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Ransomware Surges, Encrypted Threats Reach Record Highs in First Half of 2018

To ensure organizations are aware of the latest cybercriminal attack behavior, today SonicWall published a mid-year update to the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.

“The cyber arms race is moving faster than ever with bigger consequences for enterprises, government agencies, educational and financial institutions, and organizations in targeted verticals,” said SonicWall CEO Bill Conner in the official announcement.

Cyber threat intelligence is a key weapon in organizations’ fight against criminal organizations within the fast-moving cyber arms race. The mid-year update outlines key cyberattack trends and real-world threat data, including:

Data for the annual SonicWall Cyber Threat Report is gathered by the SonicWall Capture Threat Network, which sources information from global devices and resources including more than 1 million security sensors in nearly 200 countries and territories.

“SonicWall has been using machine learning to collect, analyze and leverage cyber threat data since the ‘90s,” said Conner. “This commitment to innovation and emerging technology is part of the foundation that helps deliver actionable threat intelligence, security efficacy and automated real-time bread detection and prevention to our global partners and customers.”

Get the Mid-Year Update

Dive into the latest cybersecurity trends and threat intelligence from SonicWall Capture Labs. The mid-year update to the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report explores how quickly the cyber threat landscape has evolved in just a few months.

GET THE UPDATE

Capture Cloud Platform: A Security Ecosystem that Harnesses the Power of the Cloud

We have fantastic advancements in technologies right now. With software-defined everything (SDx) and cloud becoming more accessible and affordable, both large and small organizations can effectively execute their digital business strategies with greater ease and speed.

As new applications, systems and SDx architecture are deployed to advance the digital business, many organizations also find themselves retooling their cyber security model to maintain the health and defense of their networks and services.

Organizations now must have complete knowledge, visibility and control of the security ecosystem, and the capacity to manage and remove cyber risks that can be disruptive and disastrous to the business.

To help make the cloud journey powerful, agile and safe, SonicWall developed its Capture Cloud Platform to address CISOs’ top three cyber security priorities:

  1. Give actionable cyber threat intelligence to help better understand security risks and quickly respond to them
  2. Reduce security silos by consolidating and integrating security technologies
  3. Manage cyber risk with greater visibility and control

Integrated Security, Management & Analytics

The core value of the Capture Cloud Platform is the integration of several key capabilities with our cloud-based centralized management, reporting and analytics services, including the Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox, which includes Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) technologies, and Capture Labs and Capture Threat Network threat intelligence services.

This all-in-one approach enables our complete portfolio of high-performance hardware, virtual appliances and clients to harness the power, agility and scalability of the cloud and allows organizations to:

  • Drive end-to-end visibility and share intelligence across a unified security framework
  • Proactively protect against known and unknown cyberattacks (e.g., zero days)
  • Gain contextual awareness to detect and respond to security risks with greater speed and accuracy
  • Make informed security policy decisions based on real-time and consolidated threat information

SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform service-oriented architecture tightly unifies the current and future SonicWall security and management services organizations needs to run an efficient security operation center (SOC). It eases and, in most cases, automates the governance of their network, endpoints and cloud security services with single-pane-of-glass (SPOG) experience.

10 Components of the Capture Cloud Platform

Organizations are empowered by Capture Cloud Platform to make the shift from the old on-premises world of IT into the new hybrid cloud-as-a-service world by coalescing SonicWall security solutions with simple, common management tools that not only help achieves desired security and operational goals but also real business values.

Currently, Capture Cloud Platform is comprised of 10 key SonicWall security and service components:

  1. Capture Security Center
  2. Real-Time Cyber Threat Intelligence
  3. Capture Client
  4. Capture ATP
  5. Cloud App Security
  6. Management & Analytics
  7. NSv Series virtual firewalls
  8. NSa Series hardware firewalls
  9. Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  10. MySonicWall & Licensing (credentials required)

The combination of these services delivers mission-critical layered cyber defense, threat intelligence, analysis and collaboration, and common management, reporting and analytics, that work synchronously together.

This help organizations stay on top of the cyber threat landscape, protect sensitive information, meet compliance, and maintain normal service operations while moving the company’s digital transformation forward safely.

