J Wolfgang Goerlich's thoughts on Information Security
Configuring trusted keys and certificates (PCI-DSS)

By wolfgang. 16 February 2015 20:00

PCI-DSS 3 requires that in-scope devices, like cash register computers or payment processing servers, accept only trusted certificates. Specifically, it states:

Protect Cardholder Data
Requirement 4: Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks
4.1(b) Are only trusted keys and/or certificates accepted?

Sensitive information must be encrypted during transmission over public networks, because it is easy and common for a malicious individual to intercept and/or divert data while in transit. Secure transmission of cardholder data requires using trusted keys/certificates, a secure protocol for transport, and proper encryption strength to encrypt cardholder data. Connection requests from systems that do not support the required encryption strength, and that would result in an insecure connection, should not be accepted. Verifying that certificates are trusted (for example, have not expired and are issued from a trusted source) helps ensure the integrity of the secure connection.

So, how do you do this in Windows?

First, view the certificates of all payment processing services and document the trusted root certificate. Add to this list of trusted root certificates those that are required for Microsoft Windows to function. (This list is documented here: http://support2.microsoft.com/?id=293781). Create one master list of all certificates that should be accepted. 

Second, open the local computer’s certificate store. (Control Panel > All Tasks > Administrative Tools > Manage computer certificates.) Under Trusted Root Certification Authorities, expand Certificates. Delete all certificate authorities not on the previously created master list. 

Third, configure the computer’s Web browser to not allow the user to continue to Websites with untrusted certificates. This setting varies from browser to browser. In Internet Explorer, the settings are in Local Security Policy under:

Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Internet Control Panel
Prevent ignoring certificate errors

Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Internet Control Panel\Advanced Page
Turn on warn about certificate address mismatch
Check for server certificate revocation

The computer will now accept only those certificates accepted for business purposes. Any invalid certificates will stop the transaction and not allow the user to inadvertently continue. This configuration reduces the likelihood of Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, signed malware, and other attacks against certificate infrastructure. In addition, the computer’s configuration is now in compliance with PCI-DSS 3’s 4.1.b requirement.

Some additional thoughts:

 

Tags:

Cryptography

Premiership CISOs – How Are You Treating Yours?

By wolfgang. 5 February 2015 06:13

Sarah Clarke (@S_Clarke22) kicked off a good conversation on twitter about our expectations and treatment of CISOs. She summarized the discussion here:

Premiership CISOs – How Are You Treating Yours?
http://infospectives.co.uk/2015/02/04/premiership-cisos-how-are-you-treating-yours/

 

Tags:

Leadership

Biggest Mistakes Companies Make with Data & Information Security

By wolfgang. 4 February 2015 09:26

The fundamental mistake companies make with data security is...

Neglecting data governance.

Many companies lack the processes, policies, and standards for protecting data throughout its lifecycle. How is new data added and classified? How are people given access, and how often is that access reviewed? Are the backups and redundancies sufficient given the type of data? How is data access monitored and reported on? Is sufficient data loss prevention in place to protect the company? And, once the data reaches its end-of-life, how is the data gracefully retired? The companies which fail to think through the long term implications of data leave themselves open to security incidents and breaches.

Read the rest of the insights here:

Data Security Experts Reveal the Biggest Mistakes Companies Make with Data & Information Security
https://digitalguardian.com/blog/data-security-experts-reveal-biggest-mistakes-companies-make-data-information-security

Tags:

Intellectual property | Data Loss Prevention

Guest on PVC Security

By wolfgang. 3 February 2015 17:17

PVC is short for Passion, Vision, Communication (& Execution) and is a leadership podcast hosted by Ed Rojas (@EdgarR0jas) and Paul Jorgensen (@prjorgensen). I am a fan of both of their leadership styles, and was pleased that they joined us at BSides Detroit 14. (The talk Ed gave, for example, landed one guy a job and helped another guy launch his own city sec group.) Ed and Paul had me on the podcast to discuss leadership, grandparenting, my strange love of Excel, and the adhocracy that is MiSec.

They also got me singing the intro. So, there's that. Listen to the episode on iTunes or catch it here:

http://www.pvcsec.com/2015/02/03/pvcsec-episode-13-the-ways-of-the-wolf/

Tags:

Leadership

Friday Books and Talks 01/30/2015

By wolfgang. 30 January 2015 16:59

How Did That Happen?
by Roger Connors, Tom Smith

The economy crashes, the government misfires, businesses fail, leaders don't lead, managers don't manage, and the people we count on for the results that affect our own performance don't follow through, leaving us asking, "How did that happen?" Surprises caused by a lack of personal accountability plague almost every organization today, from the political arena to every large and small business. How Did That Happen? offers a proven way to eliminate these nasty surprises, gain an unbeatable competitive edge, and enhance performance by holding others accountable in a positive, principled way.

The Definitive Drucker
by Elizabeth Haas Edersheim

For sixteen months before his death, Elizabeth Haas Edersheim was given unprecedented access to Peter Drucker, widely regarded as the father of modern management. At Drucker's request, Edersheim, a respected management thinker in her own right, spoke with him about the development of modern business throughout his life-and how it continues to grow and change at an ever-increasing rate. The Definitive Drucker captures his visionary management concepts, applies them to the key business risks and opportunities of the coming decades, and imparts Drucker's views on current business practices, economic changes, and trends-many of which he first predicted decades ago. It also sheds light onto issues such as why so many leaders fail, the fragility of our economic systems, and the new role of the CEO.


