UNSECURITY Episode 134 Show Notes

Alright, welcome back! We had a great run of guests over the past 7 or 8 weeks, and now it’s back to Brad and I for a bit.

If you missed any of the guest episode, here’s a recap:

Memorial Day

Monday, May 31st was Memorial Day. It’s a day of remembrance and gratitude. Here’s the text from one of my Twitter posts:

  • A small table set for one, symbolizing the isolation of our absent service member.
  • The table is round to represent the everlasting concern the survivors have for the missing.
  • The white tablecloth symbolizes the pure motives of our lost service members who responded to our country’s call to arms.
  • A single rose in the vase represents the blood our service members have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of the United States of America.
  • The rose also represents family and friends who keep the faith while awaiting the return of the missing service members.
  • The red ribbon represents our service members’ love of country that inspired them to serve our country.
  • A slice of lemon on the bread plate represents the bitter fate of the missing.
  • Salt sprinkled on the bread plate represents the tears shed by waiting families.
  • The inverted glass represents the fact that the missing and fallen cannot partake.
  • A Bible represents the spiritual strength and faith to sustain the lost.
  • A lit candle symbolizes a light of hope that lives in hearts to illuminate the missing’s way home.
  • An empty chair represents the absence of our beloved missing and fallen. service members.

We are grateful for all our men and women who serve in uniform and we hold those who sacrificed all in the highest esteem.

The Show Must Go On

Visiting with our guests the past couple months has been a lot of fun and we hope it’s been educational and entertaining for our listeners. We hope listeners enjoyed listening as much as we enjoyed hosting!

This week (episode 134), Brad and I are going to take a look at some of the recent news. Lord knows, there’s plenty to cover!

Let’s get to the episode 134 show notes, shall we?


SHOW NOTES – Episode 134 – Wednesday June 2nd, 2021

Opening

[Evan] Welcome listeners! Thanks for tuning into this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 134, and the date is June 2nd, 2021. Joining me is my good friend, Mr. Brad Nigh. Good Morning Brad!

[Evan] Welcome back from Memorial Day weekend. It was a beautiful weekend to pay our respects.

What’s going on in the world of “cybersecurity”?

Today, we’re going to change things up a little. There’s so much going on in the world around us, I thought it would be good for us to focus on six news articles and discuss them. Here they are:

That’s a lot to unpack! Hopefully you caught all that.

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

Who’s getting shout outs this week?

Thank you to all our listeners! Thank you Brad for a great conversation! If you have something you’d like to tell us, feel free to email the show at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Other Twitter handles where you can find some of the stuff we do, UNSECURITY is @unsecurityP, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity, and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

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

…and we’re done.

UNSECURITY Episode 131 Show Notes

Apologies for not posting something about last week’s show, episode 130. We were honored and pleased to welcome John Strand from Black Hills Information Security as our guest. John, Brad and talked openly about John’s path through information security, what Black Hills is working on, the different pockets of security people, why it’s important to work together as information security vendors to improve the community, and John’s latest Pay What You Can (PWYC) Series.

It was a GREAT talk and we’re VERY grateful that John stopped by. Check out episode 130 here; https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsecurity-episode-130-john-strand-black-hills-information/id1442520920?i=1000520139261

Episode 131

Pumped about this week’s show!

My good friend, Security Shit Show co-host, hacker extraordinaire, and all around great guy Chris Roberts is stopping in for a chat.

Special Guest – Chris Roberts

Chris and I (Evan) were introduced to each other by our mutual friend Tony Cole maybe three years ago, but we didn’t get to know each other well until the last 13, 14 months. We’re both REALLY busy guys, so our circles just didn’t cross much. In the past year, we’ve gotten to know each other quite well which is no surprise seeing that we spend more than two hours together each week on the Security Shit Show with Ryan Cloutier (another great guy).

Things about Chris:

From his LinkedIn Profile:

  • Currently the Chief Security Strategist for Cynet Security (among many other things)
  • Currently an Executive Committee Member at the CyberEdBoard Community
  • Currently an Advisor, Researcher, Hacker, Etc. at HillBilly Hit Squad
  • Currently co-host of The Security Shit Show
  • Former Chief Security Strategist at Attivo Networks, Inc.
  • Former Chief of Adversarial Research and Engineering at LARES Consulting
  • Former Chief Security Architect at Acalvio Technologies
  • Former Senior Consultant at Sentinel Global LLC
  • Founder of One World Labs
  • Former Managing Director Electronic Intelligence/Principal Investigator at Cyopsis, LLC
  • Former President/CEO at CCi5, Inc.
  • Former Director of Coalfire Labs at Coalfire Systems, Inc.
  • and on and on…

Chris has been all over the world and all over the United States doing crazy cool hacker stuff at every stop.

