Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Security > Threat Research

Danger at the Retail Point of Sale

This blog post was authored by Martin Lee and Jaeson Schultz.

With the announcement that yet another major retailer has allegedly been breached, it is important to review how attackers compromise retail systems and how such intrusions can be prevented. In this latest case, retailers are working to determine if a large cache of credit card information offered for sale on an underground trading forum originated as a result of a systems breach.

The presence of large amounts of financial and personal information within retail systems means that these companies are likely to remain attractive targets to attackers. Illicit markets exist for such information so that attackers are able to easily monetize stolen data. Although we don’t know the details of this specific attack, it may follow the same pattern as other major breaches in the retail sector. Incidents involving Point of Sale (POS) malware have been on the rise, affecting many large organizations.

In addition to the risk of fraud to the individuals affected, the consequences for the breached organizations are severe. News of customer data theft not only damages the brand, but recovering from the breach can also cost into the millions of dollars as systems are investigated, cleaned, repaired, and new processes are implemented to prevent future similar attacks.


POS Attack
Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Securing Mobile Data in the Event of Device Loss or Theft

September 4, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

As a business or technical leader, you know you need to protect your company in a rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. However, threats are not always obvious. As malware and attacks become more sophisticated over time, business decision makers must work with technical decision makers to navigate security threats in a mobile world.

This blog series, authored by Kathy Trahan, will explore the topic of enterprise mobility security from a situational level and provide insight into what leaders can do now to mitigate risk. To read the first post focused on securing device freedom, click here. The second post, available here, focused on the risks that come with mobile connections. Kathy’s third post outlined three top considerations leaders must consider when examining their current mobile data security plan. The fourth post in this series highlights how security compliance is necessary for real-time mobile data access. – Bret Hartman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cisco’s Security Technology Group

Many of us have experienced that panicked “oh no!” moment when we’ve misplaced a mobile device or worse, found out it was stolen. The stakes are raised even higher when a lost or stolen device is company issued, or a personal device an employee uses for business purposes and contains sensitive data.

According to a recent report, more than 3.1 million smart phones were stolen just in America last year alone. This same report revealed that 34% of people took no security measures at all to protect sensitive information – not even a simple four-digit password. 51% of end users use their smartphone to perform daily business activities.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Behind the Music: The New Threat Management with NextGen IPS CVD

If you’ve ever caught an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, the TV series that profiles rock bands and personalities, you may agree with me that it can be fascinating. I especially like the interviews about the creative process. I’ve learned that great songs can come from just about anywhere. And that a talented group of people working together can produce amazing results.

When it comes to our Secure Data Center for the Enterprise Portfolio CVDs (Cisco Validated Designs), that’s exactly what happened. We just released the fourth CVD: Threat Management with NextGen IPS, which focuses on giving you a full set of capabilities for a threat management system. But it’s also aware that the data center has to remain efficient and support other business goals while it’s defending against cyber attacks. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Filtering Explicit Content

Many web sites provide a setting to reduce the amount of explicit, or objectionable, content returned by the site. The user configures these settings, but many users are unaware such a setting exists, or that it needs to be set for each web site. Additionally, the security administrator cannot audit that users have configured the setting. As a result, users can be exposed to objectionable content or can inadvertently trigger filtering of objectionable content on the Cisco security service (Cisco WSA or CWS), sometimes causing uncomfortable questions from human resources or from management.

An emerging standard defines a new HTTP header, “Prefer: Safe,” which does not require the user to configure each web site. This feature is implemented by Firefox, Internet Explorer 10, and Bing. We anticipate more clients and more content providers will support this emerging standard.

Both Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA) and Cloud Web Security (CWS) support this emerging standard, and can be configured to insert this header on behalf of HTTP and HTTPS clients. In this way, the security administrator can cause all traffic to default to avoiding explicit or objectionable content, without relying on users to configure their browser or to configure each visited web site.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Midsize Auctioneer’s Network is Fast and Fortified as Hundreds of Clients Bid Billions

Forget the best of both worlds. Ritchie Bros Auctioneers have found the best of three worlds with their network. This midsize company enables fast, secure bidding for customers, provides hassle-free mobile access for employees, and detailed network reports with no effort for IT.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is the world’s largest auctioneer of heavy equipment and trucks. They sell billions of dollars of unused and used equipment at hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year. What’s even more impressive is that they are able to do this with only 1300 employees worldwide.

Auctions are very time sensitive and require a synchronized effort. This leaves little room for errors and interruptions.  Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,