Cyber Security Takeaways From South By Southwest Interactive

By | March 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Cyber security was a hot topic this year at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), the digital, film and music festival held in our headquartered city of Austin, TX. We took part in the security discussions by sharing some mobile security tips, hosting a networking party Saturday night and participating in three SXSWi panels. Take a look at our SXSWi activities and what we learned

SXSWi PostCSID President Joe Ross and CIO Adam Tyler Shared Mobile Security Tips

Prior to the festival starting, Joe and Adam got behind the mic and in front of the camera to share mobile security tips. Joe on KLBJ radio and Adam on KXAN News, both discussed how a large event like SXSWi attracts cyber criminals as there is an onslaught of out-of-towners and a tendency for conference-goers to use public Wi-Fi. Here are a few suggestions they shared with the audiences to help protect against mobile risks during the festival:

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi and use a VPN for added security, if possible.
  • Use a different mobile passcode during the festival and then change it back to your original code when you travel home.
  • Be cautious about downloading new apps during the festival. Always download apps from a credible app store.

We Hosted Our Annual “Protect Your Buzz” SXSWi Party

We held our annual “Protect Your Buzz” party at Star Bar on Saturday during SXSWi and had a chance to connect with security professionals, strengthen partner relationships and celebrate our hardworking employees. And as always, we enjoyed food from our favorite Tex Mex caterer– Valentina’s!

CSID CIO Adam Tyler Demonstrated the Power of a Malicious $20 Hacked Router

In his “When Good Technology Goes Bad: Mobile Technology” solo panel, CSID CIO Adam Tyler showed how inexpensive, readily available technology can be hacked into a malicious device used to create “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Here are the key takeaways from his panel:

  • If you must connect to Wi-Fi on your laptop, take a moment at the end of your session to “forget” the network. This can help you avoid man-in-the-middle attacks that allow malicious technology to connect to your device via past networks. Smartphones and tablets, however, do not have the capability to “forget” networks, so the best policy is to not connect to public Wi-Fi at all.
  • Make sure your mobile device does not automatically connect to Wi-Fi. You should always manually choose a secure Wi-Fi connection on your device.
  • While technology can be manipulated into malicious devices, you should never be afraid of using technology. In fact, the better informed you are about technology, the better armed you are to protect against the bad.

Internet Privacy Lawyer Parry Aftab Partnered with CSID to Talk Reputation

The hour-long SXSWi panel, “That Was the Old Me: Managing Online Reputation,” featured CSID’s VP of Product and Marketing Bryan Hjelm and renowned Internet privacy lawyer Parry Aftab. They discussed how personal and business digital presences have evolved in our fast-paced world and the implications of a damaged online reputation. Some crucial lessons:

  • Suppression services can help hide unwanted, and many times untrue, articles, web profiles, etc. that can hurt a reputation.
  • Hiring managers are looking at social media more than ever to determine whether a candidate is fit for a job.
  • The excessive reuse of passwords across multiple websites and the frequency with which teens share their passwords can put many at risk for identity theft, which can lead to damaged reputations as well as injured credit.

Two Child Online Safety Advocates Discussed Child ID Theft in a Roundtable Discussion

In CSID’s third security panel, “Growing Up Unprotected: Child ID Theft,” CEO of Inflection Point Global Chris Crosby and CEO of Lookout Social Clay Nichols discussed how child ID theft should be a top privacy concern for parents. Here are some lessons learned from the discussion:

  • Children have a digital footprint before they are even born! This early digital footprint can make cyber criminals aware of a fresh identity on which to prey.
  • Many parents are unaware that child identity theft is a growing problem, since there are many other frightening cyber challenges they face, such as cyber bulling.
  • To combat cyber criminals, parents can start the digital safety conversation early with children. Let kids know why they should not share their passwords with others and educate them on what is appropriate to post on social media.

New Juniper Research Findings: More than 80% of Smartphones are Unprotected from Malware Attacks

By | October 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|

Juniper Blog PicThe Mobile Secutity: BYOD, mCommerce, Consumer & Enterprise 2013-2018 report by Juniper Research finds that more than 80 percent of smartphones devices remain unprotected from malware attacks. As mobile operating systems, including smartphones and tablets, continue to increase in usage, cyber criminals are transitioning their focus from PCs toward the mobile platform.

Although there is an increased risk of smartphone attacks from malware, the report shows consumer awareness is slower to adapt which allows attackers to easily search for ways to circumvent a defense perimeter. Cybercriminals use social engineering to actively persuade users to take shortcuts or to indulge in behaviors that allow the attacker access (Defending Against Web-Based Malware).

Despite low public perception, mobile security software is steadily on the rise due to increased malware attacks over the past two years. The report found that there will be an increase of 325 million mobile devices to have mobile security software installed by 2018, totaling around 1.3 billion devices.

As seen with the “TouchID” feature on the new iPhone 5s, protective measures are already beginning to be enacted. Looking back to CSID’s September blog post, Apple Announces Touch ID, a Fingerprint Password Sensor, the “TouchID” finger sensor could “act as a first line of defense against would-be thieves and hackers – even intelligence agencies, to a degree – against identity and content theft, fraud, and surveillance,” reports Zack Whittaker at ZDNet.

Kristin Badgett, CSID Information Security Officer, advises that the best way to protect yourself and your company from web-based cyberattacks and malware is to stay educated on how to spot and mitigate them. Look for suspicious signs in email and online, such as:

  • Online or email offers that seem way too good to be true
  • Receiving emails from an unrecognized sender or domain
  • URLs that seem odd or are off by a few characters or numbers
  • Applications running slower than normal or unexpected system behavior
  • Look for unexpected program launches, such as a pop-up window, system tray icon, or invisible processes in your task manager
  • Look for bad grammar and spelling errors in text of emails and web-based content
  • A flux of pop-up advertisements when you had pop-ups blocked

A good rule of thumb to follow: When in doubt, don’t click on it!

Follow CSID on Twitter and Facebook for more news and tips, and be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.

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