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What every executive needs to know about information technology security


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What every executive needs to know about information technology security

  1. 1. What Every Executive Needs To Know About Information Technology Security Peter Campbell Chief Information Officer Legal Services Corporation
  2. 2. Topics Introduction/Data Security Cloud Computing Cyber Insurance Passwords Mobile Network Security Questions?
  3. 3. The Internet is rapidly changing, as are the ways that you should protect yourself. This is relatively current information that factors in the use of mobile technology and cloud computing.
  4. 4. Image by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), via Wikimedia Commons Why we need to be protected: Business continuity Safety of clients, staff, data, and property Compliance (PCI, HIPAA, etc.)
  5. 5. Attackers either: Want something you have, or Want to extort money from you by taking what you have, or Want to attack others by using what you have.
  6. 6. Two kinds of risk: Sensitive Information Breached Systems Attacked Image by Setreset (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
  7. 7. Data Sensitivity must be assessed: High - Medium - Low Risk to organization vs risk to clients, etc. Labor/time to reproduce Security policies should be based on these assessments Image by Friedrich Graf, via Wikimedia Commons
  8. 8. Cloud Computing
  9. 9. Core Cloud Considerations: Established cloud services might offer higher data security than you can How many certified IT Security Specialists do you have on staff, compared to Google or Microsoft? But also have low accountability for confidentiality Vendor might give data in response to subpoenas that you wouldn’t
  10. 10. Cost concerns: Moves software from capital to expense Subscriptions cost more than maintenance renewals, but are possibly offset by infrastructure and support savings Huge benefits for remote access
  11. 11. Contracting Tips: Make sure that you backup your data locally and are able to access it if a cloud vendor goes out of business Clearly delineate duties Never agree to termination fees [Image: “The Land of Contracts” by David Anthony Colarusso]
  12. 12. Cyber Insurance
  13. 13. As of 2013, 35 insurers covered this1. Now many more do. Third party and first party offerings Costs vary widely, as do items covered (shop around!) About Cyber-Insurance 1. Resources/Alerts/2013/12/A-Nonprofit-Buyers-Guide-to- Cyber-Insurance.aspx
  14. 14. Third Party Coverage Litigation Costs Regulatory Expenses Notification Costs Crisis Management PR
  15. 15. First Party Coverage Theft and Fraud Forensic Investigation Business Interruption Data Loss and Restoration Photo by Jon Crel
  16. 16. Passwords aren’t secure. Any password can be deciphered Any network can be hacked The old rules about password safety are invalid Image by nikcname
  17. 17. But passwords are still critical. Strong passwords: Long phrases are better than words Upper case letters, lower case letters, numerals, punctuation, spaces. Not too difficult to remember - or Stored in a Password Manager Subject to two-factor authentication Unique across systems
  18. 18. New Thinking on Passwords Changing the password regularly is not as important as changing it after a breach. Fingerprint readers and other physical alternatives are only secure if they aren’t compromised - a fingerprint can’t easily be changed. Password Managers are necessary.
  19. 19. Dual Factor Authentication AKA “Two Factor Authentication” “2FA” Insures that a hacker with your password can’t access your account Multiple methods: text, phone, email, fob, or app Home and work PCs can be trusted Image by Brian Ronald
  20. 20. Password Managers Only one password to memorize Fills in passwords across computers and devices Generates secure passwords The best include breach alerts and security checks
  21. 21. Mobile Image by HLundgaard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  22. 22. Core Mobile Considerations Business data on mobile devices is not subject to network security measures Mobile devices are easily lost or stolen Public WiFi networks are often insecure Malicious apps surreptitiously copy private information from mobile devices Image by Alan Levine
  23. 23. Security Measures Screen Locks Passcodes are safer than patterns Fingerprint, facial recognition only good if phone isn’t hacked. Encryption (SSL Anywhere) Two Factor Authentication Hotspots (as opposed to public WiFi)
  24. 24. Mobile Device Management Software Mobile Device Management Systems (MDMs) offer a degree of security for mobile devices. With them, you can Remotely wipe data Track devices Remotely install/remove applications Block application installs Enforce security options
  25. 25. Policies and Education Key to safely letting staff work with company data (email, documents, etc.) on mobile devices is solid policies and user education. The best security in the world won’t protect you if staff don’t know how to protect passwords and detect scams. Policies should be sensible and not so prohibitive that staff are compelled to work around them.
  26. 26. Network Security
  27. 27. Office Security If you have IT staff, you likely have these things in place Firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spam and other standard security tools can only protect what passes through them Mobile devices, USB drives and other portable media can bypass security Servers open to the public (web servers, remote access, client-facing applications) are at greatest risk. Photo by Ilya Sedhyk
  28. 28. Monitoring and Perimeter Testing It’s important to have software that monitors the systems and alerts IT staff in case of hardware issues or attacks. Investigations might be critical in case of a breach. Perimeter Testing should be done regularly to identify security issues. Pricing varies widely on this service Find best mix of pricing/frequency Can be a requirement/cost offset for cyber-insurance
  29. 29. Ransomware PC and/or server drives are encrypted and data inaccessible until a ransom is paid to hacker Triggered by links in emails or infected media (such as flash drives) Protection: Backup to cloud or alternate media Spam and virus filtering User education! Avoidance:
  30. 30. Contact Peter Campbell, CIO, LSC 202-295-1685 @peterscampbell Session Eval: