The framing effect is used in many places, intentionally and unintentionally, but is most present in advertising. It's a very effective way to frame perceptions.Read More
Have you ever finished reading a vendor whitepaper or a research institution’s annual security report and felt your Spidey sense begin to tingle with doubt or disbelief after reading some of the conclusions or research methodology? What you are probably sensing is a manipulation of statistics, an age-old hoodwink that has been occurring as long as numbers have been used to convey information.Read More
Selection bias is what makes these surveys virtually worthless. I previously wrote about the problems of surveys in information security vendor reports and I want to dig in deeper on a topic from the last post: properly selecting a representative sample from the general population being surveyed. This matters so much. This is perhaps the most important step when conducting a statistically sound survey.Read More
The information security vendor space is flooded with research: annual reports, white papers, marketing publications — the list goes on and on. This research is subsequently handed to marketing folks (and engineers who are really marketers) where they fan out to security conferences across the world, standing in booths quoting statistics and attending pay-to-play speaking slots, convincing executives to buy their security products.Read More
In May, Lastpass announced an intrusion on its network that led to a data breach of user account information. LastPass is a cloud-based password manager; users load the LastPass extension into their web browsers and all the pesky password management tasks are taken care of. The user is given one-click access to fill in the username and password on known sites and the option to generate a long password and save credentials on new sites.Read More
In 2009, Heartland Payment Systems suffered what was until recently the largest data breach in recorded history, at the hands of a skilled and malevolent hacker. After the attack, the company went on the offensive, implementing numerous protocols to safeguard against a future attack. And hey, lightening doesn’t strike twice, right?
The unfortunate thing about this incident is that Heartland, ever since its 2009 breach, dedicated quite a bit of effort into making sure its name wasn’t in the news again associated with a data breach. The lesson here is, while endeavoring to detect and respond to sophisticated attacks from advanced persistent threats, don’t forget the fundamentals of security.Read More
An often overlooked, but very important process in the development of any Internet-facing service is testing it for vulnerabilities, knowing if those vulnerabilities are actually exploitable in your particular environment and, lastly, knowing what the risks of those vulnerabilities are to your firm or product launch. These three different processes are known as a vulnerability assessment, penetration test and a risk analysis. Knowing the difference is critical when hiring an outside firm to test the security of your infrastructure or a particular component of your network.Read More