The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 79 Show Notes – K12 Cybersecurity

56 days.

That’s how many days have passed since we officially closed our (physical) offices at FRSecure and SecurityStudio. The date was March 16th, 2020, and it’s a common closure date for many organizations. It’s crazy, but I hardly remember the month of April or the first week and a half of May! I’ve either lost context, or I’m losing it in a big way. These are times like no other.

This thought about context got me thinking about how it applies to our work as information security professionals. I believe one of the biggest tells about good or bad information security leadership is the ability or inability to put risk into context. I think there’s a whole series of podcasts we could do on this topic focusing on how we can help people understand context better. The better we understand context, the better our information security decisions will be. Maybe we’ll start tackling this in a series of podcasts, starting with episode 80 next week.

This week, we’ve got a slightly different topic.

Today, in episode 79, we’re going to focus our attention on a recent report from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) titled “The State of Edtech Leadership in 2020“. There’s some really good information in this report, and kudos to CoSN for pulling it together!

Let’s just get to it, episode 79 show notes below…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 79

Date: Monday, May 11th, 2020

Episode 79 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up (as per usual)
  • The State of Edtech Leadership in 2020
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Hey everyone! Welcome to the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 79, the date is May 11th, 2020, and I’m Evan Francen. With me today is my co-host, Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad!

[Brad] Brad’ll say good morning I bet. He’s a super nice guy like that! 

[Evan] We’ve got a good show planned today! You and I both love helping people, and I think we’re covering some things in this episode that should help all our listeners. Before we get too deep though, let’s catch up. It’s what we do! How you doing and what’s new Brad?

Catching Up

Quick discussion about COVID-19, life, and other stuff.

The State of Edtech Leadership in 2020

[Evan] Like you Brad, I get asked a lot for my opinion about this or that in information security. If the question I get is focused, it’s easier to provide a quick answer, but when a question is vague or open-ended, it takes much longer. This hit home for me this weekend when I was asked to chime in on this article; K-12 Tech Leaders Prioritize Cybersecurity, But Many Underestimate Risks, Survey Says. There’s a lot to unpack here, and a good opinion takes more time.

[Brad] He probably hasn’t read the article yet, but we’ll see…

[Evan] One thought that came to mind when I was asked for my opinion was the concept of context. Anything taken out of context can be made to look anyway we want, good, bad, and/or anything in between. When I read the article, one statement stood out right away:

fewer than 20 percent marked any items on a list of cybersecurity threats as “high-risk” from their perspective

[Evan] What caught my attention were the words “from their perspective”. Questions popped into my head. How do Edtech leaders define “cybersecurity”? What’s on their list of “cybersecurity threats”? What’s “high-risk”? This is a can of worms.

The following are key quotes directly from the CoSN report.

Cybersecurity remains the number one technology priority for IT Leaders, yet the threat is generally underestimated.

For the third straight year, cybersecurity has ranked as the top priority. When it comes to maintaining network security, 69% of districts say they are proactive or very proactive – up significantly over last year’s 52%. Districts employ a variety of strategies to minimize risk, including the vast majority in which IT staff training is a top practice and a majority requiring teachers and principals to receive training as well. Despite concerns, the survey also found that less than a fifth of respondents (18%) have a dedicated full-time employee (FTE) whose sole job is cybersecurity. IT Leaders feel phishing scams pose the greatest risk to network security, with almost half (49%) rating them medium/high risk to high risk. Despite this, results also showed an overall trend to underestimate risk—less than a fifth of respondents considered any specific threat as high risk. This runs counter to the reality that school systems are being specifically targeted by cybercriminals with reported cyber incidents tripling in one year.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds both promise and peril for IT Leaders.

The majority (55%) of IT Leaders anticipate that of the emerging technologies, AI will play a significant or transformational role in teaching and learning over the next five years. However, AI also poses concerns, with privacy being the biggest. Before AI becomes adopted at scale and can deliver on its promise, privacy issues will need to be addressed.

The top three challenges persist: budget, professional development, and department silos.

These three areas have been vexing IT Leaders since 2017. While budget is often beyond district control and directly affects professional development, it is within districts’ abilities to address the existence of silos. As outlined in CoSN’s “Digital Leap Success Matrix,” cross-functional executive team leadership is integral to the development of a successful digital learning environment. Until the executive leadership breaks down the silos, IT Leaders will continue to face difficulty in achieving their district’s own technology goals.

Other items from the report

Page 14:

Districts without a dedicated person on staff use a variety of methods to monitor network security. The most common approach is sharing the responsibility across several jobs (46%) followed by incorporating network security monitoring as part of another job (30%). Outsourcing is used by 11% of respondents. A concerning 10% of respondents have an ad hoc approach and do not have anyone assigned to monitoring their district’s network security. A makeshift approach to addressing cybersecurity is one reason why “school districts are proving to be particularly enticing to hackers.”

Page 15:

When it comes to maintaining network security, 69% of districts say they are proactive or very proactive. This represents a significant increase over the prior year’s 52%. Only 13% describe their activity as reactive or very reactive, a decrease from 23% the prior year. These year-over-year results indicate that districts are highly aware of increased network attacks in K-12 environments and are increasing efforts to thwart them. It is likely that lack of resources, not lack of awareness, is responsible for the 13% described as reactive/very reactive. As one respondent lamented: How is our small district able to fend off a multitude of possible cyber threats with the staff we have?

When asked to rate their perception of various risks to network security, respondents did not make significant distinctions between threat types. The largest segment fell into the Medium risk range—low/medium, medium, high/medium. With 49% rating it medium/high risk or high risk, phishing was deemed the greatest risk. It is surprising more did not consider it a greater risk. Phishing attacks have reached the “highest level in three years” with more than two-thirds of all phishing sites using SSL protection. With SSL decreasing as a reliable indicator of security, risks increase for users unable to spot phishing sites. Less than a third (31%) of respondents perceive ransomware attacks as medium/high riisk or high risk. This risk level assessment is also likely lower than it should be as the FBI is reporting ransomware schemes are being specifically designed to target public schools.8 With less than a fifth of respondents rating any threat as high risk (phishing received the most with 16%), threats overall appear underrated. Only 5% assessed student data to be at high risk, yet, according the most recent data on reported K-12 cybersecurity incidents, “the most frequently experienced type of school-related cyber incident…..were data breaches, primarily involving the unauthorized disclosure of student data.” With the number of reported K-12 cybersecurity incidents rising—nearly triple from 2018 to 201910—perceptions in perceived risks should start to realign more closely with reality.

[Evan] No doubt, we have a lot of work to do in K-12. It’s our obligation to do everything we can to help. Check out SecurityStudio’s free resources and do a holistic information security risk assessment like the S2School we developed earlier this year. Put information security risk into perspective and make much better choices.

News

[Evan] Alright. Good talk. Thanks Brad! Let’s cover a couple of interesting news stories before we wrap this up. Here are a couple stories that caught my attention:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] Sheesh! Lots of stuff. Well, that’s it for episode 79. Brad, you have any shoutouts?

