New Paper: Defending Data on iOS 7

I have been working on this one quietly for a while. It is a massive update to my previous paper on iOS security. It turns out Apple made a ton of very significant changes in iOS 7. So many that they have upended how we think of the platform. This paper digs into the philosophy behind Apple’s choices, details the security options, and then provides a detailed spectrum of approaches for managing enterprise data on iOS. It is 30 pages but you can focus on the sections that matter to you. I would like to thank WatchDox for licensing the content, which enables us to release it for free. Normally we publish everything as a blog series, but in this case I had an existing 30-page paper to update and it didn’t make sense to (re-)blog all the content. So you might have noticed me slipping in a few posts on iOS 7 recently with the important changes. I can do another revision if anyone finds major problems. And with that, here is the landing page for the report. And here is the direct download link: Defending Data on iOS 7 (PDF) And lastly, the obligatory outline screenshot: Share:

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We Need to Thank Target for Being Hacked

Normally we like to blame the victim, but in this case we need to thank them. From the WSJ, the swap to Chip and PIN will happen by October 2015. Here is the key point: Part of the October 2015 deadline in our roadmap is what’s known as the ‘liability shift.’ Whenever card fraud happens, we need to determine who is liable for the costs. When the liability shift happens, what will change is that if there is an incidence of card fraud, whichever party has the lesser technology will bear the liability. So if a merchant is still using the old system, they can still run a transaction with a swipe and a signature. But they will be liable for any fraudulent transactions if the customer has a chip card. And the same goes the other way – if the merchant has a new terminal, but the bank hasn’t issued a chip and PIN card to the customer, the bank would be liable. None of this affects online transactions, though. Share:

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RSA Conference Guide 2014 Key Theme: APT0

  It’s that time of year. The security industry is gearing up for the annual pilgrimage to San Francisco for the RSA Conference. For the fifth year your pals at Securosis are putting together a conference guide to give you some perspective on what to look for and how to make the most of your RSA experience. We will start with a few key themes for the week, and then go into deep dives on all our coverage areas. The full guide will be available for download next Wednesday, and we will post an extended Firestarter video next Friday discussing the Guide. Without further ado, here is our first key theme. APT0 Last year the big news at the RSA Conference was Mandiant’s research report outing APT1 and providing a new level of depth on advanced attacks. It seemed like every vendor at the show had something to say about APT1, but the entire conference was flowing in Mandiant’s wake. They should have called the report “How to increase your value by a couple hundred million in 12 short months”, but that’s another story for another day. In 2014 Edward Snowden put on his Kevin Mandia costume and identified the clear predecessor to the APT1 group. That’s right, the NSA is APT0. Evidently the NSA was monitoring and hacking things back when the APT1 hackers were in grade school. We expect most vendors will be selling spotlights and promises to cut through the fog of the NSA disclosures. But getting caught up in FUD misses the point: Snowden just proved what we have always known. It is much harder to build things than to break them. Our position on APT0 isn’t much different than on APT1. You cannot win against a nation-state. Not in the long term, anyway. Rather than trying to figure out how much public trust in security tools has eroded, we recommend you focus on what matters: how to protect information in your shop. Are you sure an admin (like Snowden) can’t access everything and exfiltrate gigabytes of critical data undetected? If not you have some work to do. Keep everything in context at the show. Never forget that the security marketing machine is driven by high-profile breaches as a catalyst for folks who don’t know what they are doing to install the latest widget selling the false hope of protection. And the RSA Conference is the biggest security marketing event of the year. So Snowden impersonators will be the booth babes of 2014.   Share:

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RSA Conference Guide 2014 Key Theme: Big Data Security

As we continue posting our key themes for the 2014 RSA Conference, let’s dig a bit into big bata, because you won’t be hearing anything about it at the show… After-School Special: It’s Time We Talked – about Big Data Security The RSA Conference floor will be packed full of vendors talking about the need to secure big data clusters, and how the vast stores of sensitive information in these databases are at risk. The only thing that can challenge “data velocity” into a Hadoop cluster is the velocity at which FUD comes out the mouth of a sales droid. Sure, potential customers will listen intently to this hot new trend because it’s shiny and totally new. But they won’t actually be doing anything about it. To recycle an overused analogy, big data security is a little like teen sex: lots of people are talking about it, but not that many are actually doing it. Don’t get us wrong – companies really are using big data for all sorts of really cool use cases including analyzing supply chains, looking for signs of life in space, fraud analytics, monitoring global oil production facilities, and even monitoring the metadata of the entire US population. Big data works! And it provides advanced analysis capabilities at incredibly low cost. But rather than wait for your IT department to navigate their compliance mandates and budgetary approval cycles, your business users slipped out the back door because they have a hot date with big data in the cloud. Regardless of whether those users understand the risks, they are pressing forward. This is where your internal compliance teams start to sound like your parents telling you to be careful and not to go out without your raincoat on. What users hear is that the audit/compliance teams don’t want them to have any fun because it’s dangerous. The security industry is no better, and the big data security FUD is sure to come across like those grainy old public service films you were forced to watch in high school about something-something-danger-something… and that’s when you fell asleep. We are still very early in our romance with big data, and your customers (yes, those pesky business users) don’t want to hear about breaches or discuss information governance as they explore this new area of information management. Share:

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