He is truly on of my favorite people on the planet to talk to! Always a good time.

Other Guests – Past, Present, and Future

Lots of GREAT conversations with lots of GREAT information security folks!


SHOW NOTES – Episode 131 – Tuesday May 11th, 2021

Opening

[Evan] Welcome listeners! Thanks for tuning into this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 131, and the date is May 11th, 2021. Joining me is my good friend, infosec buddy and partner in crime.

Also joining the UNSECURITY Podcast is our special guest, Mr. Chris Roberts! Welcome my friend. It’s an honor to have you on our show!

Introducing Chris Roberts

  • Let’s start with trying to figure out how Chris first got into the information security industry.
  • Next, we’ll see how far we can get down his career path before 1) we start chasing squirrels (we’re both ADD) or 2) we run out of time (because there’s A LOT there).
  • The Colonial Pipeline Attack and global security tensions/consequences.
  • Current projects.
  • Current events.

We’ll see if we get to his plane hacking antics too, but I’m not sure we’ll have the time.

News

We’ll probably skip news in this show. Guessing that Brad, Ron, and myself will have no problem filling the entire show with good discussion.

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

Who’s getting shout outs this week?

Thank you to all our listeners! HUGE thank you to Chris for joining us. If you have something you’d like to tell us, feel free to email the show at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Chris is easy to find, but can be reached on LinkedIn and Twitter (@Sidragon1).

Other Twitter handles where you can find some of the stuff we do, UNSECURITY is @unsecurityP, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity, and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

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

…and we’re done.

UNSECURITY Episode 128 Show Notes

Oh boy. Chalk last week up as “the lost week”.

I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota (MN). The same Minneapolis, MN where George Floyd died last May, sparking civil unrest around the world. The same Minneapolis, MN where the eyes of the world are anxiously awaiting the verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with second-degree murder in George Floyd’s death. The same Minneapolis, MN where Daunte Wright lost his life on April 11th, at the hands of 26-year veteran police officer Kimberly Ann Potter.

Minneapolis seems like ground zero for crazy.

Me being me, I don’t like when things don’t make sense. Despite knowing it’s best to let some things go, I decided to embark on a journey of self reflection and sense-making.

The result?

I learned how I process things. I learned I love people. I learned I’m not crazy. I learned we have significant problems facing our society, and not enough people willing to solve them. Even worse, the leaders we elect to solve problems, selfishly use problems to score popularity points and ignorant votes. If our leaders wanted to solve problems, they would. Simple as that.

More to come, but we have a podcast to do!

Special Guest – Roger Grimes

In this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast, we’re joined by a good friend, a bona fide information security authority, renowned author (of 12 books), and all around awesome human being, Roger Grimes. This is a man I respect deeply and hold in very high esteem. We are information security kindred spirits in a way, and we’re honored to welcome him on our show!

Things about Roger:

  • LinkedIn Profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rogeragrimes/
  • Information technology and/or information security expert since the mid-late 1980s
  • Written more than 1,200 national magazine articles on information security and was the weekly computer security columnist for InfoWorld/CSO magazines from 2005 to 2019
  • His “goal in life is to get more people and companies to use data and the scientific method to improve their computer security.” He goes on to state, “If I leave this world without having made the Internet a safer place for all people to compute, I have failed.See, my kind of guy!
  • Spent more than 11 years as Microsoft’s Principal Security Architect.
  • Written 12 books (and working on two now), including:
    • Hacking Multifactor Authentication
    • Cryptography Apocalypse
    • A Data-Driven Computer Defense
    • Hacking the Hacker
    • Malicious Mobile Code
    • And more…

Seriously dig this guy, and pumped that he’s joining us this week!