Tags:

General

Friday Books and Talks 01/23/2015

By wolfgang. 23 January 2015 16:15

Drucker on Leadership
by William A. Cohen, Ph.D.

Although Peter Drucker, "The Father of Modern Management," died in 2005, his timeless teachings are studied and practiced by forward-thinking managers worldwide. His lessons and wisdom on the topic of leadership-the central element of management-are in constant demand, yet he wrote little under that actual subject heading. In Drucker on Leadership , William A. Cohen explores Drucker's lost leadership lessons-why they are missing, what they are, why they are important, and how to apply them. As Cohen explains, Drucker was ambivalent about leadership for much of his career, making it clear that leadership was not by itself "good or desirable." While Drucker struggled with the concept of leadership, he was well aware that it had a critical impact on the accomplishment of all projects and human endeavors. There is no book from Drucker specifically dedicated to leadership, but a wealth of information about leadership can be found scattered throughout his 40 books and hundreds of articles. Drucker's teachings about leadership have saved many corporations from failure and helped guide others to outstanding success. Many of the leadership concepts revealed in this book will surprise and perhaps shock Drucker's followers. For example, who would have thought that Peter Drucker taught that "leadership is a marketing job" or that "the best leadership lessons for business or any nonprofit organization come from the military"? Written for anyone who values the insights of the man whose name is synonymous with excellence in management, Drucker on Leadership offers a deeper understanding of what makes an extraordinary leader.

 

Just Listen
by Mark Goulston

The first make-or-break step in persuading anyone to do any thing is getting them to hear you out. Whether the person is a harried colleague, a stressed-out client, or an insecure spouse, things will go from bad to worse if you can't break through emotional barricades. Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach, and backed by the latest scientific research, author Mark Goulston shares simple but power ful techniques readers can use to really get through to people--whether they're coworkers, friends, strangers, or enemies. Getting through is a fine art but a critical one. With the help of this groundbreaking book readers will be able to turn the "impossible" and "unreachable" people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends.

Sitting people down and lecturing them rarely works, because it makes them defensive and when they’re defensive, they hide things from you. Work side by side with them in a cooperative activity, however, and you’ll lower their guard and get them to open up.

Tags:

General

Shelfware and Constraint Analysis

By wolfgang. 20 January 2015 13:46

Risk management and, indeed, all security activities do not happen in a vacuum. We need buy-in and time from business end-users, IT professionals, and more. Yet all to often, we plan these activities without doing a joint constraint analysis. The result is work that is understaffed and simply does not get done.

A recent survey highlights this condition. "According to Osterman Research, of the $115 per user respondents spent on security-related software in 2014, $33 was either underutilized or never used at all. In other words, in an organization of 500 users, more than $16,000 in security-related software investments was either partially or completed wasted." IT staff "was too busy to implement the software properly, IT did not have enough time to do so, there were not enough people available to do so, or IT did not understand the software well enough," the report states.

Personally, I am not ready to throw the IT staff under the bus. Let's hold up a mirror. When was the last time we planned risk mitigation while taking into account IT's time and knowledge? When was the last time we included training and staffing in our business case? 

All to rarely. It is time to take constraints into account.

Tags:

Risk Management

Friday Books and Talks 01/16/2015

By wolfgang. 16 January 2015 06:12

I am revisiting some classic books, investigating ideas about constraint management.

Critical Chain
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

"Critical Chain," a gripping fast-paced business novel, does for Project Management what Eli Goldratt's other novels have done for Production and Marketing. Dr. Goldratt's books have transformed the thinking and actions of management throughout the world.


by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Learn more about the powerful techniques first presented in the best-selling business novel, The Goal. In this book, Dr. Goldratt, through examples in a variety of industries, shows how to apply TOC to sales and marketing, inventory control, and production distribution. In addition, techniques in conflict resolution are introduced on both a business and personal level.

Tags:

General | Project Management

Upcoming keynote: CampIT

By wolfgang. 12 January 2015 08:56

I am keynoting the upcoming Camp IT on Enterprise Risk / Security Management

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
5555 N River Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018

February 5, 2015
9:00am-5:00pm

Calculating Your Acceptable Level of Risk

With so many potential risks it can be difficult to determine which an enterprise can live with, which it can't, and which it can cope with when reduced to an acceptable level of risk. Determining an acceptable level of risk needs to be undertaken when there is a significant change in a business' activities within the environment. Examples are updating policies and training or improving security controls and contingency plans, the risks need constant monitoring to ensure the right balance between risk, security and profit.

In this session attendees will learn how to build a framework to define an acceptable level of risk. 

Tags:

Risk Management

Friday Books and Talks 01/09/2015

By wolfgang. 9 January 2015 07:05

Macrowikinomics
by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

In this follow up to their 2007 bestseller, Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony Willliams once again use original research to provide new examples of organizations that are successfully embracing the principles of wikinomics to change the world. Find out how in this executive book summary of Macrowikonomics.

 

Judgment on the Front Line
by Chris DeRose, Noel Tichy

Management experts Chris DeRose and Noel M. Tichy explain why frontline employees are so important and why it is crucial to involve them in decision making. Judgment on the Front Line provides a five-step process for building a frontline-focused organization and includes examples of frontline leadership in action.

  • Define a Customer-Based Vision.
  • Develop a Front Line–Focused Culture.
  • Obsess over Talent.
  • Define the Judgment Playing Field.
  • Live on the Line.


Tags:

General

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