Distilling the right blend of cyber security tools for your company is as much an art as distilling a fine American sipping whiskey from a pile of sugars, grains, and fruit. Everyday technology professionals are being asked to address fast-changing cyber threats and craft comprehensive security monitoring and management strategies into a solidly blended security posture just as a master blender does for spirits.
A Master Blender
A master blender is an individual who decides on the composition of blended spirits. For example, in the Scotch whiskey industry, master blenders choose which single malts and grain whiskeys are combined to make particular blended whiskey. An important objective is often to maintain consistency over time. A typical blend might be composed of 20 different whiskeys whose taste and price will vary over time, and, of course, it is possible that any one of them will go out of production. Consequently, it is sometimes necessary to replace whiskeys that go into the blend. Other responsibilities include checking the maturation of spirits.
Just like the master blender, companies must apply a similar approach to developing a solid security posture.
Just like the master blender, companies must apply a similar approach to developing a solid cyber security posture and choosing cyber security tools. In the context of managing cyber security organizations, directors and professionals must make decisions based on a combination of tools, security software, data, and industry information. Understanding individual aspects of your cyber security approach are not enough – a blended holistic approach that quantifies risk and considers the interaction of physical, virtual and human factors of security posture is what all masters are working towards. Once a solid cyber security framework is obtained, the work is not done; continually revisiting tools and testing environments, ensures defenses against ever-changing security threats.
On Thursday, November 30 VSS is hosting two master security blenders at the Sagamore Spirit Distillery in Baltimore, Maryland, to discuss cyber security tools. Joe Drissel of CyberESI and Bill Crawford of Information Insights will be sharing the latest insights and techniques for protecting your data and discovering how to manage your security mix to gain the ultimate cyber security advantage for your organization.
Meet the Masters (of Cyber Security Tools)
Joseph Drissel – Founder & CEO, CyberESI
Before founding CyberESI, Joseph was the Acting Section Chief of the Intrusions Section at the Defense Computer Forensics Laboratory (DCFL), the world’s largest accredited computer crime laboratory. In this capacity, Joseph and his team provided intrusion and malware analysis support to DoD entities, Federal Law Enforcement, the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) and the DoD-Defense Collaborative Information Sharing Environment (DCISE). As a certified DoD Forensic Examiner, Joseph engaged in 1,000+ intrusions cases.
In November of 2010, Joseph founded Cyber Engineering Services which provides patented incident response, intrusion/malware analysis, software and systems, training and cyber-related intelligence to its clients and the community at large. CyberESI personnel has backgrounds that include professionals from Federal Law Enforcement, the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense. Employees have expertise in the fields of Network Security, Computer Forensics, Incident Response, Intrusions Analysis and Reverse Engineering Malware; all have extensive knowledge specific to Advanced Persistent Threat-related issues.
Bill Crawford – Principal and CEO, Information Insights, LLC
Recognizing the lack of service providers focusing on data security, Bill, along with a team of experts created Information Insights in March of 2010 with a narrow focus of helping customers understand their data, risk and protection landscape. Since then, Bill has worked with many of the Global 100 companies across multiple industries as they assess, redefine and implement strategies for protecting the “crown jewels” of their respective firms.
Bill works with industry leaders from IBM and various clients to tackle subjects ranging from “discovering your data assets” to “developing risk-based controls”, “managing insider threat” and building the “security data lake” as well as how to approach data warehousing and aggregation for security information. Leading, participating in and facilitating workshops and strategy sessions have given Bill unique insight into many of the challenges faced by today’s enterprises as they wrestle with the challenge of developing a data security strategy and having confidence in cyber security tools. Bill is always happy to share what insights he can since shared experiences often lead to innovation.
Please join us for an evening of peer networking, spirited tech talk, delicious food and private tours of one of Maryland’s best tasting new business ventures. Register now.
VSS presents Refine the Spirit of Cyber Security
Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 6pm – 9pm
Sagamore Spirit Distillery
301 East Cromwell Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
 Source: Wikipedia
The month of October has been identified as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) by the National Cyber Security Alliance. VSS has joined the effort as a NCSAM Champion to promote cyber security awareness from the breakroom to the boardroom and help you with planning for cyber security.
We encourage you to take action in protecting your business, employees and customers from online attacks, data loss and other threats – and to ultimately create a culture of cyber security at work.
We’ve listed five areas to explore planning for cyber security incidents happening and how it could impact your business and life.
