Patrick Flynn – McAfee Blogs https://www.mcafee.com/blogs Securing Tomorrow. Today. Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:04:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.mcafee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Patrick Flynn – McAfee Blogs https://www.mcafee.com/blogs 32 32 Intelligence in the Enterprise https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/intelligence-in-the-enterprise/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/intelligence-in-the-enterprise/#respond Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:01:13 +0000 /blogs/?p=98435

Intelligence became an integral military discipline centuries ago. More recently, this practice evolved into what is called Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, or IPB. In both military and civilian agencies, the discipline uses information collection followed by analysis to provide guidance and direction to operators making tactical or organizational decisions. Used strategically, this type of intelligence puts an organization in […]

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Intelligence became an integral military discipline centuries ago. More recently, this practice evolved into what is called Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, or IPB. In both military and civilian agencies, the discipline uses information collection followed by analysis to provide guidance and direction to operators making tactical or organizational decisions. Used strategically, this type of intelligence puts an organization in a stronger position to operate offensively or defensively because in theory, they now know more than their enemy.

This same concept can be applied in the theater of cybersecurity operations. However, the current scope of intelligence in many enterprises describes just one aspect of the IPB discipline: information collection. The critical component missing to complete the process is a specialized researcher trained in this type of analysis and subsequent application of intelligence.

A disciplined intelligence cycle goes deep—applying advanced data collection methodologies from open, closed and propriety sources, social media, human intelligence and the dark web against areas such as cybercrime, hactivism, or cyber espionage to thoroughly analyze the adversary. Intelligence can ultimately be used to prepare organizations tactically and strategically to both anticipate and mitigate modern threats.

The latest research and analysis from McAfee Advanced Program Group (APG) researcher Anne An detailing the actions of Chinese non-state threat actor groups is a great example of intelligence that is invaluable for organizations. This unique take on Chinese cyber criminality educates practitioners on the threats around them, empowering them to prepare their organization to be proactive, rather than reactive. Further, there are many times where organizations are unaware they have been a victim of a cyberattack. This could include stolen data, which McAfee APG may find being sold on the dark markets, and in some cases, could have a devastating effect on their business.

Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, and military strategist once articulated, “The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”  These ancient words are still very meaningful today. If organizations robustly embrace the intelligence process, their defensive posture will exponentially improve.

 

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Why security is critical to the development and continued success of FirstNet https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/security-critical-firstnet-continued-success/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/security-critical-firstnet-continued-success/#respond Thu, 02 Jun 2016 13:55:30 +0000 https://blogs.mcafee.com/?p=50178 Urgent Communications recently recapped a panel discussion on the security challenges of FirstNet, the prospective nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to first responders for which proposals are due May 31. As I read through Donny Jackson’s piece, which summarized the expert panel at the March International Wireless Communication Expo (IWCE) meeting, I realized there were […]

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Urgent Communications recently recapped a panel discussion on the security challenges of FirstNet, the prospective nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to first responders for which proposals are due May 31. As I read through Donny Jackson’s piece, which summarized the expert panel at the March International Wireless Communication Expo (IWCE) meeting, I realized there were some really important points about security of the network that deserved broader circulation, so I wanted to highlight some of them.

Let’s start with the cybersecurity goal of FirstNet, which is ensuring end-to-end security for the network. “Each of the subdomains that comprise the FirstNet network have to stand on their own and be secure,” said Glenn Zimmerman, senior security architect for FirstNet. “And, when you put it all together, the holistic aggregate of those subdomains needs to be secure, as well.” That lays out the challenge pretty precisely. It’s a tall order but an absolutely necessary one.

Zimmerman continues to show that he gets how difficult this challenge is going to be, saying, “There is never, from a planning perspective, the assumption that anything is fool-proof. The reason is that fools are actually pretty ingenious. They’ll figure out a way around almost everything. That’s why you have to have means and methods to counteract and mitigate those threats, capabilities and inherent weaknesses.”

As a former Border Patrol agent, I know FirstNet will be an incredible boon for the public safety community. But the network’s integrity will be tested, as the hacking community will undoubtedly try to infiltrate the network from the get-go. That’s why I’m pleased that the FirstNet architects realize the role security plays in the network’s success and has placed such an emphasis on cybersecurity from the design phase, rather than treating cybersecurity as an afterthought. That said, security within the network can’t get in the way of first responders’ jobs, or severely impact the way they respond and react to emergencies. Said Zimmerman, “The whole concept is that first responders need to be able to do their job, and cybersecurity should not prevent them from doing that. But it does need to protect them.” This is a point that needs to be emphasized because security is imperative to the network’s success and efficacy, but not if it interferes with the ability for first responders to do their job.

