The Bad Guys Are Changing; Are You?
October 11, 2016 by Bill Rosenthal

Two years ago this month, I increased the frequency with which I write in this space about cyber security. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Logical Operations is a dedicated supporter of cyber security awareness, so the subject seemed a good fit for this blog. It still is. Since then, I’ve written about cyber security at least a dozen times.

But the security landscape has changed dramatically in those two years. Although the bad guys are still using most of the same technological methods they were using then, attacks have become an order of magnitude more sophisticated. And cyber crime has become big business. You can see this especially in the rise of ransomware, which is an effective way for criminals to make money.

Because their income depends on the success of their ransomware attacks, some of the criminal organizations are investing more development effort in social engineering.  And their efforts are paying off. Today, you can’t even really trust an email message from your boss; it may well be an attacker posing as your boss, using the language, information, and assumptions that you and your boss share.

What hasn’t changed very much in those two years, unfortunately, is preparedness. Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report finds, among others, these depressing trends:

  • Most attacks exploit known vulnerabilities that have never been patched despite patches being available for months, or even years. In fact, the top 10 known vulnerabilities accounted for 85 percent of successful exploits.
  • Sixty-three (63) percent of confirmed data breaches involve using weak, default or stolen passwords.
  • Basic defenses continue to be sorely lacking in many organizations. 

Many organizations have made little to no effort to keep up with changes in cyber security over the past two years. But that makes it all the more necessary for Logical Operations to do so. Accordingly, we have updated our CyberSec First Responder exam and training curriculum three times in less than two years. The newest exam, CFR-210, is a complete redesign of the previous two versions. Combining our exam-development expertise with input from information security professionals around the world, CFR-210 tests candidates on their ability to detect the latest security threats, respond to them, and stay ahead of new attacks that emerge daily. It consists of four highly focused domains with a single purpose: proving candidates are ready to defend information systems from attacks and mitigate costly damages in the real world. There is none of the general-information filler you find in many certifications.

To learn more about the CyberSec First Responder training and certification program, click here. To shop the CFR-210 exam voucher, click here. To shop the CyberSec First Responder training curriculum, click here.

In that October blog post from two years ago, I offered three tips for corporate security: 1) create a culture of security in your organization, 2) provide general training in security so all your employees know the difference between legitimate and illegitimate activity, and 3) provide advanced training for the employees tasked with data security so they can take a proactive role in protecting your information assets. Cyber crime has changed in the past two years, but my tips for defending against it have not.