Cybersecurity Blog: The Cyber Scene is evolving, are you?

Since January of this year, ransomware has emerged as a popular attack impacting large corporations, small businesses, schools, hospitals and home users. This malicious type of crimeware encrypts, locks, or obfuscates digital files, then demands a ransom to return the files. An ill-prepared user or organization can experience catastrophic damage if the data encrypted includes months of work or critical business information. Far worse is when the data encrypted includes financial, legal, or medical records for which retention is required by law. In some cases, these users have no choice but to pay the ransom and hope for the best. Some who pay have their files returned, while others are not as lucky.

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Recently, I discussed the importance of situational awareness to Security Operations Center (SOC) effectiveness. Without anticipatory intelligence and context surrounding cyber-threats, SOCs receive a lower return on investment on tools such as threat feeds and endpoint solutions.

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As a manager of a Security Intelligence Center (SIC), I can say first hand that few things are more frustrating than investing in a cybersecurity product that fails to deliver what your security team truly needs to be successful when it comes to true situational awareness.

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With increased public awareness of cyber attacks and corporate America’s growing concern over cybersecurity, board members are asking more informed, tougher questions of their security teams. Many teams still focus on reporting activity such as number of hits detected and tickets closed—information that does not accurately reflect the team’s success or help inform investments.

At a recent Gartner Summit, Rich Mahler, Director of Leidos Commercial Cyber Services (formerly Lockheed Martin), discusses why teams need to stop measuring effort and focus on what matters—wins against real threats. One way to do this is by framing metrics in the context of the Cyber Kill Chain®. The framework enables teams to accurately identify which of their existing tools are most effective at detecting and blocking threats and where there are gaps/weaknesses—information that informs cybersecurity investments.

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It is my great pleasure today to confirm that the merger of Lockheed Martin IS&GS (Information Systems and Global Solutions) with Leidos has been completed. The merger between Leidos and Lockheed Martin’s ISGS world-class expertise, reputation and global reach with a diverse and balanced portfolio of IT and OT products and services.  This $10.8bn company now offers expanded cyber capabilities across our solution portfolio as well as increased access to top talent. 

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Need to improve your company’s cybersecurity? A myriad of vendors and thought leaders are ready to sell their products or ideas to do just that. What you don’t usually hear is how some of these technologies or practices might not be as effective as you’re led to believe. Working in systems engineering, as well as having run red team and blue team assessments for some of the world’s largest companies, I’ve observed four common practices that contribute to sophisticated corporations being lulled into a false sense of cybersecurity.

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Live security evaluations are essential to the good security health of an organization.  An evaluation performed by a skilled internal organization—or a qualified third party—allows an organization to objectively test its security measures and defensive capabilities. This not only helps evaluate the effectiveness of existing security controls which may require remediation, it also identifies blind spots that represent pockets of previously-unknown risks to the organization.

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Jason Holcomb, Principal Security Consultant for Lockheed Martin Commercial Cyber Solutions, discusses the role intelligence and automation can play to simplify the information flow between management and supervisory control systems.

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“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Sir Winston Churchill


This summer our team has been traveling the globe with our message of cyber enlightenment. Through real-world accounts of how we’ve helped some of the world’s most prominent companies mature their cybersecurity posture, our analysts have inspired hope and doled out practical steps both practitioners and leadership can take to shore up their networks.

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Find out how one analyst used social media to collect enough intel in five hours to breach a Fortune 500 company.

What is open-source intelligence (OSINT)? Quite simply, its intelligence collected from publically available information such as Facebook, LinkedIn and even the dark web. Are you using information available from these sources? Adversaries are!

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