1. Identify the “crown jewels”
The first step in protecting a business from cyber threats is to identify the “crown jewels” of your business. Those assets and systems that are critical to your business that would prove difficult to operate if they were lost or compromised and/or could be a high value target for cybercriminals.
Always think broadly about critical assets when planning for cyber security. They could be data such as customer or employee data, systems such as ordering, inventory or scheduling and/or intellectual property.
2. Protect Your Assets
Once you have identified your “crown jewels” and critical assets, build your cyber protections around these first as you create a trajectory forward to protect your entire business.
Ultimately, your goal is to build a culture of cybersecurity that includes employees knowing how to protect themselves and the business and understanding the cyber risks as your business grows or adds new technologies or functions.
3. Detect Incidents
Detection is all about knowing when something has gone wrong. We have fire alarms in our businesses and homes that alert us to problems. In cybersecurity, the faster you know about an incident, the quicker you can mitigate the impact and get back to normal operations.
4. Knowing the Threats
Not all threats in cybersecurity equally impact your business. Some, like broad ransomware attacks are designed to infect any system anywhere that is vulnerable. In other cases, attacks may be motivated by the type of business you are in and the value of what you have.
For example, for those in the retail business, cybercriminals may be looking to steal customer payment data or access a bank account. If you are in manufacturing, maybe stealing your intellectual property or disrupting operations is the goal.
Even when we take all the precautions we can, incidents can still happen. Being prepared to respond in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner will reduce risks to your business and send a positive signal to your customers and employees. Therefore, planning for a response is critical.
The good news is preparing to respond to a cyber incident is not unlike preparing for other events that could impact your business like natural or man-made disasters. Planning for cyber security means building a cyber incident response that can tap your other operational knowledge and experience.
You will need to be ready to:
- Resolve the problem (e.g., fix your network, restore data)
- Identify what’s been lost and who has been impacted
- Continue operations while problems are fixed
- Communicate with stakeholders (e.g., customers, employees and perhaps the general public)
- Comply with applicable laws and reporting
- Report to appropriate agencies
The VSS security team is on hand to answer any questions and be a resource as you begin to explore the state of cyber security at your business.
Join the NCSAM movement this month and arm your business against today’s unrelenting IT security threats.
Most of us know and use open source software (OSS) for its numerous benefits – cost savings, flexibility, freedom, security and accountability. Moreover, OSS has long-term viability, as it’s created and supported by a world-wide community of organizers and developers.
It’s easy to see why Open Source is highly appealing. However, OSS has been said to be “’free’ as in kittens.” The major pains of supporting Open Source Software is that it requires constant upkeep: maintenance, configuration and on-going support.
With the shift to OSS, several new challenges have presented themselves to our clients with regards to supporting open source software. Our maintenance team has categorized pain points into three areas and outlined methods to overcome open source software support concerns.
Managing multiple OSS providers.
This is a common pain point if you use and self-manage several different types of open source software. We like to think of this as the “DIY downside” of OSS. Having to regularly check compliance, version updates, community news and maintenance suggestions for multiple software packages can quickly become complex and overwhelming.
How do you overcome this?
Partner with a support service provider that has a similar OSS support platform as your hardware stack. Look for service features such as the ability to:
- Assist with problem and resolution determination for a wide range of OSS
- Provide Level 1 and 2 support, 7×24
- Feature one phone number to call for all OSS types
- Have one contract for all OSS needs
Hiring specific OSS consultants.
For most companies, hiring a specific consultant to support each OSS is simply too expensive.
How do you overcome this?
Don’t take on additional staff to support each OSS. You can benefit from an OSS support partner’s expertise in a wide range of packages, specific project knowledge and usually, save money in the process. Additionally, a proficient IT asset management partner should be able to provide consultative support for the environment around the OSS package.
Relying on communities and forums for supporting Open Source Software.
Community support is one of the awesome benefits of OSS. However, mining through support communities for an answer while a system outage is going on is not fun. Even when you aren’t in crunch-mode, spending valuable time looking through support communities is time consuming and can lead down rabbit holes.
How do you overcome this?
Treat your open source software like you treat the rest of your enterprise technology environment by having around the clock support in place. By partnering with a world-class support team, you should have guaranteed service level agreements that help create an “always on” environment. This translates into reduced downtime and helps save money.
VSS and IBM have adapted an award winning Multi-Vendor Portfolio Management and Maintenance Service Model to now provide end-to-end enterprise class support for your ecosystem – including Open Source Software.
Take advantage of World Class support with one, single source provider, guaranteed service level agreements and competitive pricing.