[Brad] Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t…

[Evan] Here’s mine…

[Evan] Seriously, a huge thank you to our listeners! We love your encouragement and we don’t take your advice lightly. You’re all great! Keep the questions and feedback coming. Send things to us by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Have a great week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 73 Show Notes – COVID-19 IR

Hope you and your loved ones are well! We can’t understate the importance of physical, mental, and spiritual health, especially in times like these.

If you missed last week’s show notes or episode 72 of the UNSECURITY Podcast, there’s some pretty good stuff there.

Episode 73 Topics

Topics for episode 73 of the UNSECURITY Podcast include:

  • Opening
  • Catching Up 
    • The first full week with a closed office.
    • Staying sane and healthy at home.
  • COVID-19 Affects on Information Security (some of them)
    • Introducing our special guest, FRSecure’s Director of Technical Solutions and Services
    • Incident Response During COVID-19
      • Current Events/Incidents
      • FRSecure’s IR Risk Registration (what is it and why would I consider it?)
    • COVID-19 Scams and Attacks
      • What have we seen?
      • What are we planning for?
    • Physical Security Considerations
  • The Daily inSANITY Check-in
  • FRSecure CISSP Mentor Program Update
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs

You can find the full show notes near the bottom of this post. Before getting there, I need to get some thoughts out.

Thoughts

It’s been 13 days since FRSecure and SecurityStudio closed their offices. All of us are still around and working, but it’s crazy how much life has changed. Personally, I’m still struggling to make sense of things and I’m mulling over COVID-19 data almost obsessively. The COVID-19 scoreboards plastered everywhere don’t help. On one hand, I like being informed. On the other, I’m tired of tracking the number of infections and deaths.

As I write this, there are 140,164 infections in the United States and 2,476 deaths. What does this mean in the context of everything else? How do I make sense of these numbers? Here’s one attempt:

What does a “normal” 30 days look like in the U.S. for deaths/mortality? According to the CDC, there were nearly 3,000,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2018 (the latest data available). Using this data, here are the number of people who died within an average 30 day window:

  • 53,867 from heart disease (the top killer in the U.S. with 655,381 deaths)
  • 49,255 from cancer (#2 – 599,274 deaths)
  • 13,736 from accidents/unintentional injuries (#3 – 167,127 deaths)
  • 10,029 from Alzheimer’s Disease (#6 – 122,019 deaths)
  • 3,973 from suicide (#10 – 48,344 deaths)

Compare these numbers to where we’re at now with COVID-19. I’m NOT at all minimizing the impact of COVID-19. I’m trying to make sense. I know the number of infected people and deaths will rise significantly over the coming weeks/months, and sadly, we’re in for more terrible news. I’m trying to understand what the numbers mean in the context of other things that aren’t as foreign to me.

A single sick person and/or a single death is sad enough, let alone thousands.

OK. Got that off my chest. Lots and lots of great things going on at FRSecure and SecurityStudio. The best place to keep up with them right now is probably on social media:

Let’s get to the show notes now!


SHOW NOTES – Episode 73

Date: Monday, March 30th, 2020

Show Topics:

  • Opening
  • Catching Up 
    • The first full week with a closed office.
    • Staying sane and healthy at home.
  • COVID-19 Affects on Information Security (some of them)
    • Introducing our special guest, FRSecure’s Director of Technical Solutions and Services
    • Incident Response During COVID-19
      • Current Events/Incidents
      • FRSecure’s IR Risk Registration (what is it and why would I consider it?)
    • COVID-19 Scams and Attacks
      • What have we seen?
      • What are we planning for?
    • Physical Security Considerations
  • The Daily inSANITY Check-in
  • FRSecure CISSP Mentor Program Update
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

NOTE: The show notes were written by me (Evan), but Brad’s leading this episode.

[Brad] Hello listeners, this is another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. My name is Brad Nigh, this is episode 73, and the date is March 30th, 2020. Joining me is my co-host Evan Francen. Good morning Evan.

[Evan] Good morning Brad!

[Brad] Also joining us for the show is our special guest and FRSecure’s Director of Technical Solutions and Services, Oscar Minks. Good morning Oscar!

[Oscar] Says good morning or something with his cool southern accent.

[Brad] We’ve got lots to talk about! As is our custom, let’s get started by catching up quick.

Catching Up

Topics here include how we’re coping with COVID-19, the first full week with a closed office, and staying sane (and healthy) at home. Brad found a really good video online; Covid-19 Protecting Your Family, Dr. Dave Price

[Brad] Here’s a can of worms (maybe). Let’s talk about some of the effects that COVID-19 has on what we do. Some of the effects on information security, starting with incident response and physical security. We already mentioned that we’ve got our special guest Oscar Minks here. He’s got some good insights to share, and this should be a good discussion.

Discussion – COVID-19 Affects on Information Security (some of them)
  • Introducing our special guest (again), FRSecure’s Director of Technical Solutions and Services
  • Incident Response During COVID-19
    • Current Events/Incidents
    • FRSecure’s IR Risk Registration (what is it and why would I consider it?)
  • COVID-19 Scams and Attacks
    • What have we seen?
    • What are we planning for?
  • Physical Security Considerations

[Brad] Sadly, the frequency of scams and attacks only increases during times of distress. It’s important that we keep our eye on the ball and not compound our problems with an information security lapse.

OK, switching gears now. Some people are struggling right now. Struggling with making sense of things, struggling with employment, struggling with anxiety, or struggling with any number of things. We started this thing called the Daily inSANITY Check-in last week. Evan, tell the listeners about this thing.

Daily inSANITY Check-in Discussion

The purpose of the Daily inSANITY Check-in is to provide a safe place for people to discuss current events, information security things, challenges we’re facing, or whatever else comes to mind. The check-ins are short (30- to- 60-minute) daily meetings with discussion. People are always free to come and go as they please.

[Brad] The Daily inSANITY Check-in is just one place to get support out of many within our community. The point is to find help when you need it and to help people where you can. It’s cool to see so many people rally and help.

FRSecure CISSP Mentor Program Update

[Brad] Real quick, we made an announcement last week about the FRSecure CISSP Mentor Program. We’re happy to say that we are still going through with this year’s class! The only change is that we have cancelled the in-person portion of the program. As of last Monday, the 23rd, we have 1,007 registered students! That’s crazy! Oh, and I should mention, if you haven’t registered yet, registration is still open.

Wrapping Up

[Brad] No news this week because we had so many other things to talk about. Two last things to mention:

  • Our pal Ryan Cloutier, aka “Cola” just wrapped up the second episode of his K12 Cybersecurity Podcast. It’s a great podcast and you should give it a listen!
  • A shout out to one of our regular listeners, Olga Hoogendoorn – Startseva. Evan promised to give her a shout out because she’s pretty awesome!

Well, that’s it for this week. Plenty going on and lots to do.

Thank you for listening. We’re a couple of guys who really care about you. We’re hoping you all stay healthy and sane! We love hearing from you, so if you’ve got something to say, email us at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you would rather do the whole social thing, we tweet like that. I’m @BradNigh, and this other guy is @evanfrancen. Also, don’t forget to check out @studiosecurity and @FRSecure. They post some good things! Let us know how we can help you!