Other Guests Coming

Roger is our first special guest in a series of special guests. We might keep hosting special guests indefinitely. Here’s what’s coming soon:

  • Episode 129 Special Guest – Ron Woerner
    • I met Ron through my good friend Ryan Cloutier, and I’m very grateful for it.
    • Ron has a laundry list of accolades. He’s the CEO and President of Cyber-AAA, Professor of CyberSecurity Studies at Bellevue University, featured speaker at the RSA conference for more than 12 years, and much more.
  • Episode 130 Special Guest – John Strand
    • Believe it or not, I have never met John in person. Despite running in some of the same circles for many years, this will be the first time I meet him.
    • John also has a laundry list of accomplishments. He’s the Founder and Owner of Black Hills Information Security, Senior Instructor with the SANS Institute, teaches SEC504: Hacker Techniques, Exploits, and Incident Handling; SEC560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking; SEC580: Metasploit Kung Fu for Enterprise Pen Testing; and SEC464: Hacker Detection for System Administrators. John is the course author for SEC464: Hacker Detection for System Administrators and the co-author for SEC580: Metasploit Kung Fu for Enterprise Pen Testing. He’s also presented at the FBI, NASA, NSA, DefCon, and lots of other places.

We’re finalizing details with guests for episode 131 and 132 too. Lots of GREAT conversations to come!

Let’s get right to it, show notes for episode 128 of the UNSECURITY Podcast…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 128 – Tuesday April 20th, 2021

Recorded Friday April 16th, 2021

Opening

[Evan] Welcome listeners! Thanks for tuning into this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 128, and the date is April 20th, 2021. Joining me is my good friend, great guy, and infosec expert Brad Nigh. Welcome Brad!

Also joining the UNSECURITY Podcast is our special guest, Mr. Roger Grimes! Welcome Roger. It’s an honor to have you on our show!

Introducing Roger Grimes

Some of our listeners may not know Roger. That’s about to change! He has a fascinating information security mind, and we’re all sure to learn some things.

  • Open Discussion.
  • Top of mind things.
  • Current projects.
  • Current events.

Roger and I first met through a friend, Steve Marsden, a few years ago. Almost immediately it became clear that we see information security the same way. Soon after our first conversation, I flew out to see Roger give his talk at the RSA conference and have lunch with him and his wife. It confirmed that he is the “real deal” and I flew on to my next destination immediately after lunch. Since then, we’ve kept in touch, and he even served on SecurityStudio’s board of directors for a time.

This will be a fun conversation, guaranteed!

News

We’ll probably skip news in this show. Guessing that Brad, Roger, and myself will have no problem filling the entire show with good discussion.

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

Who’s getting shout outs this week?

Closing – Thank you to all our listeners! HUGE thank you to Roger for joining us. If you have something you’d like to tell us, feel free to email the show at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. Roger, where would you like people to connect with you? (his Twitter handle is @rogeragrimes). Other Twitter handles where you can find some of the stuff we do, UNSECURITY is @unsecurityP, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity, and FRSecure is @FRSecure. That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

…and we’re done.

UNSECURITY Episode 120 Show Notes

Hey there. It’s time for another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast, and we’ve got a special guest joining us this week!

Too many things going on to mention right now. Cool things going on at FRSecure and SecurityStudio, but I haven’t really had the time to process it all yet. In my last meeting of the day (2/22), a friend asked me how my day went. I couldn’t answer. Things went from this to that so fast, I never took a second to think about how my day was. Weird. Have you ever had this happen to you?

Well, let’s get to what we came here for…

The notes for episode 120 of the UNSECURITY Podcast.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 120 – Tuesday February 23rd, 2021

Opening

[Brad] Good morning and welcome to another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast! This is episode 120, and the date is February 23rd, 2021. I’m your host Brad Nigh. Joining me is the my good friend and co-host Evan Francen. Hey Evan. How you doing?

Quick Catching Up

  • Welcome our special guest, Tony Alsleben.
    • Tony is the CISO for CentraCare.
    • CentraCare is a large integrated health system here in Minnesota.
    • Six hospitals, seven senior care facilities, 18 clinics, four pharmacies, and lots of specialty care services.
  • Cold snap has broken here in MN. Yay!
  • What’s new at FRSecure and SecurityStudio?

The Meat

News

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

  • Thanks again for joining us Tony!
  • Who’s getting shout outs this week?
  • Closing – Thank you to all our listeners! 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’s @evanfrancen. Other Twitter handles where you can find some of the stuff we do, UNSECURITY is @unsecurityP, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity, and FRSecure is @FRSecure. That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

…and we’re done.

