Bob Violino

Author Archives: Bob Violino

Robots present a cyber risk

The prospect of an army of robots marching in unison to launch an attack on an unsuspecting city belongs in the realm of science fiction—as do most images of menacing autonomous machines wreaking all kinds of havoc on civilization.That’s not to say robotics is free from security and safety threats, however. In fact, experts say the growing use of robots by companies such as manufacturers, retailers, healthcare institutions and other businesses can present a number of cyber risks.There are two primary issues related to security and robotics, says Michael Overly, a partner and information security attorney at law firm Foley & Lardner.First, these machines are generally integral to assembly line operations and other similar activities, Overly says. “An attack could literally bring a manufacturing or assembly plant to its knees,” he says. “We have seen this very outcome in a ransomware attack targeted at robotic assemblers in a plant in Mexico.” In that case, the ransomware locked up the specifications files from which the robots drew their operating parameters, he says.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Robots present a cyber risk

The prospect of an army of robots marching in unison to launch an attack on an unsuspecting city belongs in the realm of science fiction—as do most images of menacing autonomous machines wreaking all kinds of havoc on civilization.That’s not to say robotics is free from security and safety threats, however. In fact, experts say the growing use of robots by companies such as manufacturers, retailers, healthcare institutions and other businesses can present a number of cyber risks.There are two primary issues related to security and robotics, says Michael Overly, a partner and information security attorney at law firm Foley & Lardner.First, these machines are generally integral to assembly line operations and other similar activities, Overly says. “An attack could literally bring a manufacturing or assembly plant to its knees,” he says. “We have seen this very outcome in a ransomware attack targeted at robotic assemblers in a plant in Mexico.” In that case, the ransomware locked up the specifications files from which the robots drew their operating parameters, he says.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Security challenge: Wearing multiple hats in IT

Are you taking on multiple job responsibilities at your company, including some aspects of information security? If so, you’re not alone. At many organizations, IT professionals are being asked to handle a variety of security tasks and functions. For them, wearing multiple hats can create both opportunities and stress.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Mergers create greater security risk

Corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be fraught with risks related to financial matters, company culture, personnel, IT systems integration and other areas.Security risks, both cyber and physical, certainly belong on the list of concerns. And with the ongoing shortage of professionals who are expert in various aspects of data protection—coupled with the seemingly endless stream of reports about data breaches and other security threats—this has become an even bigger concern for companies that are considering or in the midst of M&A deals.“Any M&A activity involves an assumption of risk,” says Ariel Silverstone, vice president of security strategy, privacy and trust at GoDaddy, a provider of domain name registrations.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Mergers create greater security risk

Corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be fraught with risks related to financial matters, company culture, personnel, IT systems integration and other areas.Security risks, both cyber and physical, certainly belong on the list of concerns. And with the ongoing shortage of professionals who are expert in various aspects of data protection—coupled with the seemingly endless stream of reports about data breaches and other security threats—this has become an even bigger concern for companies that are considering or in the midst of M&A deals.“Any M&A activity involves an assumption of risk,” says Ariel Silverstone, vice president of security strategy, privacy and trust at GoDaddy, a provider of domain name registrations.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Data lakes security could use a life preserver

As big data initiatives gain steam at organizations, many companies are creating “data lakes” to provide a large number of users with access to the data they need. And as with almost every type of new IT initiative, this comes with a variety of security risks that enterprises must address.Data lakes are storage repositories that hold huge volumes of raw data kept in its native format until it’s needed. They’re becoming more common as organizations gather enormous amounts of data from a variety of resources.The growing business demand for analytics is helping to fuel the move to large repositories of data. And data lakes are likely to take on even more significance with the growth of the internet of things (IoT), in which companies will gather data from and about countless networked objects.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Data lakes security could use a life preserver

As big data initiatives gain steam at organizations, many companies are creating “data lakes” to provide a large number of users with access to the data they need. And as with almost every type of new IT initiative, this comes with a variety of security risks that enterprises must address.Data lakes are storage repositories that hold huge volumes of raw data kept in its native format until it’s needed. They’re becoming more common as organizations gather enormous amounts of data from a variety of resources.The growing business demand for analytics is helping to fuel the move to large repositories of data. And data lakes are likely to take on even more significance with the growth of the internet of things (IoT), in which companies will gather data from and about countless networked objects.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Mobile management takes on apps, content

Corporate mobile infrastructures continue to grow, with both company-issued and employee-owned devices playing a key role in supporting business processes. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites are often the way enterprises manage these increasingly complex environments.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Mobile management vendors compared

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) helps companies secure their mobile infrastructure, as well as control device policies and manage mobile apps, content, networks and services. The platforms have been around for a while; some might know them as mobile device management (MDM) suites. But those suites have matured and adopted new features.Editor's note: This chart was originally posted in May 2013 and was updated in March 2015 and again on June 27, 2016. We chose the vendors and products listed here based on conversations with independent analysts about which have significant market share or are important to include for other reasons such as features and functions. All information in the chart about the products and services comes from the respective vendors.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

