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#comptia | Google searches for coronavirus will now show you safety tips

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Searching Google for “coronavirus” will now send users to a curated search results page with resources from the World Health Organization, safety tips, and news updates, Google and the WHO announced today. This effort, which is just one of Google’s SOS Alerts, is now live. Google […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Griffiss Institute marks commitment to Data Privacy Day, shares safety advice

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Griffiss Institute is marking its commitment to Data Privacy Day by signing on as a 2020 “Champion” for the observance, an international effort held annually Jan. 28 to create awareness about importance of respecting privacy and safeguarding data. As a “Champion,” Griffiss Institute recognizes and supports […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#cybersecurity | #hackerspace | Upgrading to WS2016/2019? Consider a Safety Net for AD

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

A colleague here at Semperis recently looped me into a conversation with the manager of a large Active Directory environment running on Windows Server 2008 R2. With end of support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 coming up soon (officially January 14, 2020), planning is well underway for upgrade of the company’s forest and 110 domain controllers to Windows Server 2016 (the end state selected by this particular company). But one component of the upgrade plan is proving to be difficult, and I’ll explain why.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst

In this organization, any significant change to IT infrastructure requires an approved project plan that includes remediation measures in the event something goes wrong. In the case of an upgrade, that means a way to “go back” if the upgrade fails for some reason or proves to be problematic (for example, breaks a mission-critical application). While “going back” is fairly straightforward with many upgrades, it’s not the case with AD.

That’s because an AD upgrade is more than upgrading (or rebuilding) individual DCs: you’re also making changes to each domain and to the entire forest, and at least one of those changes is irreversible. Imagine that the mission-critical application that doesn’t work with the new (and more secure) AD functionality is a handwritten dinosaur app whose developers all retired long ago. In this situation, you may be looking at having to restore AD from backup and running on the older version until the application can be updated or replaced.

Better… but there’s still a gotcha

Historically, upgrading AD required three irreversible changes:

1. Schema: A schema upgrade is required before upgrading the first DC in the forest (or introducing the first up-level DC). Schema changes have always been – and still are – irreversible.

2. Domain functional level (DFL): Once all the DCs in a domain have been upgraded (or demoted out of the environment), the next step in the AD upgrade process is raising the DFL. (An exception is upgrading from 2016 to 2019: there’s no functional level for 2019, so there’s no need – or even possibility – to raise the DFL.)

Historically, raising the DFL was an irreversible change. However, starting with Windows Server 2012, it’s possible to roll back the DFL. There are some caveats, as outlined in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016 upgrade guides. But for most organizations upgrading AD from 2008 or 2008 R2, rollback is possible.

3. Forest functional level (FFL): Once all the domains in the forest have been upgraded, the next step in the AD upgrade process is raising the FFL. (Again, there’s an exception if you’re upgrading from 2016 to 2019.)

As with DFL, raising the FFL was historically an irreversible change, but rollback is now possible. (Note: Rollback to 2008 FFL is possible only if the AD Recycle Bin has not been enabled.)

While two of the three “point of no return” steps may now be reversible, upgrading AD still requires an irreversible schema upgrade. It’s that moment when you pause before pressing the key to continue. And if you’re upgrading an AD that you inherited or that’s been around for a while, you might pause a bit longer.

 

Figure 1: Warning from ADPREP /FORESTPREP that the schema upgrade is irreversible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risk mitigation

If your AD is healthy, upgrading the schema isn’t generally a problem. However, management doesn’t like to hear that there’s no way back. And let’s be honest: Any AD administrator worth the title hesitates before pushing the key to start an irreversible step.

If you do a risk assessment matrix, the risk falls under the category of low probability but high impact, and should therefore have a mitigation plan in place. For an AD upgrade, risk mitigation means forest recovery.

A challenging proposition

Here’s the problem: forest recovery is no simple task. You probably back up DCs regularly, but DC backups aren’t enough – you also need detailed information about your AD topology, as well as a reliable method of recovery. There’s no native tool for forest recovery, and the manual process outlined by Microsoft is very exacting. In my experience, few AD teams have ever attempted a forest recovery, even in a lab environment.

The good news is that third-party tools are available to automate recovery and ensure you have the necessary backups to recover your AD environment. Semperis AD Forest Recovery is one such tool:

 

Figure 3: Semperis AD Forest Recovery
Figure 3: Semperis AD Forest Recovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semperis automates forest recovery, thereby providing the required remediation measure for your AD upgrade plan. Semperis’s Anywhere Recovery and IP mapping capabilities also facilitate upgrade testing in the lab prior to the production upgrade.

 

Figure 4: IP mapping, together with Semperis’s patented technology for Anywhere Recovery, make it easy to stand up a copy of your production AD in the lab so you can test the AD upgrade process (and the upgrade’s effect on mission-critical applications)
Figure 4: IP mapping, together with Semperis’s patented technology for Anywhere Recovery, make it easy to stand up a copy of your production AD in the lab so you can test the AD upgrade process (and the upgrade’s effect on mission-critical applications)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A permanent safety net

Of course, an upgrade isn’t the only thing that puts your AD at risk. Cyberattacks are a constant threat. For example, a recent article on Wired.com describes how an attacker took out all the DCs for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Not all AD recovery tools protect against this type of threat. For example, they may reintroduce malware in system state and bare-metal backups, or struggle to restore to different virtual or physical hardware. So, it’s important to choose a tool that covers cyber scenarios (ransomware, wiper attacks, etc.) and not just operational scenarios (such as schema upgrades or administrative errors, DIT corruption, AD software failures, etc. that were concerns in the early days of AD).

