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A powerful vote for multifactor authentication

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Now that the dust is settling after the U.S. Presidential election, it’s worth looking back at one of the most controversial issues that happened during the run-up to the election itself – and at how that issue might never have happened, if the parties involved had been using the appropriate cybersecurity measures. The issue started in March 2016 when the personal Gmail account of John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign was hacked following a spear-phishing attack.  The hackers stole several thousand emails, many of which pertained to Clinton’s election campaign activities, and these were passed to Wikileaks, which published them in early October, ahead of the …

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How virtualized security will transform telcos’ networks

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As communications service providers (CSPs) transform their businesses to deliver next-generation connectivity and services, they are embracing virtualization, to take advantage of optimized network efficiency, greater agility and the opportunity to create new revenue streams – all of which can be done easier and quicker in virtualized environments. One of the key drivers is the transition to 5G, and enabling IoT environments that will require cost-effective and flexible solutions if they are to be commercially feasible.  5G is all about high performance and low latency, which will require more distributed environments, closer to the end user.  The same is true for IoT, with millions of connected devices to the network …

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Securing critical infrastructure against … squirrels

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Sophisticated cybercriminals and nation-state attackers.  Out-of-date hardware and software.  Weaponized malware.  Disgruntled ex-employees. Careless current employees.  We’re all familiar with some of the potential cyber-risks to critical infrastructure and networks.  But what about squirrels? Yes, squirrels. Recent research has shown that more than 1700 power cuts affecting nearly 5 million people since 2013 were directly attributable to animals damaging power lines, leading to outages.  Squirrels came top of the list, responsible for an impressive 879 of these ‘attacks’ by gnawing through electricity cabling around facilities.  The researcher behind the project said he started tracking these issues in an attempt to dispel some of the hype around cyberattacks made by individuals …

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You can bank on GeoIP blocking to help stop DDoS attacks

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Online banking services at the major UK bank, Lloyds, were intermittently disturbed over a two-day period recently. At various times, different sets of customers were unable to access their accounts.  However, no sensitive data was accessed, and no funds were stolen.  On the scale of damaging cyberattacks, it didn’t appear to be too problematic. But the outward calm masked frenetic activity behind the scenes, in Lloyds’ IT security team, as the service interruptions were due to a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, part of a broader campaign by a sophisticated gang of cybercriminals. Halifax and Bank of Scotland were also targeted.  By flooding the banks’ computer systems with …

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Password protected?

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Ask the average person in the street for a basic element of cybersecurity and ‘passwords’ will likely come up pretty quickly. If you press them to explain what a ‘strong’ password is, and even the least computer literate tend to have an understanding of the importance of choosing hard-to-guess options, containing a mixture of characters, and of not reusing the same password between different accounts. However, ‘understanding’ is not the same as ‘practicing’, however. And new research has revealed that many people are still using predictable, easily-guessed or otherwise weak combinations. According to the research, the top passwords of 2016 were ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’ and ‘111111’, with more than half of …

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Fake news – but real threats

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Russian agents have launched a cyberattack on the power grid in the US!  That was the message of a somewhat alarming news story that recently hit the headlines.  As Reuters put it, ‘malware associated with Russian hackers has reportedly been detected within the system of a Vermont electric utility.’  Yet days later, the story was debunked as something of an exaggeration. Far from being a sophisticated, deliberate cyberattack, it seems that an employee at the Burlington Electric Department simply logged on to check his email and connected to a potentially suspicious IP address – an IP address that is not always linked with malicious activity anyway. So we can all …

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Why fee?

In Blog post by Sam Coleman0 Comments

As WiFi explodes in use and points of access, the challenge becomes how to secure users, manage data flow and even how to go from free to fee. Naturally, our world is defined by connectivity: we live and work on our broadband or 4G networks, our devices have become the steering wheel to drive on these digital fast lanes. But consider those roads for a moment. You have a mobile lane, a fast and untethered high speed freeway which gives the maximum convenience as it’s on your device, the signal spread over base stations through 4G (and soon 5G). But that convenience comes at a price (literally) as well as …

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Joining forces to protect the Internet of Things

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Being at the cutting edge of technological development and working closely with partners to drive innovation has always been a top priority for Clavister – especially in the Internet of Things (IoT) space.  We’re one of the founding and contributing partners for Intel’s IoT Innovation Centre in Stockholm, which opened in 2014. The ever-expanding IoT is changing the technology industry at an amazing pace. The analyst IHS has predicted that the number of devices connected to the IoT ecosystem will grow from 15.4 billion in 2015 to an enormous 30.7 billion in 2020. It’s no surprise, then, that organizations across a range of sectors are joining forces and collaborating to …

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Another shot across the World War 3.0 bow?

In Blog post by Sam Coleman0 Comments

The expulsion and impending sanctions against Russia for cyberattacks on the 2016 presidential election make the new Cold War a few degrees hotter. It’s yet another development of World War 3.0 – the slow and steady march of nation state sponsored cyber conflict, as entities hit against digital and even critical infrastructures. US president Obama’s casting out of 35 Russian diplomats, accused of facilitating the cyberattack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as well as being part of the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s email, came after months of investigation into the cyber intrusions that experts – as well as 17 US agencies including the DHS, FBI …

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2016: a year of cybersecurity incidents

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As we approach the end of 2016, major media outlets have been quick to name it as one the worst years ever, in terms of bad news.  While the discussion about exactly how bad it is compared with previous years continues, it’s certainly been a significant year in terms of major cybersecurity stories.  Let’s look back at some of the most significant security stories from the past 12 months, and the lessons that can be drawn from them. Businesses being held to ransom Ransomware was the most prominent attack trend of 2016, with organizations from hospitals to the San Francisco Muni Metro falling victim to it. Cybercriminals have learnt that …