributing editor to Forbes, who also had this to say; “As I go around the country speaking about the economy and labor markets, I’m also listening to business leaders as well as managers of non-profits and government agencies. They are telling me that hiring is hard and turnover is high. This is a problem you’ll be living with for years.” Here’s more alarming information. FireEye’s publication, Facing Forward, Cyber Security in 2019 and Beyond, states that “According to various industry estimates, there are two or three million cyber security jobs that will go unfilled by the year 2020. While the numbers vary by study, the point is that if you take every single person in every computer science major in the U.S., that’s still not enough to fill every open cyber security position. And we know most of those people will choose another field and won’t end up working in cyber security.” The 2020 predictions for unfilled cyber jobs has essentially held true at the time of this printing, so how bad will it get for 2021? Experts point to a staggering 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. There’s simply not enough talent to keep up with the massive growth in the industry, that, according to various experts. As the world becomes more connected, we’re going to need more cybersecurity professionals to secure the seemingly endless networks and devices that bridge our lives together, but we simply don’t have enough of them. The results are cybersecurity jobs going unfilled for months, leaving businesses highly exposed to security threats. What’s worse, whatever IT personnel an organization may have on staff, they often lack the necessary technical expertise for building a true cybersecurity program. Technology professionals know that they can command heavy salaries. They also know they can find a job within weeks – even a few days – if they decide to jump ship for any number of reasons. Some companies are getting very creative in hiring, and most importantly – retaining employees. Stock options, significant bonuses, expanded pay – whatever it takes to get the right employee on board, and keep them – is now the new norm for many companies. “If you’re finding the job market a bit tight these days, you must not be in cybersecurity. As hackers ramp up attacks with increasingly sophisticated methods and tools that are readily available for purchase on the dark web, the “white hats” need all the help they can get,” according to Brian NeSmith, co-founder of Arctic Wolf Networks. How bad? The industry will see a whopping gap of 3.5 million positions unfilled. According to Cybersecurity Ventures Founder Steve Morgan, “With this huge growth in cybercrime, the world is just not able to keep up…we just don’t have the cybersecurity talent.” Additionally, says Morgan, “If you look at healthcare, or any vertical, companies up and down the food chain… would like to outsource security if they can. They don’t have the staff.” Davide Shearer, former CEO of (ISC)², one of the world’s leading cybersecurity professional organizations, had this to say, “The volume of attacks and sophistication of attacks from around the world continue to increase…We have nation-state types of attacks, criminal activity types of attacks and individuals that are just trying to do fraud and cybercrime. And so as these activities on the web continue to grow, there continues to be less and less of the qualified people that we need to conquer those attacks.” Word to the wise for all of you. Number one, as a business, do all you can to hold on to whatever cyber talent you currently have, because replacing that person will be increasingly difficult, and expensive. Number two, if you’re in the field, or considering a career in cybersecurity, make sure to check out certifications that, in my opinion, are worth their weight in gold. I’m talking about the following four: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Now, as to the in-demand jobs for 2021 in cybersecurity, here’s my list: 1. Penetration Tester: With cybersecurity attacks on the rise, organizations are being required to undergo annual penetration tests, courtesy of today’s growing regulatory compliance world. From PCI DSS assessments to SOC audits, HITRUST certification, FISMA compliance – and more – a penetration test is a must. But more than just compliance, performing a penetration test is a best practice that every organization should be doing. If you’ve got the skills to be a penetration tester, you’ve got a six-figure income coming your way, no question about it. 2. Software Developer: Society lives, eats, and breathes on the web. Almost everything we do – paying bills, ordering groceries, scheduling medical appointments – and more – all happens online. That’s because companies are busier than ever launching web enabled services for the consumer market. This in turn means that these very companies are also looking hard and fast for software developers. If you’ve got the skills to write code and develop web-facing software applications, you’ve got a six-figure income coming your way, no question about it. 3. Network Engineer: The role – and title – of Network Engineer can be quite expansive indeed, but generally speaking, this an individual with the skills needed to manage an organization’s I.T. infrastructure in terms of firewalls, routers, switches, and almost