CSO Online: As malware grows more complex, protection strategies need to evolve

The days of simple anti-malware protection are mostly over. Scanning and screening for malware has become a very complex process, and most traditional anti-malware tools only find a small fraction of potentially harmful infections. This is because malware has become sneakier and more defensive and complex.

In this post for CSO Online sponsored byPC Pitstop, I dive into some of the ways that malware can hide from detection, including polymorphic methods, avoiding dropping files on a target machine, detecting VMs and sandboxes or using various scripting techniques. I also make the case for using application whitelisting (which is where PC Pitstop comes into play), something more prevention vendors are paying more attention to as it gets harder to detect the sneakier types of malware.

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White paper: Invisible mobile banking security

As more banking customers make use of mobile devices and apps, the opportunities for fraud increases. Mobile apps are also harder to secure than desktop apps because they are often written without any built-in security measures. Plus, most users are used to just downloading an app from the major app stores without checking to see if they are downloading legitimate versions.

Besides security, mobile apps have a second challenge: to be as usable as possible. Part of the issue is that the usability bar is continuously being raised, as consumers expect more from their banking apps.

In this white paper for VASCO, I show a different path. Mobile banking apps can be successful at satisfying the twin goals of usability and security. Usability doesn’t have to come at the expense of a more secure app, and security doesn’t have to come at making an app more complex to use. Criminals and other attackers can be neutralized with the right choices that are both usable and secure.

Why runtime application self-protection is critical for next gen security

raspToday most of us go about implementing security from the outside in. The common practice to define and then defend a perimeter isn’t viable any longer. With the added complexities of more mobile endpoints, agile development and more sophisticated malware, better protective methods are needed.

In this whitepaper for Vasco (the link to my paper is on the right-hand menu), I describe a method that is gaining traction by defending the actual apps themselves using runtime self-protection. RASP, as it is called, comes from a Gartner 2012 report, but is catching on with several vendors, including Arxan Technologies, HPE App Defender, Immun.io, Lookout App Security/Bluebox, Prevoty, Vasco Digipass for Apps, Veracode and Waratek.

RASP can be a solid defense and a way to isolate and neutralize a potential threat, so you can operate your business safely in these uncertain environments.

 

The death of the SMS OTP

The National Institute of Standards recently issued a ruling on digital authentication that states SMS messaging as a second authentication factor should now be considered insecure. While sending an SMS for OTP is still better than having no additional authentication factors, the NIST ruling suggests that organizations wanting to raise the bar on their security standards consider more secure authentication methods.

You can read the rest of my white paper for Vasco (reg. req.) here.

Authentic8 whitepaper: Why a virtual browser is important for your enterprise

The web browser has become the defacto universal user applications interface. It is the mechanism of choice for accessing modern software and services. But because of this ubiquity, it puts a burden on browsers to handle security more carefully.

silo admin console2Because more malware enters via the browser than any other place across the typical network, enterprises are looking for alternatives to the standard browsers. In this white paper that I wrote for Authentic8, makers of the Silo browser (their console is shown here), I talk about some of the issues involved and benefits of using virtual browsers. These tools offer some kind of sandboxing protection to keep malware and infections from spreading across the endpoint computer. This means any web content can’t easily reach the actual endpoint device that is being used to surf the web, so even if it is infected it can be more readily contained.

Authentication for the next generation

mobileThe new “my way” work style and the demand for on-the-go access to any service from any device and virtually any location requires that you bring your best encryption game with you when you’re on the move. This is especially true for the group of people often labeled Gen Y, or 20-somethings. Why? Because they are so digitally native and so used living their lives with instant access to their money, their friends, really anything that they do. As they are so steeped in technology, they tend to forget that there are lots of folks online who want to steal their identities, empty their bank accounts, and cause other havoc with their digital lives. But Gen Y is also more likely to use mobile banking than their elders, and more likely to go elsewhere if banks do not offer the mobile services they desire.

For a white paper for Vasco, I wrote about the challenges around providing better and more native authentication technologies for Gen Y and indeed, all users.

ITworld: A get-up-to-speed guide on hyper-converged infrastructure

The market for hyper-converged systems is quickly evolving. Traditional storage infrastructure vendors remain the largest installed base, but software-defined and hyper-converged storage providers represent the fastest growing market segment, with some of the latter vendors rapidly increasing their market share.
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