Wade Williamson

Recent Posts

It’s Time to Get Proactive on Energy Sector Security

Posted by Wade Williamson on Dec 10, 2018 12:58:25 PM

The 2010 discovery of the Stuxnet worm was one of the truly seminal moments in the world of cybersecurity. The world saw firsthand how malicious code could cause crippling damage to physical assets. Virtually every industry had to stop and take notice, and none more so than the energy sector.

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Topics: Hacking, Risk

Making PCI Requirement 8.3 Bulletproof and Simple

Posted by Wade Williamson on Nov 15, 2018 9:22:07 AM

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) has become an essential building block of security policy and practice, and likewise has taken on an increasingly important role in regulatory standards such as the PCI-DSS. Specifically, PCI Requirement 8.3 calls out how MFA should be used to secure both the cardholder data environment (CDE) as well as any networks connected to the CDE. And while protecting your most valuable assets with MFA makes good intuitive sense, the details can get a little tricky if you don’t have a flexible way of enforcing policy in your networks. Fortunately, Preempt’s security platform makes it easy to extend MFA to any asset based on almost context you choose. So let’s take a quick look at what PCI requires, and how you can turn a deceptively tricky requirement into a simple, automated process that you never have to think about.

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Topics: Compliance, PCI

How to Stay Out of the Security Shelfware Trap

Posted by Wade Williamson on Apr 11, 2018 11:45:03 AM

The RSA Conference is just around the corner, and with it, one of the true spectacles of the security industry. If you visit the show floor of exhibitors you will find a seemingly endless sea of security vendors and products stretching in all directions, each one promising to be the critical missing piece to save you from the next attack. It can be exciting, quasi-educational, and more than a little mind numbing all at once.

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Topics: Informaton Security, Threat Detection, Incident Response, Adaptive Response

How to Get Control of Your Risk and Paralyze Malware in the Process

Posted by Wade Williamson on Feb 22, 2018 6:51:06 AM

Attackers and their malware are increasingly relying on a handful of common tools such as Mimikatz, PsExec, and WMI to spread through a network and do damage. Some of these tools are very common and hard to blacklist in a network, and likewise make use of protocols such as NTLM and RPC, which are also historically difficult to control inside of most enterprises. Preempt has delivered industry-first functionality that allows organizations to directly analyze these protocols, detect and challenge abnormal behavior. This allows organizations to control some of the most persistent areas of risk in the network while simultaneously robbing attackers of their favorite tools. You can see it in action in the following video. 

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Fixing Account Lockouts With Adaptive Policies

Posted by Wade Williamson on Jan 4, 2018 7:21:22 AM

Dealing with account lockouts is one of the unhappy facts of life for many IT teams. And while  resolving lockouts isn’t particularly difficult, it is the sheer volume of incidents that often weighs down IT teams. In fact a recent survey found that ⅓ of IT and Support tickets are tied to password resets and account lockouts.

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Topics: Passwords, Adaptive Response, Compliance

Stopping Breaches Requires Asking the Right Questions

Posted by Wade Williamson on Oct 26, 2017 4:07:21 PM

In a very short period of time, machine learning (ML) has had a major impact on the field of cybersecurity. Machine learning has proven to be adept at finding threats in ways that traditional signatures never could, whether detecting malware, finding vulnerabilities, or recognizing when a trusted employee has been compromised by an attacker.

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Topics: Adaptive Response, Multi-factor Authentication

Becoming NYDFS Compliant With Preempt

Posted by Wade Williamson on Oct 6, 2017 12:17:29 PM

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has recently enacted new cybersecurity regulation aimed at protecting financial services organizations and their data. The new regulation known as 23 NYCRR 500 actually went into effect earlier in the year, but the 180-day transition period ended on August 28th, meaning organizations now need to be officially in compliance. Of course financial services CISOs are no strangers to regulation, having to already comply with a dizzying array of control frameworks including NIST, COBIT, SSAE and specific regulations such as PCI-DSS and SEC OCIE just to name a few.

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Topics: Compliance, Risk, continous monitoring

Password Policy Gets a Reset

Posted by Wade Williamson on Sep 22, 2017 2:26:27 PM

In a recent blog, we discussed how attackers typically follow the path of least resistance. In enterprises, this almost always involves seeking out weak passwords. Data from Verizon’s Data Breach investigation Report certainly bears this out, where they found that nearly 2/3s of breaches involved the use of weak, default, or stolen credentials. As much as the industry likes to focus on nation-state attackers and obscure 0-days, the fact remains that most battles are lost due to a lack of basic password hygiene in the network.

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Topics: Passwords, NIST, Compliance

Getting to the Root of Security Alert Fatigue

Posted by Wade Williamson on Jul 27, 2017 1:06:27 PM

Something is very wrong in the security industry and “security alert fatigue” is one of the most obvious symptoms. Most enterprises generate far more security alerts than their security staff can analyze. Typically it’s not even close. The problem extends to all industries, but a recent survey of banking security leaders brought the issue into sharp focus.  The study found that 61% of the organizations generate at least 100,000 events per day. 37% of organizations generated more than 200,000 events per day. That is simply too many events to process even for the largest of security teams. This shouldn’t be the norm, but virtually anyone who works in security can attest that it is. So let’s take a looks at why this is happening and what we can do to fix it. 

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Topics: Incident Response, Adaptive Response