That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 72 Show Notes – COVID-19

Hi everyone. We’re hoping and praying for everyone’s health and mental well-being right now. Take care of what really matters, yourself and your loved ones.

Episode 72 of the UNSECURITY Podcast will be dedicated to continued discussion about COVID-19 and what the pandemic means, in our daily lives and in our vocation as information security people. It’s the topic on everyone’s mind, so to not talk about it seems a little tone deaf.

Before we get to the show notes (below), I’d like to highlight a few things going on around here.

One Word

What one word would you use to describe your past week? If you’re a Twitterer, let us know by tweeting your word with the hashtag #UNSECURITYoneword. Be sure to include us (@evanfrancen and @bradnigh) in the conversation.

Not Adjusted Yet

Not sure about you, but I haven’t adjusted yet. I’m an introvert, so I was expecting to thrive in isolation. I was wrong (for now). I was surprised to learn how much personal interaction really means to me.

Everything seemed different this past week and I was definitely a little off my game. I had trouble focusing on tasks and struggled with processing events occurring all around me. Nothing made sense at times.

On Tuesday (3/17) we (FRSecure and SecurityStudio) closed the offices, and by the next day, almost everyone was online and functionally working from home. Since there was nobody at the office, I decided to work from there.

The empty office was quiet. Too quiet. The quiet forced me to realize how social we are in our office. Every (normal) day is like a family get together. A family get together where everybody actually likes each other.

In a quiet office there are no dumb office jokes. No laughter. No smiles. No fist bumps. A quiet office is just filled with empty. Our office was filled with empty and me. It was a eerie and it was lonely.

I’m assuming the adjustment will just take time. Between now and then, let’s all keep our head up and look for ways to help others. Helping others can be a great coping mechanism!

The Pledge

Also on Tuesday, I wrote a pledge and posted it on LinkedIn. This pledge is one that I plan to live by, especially now.

My pledge:

  • I will NOT panic.
  • I will NOT give in to fear.
  • I WILL think things through.
  • I WILL make prudent decisions based upon the best (non-biased) information available.
  • I WILL be the person I’ve always been and learn to be better.
  • I WILL help my fellow humans whenever and however I can, putting my family first.
  • I will NOT use this (or anything else) to take advantage of people, and
  • I will NEVER put someone in danger if I can help it.

coronavirus panic fear think prudence decisions learning helpingpeople

What Else

We did a lot this past week.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Information Security Webinar(s)

In the midst of the chaos, we decided to put together a last minute webinar for Wednesday (3/18) afternoon.  Our motivation for the webinar was to help people and bring calm to the storm. Despite last minute arrangements and everything else going on, we had ~250 people come to the first session. Participation and interaction was more than we expected! There were many unanswered questions after the first session, so we decided to do a second session on Friday (3/20).

The topics we discussed were:

  • Introductions.
  • Before we get started.
    • #1 – The current state of affairs.
    • #2 – My pledge.
    • #3 – FRSecure Open Letter.
    • #4 – Ideas we’re kicking around.
  • Topics:
    • What is the impact of COVID-19 on information security?
    • How to securely shift employees to remote work during social distancing.
    • Some of the current social engineering scams around COVID-19 and how to avoid them.
    • How to create or adjust your business’s disaster recovery plan.
  • Where to go if/when you need help.

I’ve posted a copy of the presentation online for everyone.

Virtual Happy Hours

Our team started doing virtual happy hours on Thursday. Every organization should do these! We all get into an online Zoom meeting and hangout for a while. We share. We laugh. We joke. We smile. We love. These are amazing experiences that are healthy and good for the soul.

I prefer to sit and listen most of the time. Just taking it in. The sounds of my team laughing, their smiles, their dumb jokes (like really dumb), and sharing our day together are beyond magical. The joy these guys bring to my day is the best way to end it!

The Daily inSANITY Check-in

Nobody has this thing figured out and nobody has it all together.

We want to help, so we’re starting the Daily inSANITY Check-in webinar series. The purpose of the Daily inSANITY Check-in is to provide a safe place for people to discuss current events, information security things, challenges we’re facing, or whatever else comes to mind. The check-ins are short (30- to- 60-minute) daily meetings with discussion. People are always free to come and go as they please.

This is new, and we’re just getting started. Don’t expect all the kinks to be worked out day one. Visit the registration page for the full description and to signup.

K12 Cybersecurity Podcast

Good news! Our buddy Ryan Cloutier just released the first episode of the K12 Cybersecurity Podcast. His first episode is awesome! It’s so much better than our first UNSECURITY Podcast. In this episode, Ryan’s special guest is Amy McLaughlin. Amy is the Information Services Director at Oregon State University and cybersecurity project director for the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

This was a timely and well done episode. I recommend you subscribe to Ryan’s K12 Cybersecurity Podcast and get ready for more great content!

Pretty sure I forgot something, but that’s all for now. Let’s do a podcast (or something)!


SHOW NOTES – Episode 72

Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Show Topics:

  • Opening
    • The week that was.
    • The week that is to come.
  • COVID-19
    • Priorities, and where does information security fit?
      • Mental and Physical Health
      • Yourself and Your Loved Ones
      • Business – Survival
    • The Bass and The Barracuda
      • Don’t be a bass. Be a barracuda.

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Opening

[Evan] Hello listeners, this is another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. My name is Evan Francen, this is episode 72, and the date is March 23rd, 2020. Joining me in studio is my buddy Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad!

[Brad] If it’s a good morning for Brad, we’ll know by how he responds.

[Evan] Last week was nuts. You and I hardly had a chance to connect with all that’s going on, so we’re a little out of sorts. This would normally be your week to lead the podcast, but since we didn’t really connect, I’m hosting again. Hope that’s OK.

[Brad] He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s probably OK with this.

[Evan] We’ve got a lot to talk about this week. Top of mind or course is COVID-19 and what the pandemic is doing to our daily lives. Sort of hard to talk about much else right now, right?

[Brad] He might agree.

[Evan] Last week was crazy. Let’s talk about the week that was and then talk a little about what’s coming this week.

Catching Up Discussion

Discussing last week’s events and what we’re expecting this week.

[Evan] Alright, there has never been anything in my lifetime that’s been as disruptive as the COVID-19 pandemic. I sort of feel like we’d be tone deaf if we didn’t keep up the conversation.

COVID-19 Discussion

Our topics this week include:

  • Priorities, and where does information security fit?
    • Mental and Physical Health
    • Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones
    • Business – Survival
  • The Bass and The Barracuda
  • Another plug for S2Me.
  • Next Week:
    • Maybe a guest; it’s been a while.
    • What happens on the other side?
    • Daily inSANITY Check-in Update
    • What we’re doing to help.

[Evan] The world has hardly seemed any crazier than it is today. Do all you can to maintain (or restore) your health. Good talk. Now let’s get to some non-COVID-19-related news.

News

[Evan] Alright, let’s talk about a non-coronavirus story (or two or three). Remember, attacks aren’t going to stop. In fact, they are increasing and are expected to continue to increase. Don’t ever put anything past or too low for the lowest among us.