UNSECURITY Episode 119 Show Notes

OK, we’re back to writing UNSECURITY Podcast show notes. We took eight weeks off from writing show notes because it was a little tedious and we weren’t sure if anyone cared that much anyway. Turns out people care about the show notes, read them, and they want them back!

To make things less tedious and more valuable, we’ll only tell you the topics we plan to talk about. We won’t do the verbatim stuff anymore. If you like the new show notes, let us know (unsecurity@protonmail.com). If you’d like something different, let us know that too!

On to the notes for episode 119 of the UNSECURITY Podcast…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 119 – Wednesday February 17th, 2021

Opening

[Evan] Good morning and welcome to another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast! This is episode 119, and the date is February 17th, 2021. I’m your host Evan Francen, and joining me is the right side of my brain, Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad.

Quick Catching Up

  • It’s flippin’ cold in MN (and other parts of the country)
  • We need another vacation.

The Meat

News

Wrapping Up – Shout Outs

  • Who’s getting shout outs this week?
  • Closing – Thank you to all our listeners! 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. Be sure to follow the places we work and do cool things, SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure). That’s it. Talk to you all again next week!

…and we’re done.

Episode 106 Show Notes – Infosec @ Home

Hey there, it’s time for episode 106 of the UNSECURITY Podcast!

Short introduction today. Too much going on to get too wordy for now.

We’ll just jump right in to the show notes, if you don’t mind. This is Evan, I’m leading the discussion today, and these are my notes…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 106

Date: Tuesday November 17th, 2020

Episode 106 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  •  Information Security @ Home
    • So, what’s the big deal?
    • Taking inventory (what do you got?)
    • What do we (Brad and I) do?
    • S2Me – Today and a sneak peek in v3
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Hey there! Thank you for tuning in to this episode the UNSECURITY Podcast. This is episode 106, the date is November 17th 2020, and I’m your host, Evan Francen. Joining me as usual is my good friend and co-worker, Brad Nigh. Good morning Mr. Nigh.

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] Man, I haven’t talked to you since last week on the podcast. What’s up, what’s new?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

Quick Catchup

It’s 4th quarter, so I’m guessing we’re both running pretty low on fuel. Personally, I have a cruddy attitude this morning, so this’ll be fun.

Topics:

  • Brad’s stuff. What’s he been up to, what’s he working on, and what’s a day in the life of Brad look like?
  • Great talk with Oscar Minks (last week’s guest) yesterday morning; U.S. incident response capabilities, cyberinsurance brokenness, etc.
  • Security Sh*t Show – what’s new here.
  • The book (UNSECURITY) is now in the Cybersecurity Cannon!
  • Maybe another thing or two.

Transition

Information Security @ Home

[Evan] So, this weekend, I figured I go grab another Raspberry Pi to play with. I want to build a plug and play home information security device. First thing, figure out how to compile a good inventory of everything on my home network.

This is where the story begins…

Topics:

  • So, what’s the big deal?
  • Taking inventory (what do you got?)
  • What do we (Brad and I) do?
  • Tools, devices, etc. that could help
  • S2Me – Today and a sneak peek in v3

Begin Discussion

[Evan] Great discussion. Here are some news stories.

News

[Evan] Always plenty of interesting things going on in our industry. Here’s a few stories that caught my attention recently:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] That’s it for episode 106. Thank you Brad! Who you got a shoutout for today?

[Brad] We’ll see…

[Evan] Thank you to all our listeners! 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.

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more things we do when we do what we do.

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

UNSECURITY Podcast – Ep 105 Show Notes – Honest IR

Alright, the U.S. election season is over. Now we can all focus again, right?

Maybe, maybe not.

Before we get too far, I want to call your attention to an article I wrote last week titled “Good People Didn’t Vote For Your Guy“. Healing and unity are long overdue in our country. I’m hoping we will find our way back to being countrymen/women working together for our common good. I’m also hoping that our elected officials don’t steal this opportunity for thier own selfish gain.

OK, now back to work…

Last week on the UNSECURITY Podcast, episode 104, we talked with a good friend Richie Breathe about the security industry’s perceived stigma against healthy stuff. It was a great episode and a real pleasure spending time with such a cool guy. If you missed the episode, go give it a listen.

