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Network Attacks: The Who, What, Where and Why

As security practitioners, we generally see three types of perpetrators with different motives:

  • Financial
  • Political
  • General trouble-making

Each of these attackers can display various levels of organizational structure:

  • Individual
  • Well-organized, persistent group
  • Ad-hoc groups pursuing a common purpose

Each one of these subsets has their own techniques and goals, but unfortunately, can strike anywhere at anytime.

As different attack types come in and out of vogue, we are closely watching all of these perpetrators and their preferred methods of attack to better understand how to recognize and counteract them.

In the video linked here, I discuss some of the latest threat trends, and how businesses and individuals can prepare and protect themselves.

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Cyber Security Survival for the Holidays

A couple of days ago, I participated in a Social Video Broadcast about cyber security survival tips for the holiday season. Some of my advice is familiar. Use stronger passwords, apply the “smell test” to too-good-to-be-true on-line offers, read the manual—especially the parts about account set up and security—when turning on a new device. Others are a little less well known. I keep a separate credit card account with a low spending limit for on-line purchases. Ask your Sys Admins if it is OK to connect a new “BYOD” device to an enterprise network when you return to work in January.

But the most important advice I offer is to slow down and think before doing anything that might subject you to cyber mayhem. Technology, and the Internet in particular, has programmed us to rush through life. But the best way to make it into to the Cyber Security Victims Hall of Regret is to lose your sense of situational awareness by clicking on anything that moves. This needn’t lead to paralyzing indecision. But taking a moment to ask: “Is this for real? Is this wise? Why does that look funny?” will spare you from a lot of harm in the holiday season.

You can watch a replay of the broadcast here: http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1104963

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Live Broadcast: John N. Stewart to Discuss Cyber Security for the Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation predicts that Holiday Shopping this year will grow to $586.1 billion, with a record percentage of those purchases occurring online and from mobile devices.

As more shoppers make purchases online and on their mobile devices, Cyber Monday is fast becoming Mobile Monday, opening up a variety of new threats and challenges for shoppers. And even after the shopping is done, consumers need to take care when they open their presents and turn on new devices for the first time, and know what to expect when they bring their purchases to work or school in early January.

Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 10:00 AM PT for a live discussion with John N. Stewart, SVP and Chief Security Officer of Global Government and Corporate Security at Cisco. John will address topics ranging from how to stay safe while shopping online, tips for securely setting up gifts you receive, and how to safely bring new devices into work and school in the new year.

Read More »

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Return of the DDoS Attack

One of the greatest threats to Internet service is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks which can paralyze ISPs and disrupt traffic to and from targeted websites. For years now, DDoS attacks have dropped down the IT security priority list as topics such as IP theft took center stage.

Recently however, DDoS attacks targeting organizations of all types have sharply increased. Afflicted organizations had daily operations disrupted and servers compromised, with attacks increasing in sophistication and damage impact. The next waves of attacks will likely be even more complex and damaging.

The DDoS revival reminds us that as threats continue to evolve, organizations must strengthen their security infrastructure and management practices to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of incident response.

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