Here’s two news stories to consider this week:

Closing

[Evan] There you have it. Episode 72. Thank you for listening. We’re wishing everything health and sanity! Remember, we love hearing from you. If you’ve got something to say, email us at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you would rather do the whole social thing, we tweet like that. I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. Check out @studiosecurity and @FRSecure frequently. They’re always posting good things!

Be safe. That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 71 Show Notes – Coronavirus

My good friends Brad and Ryan recorded episode 70 last week, and the topic was voting machine security. If you missed it, go check it out. Kudos to those guys, the show was great!

The Twilight Zone

Crazy. Life over the course of the last week was like an episode right out of Twilight Zone.

I was on vacation last week, taking a planned seven day cruise out of Long Beach, California. Cruises are a great vacation option for anyone who wants to disconnect from the world for a while. Connectivity on a boat is terrible, so why bother trying?

Never in my life has the world changed so much in a week.

When we flew out of Minneapolis on Friday (3/6) morning, the world seemed sort of normal. Sure, there was an increased awareness of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but fear and panic appeared to be in check. Our collective awareness led to more people washing their hands, more people covering their mouths when they coughed or sneezed, and more use of various sanitizers. Occasionally, I’d run into someone wearing a surgical mask, but it wasn’t alarming or all that unusual.

The Cruise

We left the hotel for the cruise terminal on Saturday (3/7) around noon. As we got closer, we got our first glimpse of Carnival’s newest ship, the Panorama, and the excitement started to build. Seven days of sun and much needed rest. Something seemed off though. When we pulled up, we noticed there were hundreds of people just standing around with their bags. Nobody from the previous cruise was being allowed off the ship for some reason. Rumors were spreading and things were getting weird. After an hour or so, Carnival sent this message:

Thank you for your patience. Debarkation remains suspended pending medical test results for a guest who was on board last weeks cruise. Results are expected sometime after 6PM. Please do not proceed to the cruise terminal as the parking garage is full. We apologize for this delay and will provide an update in two hours.

Next, the news media started arriving in troves. Within minutes, news stories were already been published.

Carnival didn’t cancel our cruise, so we spent the night at the Long Beach Airport Hampton Inn, and went back to the cruise terminal on Sunday (3/8) morning. All the cruisers from the previous cruise had left, and we were permitted to board. Embarkation went off without a hitch, and before we knew it, we had arrived!

Our cruise was cut from seven days to six, and our originally planned visit to Mazatlan was cancelled. No matter, we were (and are) grateful for everything! Some people were mad, but what the hell?! One day in the sun is better than none! Even if they would have cancelled the cruise altogether, we would have been grateful.

This started the six days of limited (or no) connectivity for us. Almost like we were cut off from the world for a while.

Back on Land

On Saturday (3/14), we arrived back in Long Beach. The hot topic on the ship was all the chaos that the coronavirus (and media) had caused. We got connectivity again, and whoa! You’d think the world had lost its mind. Every news channel was dominated by the coronavirus. Seemed like bad news was everywhere and we’d stepped into an apocalyptic Twilight Zone episode.

What happened over the past six days?! Is the world ending? No, it’s not, despite what you might think from reading the news.

Store shelves are bare, there’s no toilet paper to be found, people are standing in long lines to buy everyday goods, people are physically assaulting each other over innocent items like sanitizing wipes, the NCAA cancelled the men’s and women’s national basketball tournaments, the NBA season is postponed (or cancelled), the NHL season is postponed (or cancelled), schools are closed, Disneyland and Disneyworld are closed, flights are cancelled between the United States and dozens of other countries, conferences and concerts are being cancelled, etc., etc.

Reality

Did thousands, or God-forbid, millions of people die while we were away on this six-day cruise? No, not really.

By the end of the day on Saturday (3/14), there were 3,043 confirmed infections in the United States and 60 deaths. Every single illness and every single death is significant, especially to loved ones, but are these numbers that should cause panic? There are some 329,000,000 people in the United States. Using rough math, the infection rate in the United States has grown to .000925% and the mortality rate for those who are infected (meaning those who were infected and died) is 1.9%. This means that one in every 108,000 people has become infected, and even if you were infected, you stand a 98.1% chance of surviving.

The math is good, but the inputs are extremely variable. These numbers are going to change, I know. If we don’t take action now, the numbers will be much worse than they should/could be, I know this too.

I’m not making any sort of case against taking proper precautions. Things like social distancing, cancelling group gatherings, and all of the (common sense, or should be common sense) sanitary measures like hand washing, mouth covering, etc., are prudent things to do. What’s wrong is the panic! People need to think and stop the panic.

We deal with panic on a much smaller and less significant scale every time we help a client through a troubling event or incident. In these cases, we always confront panic with facts. Panic is always bad. Panic makes things worse. Panic is NOT good for you. Panic makes you more susceptible to harm and opens you up to making poor decisions.

  • For those who are using this pandemic and panic to profit off other people – You suck and your actions are despicable.
  • For those who are using this pandemic and panic for political gain at the expense of others – You suck. Learn some decorum, stop dividing and start uniting. There’s a time for politics and responding to a pandemic is not one of those times.
  • For those who are not taking this seriously by taking proper and prudent precautions – You also suck and you’re putting others at unnecessary risk.

We are all in this together, and we all need to work together.

Seriously, don’t panic!

What does all this have to do with the UNSECURITY Podcast?

Lots! There are significant information security implications related to the coronavirus pandemic and the panic that has come from it. All of this is going to be our base for conversation in this episode.

On to the actual notes now…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 71

Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Show Topics:

  • OpeningCatching up.
  • CoronavirusWhat’s happened?
    • What are we doing?
    • Information security implications
    • Business continuity, disaster recovery, and pandemic planning.
    • How does working from home affect information security?
    • What are the most important precautions?
    • If you haven’t planned well, it’s not too late.
    • How you can use S2Me and S2Team to make better choices.
  • News (non-coronavirus)
Opening

[Evan] Hello listeners, this is another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. My name is Evan Francen, this is episode 71, and the date is March 16th, 2020. Joining me in studio is my buddy Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad!

[Brad] If it’s a good morning for Brad, we’ll know by how he responds.

[Evan] It’s good to be back. What the heck happened while I was out?

Catching Up

[Evan] Did you happen to read my Twilight Zone reference about what it was like to be gone for a week, then to come back to what seemed like utter chaos?

[Brad] Of course he did. Brad’s good at preparation and stuff.

[Evan] Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that coronavirus is a pandemic. Nothing has been the same since. Let’s discuss some facts, our opinions, and give some advice to our listeners, based upon our own information security experience.

Coronavirus Discussion

IMPORTANT: Get your priorities straight; God, family, friends, work, etc., but don’t let your guard down. Attacks always increase in frequency during major events. Attackers know that many people are preoccupied mentally and physically, and they won’t/don’t hesitate to take advantage of the situation.

Be as vigilant with information security as you always have. In fact, be more vigilant than ever!

