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Security

Passwords: What if Everything You Know Is Wrong?

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Passwords: What if Everything You Know Is Wrong?

by Shelly Palmer, CEO, The Palmer Group

Every time there’s a notable cybersecurity breach, someone (even me) writes a comprehensive primer on the proper way to create “secure” passwords. Lather, rinse, repeat. Until a few years ago, everyone (including me) based their password advice on a 2003 paper from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with the catchy title “NIST Special Publication 800-63.” The paper recommended that passwords be cryptic, contain special characters, and be as close to nonsense as possible.

I was in a camp I called “How to Make a Cryptic Password You Can Easily Remember.” The short version was this: take a phrase you know, such as a favorite quote from a movie, and use the first letter of each word. For example, Sheriff Brody’s famous line from Jaws, “I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” becomes 1twgn@bb. The trick was using Leet (a technique where letters are replaced by numbers and symbols; see my post from July 2012, “Yahoo! Hacked: What You Need To Do Now”) to add the numbers and special characters. But as you can see from the example, a password made in this way is total nonsense to everyone but you – unless you forget your favorite quote.

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Kaspersky Withdraws Microsoft Antitrust Complaints

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Kaspersky Withdraws Microsoft Antitrust Complaints

Kaspersky Labs and Microsoft reach an agreement on how Windows 10 deals with 3rd party antivirus software-- leading to Kaspersky dropping its European antitrust complaint against Microsoft.

The Russian security company filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission last June, following a similar complaint with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). It claimed Microsoft uses its dominant position to push Windows Defender, a security solution Kaspersky deems inferior, by switching off rival antivirus software.

In addition, Kaspersky said Microsoft does not provide developers with enough time to full test Windows 10 upgrades to ensure compatibility with existing software.

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Symantec Offloads Web-Certification Business

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Symantec Offloads Web-Certification Business

Symantec sells its website certifications and related PKI solutions business to fellow security vendor DigiCert in a deal worth $950 million in cash and stock.

"Transitioning our website security and related PKI solutions to DigiCert allows us to sharpen our enterprise focus on delivering unparalleled protection for the cloud generation through Symantec's integrated cyberdefence platform," Symantec CEO Greg Clark says. "As our recently announced deals with Fireglass and Skycure demonstrate, we are accelerating the pace of innovation we bring to market through a combination of acquisitions as well as development from the ground up."

The deal has DigiCert take over Symantec SLL and TLS technology, as well as its Internet of Things (IoT) division. Symantec got most of the technology it is now selling back in 2010 through the $1.28bn acquisition of the VeriSign security business.

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Cisco Buys Observable Networks

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Cisco Buys Observable Networks

Cisco buys more security capabilities with Observable Networks, a startup offering network-security-as-a-service technology with a focus on cloud deployments.

Observable Networks technology is based on dynamic behavioural modeling of all devices on the network. It provides real-time situational awareness of all users, devices and traffic on the network, whether in the datacentre or the cloud, with cloud-native machine learning techniques promising faster and more accurate identification of insider and external threats.

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Symantec Gets Browser Isolation With Fireglass

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Symantec Gets Browser Isolation With Fireglass

Symantec acquires Fireglass, Israeli vendor of browser isolation technology able to protect against ransomware, malware and phishing threats. Financial details of the deal are not available.

The core Fireglass offering is a browser isolation platform allowing users to browse the web in a highly secure way. Organisations can isolate uncategorised websites, unknown links and email attachments, reducing attack surface significantly. The solution is delivered either on-premises, as a cloud services or in a hybrid model, and promises a "transparent and worry-free end user experience."

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