VOLUME II, ISSUE 7 (JULY, 2016)
WatchGuard Technologies buys
threat-detection software for $3M plus stock
Network-security hardware vendor WatchGuard Technologies, based in Seattle, has acquired the HawkEye G threat-detection and response technology from Hexis Cyber Solutions, of Hanover, Md. WatchGuard, which is privately held, paid $3 million in cash and 1.7 million shares, plus other consideration, according to an SEC filing by Hexis’ parent company. HawkEye G displays cybersecurity threats and helps companies respond more quickly to them, the companies said. WatchGuard, which sells bright red firewall and threat-management boxes, will integrate the technology into its own offerings, which are used by more than 75,000 organizations, the company said.
Cisco to Buy Cloud-Security Provider CloudLock $293 Million
Cisco Systems Inc. announced last week it is buying CloudLock Inc., a startup that helps companies monitor and control how employees are using cloud services. The $293 million deal for the closely held company includes a combination of cash and assumed equity awards, Cisco said. The company agreed to pay additional retention incentives to CloudLock employees who join Cisco. Cisco, the biggest maker of networking hardware, has used acquisitions to help build a major sideline in security software and services. It agreed to pay $2.7 billion in 2013 for Sourcefire Inc., a maker of security hardware and software, and $635 million in 2015 for OpenDNS, which uses internet domain name servers to help block cyberattacks.
ESET a “lightweight” of the good variety among internet security products
ESET’s Smart Security 9 has received the highest score in AV-Comparatives’ latest independent performance test, which measure the impact of the product on a system. The offering received a performance test score of 75, alongside Avira Antivirus Pro 15.0, Bitdefender Internet Security 2016, Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 and Avast Free Antivirus 2016, with its impact score of 0.3 beaten only by Avira. In the PC Mark test the Smart Security received a score of 99.7 – also achieved by AVG Internet Security 2016, Emisoft Anti-malware 11.7 and F-Secure Internet Security 9.0. Avira again topped the list with a 99.8 score. The scores saw Smart Security 9 receive a three-star, advanced plus rating. Palo Luka, ESET chief technology officer, says the AV-Comparatives performance test confirms ‘that ultimate protection doesn’t have to come at the cost of performance’. “We are happy that our efforts to provide customers with lightweight protection pays off,” Luka says.
VMWare pushes for container-friendly VMWare Photon
Ready or not, here they come. That’s the message for data center operations pros who are comfortable with their VMware environments today, but soon will be confronted with the challenges of supporting cloud-native applications. The challenge for VMware will be to offer new functionality to existing customers, while coming up with ways to speed deployment for potential new customers who are increasingly driving new technologies into enterprise IT use. At the heart of that move is a new operating system, Photon OS, and platform, Photon Platform, designed for cloud-native applications. If successful, the transition from server virtualization to wider support of cloud-native applications on an open source operating system could find fans in developers and operations teams alike. VMware’s effort to support cloud-native applications and containers has started small and kept relatively quiet, according to Gary Chen, analyst at IDC.
Best Practice Corner
Avoid being a victim of social engineering
While it’s true that malware and zero-day attacks on your IT infrastructure are a major threat, as time passes, cyber criminals are now relying on another weak link to attack you – your people. Social engineering attacks are on the rise, and here is some information to help keep you from becoming a victim.
What is a social engineering attack?
It can come in many forms, but the one commonality for all of these attacks is they take advantage of weaknesses in your human infrastructure rather than your IT infrastructure. Common delivery methods include emails disguised as important information from a vendor, customer or even an internal employee, or a web link that offers something of value to your company. It’s much easier for a hacker to get a trusting employee to share a password than it is for them to correctly crack a password.
It can be a request for help, a fake answer to a question you never asked, or an inquiry for verification of important financial information for your company. A classic example involves hacking of an email address, and sending an email to someone with financial control within the same company requesting that money be wired for a business deal that is in the works.
What can you do to avoid falling prey to these attacks?
Because humans are involved, it makes it more complicated than just adjusting settings on your anti virus or firewalls. Here are some good tips to share with all of your employees:
- Slow down. Spammers want you to act first and think later. If the message conveys a sense of urgency, or uses high-pressure sales tactics be skeptical; never let their urgency influence your careful review.
- Research the facts. Be suspicious of any unsolicited messages. If the email looks like it is from a company you use, do your own research. Use a search engine to go to the real company’s site, or a phone directory to find their phone number.
- Delete any request for financial information or passwords. If you get asked to reply to a message with personal information, it’s a scam.
- Reject requests for help or offers of help. Legitimate companies and organizations do not contact you to provide help. If you did not specifically request assistance from the sender, consider any offer to “help” restore credit scores, refinance a home, answer your question, etc., a scam. Similarly, if you receive a request for help from a charity or organization that you do not have a relationship with, delete it. To give, seek out reputable charitable organizations on your own to avoid falling for a scam.
- Don’t let a link be in control of where you land. Stay in control by finding the website yourself using a search engine to be sure you land where you intend to land. Hovering over links in email will show the actual URL at the bottom, but a good fake can still steer you wrong.
What should you do if you suspect you’re already a victim of social engineering?
If you aren’t sure whether you’ve been the victim of a social engineering attack, contact your business development manager directly or call 763-354-2200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a network assessment audit.
NEWS N NOTES
Verus begins phased move in to new building
The boxes are being packed, and beginning this week the first phase of Verus employees will begin moving into our new home located at 201 85th Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433. The new space offers us the opportunity to grow as necessary in the coming years, and also utilizes a more efficient use of space now that our primary data center location is at Cologix at the 511 building in downtown Minneapolis.
Our on-site data center now plays the role of primary back-up, therefore less space was needed for that, allowing for more office space for our engineering, operations, and sales teams. Please note that no Verus customers will experience any outages as a result of the move.
We look forward to showing off our new space, so please stay tuned for more information about our open house in the August edition of Verus Insider.
New website launches at www.veruscorp.com!
In case you missed it, our new website is live (as you can see since you’re reading this on the new site). The new site features a cleaner look, more up-to-date and pertinent information for our customers, and a mobile friendly design that will let you view the site no matter where or how you view it. This is step one of several upgrades to the website. Coming soon, we will be launching a customer portal that will allow you the customer to have a better handle of your account and projects with us.
In addition, a new partner section will give you more information on some of the key partners we work with on a regular basis. The reaction from customers and vendors has been extremely positive! If you haven’t checked it all out yet, please do so now by starting at our new homepage:
Verus and ESET attend DataConnectors Minneapolis Conference
Verus and our partner, ESET, attended the DataConnectors Minneapolis Tech Security Conference together on June 30, 2016 in St. Louis Park. The event was very well attended, and we enjoyed many conversations with local companies interested in technology security.
The annual conference qualified for CPE credits and Certificates of Attendance, and featured 11 IT Security speakers and over 30 exhibitors. Prize drawings included gift cards, iPads, Kindles and many other prizes, including two retail power banks and a drone directly given away by ESET and Verus.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Spice up your summer meal with Stuffed Green Peppers
- 6 green bell peppers
- salt to taste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
- water as needed
Prep time 30 minutes, Cook time 30 minutes, Ready in one hour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/2 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the peppers.
- Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.