We’ll address all this (and probably more):

  • What’s happened?
  • What are we doing?
  • Information security implications
  • Business continuity, disaster recovery, and pandemic planning.
  • How does working from home affect information security?
  • What are the most important precautions?
  • If you haven’t planned well, it’s not too late.
  • How you can use S2Me and S2Team to make better choices.

[Evan] Thanks for sharing and thank you for the great discussion! To wrap this up, I’d like to highlight two online discussions that I had the other day about coronavirus on Twitter. The first started with a question posed by a Twitter user:

Twitter User: So how are you talking to your children about the pandemic?

A good question for sure. My answer:

Me; I’m telling them to wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, and to be kind to others. Like I always have. I also tell them the world is a wonderful but dangerous place. They’ll be OK.

The other discussion also happened on Twitter. This Twitter user was calling for us (U.S. citizens) to vote everyone out of office because of the coronavirus (and probably their response). In this exchange, I responded with a question:

Did we have the same reaction with H1N1 that infected more than 59 million Americans and killed more than 12,000? It was only 10(ish) years ago.

Rather than engage in a discussion, this Twitter user blocked me. 🙁 I didn’t think my question was offensive. It certainly wasn’t meant to be. Maybe this Twitter user was more motivated by politics than any sort of constructive conversation. Sadly, politics get in the way of working together for solutions. Please don’t be like this Twitter user!

News

[Evan] Alright, let’s talk about a non-coronavirus story (or two). Remember, attacks aren’t going to stop because you’ve self-quarantined. Quite the opposite is true, sadly. Here’s two news stories to consider this week:

Closing

[Evan] There you have it. Episode 71. It’s good to be home. Let’s hope and pray for a good week with some sanity. Thank you to our listeners, we love hearing from you. If you’ve got something to say, email us at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you would rather do the whole social thing, we tweet like that. I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. Check out @studiosecurity and @FRSecure frequently. They’re always posting good things!

Both Brad and I are praying for health for you and your family. Please don’t panic, and make good decisions.

That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 69 Show Notes – Who does what?

After last week’s BSOD on Brad’s laptop…

We were 50+ minutes into last week’s podcast when Windows said no more. The operating system crash brought episode 68 to a dead halt before we had a chance to cover the last part of our Roles and Responsibilities series. So, instead of two parts, we’re doing three. This is how it all worked out:

I’m excited about this episode because it hits close to home. It should hit close to home with everyone!

RSA Conference

We’ll also talk about last week’s RSA Conference in this show. SecurityStudio sent seven people to the conference this year, and here are some highlights we will discuss:

  • The theme for the conference this year was “Human Element”.

  • Roughly 36,000 attendees this year.
  • San Francisco’s State of Emergency, mid-conference
  • The money grab was alive and well (literally).

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  • SecurityStudio’s first appearance as a sponsor.

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    • Gave away 1,000 free, signed copies of UNSECURITY.

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    • We became known as counterculture (which was super cool).
    • The theme “Mission before $” was born and etched onto each book.
    • We made (at least) 961 new friends.

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Overall, the RSA Conference was a great experience for everyone and a huge success for SecurityStudio.

On to this week’s show notes…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 69

Date: Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Show Topics:

Our topics this week:

  • Opening
    • What’s up?
    • One thing.
  • RSA Conference
  • Information Security Roles and Responsibilities (Part 3 of 3)
    • Last week, quick recap of roles and responsibilities (at work).
    • People are creatures of habit.
    • SIMPLIFY – What are things we can do?
    • At home:
      • Information security, privacy, and safety cannot be separated.
      • Parent
      • Spouse
      • Children
    • What should every “normal” person know about information security?
    • The importance of definition, formality, and communication.
  • News
Opening

[Evan] Hi again UNSECURITY podcast listeners! My name is Evan Francen and this is episode 69. The date is March 2nd, 2020. Joining me in studio is my co-host, Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad!

[Brad] Rumor has it, he’s been working hard on some IR work. Let’s see if he’s in the mood to talk this morning.

[Evan] It’s great to be back in the office and good to be here. We have a really good show for our listeners this week, but before we dive in, let’s catch up. Brad, tell me about your week.

Catching up

Some back and forth happens here.

[Evan] I’m behind on just about everything. Hoping for a good catch-up week!

RSA Conference

[Evan] So, there was this RSA Conference thingy last week. Let’s talk about it.

RSA Conference discussion. What we learned and what we wish we hadn’t.

[Evan] We’ll invite some of the interesting people from RSA to join us a future guests.

Information Security Roles and Responsibilities (Part 3 of 3) – Micro Level (at home)

[Evan] OK. So last week, we had a nice visit from the BSOD genie. Probably a good thing because we were going sort of long anyway. We originally planned two episode for Roles and Responsibilities, but instead we’ve got three now. No big deal. I’m looking forward to this talk with you Brad! What do you think about the series thus far?

[Brad] His opinions…

Last week, quick recap of roles and responsibilities (at work).

[Evan] We’ve talked about roles and responsibilities at a macro level and we’ve talked about roles and responsibilities within an organization. Now, let’s talk about roles and responsibilities at home. I know that you and I both are very conscious of information security at home.

Roles and Responsibilities at Home:

  • People are creatures of habit.
  • SIMPLIFY – What are things we can do?
  • Information security, privacy, and safety cannot be separated.
  • Roles
    • Parent
    • Spouse
    • Children
  • What should every “normal” person know about information security?
  • The importance of definition, formality, and communication.

[Evan] Great conversation. These things will all be covered in our book, and I’m really looking forward to finishing it with you. This book could help tons of people! Alright, as usual, let’s get to some news.

News

[Evan] Here’s what we’ve got for news this week:

Bonus, maybe a future episode; This breast cancer advocate says she discovered a Facebook flaw that put the health data of millions at riskhttps://www.cnn.com/2020/02/29/health/andrea-downing-facebook-data-breach-wellness-trnd/index.html

Closing

[Evan] There you have it. Episode 69. It’s good to be home this week.

[Evan] Thank you to our listeners, we love hearing from you. If you’ve got something to say, email us at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you would rather do the whole social thing, we tweet sometimes. I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. Check out @studiosecurity and @FRSecure frequently. They’re always posting good things! Is FRSecure out at SecureWorld North Carolina this week? Lots going on and lots of chatter!

That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 68 Show Notes – Who does what?

Trying to get back to posting show notes on Fridays. We’ll see…

The Week

It’s been another amazing week at SecurityStudio and FRSecure! I was in the office all week, so I got to see some of the magic first hand. You’d be amazed, truly.

OUR PEOPLE ARE INCREDIBLE! (yes, I shouted that).