IoT pushes IT security to the brink

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers many possible benefits for organizations and consumers—with unprecedented connectivity of countless products, appliances and assets that can share all sorts of information. IoT also presents a number of potential security threats that organizations need to address.“There is no doubt the levels of risk are set to increase alongside the growth in deployment of IoT devices,” says Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. IoT will introduce thousands of new threat vectors simply by increasing the number of networked points, Contu says.While IoT offers great opportunities, in interconnected environments “the security risks increase exponentially and the attack vector or surface is—in theory—potentially limitless,” says Laura DiDio, director enterprise research, Systems Research & Consulting at Strategy Analytics.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IoT pushes IT security to the brink

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers many possible benefits for organizations and consumers—with unprecedented connectivity of countless products, appliances and assets that can share all sorts of information. IoT also presents a number of potential security threats that organizations need to address.“There is no doubt the levels of risk are set to increase alongside the growth in deployment of IoT devices,” says Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. IoT will introduce thousands of new threat vectors simply by increasing the number of networked points, Contu says.While IoT offers great opportunities, in interconnected environments “the security risks increase exponentially and the attack vector or surface is—in theory—potentially limitless,” says Laura DiDio, director enterprise research, Systems Research & Consulting at Strategy Analytics.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Chief Risk Officers needed to battle rising corporate espionage

A growing number of organizations are adding a new member to the C-suite—the chief risk officer (CRO)—and the rise of these executives is having a direct impact on the security programs at enterprises.“Corporate espionage, terrorism and cyber attacks are ratcheting up the need for senior executives who understand all aspects of risk management and security,” says Jeremy King, president of Benchmark Executive Search, a provider of technology executive search services.INSIDER 12 habits of successful tech CEO “Many companies are finally awakening to how destructive security breaches of all types can be—from physical damage and real costs to reputation loss and customer recovery,” King says. “Previously siloed risk-management functions must be reinvented, strengthened, and funded more aggressively. Industry must re-evaluate its approach to risk management, and success will require unprecedented cooperation from board directors and those in the C-suite.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

7 steps to biometric bliss

Every time you access your phone via fingerprint reader, you’re using biometric identification technology. So, while biometrics on the consumer side has become commonplace, a number of barriers have blocked widespread biometric adoption in the enterprise.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

How an audit can shore up your security strategy

Information security audits are on the rise, as organizations look to not only bolster their security postures, but demonstrate their efforts to other parties such as regulators.Audits, which are measurable technical assessments of systems, applications and other IT components, can involve any number of manual and automated processes. Whether conducted by internal auditors or outside consultants, they are an effective way for companies to evaluate where they stand in terms of protecting data resources.The high-profile data breaches of recent years have forced many organizations to take a closer look at their security technologies and policies, experts say.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Identifying the security pitfalls in SDN

Software-defined networks can be a boon to savvy organizations, offering opportunities to cut administrative costs while increasing network agility. But SDN technology can also create security risks, and how you manage those risks can mean the difference between a successful implementation and a disastrous one.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Overcoming stubborn execs for security sake

Even with the greater awareness for strong security within organizations—and the high-profile hacks that have contributed to that increased awareness—security executives still encounter significant hurdles in doing their jobs to protect data and systems.Clashes with senior business executives as well as those at lower levels of organizations make it more challenging for CSOs and CISOs to create a secure environment, and yet they continue to happen.Many of the conflicts that occur between security and business executives are due to ongoing philosophical differences regarding risk, says Dave Dalva, vice president at Stroz Friedberg, who has worked in the position of CISO for a number of clients.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

What security pros want for the new year

It’s that time of year when we ask security executives in a variety of industries what they would like to include on their holiday wish lists.Some of the responses we received were in the realm of pure fantasy. For example, one security chief asked for technology tools that address all of the major security threats, don’t cost anything and have top-notch 7x24x365 support with response times inside 15 minutes!+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD Follow all of our predictions for 2016 +Most of the wishes submitted are a bit closer to reality, and some might even come true if factors align the right way. So, with the completion of another year approaching, once again we present a listing of what security executives say they are hoping for, as they continue in their mission to protect their organizations’ systems and data.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

It’s time to pull the trigger on security automation

It’s likely that you already have a variety of security tools -- intrusion prevention, network access control, endpoint security, mobile device management – that come with automation capabilities designed to quickly find and stop attacks. But for a variety of perfectly good reasons, you’ve been reluctant to turn these features on. You may be worried about blocking legitimate business transactions by mistake, keeping employees from getting work done because their devices have been temporarily quarantined or risking the wrath of users when wiping remote devices. Or maybe you’ve been so swamped that you haven’t had the time to set up these automation capabilities. “It takes time and skills to tune these products effectively in order to take advantage of their automation capabilities,” says Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Furthermore, automation usually depends upon integrating several security technologies together, which can be difficult,” Oltsik adds.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)