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Blogs: Critical Infrastructure

  • What the Target Breach Teaches Us About Standards, Regulations, and Critical Infrastructure

    by Gib Sorebo on January 30, 2014

    The recently disclosed security breach of Target’s® point of sale terminals and related infrastructure is likely a lesson on the limitations of standards and regulations to adequately protect sensitive information and critical systems despite the political piling on that traditionally visits a high-profile data breach. However, absent some newly discovered evidence of incompetence, the Target…

  • The Perils of Audits

    by Gib Sorebo on August 31, 2013

    Among critical infrastructure asset owners, a common device for ensuring that their cybersecurity risk posture is appropriate is an audit. We'll leave aside whether the motivation is compliance or simply a desire to be as secure as possible against attacks. In essence, both motivations often lead to the disaster that is the audit whether it is driven by "best practices" or a particular compliance…

  • The Evolution of What We Value and How Much

    by Gib Sorebo on August 19, 2013

    In the current controversies involving what our intelligence community is collecting about its citizens, the issue has frequently been framed as a balance of protecting the personal safety of people versus protecting one’s privacy. While delving deeper may reveal a false dichotomy, we nonetheless must acknowledge that such tradeoffs do exist. At the very least, we’ve come to expect and accept…

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for Control Systems?

    by Gib Sorebo on June 6, 2013

    I just finished attending Interop Las Vegas where I gave a talk entitled “BYOD Security and Privacy.” In walking the show floor and attending a variety of sessions, there was little doubt that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a hot topic that cybersecurity professionals are struggling to get their arms around. The challenge is further magnified by the fact that this trend is less one of technology…

  • RSA 2013: The Culmination of Cybersecurity Month

    by Gib Sorebo on March 12, 2013

    It’s not unusual for cybersecurity vendors to time new product announcements and major initiatives to coincide with the RSA Security Conference. Similarly, major threat reports, such as Mandiant’s APT1 Report, are often released to gain maximum exposure at RSA. But now it seems the White House has gotten into the act with its release of the Cybersecurity Executive Order, or so the conspiracy…

  • Is Cybersecurity Training and Education the Answer?

    by Gib Sorebo on January 22, 2013

    As politicians fight over the right approach to addressing cyber threats, the consensus seems to be that more training and education are needed, particularly in the area of critical infrastructure. Many proclaim, somewhat accurately, that many cybersecurity weaknesses are the result of users clicking on links or opening files that they should not. Logically, then, those same users should be…

  • Can I Get Credit Monitoring for That Transformer?

    by Gib Sorebo on January 2, 2013

    As organizations struggle with cyber attacks and their after effects, more and more are looking to insurance policies to cover the damage. And that really begs the question of just what do a get with a cyber insurance policy? After all, we are bombarded with news stories of stolen customer information where the biggest cost, which some cyber insurance policies cover, is credit monitoring, a…

  • Is Application Whitelisting the Answer for a More Secure Critical Infrastructure?

    by Gib Sorebo on September 4, 2012

    For the last couple years, as anti-virus has continued to fail us with a detection rate often in the single digits, many have suggested that a better approach would be to not focus on the bad but on the good. The objective would be to identify what normal is and alert on everything that is not normal. While that is still a tall task, it is often an easier one than to identify every possible piece…

  • Better Information Sharing – Is It the Way to Better Critical Infrastructure Protection?

    by Gib Sorebo on July 24, 2012

    Last week I attended a breakfast seminar in D.C. titled “Exploring Models of Cybersecurity Threat Information Sharing for Critical Infrastructure” that was sponsored by Hunton & Williams and MITRE. While I’ve attending numerous other talks on information sharing, this one had a number of interesting insights that are worth noting. The panel first highlighted some of the challenges and then noted…

  • The Social Costs of Critical Infrastructure Failures

    by Gib Sorebo on July 16, 2012

    In his seminal work, Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam laments the growing decline in social trust in our society as evidenced by declines in social interaction, civic involvement, and nearly every kind of community activity. That had led to a wide variety of ills, from increased crime to lower economic output. More important, many of our major institutions depend upon citizen involvement for their…

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