When URL Filtering Fails, This Secure Browser Has Your Back

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Apr 11, 2017

Illustration: Infographic - Silo, the Remote Secure Enterprise Browser with Secure Web Gateway (SWG) IntegrationCORPORATE NEWS, SECURITY

Too frequently, URL filtering fails to catch malicious websites, or it blocks resources that employees need to do their job. With its new secure web gateway (SWG) integration Authentic8’s remote secure browser Silo now helps enterprises close this security gap.

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Secure web gateway (SWG) solutions provide a generally reliable way for the enterprise to handle users’ web requests, allowing some sites to be accessed and others to be blocked.

To maintain security and efficiency, “generally” reliable may not be enough. A web resource that an employee needs may not have been crawled and categorized by the SWG vendor yet. Another URL may have been cataloged, yet somehow ended up in the wrong category. Or a resource that was approved earlier has since been infected with malware.

If the SWG allows users to access a potentially dangerous web resource without protection or security backstop, the consequences to the company could be disastrous.

Because regular browsers fetch and process all code from the web locally, at the endpoint, connecting to an infected website opens the door for malicious software, such as ransomware or spyware, to enter your local IT infrastructure.

Most companies have come to terms with the trip-ups of URL miscategorization. But an even bigger challenge remains:

Beware the uncategorized URL

Should you allow access to a website that has not been classified yet by the SWG vendor? This may expose the local browser and your IT infrastructure to potential security violations.

Or should you simply block all unclassified URLs? This step would likely reduce the efficiency of your business, while increasing the number of angry messages in your inbox from employees who need a particular URL unblocked, and pronto.

Topics: Security, Corporate News

ISPs & Privacy: Why it Matters, and How to Cover Your A$$

Posted by Scott Petry

Apr 5, 2017

Illustration: ISPs & Privacy: Why it Matter, and How to Cover Your A$$NEWS, POLICY

Both the US Senate and the House of Representatives have cleared the way to remove privacy rules for internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon. The President  signed the executive order to repeal these rules, which were originally put in place by the FCC in 2016 to protect consumers on the web. 

Topics: News, Policy

New One-Tab Browser Aims to Boost Productivity on the Web

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Apr 1, 2017

Illustration: Unibrowser SMNEWS, CORPORATE NEWS

Multitasking as bad for business as data breaches, says maker of “Unibrowser”

(MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- April 1, 2017)  A revolutionary “one-tab” web browser that aims to dramatically improve focus and productivity of internet users has been introduced by Silicon Valley-based Authentic8.

Named the “Unibrowser”, the new distraction-free browsing environment was developed based on the latest neuroscience and mindfulness research. Its core feature is one single tab. It has been streamlined for users to exercise restraint when they access the web, and to force focus on the task at hand, instead of multi-tasking.

The launch of the Unibrowser marks a radical departure from industry’s multi-tabbed browser model, which dates back to 1997 and has been blamed for many of modern society’s ills. Authentic8 touts its new browser as a tool to fight “task inflation” and to achieve measurable  “attention deficit reduction.”

Topics: Corporate News

How to Build Better Cybersecurity Habits in a Large Enterprise in Just Four Weeks

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Mar 2, 2017

How to Build Better Cybersecurity Habits in a Large Enterprise in Just Four Weeks - InfoSec Luminary Lineup IllustrationSECURITY

“You have four weeks to create strong cybersecurity habits in a business with 500+ employees. What would you do, and why?”

Granted - such a request “may indicate a big problem in [the board’s] understanding of security,” as Fred Scholl (Monarch Information Networks) points out below, because in this scenario,  “[t]he CISO has failed to proactively educate leadership.”

We posed the question to our circle of InfoSec Luminary Lineup contributors anyway. Nothing focuses the mind like a deadline.

Jordan McQuown, CIO at LogicForce Consulting, writes in response: “[U]ser awareness, reinforcement and training are key to improving security habits.” So how do we get there, fast? Jordan reminds us that “[t]ypical attackers are looking for easy targets” - and provides ample advice how to frustrate their plans.

Richard Caplan (LeClairRyan) points out the importance “to clarify the rules and responsibilities” in such a concerted effort. And like Jordan McQuown , Joseph Raczynski (Thomson Reuters Legal) urges CISOs to create teachable moments:  “Companies need to phish their own employees.”

Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the UK-based Information Security Forum (ISF), includes a warning in his contribution. Given the time restraints in this scenario, he writes, “[l]ooking for a silver bullet will be a waste of time.”

A8 InfoSec Luminary Lineup Theme Image:Four weeks to build strong cybersecurity habits in a large enterprise

Steve advises to step back and understand the bigger picture first, then “let risk drive the solution” His “Ten tips on how to make cybersecurity a habit on a deadline” round out this InfoSec Luminary Lineup.

Tip #4 on his instructive list below is our favorite. Why?

