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Fixing Data Breaches Part 4: Bug Bounties

Over the course of this week, I've been writing about "Fixing Data Breaches" which focuses on actionable steps that can be taken to reduce the prevalence and the impact of these incidents. I started out by talking about the value of education; let's do a better job of stopping these incidents from occurring in the first place by avoiding well-known coding and configuration flaws. I went on to data ownership and minimisation where I talked about giving people back control of their data and collecting less of it in the first place. And then yesterday, I encouraged people to make disclosure easier because there are way too many cases where serious issues go unreported. Today's post extends on...

Fixing Data Breaches Part 3: The Ease of Disclosure

This week, I've been writing up my 5-part guide on "Fixing Data Breaches". On Monday I talked about the value of education; let's try and stop the breach from happening in the first place. Then yesterday it was all about reducing the impact of a breach, namely by collecting a lot less data in the first place then recognising that it belongs to the person who provided it and treating with the appropriate respect. Today, I want to focus on the ease of disclosure. What I'm talking about here is ensuring that when someone wants to report something of a security nature - and that could be anything from a minor vulnerability through to a major data breach...

Fixing Data Breaches Part 2: Data Ownership & Minimisation

Yesterday, I wrote the first part of this 5-part series on fixing data breaches and I focused on education. It's the absolute best bang for your buck by a massive margin and it pays off over and over again across many years and many projects. Best of all, it's about prevention rather than cure. The next few parts of this series all focus on cures - how do we fix data breaches once bad code has already been written or bad server configurations deployed? In part 2 of the series, I want to talk about data ownership and minimisation and this is all about reducing the impact on individuals and organisations alike when things do go wrong. Who Owns Our...

Fixing Data Breaches Part 1: Education

We have a data breach problem. They're constant news headlines, they're impacting all of us and frankly, things aren't getting any better. Quite the opposite, in fact - things are going downhill in a hurry. Last month, I went to Washington DC, sat in front of Congress and told them about the problem. My full written testimony is in that link and it talks about many of the issue we face today and the impact data breaches have on identity verification. That was really our mandate - understanding the impact on how we verify ourselves - but I want to go back a step and focus on how we tackle data breaches themselves. Before I left DC, I promised the...

Weekly Update 65

I actually got a lot of writing done this week! Plus travelled to Sydney and then Melbourne to speak at a couple of events so that's a pretty good week IMHO. What's especially good is that there's no more flights or hotel rooms in 2017 for me! As for this week, there's a bunch of stuff around a new Pluralsight course, my dismay with Face ID and a bit of taking a UK bank to task. That last one actually had a good end result too so I'm pretty happy about that 😀 iTunes podcast | Google Play Music podcast | RSS podcast References It's (another) new Pluralsight course! (more HTTPS because let's face it, we need more HTTPS) I really, really wanted...

I'm Sorry You Feel This Way NatWest, but HTTPS on Your Landing Page Is Important

Occasionally, I feel like I'm just handing an organisation more shovels - "here, keep digging, I'm sure this'll work out just fine..." The latest such event was with NatWest (a bank in the UK), and it culminated with this tweet from them: I'm sorry you feel this way. I can certainly pass on your concerns and feed this back to the tech team for you Troy? DC— NatWest (@NatWest_Help) December 12, 2017 This was after a concerned customer and then myself trying to explain to them that serving their home page over a non-secure connection wasn't such a good idea. The "I'm sorry you feel this way" tweet was in response to...

Face ID Stinks

I've been gradually coming to this conclusion of my own free will, but Phil Schiller's comments last week finally cemented it for me: Face ID stinks. I wrote about the security implementations of Face ID just after it was announced and that piece is still entirely relevant today. To date, we haven't seen practical attacks against it that should worry the masses and the one piece that suggests it's vulnerable has been pretty thoroughly debunked by Dan Goodin at Ars Technica. In all measurable ways, the security posture is as good as (or better than) Touch ID, but what about the user experience? Is Face ID a better UX or do we have it simply because Apple needed to kill...

New Pluralsight Play by Play: What You Need to Know About HTTPS Today

As many followers know, I run a workshop titled Hack Yourself First where I spend a couple of days with folks running through all sorts of common security issues and, of course, how to fix them. I must have run it 50 times by now so it's a pretty well-known quantity, but there's one module more than any other that changes at a fierce rate - HTTPS. I was thinking about it just now when considering how to approach this post launching the new course because let's face it, I've got a lot of material focusing on the topic already. But then I started thinking about the rate of change; just since the beginning of last year, here's a bunch...

Weekly Update 64

Home. The US Congress trip was an epic experience but man it's nice to be back! I got home early Monday morning after a 34-hour door-to-door commute and have spent the last 4 days trying to readjust which means being dead tired by 8pm then up at 4am. Fun times. Anyway, this week is all about British politicians sharing their passwords. Yeah, I know, but it turns out it's actually a thing. I'm still not sure if it's for productivity purposes, to hide the odd porn habit or just a symptom of ignorance. Regardless, that's the topic of the day and it's an absolute zinger! iTunes podcast | Google Play Music podcast | RSS podcast References Of course, you can't blame an...

The Trouble with Politicians Sharing Passwords

Yesterday I had a bunch of people point me at a tweet from a politician in the UK named Nadine Dorries. As it turns out, some folks were rather alarmed about her position on sharing what we would normally consider to be a secret. In this case, that secret is her password and, well, just read it: My staff log onto my computer on my desk with my login everyday. Including interns on exchange programmes. For the officer on @BBCNews just now to claim that the computer on Greens desk was accessed and therefore it was Green is utterly preposterous !!— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) December 2, 2017 For context, the back story to this is that another British pollie (Damian...