anything else related to the network. Equally important is the ability of this individual to build out, monitor, and maintain a network in the cloud, such as with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google GCP. If you’ve got the skills to maintain an I.T. network – especially in the cloud – you’ve got a six figure income coming your way, no question about it. 4. Internal Compliance Officer: Organizations are being confronted with an onslaught of what I call security, governance, and compliance requirements. Audits have to be performed annually. Security policies and procedures need to be written and regularly updated. Incident response testing and security awareness training has to be undertaken each year. Just a few examples of the dozens of tasks required by an internal compliance officer. If you’re organized, can manage projects, and have a basic, yet sound knowledge of information security, you’ve got a six-figure income coming your way, no question about it. 5. External Compliance Auditor: Audits are a mainstay in today’s cybersecurity world. Name the industry, and there’s an almost 100% chance of a regulation in force requiring an audit. CPA firms and consulting organizations are hot on the search for auditors who can perform assessments. If you’re into auditing, have a fair knowledge of I.T. and cybersecurity, and are willing to travel, you’ve got a six-figure income coming your way, no question about it. 6. Data Privacy Officer: Cybersecurity threats are placing immense pressures on organizations to get serious about data privacy. Laws and regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA are just the beginning of what’s sure to be a massive tidal wave of privacy mandates heading our way. 7. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): Overseeing all things cyber is essential for today’s businesses, and to know surprise, companies are looking for Chief Information Security Officers (CISO). A CISO was somewhat of a foreign concept just a few short years ago, but that’s all changed as cybersecurity threats continue to grow. As a C level executive, a CISO will ultimately find themselves at the discussion table with the CEO, CFO and other senior leaders. These are six-figure jobs – and in the world of publicly traded companies – often seven-figure salaries. 8. Cybersecurity Consultant: A well-skilled cybersecurity consultant is absolutely invaluable when it comes to helping organizations deal with all things related to cyber. From architecting cloud solutions, writing policies and procedures, offering guidance on regulations, and so much more. a cybersecurity consultant is in hot demand. If you’re an individual with a wide-range of cybersecurity skillsets, have excellent communication skills, then you’ve got a six-figure income coming your way, no question about it. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact and let’s discuss your needs. The post EP 01: The Twenty-One Biggest Cybersecurity Threats, Trends, Predictions for 2021 – #1. Cybersecurity Skills Shortage appeared first on Charles Denyer.
3 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
Serious Cybersecurity Podcast Trailer
How did the United States and Israel unleash a cyber-attack that crippled Iran’s nuclear program in 2010, ushering the world into a new age of cyberwar? What are the biggest cyber threats facing America – and the world – today? Is the new digital war even more dangerous and deadlier than any other threat we’ve ever faced? Who are the world’s most elite intelligence agencies and how are they battling today’s cybersecurity threats from rogue states? How safe is your organization and what can we all do to protect ourselves? Welcome to ‘Serious Cybersecurity. I’m your host Charles Denyer. In this show, I will journey deep into the dark world of cybersecurity, offering listeners a rare glimpse into the front lines of what’s become arguably one of the most important issues of our lifetime. With more than twenty years of national security and cybersecurity expertise, I work with organizations all throughout the globe – from startups to some of the world’s most iconic brands – in battling today’s cyber pandemic, and my insights are compelling and unparalleled. I now consult regularly with top political and business leaders throughout the world, including former vice presidents of the United States, White House chiefs of staff, secretaries of state, ambassadors, high-ranking intelligence officials, CEOs, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and others. But more than cybersecurity war stories, Serious Cybersecurity will offer invaluable insight for organizations anywhere looking to design and deploy a robust cybersecurity program. From national security implications to keeping your business safe and secure, this is the podcast for all things cyber. To learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your organization, visit charlesdenyer.com today and get access to a wide range of world-class resources on all things cyber. Additionally, my companies offer comprehensive cybersecurity, data privacy, and regulatory compliance services & solutions for businesses all across the globe. Book a call with me today at charlesdenyer.com/contact. The post EP 00: Podcast Trailer ‘Serious Cybersecurity’ – Charles Denyer appeared first on Charles Denyer.