Last year, the inaugural Security Development Conference brought together leading security professionals from a variety of industries around the world who were interested in evolving their own security principals into practices. In all, more than 300 organizations attended the event. Highlights included keynote speakers Richard A. Clarke, former Special Advisor to the President for Cyber Security, General Michael V. Hayden former Director, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. National Security Agency and Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft. You can read more about last year’s event in our wrap up blog post.
As we near the end National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2012 (NCSAM), we continue our focus on the problem of online fraud. Online schemes victimize millions of unsuspecting people every year. In the United States alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recorded 300,000 fraud complaints last year with an adjusted dollar loss of nearly half a billion dollars.
Earlier this month, Microsoft released our Scam Defense Survey, which revealed that the top five most common scams encountered by adults in the U.S. were lottery scams, advance-fee fraud, phishing attacks, and fake anti-virus alerts. The results demonstrate the need for individuals to take action and help safeguard their digital lifestyles by highlighting the evolving complexity and sophistication of these schemes. Case in point: 62 percent of people surveyed said they doubt they’ll ever fall victim to an online scam, yet only 12 percent said they feel fully protected.
Today, Microsoft is releasing a new 12-page booklet to arm consumers with the knowledge they need to help avoid the most common types of online scams.
10+ years ago Joyce Brocaglia, CEO of high-end recruiting firm Alta & Associates was having dinner with Spencer F. Katt, a prolific columnist for the former PC Week, now eWeek. Throughout their lively conversation the topic of finding people for key roles in these IT specialties came up as a difficult task. The prospect of finding a number of candidates to round out executive teams was a challenge too. In particular, Joyce was adamant that talented women existed for a spectrum of positions, while she also acknowledged that tracking down the talent and following the network wasn’t as easy as just going to security events.
In part stimulated by similar conversations, and in part because she saw an opportunity to fill an unmet need, a few years later Joyce started up The Executive Women's Forum (EWF) as a way to tap into the talent pool while delivering benefit to the participants themselves in a number of ways. It has been fun to watch this community grow in size and capability, most notably during the recent ten-year celebration conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The EWF is now a prominent community of over 750 of the nation’s most influential female executives in the fields of Information Security, Privacy, and Risk Management. This group provides a home base for women to grow their professional skills and build networks, log certification credits and gather business information on lessons learned, trends and tips from top practitioners.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the Security Education Conference Toronto (SecTor) 2012, the largest security conference in Canada. Sector had a great group of speakers and more than 1,000 people and had a great group of speakers.
“The End of Bullying Begins with Me.” That’s the message during National Bullying Prevention month this October. An organization called PACER started the anti-bullying campaign in 2006 to bring awareness to bullying prevention efforts. Bullying commonly thought of as a “rite of passage,” for children has long term consequences. Children who are bullied are likely to experience depression, anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
It’s hard to know if childhood bullies grow up to be bullies in the workplace as we typically think of bullying as something school-aged kids experience. However, a recent survey from Career Builder indicates that workplace bullying is on the rise. The survey found thirty-five percent of workers said they have felt bullied at work, up from 27 percent last year. Sixteen percent of these workers reported they suffered health-related problems as a result of bullying and 17 percent decided to quit their jobs to escape the situation. The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from May 14 to June 4, 2012 and included more than 3,800 workers nationwide.
Who are the bullies? Of workers who felt bullied, most pointed to incidents with their bosses (48 percent) or coworkers (45 percent), while 31 percent have been picked on by customers, and 26 percent by someone higher up in the company other than their boss.
This article in our series on Microsoft’s free security tools is focused on a tool called the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA). Many years ago before Windows Update was available, servicing software was much more painful than it is today. Microsoft released security updates weekly, and there were few deployment technologies available to help determine which systems needed which updates. I wrote an article on this topic if you are interested in a walk down memory lane. For those IT administrators that lived through those days, the MBSA was a godsend. Today, 10 years later, the MBSA is still a free security tool that many, many IT Professionals use to help manage the security of their environments.