Also last week, Ryan Cloutier, Chris Roberts, and myself had a GREAT time chatting on the Security Shit Show. Our topic was “Seven Ways Security Can Improve Your Sex Life“. Chris found a “Fitbit for your man bits” online, and the conversation went on from there. Lots of fun!

Plenty of businessy stuff went on last week as well, including a half dozen (or so) partnership discussions with some great organizations. Things continue to hum along, so watch for announcements from FRSecure and SecurityStudio in the coming weeks.

On to the show!

Episode 105 Topic and Special Guest

FRSecure’s Director of Technical Solutions and Services, Oscar Minks is joining us on the show again this week. For those who don’t know Oscar, he’s the awesome leader of FRSecure’s Team Ambush and an all around incredible guy. We’ll ask him to tell us who Team Ambush is on the show, but these are essentially the people who do all (or at least most) things technical at FRSecure, including penetration testing, red/blue/purple teaming, incident response, CTF competitions, exploit development and training, etc. Seriously an INCREDIBLE team!

We’ve got Oscar on this week to talk primarily about what TO DO, and what NOT TO DO during an incident response. In the last few months, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of reported incidents, and we’ve seen too many people make mistakes. Don’t get us wrong, there are people who do things right, but sadly this is too rare.

Should a great talk!

Let’s get on to the notes…

Brad’s leading the discussion today, and these are his notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 105

Date: Tuesday November 10th, 2020

Episode 105 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
    • What’s new?
    • How 4th quarter got you going? 😉
  •  Special Guest Oscar Minks – What TO DO, and what NOT TO DO during an incident response
    • First, tell us about “Team Ambush”
    • Recent Incidents/Stories
    • Top things to do
    • Top things NOT to do (examples)
    • What’s next for Team Ambush?
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Brad] Welcome back! This is episode 105 of the UNSECURITY Podcast, and I’m your host this week, Brad Nigh. Today is November 10th, and joining me this morning as usual is Evan Francen.

[Evan] Talks about mindfulness after the last three shows…

[Brad] We have Oscar Minks with us today. Good morning Oscar.

[Oscar] Says a few things in his sweet southern drawl…

[Brad] As is tradition, let’s catch up with what happened over the last week.

[Evan] The weather was really nice this weekend, so I think Evan got in a good ride (or two).

Quick Catchup

Brad, Evan, and Oscar do a little friendly catching up…

NOTE: We know this isn’t specifically security-related, but security folks gotta have a life too, right?

Transition

Special Guest Oscar Minks – What TO DO, and what NOT TO DO during an incident response

[Brad] Okay so it’s no surprise that IR work is keeping us busy, the report from DHS and Secret Service around healthcare is proof of that. I thought it would be a good discussion today to talk about what are some do’s and don’ts when working with an IR firm, which is why Oscar is joining us this morning.

Open discussion points:

  • Tell us about “Team Ambush”
  • Recent Incidents/Stories
  • Top things to do
  • Top things NOT to do (examples)
  • What’s next for Team Ambush?

Begin Discussion

[Brad] Great discussion. Here are some news stories.

News

[Brad] Always plenty of interesting things going on in our industry. Here’s a few stories that caught my attention recently:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Brad] That’s it for episode 105. Thank you Evan and Oscar, do you have any shout outs this week?

[Evan] We’ll see…

[Oscar] We’ll see…

[Brad] Thank you to all our listeners! 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.

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more things we do when we do what we do.

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

E is for Everyone

There are lots of relevant information security words that start with “E”, but I’m going with “Everyone”.

Why?

Three primary reasons:

  1. Information security (good or bad) affects everyone.
  2. Everyone has a role in information security.
  3. If everyone has a role, then everyone must have responsibilities.

There’s a saying I often use:

Information security isn’t about information or security as much as it is about people.

Two important points from this statement:

  1. People suffer when things go bad. If nobody suffered, nobody would care.
  2. People are riskier than technology. Technology only does what we tell it to (for now).

Let’s apply these points to our reasons why “E” is for everyone.

People Suffer

When bad things happen, people suffer. Doesn’t matter if we call the “bad thing” a data breach, a ransomware attack, a phish, business email compromise, or whatever. All bad things related to information security affect real human beings, either directly or indirectly.