While an AD upgrade might be the impetus (or opportunity) for procuring an AD recovery tool, the right tool can provide value long after the upgrade. This post from Ed Amoroso, cybersecurity expert and former Chief Security Officer at AT&T, is a great place to learn more.

The post Upgrading to WS2016/2019? Consider a Safety Net for AD appeared first on Semperis.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Semperis authored by Sean Deuby. Read the original post at: https://www.semperis.com/blog/upgrading-to-ws2016-2019-consider-a-safety-net-for-ad/

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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Don’t let these scary cyber safety risks creep up on you | Features/Entertainment

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans THE CONCERN: October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the Better Business Bureau is scaring up the latest on cyber security risks and ways to avoid them. Watch out for these spooky dangers lurking in the corners of our everyday digital lives. HOW THE SCAM WORKS: […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Students learn social media safety at FUSD as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

This week Fresno Unified students are being schooled on social media.

As part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Fresno Unified had a special lesson for students this week.

“We want them to understand think before you post,” said Brian Dvorak with the Fresno Unified Education Technology Dept. “Think about your digital etiquette and your digital footprint. Is this something you want to be permanently out there online and a permanent record of your behavior?”

Students learned the importance of protecting their information and being on the lookout for malicious websites. Teachers also discussed managing screen time and being careful about what you put on the web, especially social media.

“It affects other people and it stays with you the rest of your life,” added Dvorak. “When you apply for a job, it may come back to haunt you.”

Today’s lesson focused on cyberbullying and the damage it can have.

“If someone posts something inappropriate, says something about someone, they could get in trouble, because it’s bullying and you really need to watch out for that,” said 7th-grade student Jaden Wondergen.

This is just the start. While all schools had to administer a lesson on the topic this week, they’ll continue to discuss the topic year-round. The curriculum is for students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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The #Safety of U.S. #Data Could #Rest in #Georgia

Source: National Cyber Security News

At one point or another, much of the U.S.’s data passes through Georgia.

The state is a financial technology capital, with 70 percent of all payment transactions handled in Atlanta. And Georgia is a major internet access point for not only the Southeast but also the Caribbean and part of South America, says Stanton Gatewood, the state’s chief information security officer.

“We have a tremendous amount of information flowing through the state of Georgia,” he says.

But as more data is generated online, cybersecurity resources struggle to keep up. In 2017, the cybersecurity workforce gap was expected to hit 1.8 million people by 2022, a 20 percent increase since 2015. Sources say a shortage exists because cybersecurity is a relatively new academic field, so people haven’t had ample opportunity to undergo the proper training and gain necessary skills. “The crush of demand is coming at once, and academia can’t really keep up,” says Michael Farrell, co-executive director of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Institute for Information Security & Privacy.

In the face of this issue, Georgia is working to become a cybersecurity hub, amassing an arsenal of initiatives. The U.S. Army Cyber Command is moving from Virginia to Fort Gordon army base, right next to Augusta, Georgia.

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Don’t #extend the #SAFETY Act to #cyber #incidents

Source: National Cyber Security News

Hardly a week goes by without a new revelation about some insidious hacking attempt or other cybersecurity incident. This drumbeat of frightful headlines, along with pressure from companies and constituents, rightfully has lawmakers rattled and looking for new ways to address our burgeoning cybersecurity crisis.

Last week, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., became the latest to suggest that “cyber incidents” should qualify for coverage under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act, a series of liability protections used to spur the growth of anti-terrorism technologies. However, the market for cybersecurity technologies is already too robust for this kind of market intervention to do anything but stifle the very innovation that it seeks to accelerate.

The SAFETY Act passed in the wake of 9/11 to assuage the fear that companies would not invest in beneficial anti-terrorism products and services because of liability concerns. The law allows entities to have anti-terrorism related technologies and procedures sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for evaluation. Those meeting certain standards are either “designated” or “certified” under the SAFETY Act for five years and given special liability protections if the DHS secretary designates an otherwise liability inducing event as an “act of terrorism.

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PROTECT International Exhibition and Conference on Security & Safety

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

General Cybersecurity Conference

 March 5 – 6, 2018 | Manila, Philippines

Cybersecurity Conference Description [Submitted by Organizer/ Or Written By Us]

PROTECT 2018 is the longest-running security and safety event in the Philippines.

This will be on March 5-6, 2018 at SMX Convention Center, Manila.

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4 simple steps to cyber safety

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The cyberthreat landscape grows every day, and to stay secure, companies need to build strong cybersecurity strategies internally, according to Anthony Grieco, senior director and trust strategy officer at Cisco’s Security and Trust Organization. “Over the next 12 to 18 months, we are really seeing a trend that lends toward…

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A DEEP FLAW IN YOUR CAR LETS HACKERS SHUT DOWN SAFETY FEATURES

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

SINCE TWO SECURITY researchers showed they could hijack a moving Jeep on a highway three years ago, both automakers and the cybersecurity industry have accepted that connected cars are as vulnerable to hacking as anything else linked to the internet. But one new car-hacking trick illustrates that while awareness helps,…

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