Security technologies such as firewalls are meant, at best, to prevent data security breaches, or at worst, detect them before they get out of hand; but in some cases, organizations have been complacent. In the infamous Target data breach of 2013, hackers were roaming their system and stealing data for two weeks before the breach was even detected. In the equally egregious breach of Heartland Payment Systems five years earlier, hackers were stealing data for several weeks before the invasion was discovered. Ironically, both Heartland and Target were PCI-compliant, but the time lag between system compromise and detection was unnecessarily long. And, they’re not alone in this regard.
What the security community says about a specific industry vertical usually holds true for a good percentage of what is seen in the wild. You can ask any hacker, defender, CISO, etc what industries struggle the most and there are common themes in their answers. Top of the list includes healthcare, manufacturing, government, and financial. Some of the most heavily compliance controlled and regulated are also some of the least secure. Why is this? Is it due to administrators and senior management taking compliance standards as gospel? Maybe it’s a lack of knowledgeable staff like the blind leading the blind.
With data breaches in the healthcare industry increasing exponentially, it's critical for those in leadership positions to get serious about HIPAA security and enforcement. You need to understand not only why HIPAA is important but how the rule enforcement process works and the penalties that can be implemented.
PCI Compliance is here to stay:
Typically, IT managers dread the annual PCI assessment. With publicized credit card breaches on the rise, meeting PCI compliancy will be even more so of a requirement with potential increases in punitive actions for companies not meeting that compliancy. To add to the existing complexity of PCI DSS, with emerging threats of capabilities to breach corporate networks on a consistent basis, PCI requirements will remain in a perpetual state of change.
A comprehensive cyber security framework consists of several components, and one of the most important among them is security log monitoring. Without an effective security log monitoring and management policy in place, a company runs the risk of non-compliance, and perhaps fines, if there is ever a data breach. In order to maintain compliance with guidelines laid out by laws like HIPAA, and frameworks such as PCI, companies need to have an effective security monitoring solution in place that can help them collect and analyze log information so they can detect and respond to cyber attacks.
In March 2015, the PCI Council released their Information Supplement for Penetration Testing Guidance. This is a fantastic move as previous guidelines were centered on the completion of penetration tests and left the methodology for completing those up to the auditor. With this guidance in place, we now have a clear definition to what qualifies as a penetration test in the eyes of the Council. There isn’t a need to rehash the document for you here, and I encourage everyone to read it. I would like to focus on a few key highlights that I’m happy to see added.
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Topics: Ethical Hacking, Information Security, Managed Detection & Response, Penetration Testing, Security Monitoring, Threat Management, Threat Hunting, Device Management, Compliance, Security Architecture Review, Incident Response, Vulnerability Management
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