Some quick examples:

  • Ransomware attack (poorly prepared) – A ransomware attack hits an organization. The organization isn’t well prepared for it, meaning they didn’t adequately backup their data or adequately protect their backups. The organization has no hope of recovery without negotiating with the attackers and paying the ransom. No worries, “it’s covered by insurance”, a common reply. People suffer:
    • The organization suffered an outage, even if minimal, it’s an outage. Outages mean lost services to customers and lost revenue for the organization. Customers suffer and so do the organization’s stakeholders (owners, investors, employees, etc.).
    • The insurance company suffered the claim loss. This might seem insignificant, but insurance companies are not in the business of losing money. They will raise premiums across the board if necessary to recoup losses. “In the first half of 2020 alone, we observed a 260% increase in the frequency of ransomware attacks amongst our policyholders, with the average ransom demand increasing 47%,” Coalition (one of the largest providers of cyber insurance services in North America). Insurance company stakeholders suffer (even if temporarily), and we all suffer through higher insurance premiums.
    • Paying an attacker a ransom, leads to their re-investment in better and more frequent attacks. We all suffer. Everyone suffers, and worse, the cycle continues.
  • Business email compromise – An organization suffers a business email compromise that leads to $800K loss; stolen money through unauthorized ACH transfers. This resulted in a loss for the organization, its customers, and its stakeholders. They all suffered. This attack resulted in $800K that could no longer be spent on good things; things like expansion, employee benefits, employee salaries, etc.
  • Data breach – A hospital gets hit with ransomware, but this variant also exfiltrated protected health information (PHI). The hospital didn’t properly protect itself, and certainly didn’t protect the patients well. The hospital suffered a significant outage, affecting services for patients when they’re needed most. To make matters worse, all patients who were affected by the lost information are now dealing with significant anxiety and safety issues.
    • Anxiety from knowing their private information is in the hands of someone they don’t trust. Contributing to the anxiety is not knowing when/if their information has been used by criminals or how to fix the problem if it did.
    • When a criminal uses stolen PHI to get treatment, their health information becomes mixed with/added to the victim’s. If the criminal gets treatment for a condition using a victim’s medical record/insurance, the criminal’s treatment is now on the victim’s medical record. The next time the victim gets treatment (legitimately), he/she will be treated as though he/she has the criminal’s condition, leading to potential faulty life/death decisions made by doctors
    • Victims are also faced with medical bills that aren’t theirs. If you’ve dealt with medical bills before, you know how this feels.

The list could go on, but you get the point. These scenarios are based on real stories. Reality, NOT fantasy.

Information security (good or bad) affects EVERYONE.

At Home

At home the problem is more direct, but less understood. Attackers have always gone after people at home. Since the first home PCs were connected to the Internet, they’ve been under attack. If we think attackers have relented, we’re foolish.

The problems at home are less understood for a couple reasons:

  1. The consumer market has been grossly underserved. This market is underserved because consumer information security is more difficult to monetize. This market is very easy to monetize for cool blinky lights, personal assistants, “smart” homes, etc. It’s a pain in the ass to monetize for information security.
  2. Personal attacks, or attacks at home, don’t grab the headlines like organizational attacks do. People aren’t paying attention (as much); however, this might be changing with the explosion in remote working or “work from home”.

At home, your information security and safety are your responsibility. Not mine. Not the government’s. Yours. Sadly, an attack aimed at you or your children is yours to bear, sometimes alone.

People Are Riskier

Riskier how? In terms of being riskier than the technology or in terms of being riskier than they were before?

Yes. Both.

Technology only does what we tell it to do. Tell it to do bad things (on purpose or on accident), and the technology does bad things. Tell it to do good things, and you guessed it, technology will do good things. It’s not technology that’s bad as much as it’s the behavior of technology makers and consumers that can make it bad. Technology makers are incented to get the product (hardware and/or software) into consumers’ hands as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible, NOT as securely as possible. Information security is up to you then. If you don’t know how to secure the product or technology, then you will suffer the consequences.

Technology makers need to be incented to make things more secure, not punished for making things insecure.

Consumers need to learn better information security habits to reduce their risk within their area of influence; in communities, at work, and especially at home.

EVERYONE has a role in information security. What’s yours?

Roles

In simple terms, there are information owners, custodians, and users. In reality, this is where the break down starts. Most people have no clue what their role is. If you don’t know your role, you don’t stand a chance in understanding your responsibilities.