Some of the things that come to mind right now:

  • Discussions and meetings with awesome people like Chris Roberts, Steve Hawkins, Mike Johnson, Augustine Doe, Jeremy Swenson, and Devin Harris this week. Each of them is awesome in their own way. Had lots of meetings this week, but these are the ones that stand out right now. Giving them all shout outs. They are wonderful people.
  • Brad’s kickin’ butt on some new service offerings, including a new CMMC readiness assessment. Checked out his executive summary report mock-up, and it’s sweet!
  • One of our analysts, “Ben” (he’s been on the podcast show before) has discovered some (16ish) significant potential/confirmed breaches of data in his research. Learning a ton about responsible disclosure. 😉
  • Lunch with John Harmon, FRSecure’s president on Thursday was incredible. We ate some sweet BBQ and talked strategy. This dude has some great ideas and I’m pumped about what he’s up to!
  • Ryan (“cola”) Cloutier is a machine. Opening doors, making a difference in education (K-12 & higher ed), and taking things global (UK, Australia, APAC, etc.). Letting this guy do his thing.
  • The marketing stuff and coordination for RSA next week is all set, thanks to the leadership of Andy Forsberg. This dude’s got in under control! There are seven SecurityStudio people heading out to RSA next week and we’ve all got brand new blue Nike’s and brand new blue branded T-shirts, not to mention 1,000 books to give away, and all the details. Excited to go have some fun with this group next week! (P.S. I think I got Andy hooked on Rockstar Energy drinks. I’m a bad influence, and I’m sorry.)

I could write something about every person here. The ALL pour their heart and soul into our mission of fixing this broken industry. They ALL understand that information security isn’t about information or security as much as it is about people. There are no words to describe the experience of working on this mission with this amazing group!

Breathe

OK, enough braggin’ for now, we got a podcast to do.

In last week’s show, Brad and I discussed the topic of information security roles and responsibilities at a macro level. We gave our opinions about the role of government, the role of business, the role of schools, etc. This week, we’re going to take the same topic and apply it at a micro level.

This is sure to be a great discussion!


SHOW NOTES – Episode 68

Date: Monday, February 24th, 2020

Show Topics:

Our topics this week:

  • Opening
    • What’s up?
    • One thing.
  • Information Security Roles and Responsibilities (Part 2 of 2)
    • Last week, quick recap of roles and responsibilities at a macro level.
    • The importance of definition, formality, and communication.
    • SIMPLIFY and operationalize.
    • At work:
      • Executive Management
      • CISO (or similar), two jobs.
      • IT
      • Legal
      • Everyone else.
    • At home:
      • Information security, privacy, and safety cannot be separated.
      • Parent
      • Spouse
      • Children
    • What are things we can do to simplify and operationalize?
    • What should every “normal” person know about information security?
  • News
Opening

[Brad] Good morning UNSECURITY podcast listeners! I’m Brad Nigh and this is episode 68. The date is February 24th, 2020. Joining me in studio is my co-host, Brad Nigh. Good morning Evan!

[Evan] Stuff and things…

[Brad] We have a great show planned today. Before we dive in, let’s catch up. Crazy week behind us and another crazy one ahead! What’s going on?

Catching up

Some back and forth happens here.

[Brad] Wow! Alright, let’s shift gears now a little. Last week, we talked about information security roles and responsibilities. Not the most exciting topic, but an absolutely critical one for sure! We’re approaching this topic from two different perspectives, from a macro level and a micro level. Last week was part one, the macro level. This week is part two, the micro level. You ready to get started?

[Evan] For sure.

Information Security Roles and Responsibilities (Part 1 of 2) – Micro Level

[Brad] You mentioned that we’re working on this book together. It’s a book focused on simplifying and operationalizing information security for underserved markets like state/local government, schools (K-12 and higher ed), small businesses, and individuals. Part of all this is understanding who does what, or at least who should be doing what. We started last week with our opinions about the importance of defining roles and responsibilities for governments, businesses, schools, etc. Now, let’s take it down to a more practical level.

We’ll share our opinions this week on the following:

  • How important is it to define, formalize, and communicate information security roles and responsibilities?
  • If we haven’t defined, formalized, or communicated information security roles and responsibilities, where should we start?
  • Why is it important to simplify information security, and how can I do it?
  • What does operationalizing information security look like and how can I accomplish this?
  • Roles and Responsibilities at Work:
    • Executive Management
    • CISO (or similar), two jobs.
    • IT
    • Legal
    • Everyone else.
  • Roles and Responsibilities at Home:
    • Information security, privacy, and safety cannot be separated.
    • Parent
    • Spouse
    • Children
  • What are things we can do to simplify and operationalize information security at home?
  • What should every “normal” person know about information security?

[Brad] Great conversation. We could have taken any one of these subtopics and devoted an entire show to it. I’m really looking forward to finishing this book with you. This book could help tons of people! Alright, as usual, let’s get to some news.

News

[Brad] Here’s what we’ve got for news this week:

Closing

[Brad] There you have it. Episode 68. Good talk today. Got any parting words?

[Evan] It’s a secret.

[Brad] Thank you to our listeners, we love hearing from you. If you’ve got something to say, email us at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you would rather do the whole social thing, we tweet sometimes. I’m @BradNigh and Evan’s @evanfrancen. Be sure to watch social media for news from RSA! SecurityStudio will be tweeting and LinkedInning all week! Check out @studiosecurity frequently. FRSecure’s Twitter handle is @FRSecure, and they’re sure to have some good things too. Especially the week after next when FRSecure is out at SecureWorld North Carolina. Lots going on and lots of chatter!

That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 61 Show Notes – 2020 Look Ahead

Hello 2020! What do you have in store for us?

In last week’s episode, Brad and I discussed some of the crappy things from 2019. It’s no doubt, we’ve got a lot of work to do in this industry. Now, in this episode, we’re going to discuss some of the great things we did this year as an industry, and we’re going to look at what 2020 should have in store for us!

Exciting Announcements

We’re starting 2020 off right, and we have some cool announcements:

  1. Our good friend Ryan Cloutier has joined SecurityStudio!
  2. We’re writing a new book!
  3. I’m in Cancun (I guess this is sorta cool for me)!
Ryan Cloutier

If you’ve been listening to our podcast for a while, you might remember Ryan. He joined us on the show in episode 27, and again in episode 44. Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge, a refreshing perspective, and an unbridled passion for information security , and we’re jacked he’s on board! Ryan will be helping me and the rest of the SecurityStudio team reach K-12, local governments, and whoever else wants to get on board with establishing rock solid information security fundamentals.

New Book

I took off for my annual trip to Cancun yesterday (1/4) to begin writing our next book. This one will be co-written with Brad and probably Ryan too. The book is unofficially titled “Securing America” and it will provide an easy-to-use manual for building fundamental information security programs and habits in the most under-served areas; SMBs, local governments, education (K-12 and post-secondary), and home.

If you haven’t read my first book, I invite you to! You can either purchase it, or if you’re with us on our mission to fix the brokenness in our industry, contact me and tell me so. I’ll send you a free signed copy! P.S. I’m not publicizing this everywhere, so let’s see if your paying attention.

Cancun

Yeah, this is year three for this trip. Year one was spent writing UNSECURITY. Year two was spent starting a book that I shelved (for now) about information security for normal people. This year, I’m starting this book (referenced above) and we’ll publish it sometime in Q3/Q4 of 2020.

We’ll cover these things (above) and some of the good things from 2019 in this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast.