Another concern is the gradual switch to next-generation 911 (NG911), an all IP-platform that will integrate quite nicely with FirstNet. Said Michael Kassa, FirstNet’s director of technology planning, “As we move to next-generation 911, we can send video to a PSAP, we can send text, we can send payloads of just about anything that is multimedia in nature. So, now we have a problem where I’m getting video, and I’m getting texts. I don’t really know what’s in these files, but I know these are all great attack vectors. How many of you have opened up the wrong e-mail and had your IT department come and find you, because you infected the entire network?”

As Kassa indicates, NG911’s ability to receive texts, photos and videos poses an additional risk, as malicious actors could embed media that could make its way onto a dispatcher or first responder’s phone or laptop, should they be hooked up to the network. Much of this could be alleviated by software that scans attachments, but when first responders or dispatchers are dealing with real-time emergencies that are often life or death, there’s a good chance they’ll skip that step and get right to the attachment.

In addition to NG911, the Internet of Things (IoT) poses an additional attack vector for FirstNet, as the new technologies providing communication on the network include sensors that no doubt could be problematic. While IoT sensors will provide first responders with valuable data, we must ensure these sensors are secured because much like NG911, contamination could have costly consequences since those sensors are embedded into the network itself.

Sometimes a panel discussion is a collection of rather boring remarks that people might not pay much attention to. Not this one! I’m glad I took the time to revisit the panel through the Urgent Communications article; it was a great reminder that the remarks made by Glenn and Michael are spot on.

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FirstNet Enabled Devices for First Responders Set to Revolutionize Public Safety Landscape https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/firstnet-enabled-devices-first-responders-set-revolutionize-public-safety-landscape/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/firstnet-enabled-devices-first-responders-set-revolutionize-public-safety-landscape/#respond Wed, 02 Dec 2015 23:55:25 +0000 https://blogs.mcafee.com/?p=46448 As French safety officials pieced together information following the attacks in Paris at the hands of ISIS, there’s no doubt they meticulously tracked witnesses interviewed, items recovered from the crime scenes and other helpful notes for the ensuing investigation. While the U.S. has robust security practices, often local police are still writing field interview notes […]

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As French safety officials pieced together information following the attacks in Paris at the hands of ISIS, there’s no doubt they meticulously tracked witnesses interviewed, items recovered from the crime scenes and other helpful notes for the ensuing investigation. While the U.S. has robust security practices, often local police are still writing field interview notes by hand and thus would be sifting through stacks of notecards full of information – hardly helpful for putting the pieces together until they’ve been logged in a database.  The private sector is rapidly developing solutions for law enforcement, however, and when FirstNet is built out, there will be a network to unify those communications – safely and securely, if current plans hold.

Here are just two advances that will greatly enhance law enforcement’s communications efforts. Haystax Technology recently introduced its Mobile Field Interview™ application, enabling public safety personnel to capture field interview (FI) information from an iOS or Android device. Rather than relying on cumbersome, inefficient paper notecards, law enforcement officials can conduct these FIs through the app and sync the resulting notes to the cloud. Indexed FIs become viewable and searchable by other members of the organization, resulting in increased information sharing and efficiency.

Another product unveiled recently is Mutualink’s Wearable Smart Gateway (WSG), the world’s first wearable for first responders. The WSG, powered by the tiny, low-power Intel® Edison™ chip, is the first in a series of devices emerging from the Internet of Public Safety Things (IoPST). This palm-sized, high-performance multimedia gateway will reduce response times and help first responders coordinate more effectively.

Solutions like Mutualink’s WSG and Haystax’s Mobile Field Interview™ will soon have a home with the development of FirstNet, a first-of-its kind broadband network dedicated to public safety, providing a single, interoperable platform for emergency and daily safety communications. The network will enable public safety officials and first responders to send and receive data, video, images and text – all on one shared network. This exclusive network will provide a shared operating picture and increased situational awareness, further improving emergency response times and increased efficacy during emergencies.

Our first responders have an incredibly difficult job as it is; their communication and coordination shouldn’t be hampered by outdated technology or an unreliable, insecure network. Connectivity and speed are critical; so is security. We need to ensure FirstNet is built with security in mind from the ground up, for without security, the network’s effectiveness is severely compromised. It’s possible to engineer both speed and reliability into FirstNet, and that’s what we need to do. Then new apps and products coming to market will be even more valuable, as emergency responders will have the benefit of a robust, secure network. The private sector is great at innovating, and it’s good to see that innovation directed toward law enforcement. Now we just need the network to bring it all together – securely.

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