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Cisco Security Intelligence Operations NCSAM 2013

For the last couple of years, Cisco Security Intelligence Operations has released a series of blog posts for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The theme for this month from the National Cyber Security Alliance is “Our Shared Responsibility.” The Department of Homeland Security is running a series on this theme, as are many other private organizations.

Our action and inaction have consequences for systems and services used by us, our friends, and our places of employment. Attackers use accounts compromised due to poor passwords and lack of two-factor authentication to launch other attacks on users connected to those accounts. End-user systems infected with malicious software are leveraged to conduct distributed denial of service attacks against financial and government websites. Users who fall victim to spear phishing attacks open the door for attackers to leap frog their way through sensitive networks and collect proprietary information from our places of employment.

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NCSAM Tip #21: Building Strong Security Policies

October 31, 2011 at 6:57 am PST

What good does a firewall, IPS sensor, encryption device, and your favorite security product and tool do if you do not have guidelines, policies, and best practices on how to effectively configure and use them? Building strong security policies is crucial for any organization. These policies should be strong, yet realistically flexible to accommodate ever-changing requirements. Read More »

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NCSAM: Tip #20: The Importance of Your Online Reputation

Your reputation is one of the most important assets you have personally and professionally. Right or wrong, it defines how other people perceive you as a person. You can do positive things to improve or maintain a good reputation, such as demonstrating a high level of professionalism at work or loyalty to your family and friends. Likewise, you can easily damage a reputation through a seemingly innocent comment made to the wrong person. A damaged reputation can be difficult, if not impossible, to salvage.

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NCSAM Tip #19: Secure Your Wireless Network!

Just because you are not paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you!

Real World Consequences:

Let me set the scene, your home with your family sitting on the couch watching TV. When all of the sudden a whole swarm of SWAT officers come busting through your front door on a no knock warrant. You and your family are separated, and you are forced to the ground at gunpoint with the officers screaming at you about your disgusting ways, shouting “We know WHAT YOU ARE, PEDOFILE!”

But that will never happen to you right? You don’t ever visit those types of websites, the very thought of such things turns your stomach. That is just what a resident of Buffalo, New York thought earlier this year, until it happened to him and his wife. Now as it turns out he was completely innocent, but that fact did not save him from having his door broken down or having a weapon held on him while he was being detained and his house searched by the FBI and the Buffalo Police. (And no they did not pay to fix his door.)

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NCSAM Tip #18: Password Strength

Using passwords longer than 14 characters resets the Windows LANMAN hash to an invalid value, preventing attacks against these weak hashes that can recover most passwords in less than half an hour.

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