Brad’s leading the show this week, joined in studio by Ryan Cloutier. I’m calling in from Mexico, and these are my notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 61

Date: Monday, January 6th, 2020

Show Topics:

Our topics this week:

  • Opening
    • Exciting News.
    • 2019 in review, some of the good things.
    • What we expect 2020 to bring us.
  • Closing
Opening

[Brad] Welcome to the first UNSECURITY Podcast episode of 2020! We’ve got a jam-packed show for you today. It’s Monday, January 6th, 2020, and I’m Brad Nigh. Joining me in studio is the newest member of our team, Ryan Cloutier. Welcome Ryan!

[Ryan] Ryan does Ryan. Would you expect anything different?

[Brad] Joining us by phone from Cancun, Mexico is my usual co-host, Evan Francen. Hi Evan.

[Evan] I do me.

[Brad] Probably says something about Cancun and how he should be here too, or instead or me. Maybe he’ll ask about the weather, maybe not.

[Brad] Well, let’s get started. We have a ton of stuff to talk about today. Let’s start off by talking about you Ryan. Today is day #1 at SecurityStudio, right?

[Ryan] Says stuff.

Exciting News – Welcoming Ryan

Quick discussion and welcome.

  • Questions that may come up:
    • What will you be doing at SecurityStudio?
    • What made you want to come to SecurityStudio?
    • What are some of the challenges that lie ahead?
  • We’re pumped that Ryan’s onboard, and we’re looking forward to great things!

[Brad] Alright, Evan’s down in Cancun starting another book. He’s getting it started, and rumor has it that I and you (Ryan) will be co-writing this sucker!

Exciting News – Another Book

Quick discussion about this upcoming book.

  • Questions that may come up:
    • What’s the point for this book?
    • Who’s the audience?
    • What’s it like to write a book?
    • When can I get a copy?
  • We’re jazzed about this book because it’s a way to get the word out and make an impact on people’s lives. The fact that it’s going to be a collaboration between the three of us makes it extra exciting!

[Brad] Alright, some cool things to look forward to in 2020 and beyond! Let’s take a quick look back at 2019 and find some positive news. As infosec people, we sometimes get caught up in the bad news, but there are many good things happening.

2019 in Review – Good Things

[Brad] I think I speak for both Ryan and Evan when I say that we love this industry. There’s plenty of brokenness, but the people in this industry are amazing! Evan has a say that he uses a lot; “information security isn’t about information or security as much as it’s about people.” Using this as a segue, what good things happened in 2019 that we can be proud of?

Some things to discuss (in a positive light):

  • Is the information security industry more diverse now than it was at the beginning of 2019?
  • How are the job prospects for information security practitioners?
  • Are people more aware of information security?
  • Are CISOs emerging as real business leaders in greater numbers?
  • Is there improved collaboration among information security professionals?
  • More people are beginning to focus on fundamentals.

[Brad] Let’s focus on progress in 2020 and we should each be asking ourselves:

  1. Am I making a positive difference?
  2. Are my motives focused on greater good or selfish greed?
Closing

[Brad] OK, no news for today’s show. We’ve discussed plenty and we’re looking forward to another great year! We’re also wishing the best for all our listeners. Let’s kick some ass together in 2020!

That’s a wrap for today’s show. Thank you and welcome to the family Ryan. Evan, stay out of trouble.

Next week, we’ll start to devote 10 minutes out of every show to help someone who’s looking for a job or career change. If you’re one of these people, get in touch with us and we’ll feature you as a guest on future episode.

Get in contact with us through email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @BradNigh, Ryan can be found at @CLOUTIERSEC, and Evan’s in his usual spot, @evanfrancen.

That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 60 Show Notes – 2019 Year End Review

Goodbye 2019. It’s been real.

Where did the time go?

A common question, we ask ourselves. This year I decided to take a stab at answering it.

Here’s where my time went, for what it’s worth (roughly):

  • 38.58% (or 3,380 hours) working
  • 27.09% (or 2,373 hours) sleeping
  • 23.90% (or 2,094 hours) personal (family, friends, etc.) quality time
  • 10.42% (or 913 hours) other

I spent ~15% more time working than I did making memories with my family in 2019. Some priority adjustments are overdue for me in 2020.

Thank God for the gift of reflection.

The end of the year is a good time to reflect. Reflection is healthy. As I reflect on 2019, I can think of many good things about us like improved industry diversity, great personal growth, business accomplishments, and amazing people working round the clock for our collective benefit.

Unfortunately, there are also bad things. Since we’ve got plenty to cover, both good and bad, we’ll use this episode (#60) to discuss the bad. We won’t want to leave a sour taste in your mouth for too long, so we’ll cover the good things, and the things to look forward to in 2020, in next week’s episode (#61).

Now, the bad.

I already mentioned one of the bad things I discovered from 2019, that my priorities are out of whack, but I also learned things about the sad state of our industry. I learned that we’re (still) losing the war, and we’re losing it on multiple fronts.

Are you wondering what war?

The war where the bad people take advantage of the good people. The war where the immoral ones take advantage of the decent ones. Where the informed and corrupt beat the ignorant and noble every single time.

Let me preface the rest of this by saying I’m not a doomsayer. I’m a realist. I’m a realist with a deep desire to share the truth. If you’ve been paying attention, and can be objective, you’ll find it easier to predict our future. Predicting where a path leads is easier when there’s no (or little) change of course.

Our discussion points for episode 60’s year-end review:

  • Front #1 – Breaches are more common than ever, but we seem to care less than ever.
  • Front #2 – Our local governments and schools are losing their battles.
  • Front #3 – Our homes are part of the battleground and we’re not prepared.

All is not lost, and there’s hope. There’s good news too. We’ll cover good news next week. 2020 is the year for you, me, and our industry to get real. It’s time for us to tackle our most significant issues head-on, together!

I am (Evan) leading the show this week, and these are my notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 60

Date: Monday, December 30th, 2019

Show Topics:

Our topics this week:

  • Opening
  • The year (2019) in review.
    • Priorities and life adjustments
    • Front #1 – Breaches are more common than ever, but we seem to care less than ever.
    • Front #2 – Our local governments and schools are losing their battles.
    • Front #3 – Our homes are part of the battleground and we’re not prepared.
  • Closing
Opening

[Evan] Welcome to the last UNSECURITY Podcast episode of 2019! We’ve got a great show planned for you. The date is December 30th, and this is episode number 60. Joining me as (almost) always is my guy Brad Nigh. Hi Brad.

[Brad] Early morning version of Brad…

[Evan] No guest today. It’s just me and you. How you doing?

[Brad] More early morning version Brad things…

[Evan] When I put together today’s show notes, I felt like I was a little harsh, maybe even depressing. It’s not like I was depressed when I wrote the notes, but when I take an objective look at what took place this year, it’s sort of depressing to me. 2019 brought with it a record number of breaches, a record number of records disclosed/stolen, ransomware everywhere, etc. Crap man. Do I seem depressed to you?

[Brad] He’s got something to say.

[Evan] Maybe I take this too personal, but I HATE seeing people get taken advantage of. There were too many times this year that we read about people being taken advantage of, and it sucks. Ugh. Maybe I am depressed.