Information Owners

These are people who are directly affected by the loss of confidentiality, accuracy (or integrity), and/or availability of their information. They “own” the information, and it’s theirs.

Examples:

  • My health record is mine.
  • My financial account information is mine.
  • My Social Security Number is mine.
  • My private conversations are mine.
  • My private emails are mine.
  • My credentials for accessing accounts are mine.

I am the information owner. At times, I’m the information owner for people I’m responsible for too, like members of my family.

Information Custodian

These are organizations and people who have been delegated the responsibility of protecting information from the information owner.

Examples:

  • The hospital is a custodian of my health record.
  • The bank is a custodian of my financial account information.
  • The school, employer, bank, credit agency, etc. is custodian of my Social Security Number.
  • The phone carrier (or whoever else I might be using for private conversations) is the custodian of my private conversation.
  • The email provider (personal and work) is the custodian of my private emails.
  • The password manager program (please tell me you use one), and everyone I authenticate with, is the custodian of my credentials for accessing accounts.
Information Users

These are people who use the information in a manner approved by the information owner through the information custodian.

Organizations Are Not Data Owners

Organizations do not “own” our information. Organizations are custodians and users of our information.

Organizations do NOT “own” any information except what they’ve created.

Organizations act like “owners” of our information, but they’re not. If they want to be, then they’ll need to accept the consequences of misuse instead of pushing the consequences onto the real owners (you and me). Organizations act like owners of our information when they make risk decisions on our behalf without our approval. Truly, if more people knew how some (maybe most) organizations protected our information, I’m pretty sure some of us would stop doing business with them.

Responsibilities

Each role has specific responsibilities, but this is where things get even messier.

Information Owner

Information owners must inform/declare to information custodians what’s acceptable and what’s not with respect to protecting their information. Once this has been defined, it’s also the owner’s responsibility to hold the custodian accountable.

The problem

Most people have no idea that they are an information owner or what it means to be an owner. For those who do understand the role, many feel powerless to do anything with it. We have a long ways to go in empowering information owners; to delegate information security responsibilities effectively and simply to data custodians. We’ve tried going down this route, sort of, with compliance mandates, but our compliance initiatives are far behind the times and largely ineffective. Much work to be done here.

Information Custodian

Information custodians protect information according to what’s been delegated by the information owner. If nothing has been delegated (explicitly), custodians are left to their own devices. Some custodians treat our information with extreme care while others could care less. If we’re frustrated by how organizations are protecting our information, maybe we need to back up and look at our responsibilities (as information owners) and create solutions that will allow us to become empowered.

Information User

Easy. Just follow the rules, as defined by the owner and delegated through the custodian. If the user doesn’t understand the rules, it might be due to break downs with information ownership and/or custodianship. If the user doesn’t follow the rules because they don’t want to, there’s other problems of course.

If everyone has a role, then EVERYONE must have responsibilities.

Fundamental

This is not only fundamental information security, this is fundamental logic. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.

Honorable Mention for “E”

I received many great suggestions for the letter “E” including:

  • Evolution – information security is certainly evolving, but not fast enough. Complexity is the worst enemy of information security, and we’re going too fast to secure things. Technology is evolving much faster than our ability to secure it.
  • Elephants – the “elephant in the room” is often information security, or the lack thereof. If only we could make the elephant a little smaller and little less intimidating.
  • Efficiency – a great word, but could be a can of worms. If we can make things more secure (less risk) and be more efficient, we have the potential recipe for success!
  • Endpoint – endpoint protection is certainly part of the equation, but I didn’t choose it because of the overemphasis our industry puts on it’s importance. It’s important for sure, but some people (vendors mostly) will claim it’s the silver bullet/easy button. I know the person who suggested “endpoint” is NOT insinuating such a thing (I know him), but others might. Just FYI. silver bullets and easy buttons don’t exist and never will.
  • Encryption – a great suggestion and safe choice. Encryption is wonderful and a critical protection against unauthorized disclosure and/or alteration of data.
  • Evolve – closely related to “evolution” See above.
  • Exfiltration – another great suggestion. Exfiltration is the extraction or taking information from an environment, and the word is often used in relation to data breaches. It often results in a compromise of confidentiality if the data wasn’t adequately protected with encryption (another vote for “encryption” above).