Topics: Security

8 Must-have Features of a Secure Browser (2)

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Feb 7, 2017

Illustration: Empty Canvas - 8 Must-have Features of a Secure Browser (2)SECURITY

Regular browsers, such as the one that came with your PC or mobile device, are leaking data on the internet like a sieve. The inherent vulnerabilities of the local browser model allow criminal hackers to infiltrate computers and steal or manipulate data.

Firewalls or antivirus software provide little or no protection against modern attackers and their tools. Browser add-ons, plugins and extensions promising “extra” security and privacy cannot be trusted. Their makers were even caught selling out private user data.

Because the “traditional” browser architecture is inherently unsafe and promoting data leakage,  a new generation of secure browsers has been developed for security-conscious companies and consumers.

Not all supposedly “secure” browsers are equal, and some are not secure at all. How can you tell the difference?

In this second part of “8 Must-Have Features of a Secure Browser” (read Part 1 here), we examine another four features and capabilities your browser must have to deserve the label “secure” for business or personal use.

Topics: Security

Book Review: What They Really Do With Your Medical Data

Posted by Scott Petry

Jan 28, 2017

Thumbnail: Book Review: What They Really Do With Your Medical Data - Illustration for Authentic8 blog review of Our Bodies, Our Data by Adam TannerSECURITY, IDENTITY, NEWS

Happy Data Privacy Day.  A new book provides an in-depth look at the commercial trade in patient medical data.  Sensitive data, a vibrant market, and not much cause for celebration.

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A while ago, I wrote about the wave of data breaches at healthcare organizations and medical identity theft that is impacting millions and what we can do to protect ourselves better.

One of the readers of that post was acclaimed journalist Adam Tanner, who has reported on data collection and consumer privacy since 2012.

Adam and I have had an ongoing discussion on data privacy and security matters since we met a few years ago.  He was covering the issue for Forbes, and I had a chance to brief him on our secure browser solution.

A few weeks ago, he kindly directed my attention to an unknown - to me, at least - aspect of our personal medical records.

Topics: News, Identity

Ransomware: Majority of U.S. Businesses Unprepared for Attacks

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Jan 24, 2017

Thumbnail: Ransomware: Majority of U.S. Companies Unprepared for Ransomware Attack - Illustration for Authentic8 blog postSECURITY

A new survey shows that 66 percent of IT professionals identify ransomware as a serious threat. Yet only 13 percent say their company is prepared to handle it.

Topics: Security

2016 Revisited: Data Breach Trends and Numbers

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Jan 9, 2017

Thumbnail: IT Security Sinkhole - Illustration for Authentic8 blog postSECURITY

What were the biggest data breaches in 2016? How did federal agencies’ cybersecurity hold up last year, compared to 2015, with its disastrous OPM hack? Did ransomware live up to, or even beat, the dire predictions? Which industries got hacked most, and why?

We’ve pulled together summary posts and publications worth returning to, as a quick reference to consult when needed in the year ahead.

Topics: Security

What is the Most Underestimated IT Security Threat, and Why?

Posted by Gerd Meissner

Dec 19, 2016

What is the most underestimated IT security threat, and why? - InfoSec Luminary Lineup IllustrationSECURITY

One of the most chilling developments in IT security this past year were the cyber attacks reported on energy utilities and manufacturing plants, which exploited critical infrastructure vulnerabilities introduced by the convergence of IT and Operational Technology (OT). Yet they were barely noticed by the broader public, not nearly as much as Hillary Clinton pulling rank on her IT staff to use a private email server.

Time for a reality check? For our InfoSec Luminary Lineup blog discussion series, we asked cybersecurity leaders and experts: “What is the most underestimated IT security threat, and why?”

In their responses, they don’t dabble in technicalities of the vulnerability-de-jour variety. Instead, all of our contributors paint the bigger picture.

It isn’t pretty. The most underestimated IT security threat is…

Topics: Security

Make Improving Data Breach Prevention Your New Year's Resolution

Posted by Drew Paik

Dec 8, 2016

Illustration: 2017 - the Year We Make Cybersecurity a Habit? (Authentic8 blog post)SECURITY

As we reflect on the passing year, it’s clear that 2016 was a tipping point in terms of public awareness of data security issues. It was the year that John Q. Public suddenly became aware of encryption issues, with Apple’s battle with the FBI after the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

It was also the year people pondered how foreign governments could perhaps hack into our election system. The year also showed that the government’s biggest security breach — which resulted in the arrest of an NSA contractor — wasn’t necessarily malicious. It hammered home the idea that some data breaches occur simply because employees don’t take their responsibilities seriously enough.

Though there is an increasing awareness of what kinds of threats we are all vulnerable to, there’s a knowledge gap in how to keep yourself and your business secure — despite our best efforts towards cybersecurity education.

So as you imagine what improvements you can make to your life and your business in 2017, consider adding boosting your cybersecurity to your list of resolutions.