[Brad] More things…

[Evan] Alright, let’s get to it. The 2019 year-end review…

The year (2019) in review discussion
  • Priorities and life adjustments
  • Front #1 – Breaches are more common than ever, and we seem to care less than ever.
    • Another record year for breaches, do we care?
    • Sources; https://www.cnet.com/news/2019-data-breach-hall-of-shame-these-were-the-biggest-data-breaches-of-the-year/ and https://lifehacker.com/the-worst-data-breaches-of-2019-1840616463
    • “total number of breaches was up 33% over last year”
    • “medical services, retailers and public entities most affected”
    • “5,183 data breaches for a total of 7.9 billion exposed records”
    • Risk Based Security stated that 2019 is/was the “worst year on record” for breaches
      • January – Marriott breach (383 million)
      • February – 617 million accounts, from 16 websites and for sale on the dark web
      • March – 100s of millions of Facebook and Instagram accounts
      • April – 540 million Facebook records
      • May – 885 million First American Financial records
      • June – 20 million patients, bill collector American Medical Collection Association
      • July – Capital One and 100 million credit card applications
      • August – MoviePass and 160 million unencrypted/unauthenticated records
      • September – 218 million Words with Friends accounts
      • October – 4 billion social media profile records (???)
      • November – Facebook again…
      • December – we’re still waiting…
    • Breach fatigue.
    • Are we getting better at finding/reporting breaches? Are breaches happening more often? Are we getting worse?
  • Front #2 – Our local governments and schools are losing their battles.
    • Ransomware nails our local governments and schools.
    • A great article by Michael Mayes at CPO Magazine; the Top 10 Ransomware Stories of 2019.
      • “As the year ends, it’s time to declare 2019 the Year of Ransomware Escalation.”
      • Baltimore was “just one of 82 cities and municipalities to publicly report being struck by ransomware” in 2019.
      • “By December 1, a total of 72 US school districts have fallen victim to ransomware, impacting 867 individual schools and over 10,000 students.”
      • Nine “school districts representing 98 individual schools have been attacked by ransomware just in November. They include:
        • Wood County Schools, Parkersburg, West VA
        • Port-Neches Grove Independent School District, Port Neches, TX
        • Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, Mishawaka, IN
        • Livingston New Jersey School District, Livingston, NJ
        • Chicopee Public Schools, Chicopee, MA
        • Claremont Unified School District, Claremont, CA
        • Sycamore School District 427, DeKalb, IL
        • Sunapee Middle High School, Sunapee, NH
        • Main School Administrative District #6, Buxton, ME”
      • Louisiana declared a state of emergency twice in 2019
    • Do we just accept it?
    • We started a civic duty push in 2019, calling for citizens to inquire about ransomware protections from their local government officials. We’ll need to pick this up again this year, and include schools too.
  • Front #3 – Our homes are part of the battleground and we seem ignorant about it.
    • Security, privacy, and safety at home.
    • We still don’t emphasize information security, privacy, and safety enough at home.
    • Did this problem get worse in 2019?
    • Will this get worse before it gets better?

[Evan] That wasn’t too depressing, was it?

[Brad] Gives his honest opinion.

[Evan] We’ve got a lot of work to do, and there are no easy answers. No easy buttons. I think the answer is found in learning and applying information security fundamentals. We spent 2019 working hard at SecurityStudio and FRSecure to reach people with simple, but practical information security solutions like our vCISO, S2Org (information security risk assessment for all organizations), S2Vendor, S2Me (information security risk assessment for all people) and others. We even made some of our tools free! We’ll continue our quest to reach people and help wherever we can!

Got anything to add Mr. Nigh?

[Brad] Adds if he wants to add.

Closing

[Evan] That’s a wrap for another show. Heck, not just another show, but another year!

Thank you and Happy New Year to our listeners! Be sure to tune in next week, when we’ll cover some positive developments from 2019 and maybe a prediction or two. We love recording these shows for you, and we hope you enjoy them. Send us your questions and feedback at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen, and this other guy is @BradNigh.

That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!

The UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 59 Show Notes

If you’re an information security consultant, you know how crazy the end of the year is. It’s crazy!

We’re trying to wrap up all the projects that needed to be completed before the end of the year, and it’s always a challenge. Thank God for Project Managers and a top-notch operations group!

If you missed last week’s episode, we talked about information security in schools with Mike Dronen, the Executive Director of Technology for Minnetonka Public Schools (District 276). Mike shared some great insight and advice for addressing the unique information security challenges facing K-12 schools. If you missed the episode, give it a listen here!

It was no coincidence that last week I also gave the keynote at the East Central Minnesota Education Cable Cooperative (ECMECC) School Security Summit. The Summit was held at the Braham Event Center on December 19th, and was attended by a few hundred K12 school administrators, technology coordinators, facilities staff, and law enforcement. Met a ton of cool people and my keynote was well-received.

If you’d like a copy of the ECMECC presentation, you can go grab it here.

This is Christmas week! For those of us working this week, please take some time off to spend with your loved ones. Merry Christmas to all of you!

Brad is leading the show this week, and these are his notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 59

Date: Monday, December 23rd, 2019

Show Topics:

Our topics this week:

  • The SecurityStudio Roadshow Recap (not all the questions, but I have some surprises)
    • Let’s talk about who we met on the Roadshow; different roles, titles, experience levels, etc.
    • Anyone stand out in particular?
    • Was there a specific event that really stood out to you, and why?
    • What was something you learned that surprised you?
  • News
Opening

[Brad] Welcome back! This is episode 59 of the UNSECURITY Podcast, and I’m your host this week, Brad Nigh. Today is December 23rd, and joining me is my co-host, Evan Francen. Good morning Evan.

[Evan] Lots of words of wisdom I’m sure.

[Brad] We have an in-studio guest today. FRSecure and Security Studio President, John Harmon. Good morning John.

[John] John says something I hope.

[Brad] Before we dive in, we like to check-in. John, how you doing? How was your week and what do you expect this week?

[John] John wonders why he agreed to do a podcast again this early in the morning but is a good sport and says something.

[Brad] And Evan. How are you and what’s up?

[Evan] Probably isn’t sure what to do with himself since he isn’t traveling all the time.

[Brad] Sounds like everyone is ready for the holidays to recharge and prepare for the next year.  We thought it would be fun to answer some questions and hear from Evan and John their thoughts on the recently completed roadshow, so without further ado let’s dive in.

SecurityStudio Roadshow Recap
  • Some surprise questions will be asked…
  • Let’s talk about who you met on the roadshow, roles, titles, experience levels, etc.
  • Anyone particular stand out?
  • Was there a specific event that really stood out to you, why?
  • What was something you learned doing this that surprised you?

[Brad] Great discussion.  Always fun talking with Evan and John.

Let’s do some news…

News

[Brad] Always plenty of things to talk about in the news, and here’s a few stories that caught my eye this week:

Closing

[Brad] That’s it. Episode 59 is a wrap. Thank you to John for joining us again, although this is the first time I’ve been here for it.

Thank you to our listeners! Keep the questions and feedback coming. Send things to us by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @BradNigh, and Evan is @evanfrancen. John, is there a way you prefer for people to interact with you?

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more goodies.

That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!