One last word that I was considering was “education“. Education is VERY important and we all must continue learning. There are so many good free and paid education opportunities available everywhere, there’s really no excuse for not investing in yourself.

Next up is “F”. Ooh, a bad word I use too much starts with “F”! You know the word, but it’s not going to make it into the Security ABCs, sorry.

UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 97 Show Notes

Good morning! Happy Tuesday!

Thinking Brad is back again this week. I dig that because I dig Brad!

Last week, Brad was out feeling sick. This led to a solo recording of the UNSECURITY Podcast; go check out episode 96 if you want to hear me do my most awkward podcast yet.

Busy, Busy, Busy

We’ve been very busy around here, and it sounds like many of you are too. There are many good signs recently that the economy may be rebounding. The positives:

  • Elections – although the next 50ish days are going to be chaotic, there will be some settling in after the elections are complete. Regardless of which way you swing (blue or red), the completion of an election cycle brings a sense of stability.
  • COVID-19 – there’s been a lot of positive news about medical treatments and possible vaccines. The sooner we can put the pandemic behind us, the better. Once the pandemic is behind us (closer with each passing day), the economy should settle.
  • Markets – the stock and housing markets have held there own through all the chaos of 2020. This is a good sign of good things ahead in our opinion.

Busy is good, and it would take a small book to tell you all the good things going on at SecurityStudio and FRSecure! SecurityStudio is well on it’s way to being a very healthy and profitable SaaS company and FRSecure is exploring expansion (acquisition, merger, and/or geographic expansion).

I sincerely hope you and your family are well!

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Today’s topic is about our divisiveness in world today and what it means to our industry. We’ll be careful to be respectful of other people’s opinions as we navigate these waters, and this may be a good segue into a future series we’ve been thinking about recently; “Politics and Information Security”.

Let’s get on it. The show notes…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 97

Date: Tuesday, September 8st, 2020

Episode 97 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  • Why Can’t We All Just Along?
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Good morning everyone. Thanks for tuning in. The date is September 15th, 2020 and this is episode 97 of the UNSECURITY Podcast! I’m your host, Evan Francen, and back with me this week is my good friend, Brad Nigh! Good morning Brad.

[Brad] Good things from this dude.

[Evan] Well, you were out ill last week. How you feeling? What’s new?

Catching Up

[Evan] Regular listeners to our show know that Brad and I normally start off with catching up with each other. Let’s do it.

Topics:

[Evan] Did you get a chance to hear last week’s episode? It was definitely awkward doing the show alone for the first time!

Transition

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

[Evan] It’s crazy how much information security reflects life and vice versa. I’ve been thinking about what our next series should be, and I’m always interested in tackling serious topics. We’re in the middle of an election cycle right now and I can’t remember a time when our country has been more divided than it is today. Me being me, I want to talk about it with you (Brad).

What are your first thoughts about the divisiveness in our country today?

[Brad] Chimin’ in.

[Evan] Here’s what I’d like to explore with you:

  • General divisiveness (political, social, information security, etc.)
    • Intimidation/bullying for sharing your thoughts, opinions, disagreements, etc.
    • When you find someone being a jerk or speaking/writing nonsense.
  • Outside Influences to Information Security
    • Today’s political climate.
    • Where do we find facts vs. opinions?
  • Within Information Security
    • How do we think our divisiveness affects information security?
    • Putting down others (competition, other professionals, etc.).
    • The divide between us and the business.
  • A couple of podcast reviews.

 

[Evan] I’m thinking about doing a series titled “Politics and Information Security”. We could interview special guests form both sides of the isle and get their opinions on all sorts of things. What would set us apart is respectfulness. We would do this in a way that respects opinions without attacking and bullying. This could be a great opportunity to set an example for others on how to discuss hot topics without beating each other up. What do you think?

[Brad] We’ll see what he thinks…

[Evan] The timing seems right to do a series like this. Alright. More to come on that! Let’s do newsy stuff now.

News

[Evan] Here’s some news I thought was interesting:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] OK. That’s about it. Episode 97 is almost a wrap. Brad, any shout outs this week?

[Brad] Shout out…

[Evan] It’s nice to have you back man. We’re very grateful for our listeners and we love hearing from you. Send us messages by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com or check us out on Twitter, @UnsecurityP.

If you wanna socialize with me or Brad directly, we dare you! I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. We work for people and if you want to follow those people, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it, talk you all again next week!