Monthly Archives: May 2015

When Your little angel sleeps

cyber as a service

Lately there have been a lot of buzz about cyberbullying in the news. This is something which hasn’t been in the news before, only the last couple of years. Thats quit logic, the new smartphone wave now reaches the 10 year olds, and sometimes even with kids from let say 7 or 8 years old.

Especially kids are very vulnerable to online threats like cyberbullying and other unwanted behaviour. Kids need to learn how to behave online and need to be educated about privacy matters and the harm you can do for their future of their lives and to others. Nothing new so far. But let me tell you a little story about a girl in my son’s class.

ANNE

Lets say here name is Anne. Anne is a 13 year old pretty girl from Rotterdam. She looks older then she actually is.  High grades, good in sports and a fun loving girl to see. She owns a smartphone…..
Before she owned the device Anne had been complaining that everyone else had a smartphone except herself. Her parents finally accepted that their duaghter was growing up and she basically earned the phone due to good grades an good behaviour. Nothing special so far…. Her parents decided to take the step and thoroughly invested some time in making the decision and do what they as parents had to do. They asked themselves a few questions:

What’s the right age?
Do we buy the latest model?
Prepare and sitting down with her?
Do we Set restrictions on the device?
Subscription, minutes, free texting?
Should you get them a dumb/feature phone instead?

All good questions to ask, and they took some time to figure out the best tactics.

STRESS!

All went well for a while, Anne could handle the responsibility and took notice over the wise tips her parent gave her when she finally got the so much wanted Galaxy S series.

Up to one day, when Anne’s mother noticed different behaviour from her daughter.  nervous, frustrated, and constantly checking her smartphone.
Since she had a good relationship with Anne, she decided just to ask if there was anything wrong with her, and if it had anything to do with her owning a smartphone. Anne, denied and just said that she had some trouble concentrating in the classroom since that new kid joined her class.  For Anne’s mother however that answer wasn’t good enough! She decided to take a look at Anne’s phone. When Anne’s mother made that decision to take a sneak look she felt a little ashamed for spying on her daughters smartphone, but she knew it was for good reasons. She simply protected her.

NOT THAT EASY

In the next couple of weeks Anne’s mother had plenty of opurtunities to take a look at Anne’s phone, only she had protected her phone with a pincode and/or facial recognition. Weeks went by and Anne’s mother tried to figure out what Anne’s pincode was. No luck, after a few times of trying she almost gave up on it.  Although Anne’s behaviour with her smartphone wasn’t that nervous or dedicated anymore.

ABRACADABRA

One day  the family came back from a weekend at their summerhouse. After 2 hours of driving, Anne who was sitting in the backseat of the car fel asleep. She had  just unlocked her smartphone with the facial recognition feature. Anne’s mother immediately understood this was her chance to take a look at her daughters smartphone! She asked her husband to stop at a restaurant. She took the phone carefully from Anne’s hand, but the phone was locked already! She then did something very clever, she carefully positioned the phone before her sleeping daughters face and tried to unlock the phone.  It worked! Anne’s father who had been viewing this remarkable behaviour of his wife, was too surprised to say anything. ” I will explain later” she said while driving from the restaurant back home.

15 minutes went by, 25 minutes went by. Then Anne’s father asked his wife what the hell she was doing! She explained, and Anne’s father could understand why his wife wanted to take a look at their daughters Smartphone, although he wasn’t very happy with the situation. A few minutes later she placed the phone on the backseat next to her sleeping daughter. And was quiet, very quiet!

SHAME!

Anne’s mother felt ashamed, how on earth could she betrayed her daughter  this way by spying on her phone! Anne’s smartphone didn’t reveal any behaviour she shouldn’t do online. Anne was the perfect daughter she had  always  been. Why didn’t she trust her? Why was she so curious what was going on? Was it imagination? She had a lot to explain.

 

A LESSON LEARNED

The NSA wants to behave like a parent. They want to be able to defend western territory. They want to know what YOUR kid is doing online, day in day out. They want to know what YOU, reading this blog are are doing day in day out, worldwide. All governments want this. Lets not forget the Google’s and the Facebooks of our time, they also want to know everything about YOU!
And last but not least, maybe even parents want to know everything what their kids are doing online.

There is a little voyeur in everybody….

 

Remo Hardeman
CEO Omerta Information Security

Rotterdam, The Netherlands 31st of May 2015

CISS (cybersecurity it stupid simple)

 

41870204

 

Rotterdam, The Netherlands May 25, 2015

 

Hacked, Hacked, Hacked!

Todays headlines are dominated by yet another breach, day in day out.  Nevertheless the last years we havent seen much change in cybersecurity strategies. But thats about to change, there are quit a few promising new security products on the horizon. If your in Cybersecurity and you follow the news like an professional, you know. If you don’t know, just google for promising cybersecurity products and you will end up in numerous lists, yours to pick one. Check for containerisation, read something about decentralisation and off course keep your eyes always open for Encryption methods, the Math behind it just works! (be aware of a good implementation) But if you havent got the knowledge, or your company simply doesn’t have any funds or budgets available for it, we maybe have a way off stopping at least some crooks.

CISS – cybersecurity it stupid simple

 

Strategy – rethink your architecture
Maybe you are better off with a cloud provider for your services, make them responsible for your data. Do you need those installation files on that old server available just for the ease of use? plenty of examples to give here. But simplifying or revoking some hard- and software will make your life much easier.

strategy
Hardening – Browser – Linux – Windows
Google for “Hardening” and do it for your browsers and OS’ses

Internet security.Laptop and opening safe deposit box's door.

Time management – yes please laugh :-)
If you don’t monitor your stuff and you are not doing any business overnight and you are not an international company over timezones, rethink your online 24 hour footprint. So close down services if you can… Not everybody needs to be online 36 hours per day!

guntime

 

Make your staff aware of incidents, make them part of your problem. SMB’s have the power to have short lines between all departments, use them!

I know, some of these “solutions” are too simple too easy or a little naive. But at least they will be effective! And i will mention it again, there are some very good bloggers on Cybersecurity, very good vendors in Cybersecurity, follow those guys. Eat, speak and sleep Cybersecurity!

I you are still not sure what to do, Hire a professional!

 

Remo hardeman
CEO Omerta Information Security