Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Succumb to the culture of fear

The report of the week

The "culture of fear" is a relatively new term that is closely linked to the mass media. It refers to the changes in behavior or relations that people experience influenced by fear. This term is linked to the media because thanks to the information (or in many cases, misinformation), the fears of the people we are addressing can increase or disappear. This form of manipulation is one of the most dangerous, since it can generate improper behaviors in each individual.

For that reason, ransomware is one of the main weapons of cybercriminals in the network. They take advantage of our disinformation and our fear so that we pay the ransom, when we know that we should not do it. And this happens more than we think according to the latest survey conducted by Carbon Black.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons

A year ago, today ...

Some may know it for the film, others for the series and others thanks to one of the latest and most popular series: Stranger Things. Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game in which players put themselves in the shoes of knights, magicians, orcs and other fantasy heroes, while a "Dungeon Master" is in charge of narrating the story that channels the game. This figure is vital for the course of the game, as it is in charge of supervising the game and giving it the focus that the game needs. It is like being the director of your own fantasy film. 

The world of cybersecurity can often resemble these role-playing games. To start with, many people pretend to be other people, there are criminals who want to discover the treasures of our dungeons, and of course there is a dungeon master. Today in our return to the past we throw the dice to see what the destiny gave us.


Friday, May 26, 2017

The old age

When we talk about something "old", we usually refer to something with many years. The RAE itself in its second definition of the word (the first one refers exclusively to living things) describes the word old as "something that has been in existence for a long time or which persists in its state". To sum up, when we use this word, we do it with negative and past connotations. Hence many people say: "I am not old, clothes and furniture are the ones being old".
However, sooner or later we know elders with more vitality than twenty-somethings. Nor are we surprised when past fashions are back in vogue. Today in our review of the week, we notice that the news has an old touch... better said: "vintage" touch.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Problems of teamwork

The report of the week

Essays are an essential part of academic life. Whether it's in school, high school or college, we've all had to face a variety of essays. The real problem to pass the year came when they essays had to be done by teams. If you were lucky, you could set up your own team and surely it’d go like a dream. However, if the teacher was the one making the teams, the die was cast.

Why? Because if you were in the team with the apathetic person of the class you knew you’d have to work your part and his/hers. Or not only that, imagine that you are looking for the desired 10 while your teammates are satisfied with a simple 5. That disparity of goals could make the work become a hostile hell. The worst thing is that as adults we continue to experience similar situations, also related to companies and cybersecurity.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Don't look a gift horse…

A year ago, today ...

Gifts can be quite a headache. The first thing to do is to calculate an adequate budget (enough to make a good impression but without spending our entire salary on it), and then, find the ideal gift. Rather than the gift being ideal, it has to be right for the person receiving it. This is directly related to the theory of the sociologist Marcel Mauss, who explained that after each gift there is an exchange network: you give something away hoping you get something back.

Another of the collateral damages of this "exchange network" is that if you give away something of great value and you get something of lesser value, you will see it as an offense. Today in our retrospective review of what happened a year ago, we will see more and less grateful gifts in the world of cybersecurity.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Checkmate to cybersecurity

Chess is the strategy game par excellence. Two opponents, 16 pieces and a single goal: to kill the king. Although the rules are simple, it is not an easy game to dominate. The anticipation to your adversary and the study of all the possible variables of attack turn the chess into an art that only lives up to the best ones. In fact, this difficulty makes it to be considered a sport.

If we draw a parallel between chess and the world of cybersecurity, we could declare this week as a checkmate of cybercriminals to security in the network. The WannaCry attack that has affected more than 200,000 computers in 179 different countries has been the masterstroke that has tarnished all week.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Overconfidence

The report of the week

We do not realize it, but on many occasions we can become our worst enemy. When it comes to facing any challenge, as daily as it might seem, we have to do it with caution. While it is true that self-esteem is important, we should not forget that pride is considered as one of the seven deadly sins and that the higher we are, the harder we fall. 

Sometimes these "sins" can have futile consequences, but some other times can mean an annoyance of biblical proportions, and even more when we talk about cybersecurity. Unfortunately, today we know that many companies commit the sin of pride according to the latest study by Skyport Systems and Redmond Magazine, since most companies think (erroneously) that their active directory is safe.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Chop a head off and two will come out

The hydra is one of the most well-known monsters of Greek mythology. This monster was the second work of the 12 that Heracles (better known by all like Hercules) had to do by order of the oracle of Delphi, an old and ruthless aquatic monster with form of serpent of three heads. What made this monster dangerous apart from its venomous breath was that each time someone cut off one of its heads, two more will come out, being able to create up to 10,000 heads.

Today in our review of the best of the week in cybersecurity, we wanted to remember this polycephalic monster, since all the malware we find on the network reminds us of it. No matter how you manage to patch a vulnerability in your system or update your antivirus, another ransomware will always appear to take advantage of your data.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Feast today, famine tomorrow

The report of the week

In these times, saving on resources has become a prime tool of any small, medium or large public enterprise. As a general rule, the fact of not wasting and being thrifty is considered a virtue. However, one must be able to differentiate well between being thrifty and being stingy. We have proof of this in the wise Spanish collection of proverbs, like the phrase that titles this entrance to our study of the week.

This title has come to our mind imminently when we found out about the results of the latest report made by the University of Maryland and the International City / County Management Association (ICMA). This study reveals a rather disturbing conclusion: the main obstacle to achieving a high level of cyber security is the lack of funding.


Monday, May 8, 2017

The focus of the infection

In 2011, the renowned film director Steven Soderbergh (known for films as "Traffic" and "Ocean's
Eleven") premiered Contagion. Between a conventional and a documentary film, the director told us the story of the spread of a deadly virus that affected the entire planet. From different perspectives, we witnessed how they were trying to palliate the infestation before the population was decimated, and how the different actors interacted in order to end the disease or get profit from it.

In such an infestation, being clear about the focus of infection makes fights against infestation easier to address. Today in our retrospective we will talk about sources of infection, robberies to food chains and we will review an interview with one of the founders of the National Association of Professionals of Ethical Hacking.


Friday, May 5, 2017

With great power comes great responsibility

One of the most remembered moments of every Spiderman’s fan happens in the beginnings of the wall-crawler. With his newly acquired powers, Peter Parker passes from a nerd that everyone abused in class, to someone arrogant that had nothing to do with that young man with a good heart. His uncle Ben, aware of this attitude change (although not aware of Peter's powers), tells him about his father and tells him a phrase he will never forget: "with great power comes great responsibility."
Today in our review of the week at the best in cybersecurity, we could not help remembering the words of the wise Uncle Ben. The expenses for gaps, holes in network protocols and other incidents that make us think that we need advice like those from Uncle Ben regards cybersecurity.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bank robbery

Movies about bank robberies have become so popular that nowadays we could consider them as a genre in itself. Although there are some variations, we always find several common points: a group of criminals in which each one has different abilities, a specific objective, the quarrels between criminals... It is not necessary that it is a bank that’s robbed, it can be a house, a Casino or even a museum, but we will be facing the same type of movies.

However, another common point that has this "gender" is that it always focuses on criminals but ... what about the victims? Today, in our study of the week we want to change the focus thanks to the report collected by Neustar and Harris that gathers information on how DDoS attacks affect their organizations.