Visit our Capture Cloud Platform to get detailed information on each of the solution values and learn how the platform can securely accelerate your cloud journey.

Cyber Security News & Trends

Each week, SonicWall collects the cyber security industry’s most compelling, trending and important interviews, media and news stories — just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

Cybersecurity 500 List, 2018 Edition Cybersecurity Ventures

  • SonicWall is announced as #36 on Cybersecurity Ventures Cybersecurity 500: 2018 Edition List which includes the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies to watch in 2018.

British Businesses Facing Cyber Ransom Demands of up to £200,000 The Daily Telegraph

  • Cyber criminals are arming themselves with “malware cocktails”, expertly blended using old variants of malicious computer code. The new viruses are more potent than their predecessors because they have adapted to companies’ cyber defenses, like a digital version of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Securing Your Journey to Success With Innovation and Security: SonicWall Silicon Review

  • Recently announced as one of the 10 Best Security Companies in 2018, SonicWall is featured in an editorial highlighting the company’s history and success with CEO Bill Conner at the forefront.

10 Best Security Companies in 2018 Silicon Review

  • SonicWall is announced as one of the 10 Best Security Companies in 2018.

Cyber Security News

Cybercriminals on Average Have Seven-Day Window of Opportunity to Attack SC Magazine

  • Once a vulnerability is announced, the average attacker has a seven-day window of opportunity to exploit the flaw before a defender is even aware they are vulnerable, according to report from Tenable.

Deadly Attacks Feared as Hackers Target Industrial Sites The Hill

  • The hacking threat to critical infrastructure in the United States and beyond is growing larger, with nation states and other malicious actors looking to gain a foothold in sensitive technologies to conduct espionage and potentially stage disruptive or destructive attacks.

U.S. Judge Dismisses Kaspersky Suits to Overturn Government Ban Reuters

  • A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday dismissed two lawsuits by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab that sought to overturn bans on the use of the security software maker’s products in U.S. government networks.

BackSwap Banking Malware Bypasses Browser Protections With Clever Technique SC Magazine

  • A new banking malware called BackSwap has replaced tricky conventional browser injections with a simpler browser manipulation technique.

Over 5K Gas Station Tank Gauges Sit Exposed on the Public Net Dark Reading

  • It’s been three years since researchers first discovered automated tank gauges (ATGs) at some 5,000 US gas stations exposed on the public Internet without password protection, and a recent scan found 5,635 locations were vulnerable to the same issue.

In Case You Missed It


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Technical Deep Dive – Securing Office 365 with SonicWall Email Security
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Cyber Security News & Trends

Each week, SonicWall collects the cyber security industry’s most compelling, trending and important interviews, media and news stories — just for you.


SonicWall Spotlight

New DHS National Cybersecurity Framework Sets Goals, Milestones — MSSP Alert

  • As a result of the recent elimination of the White House cybersecurity coordinator role, SonicWall CEO Bill Conner is featured for his perspective and insight into what the move implies for the future of cybersecurity policy.

SonicWall Pushes Capture Cloud Platform with Endpoint Security — Chinabyte.com

  • SonicWall’s recent updates including the company’s new Capture Cloud Platform, enhanced RTDMI technology and more are featured in this article.

Cybersecurity Sourcebook 2018 Looks at Evolving Data Threat Landscape — Database Trends & Applications

  • This article explains the serious need to safeguard data using key SonicWall threat data. Specifically, they’ve included stats sharing that cyberattacks are becoming the number-one risk to businesses, brands, operations, and financials, and that there were 9.32 billion malware attacks in total in 2017, representing an 18.4% increase over 2016.

Cyber Security News

Brutal Cryptocurrency Malware Crashes Your PC When Discovered — ZDNet

  • The malware, dubbed WinstarNssmMiner by 360 Total Security researchers, has been used in half a million attempted attacks leveraged at PCs in only three days.

What Makes ZTE a Cybersecurity Threat? Congress Wants to Know — CNET

  • Congress wants a detailed explanation on what cybersecurity threats the Chinese phone company poses.

Mexico Central Bank Says Hackers Siphoned $15 Million from Five Companies — Reuters

  • Mexico’s central bank said on Wednesday that a cyber attack had sucked around 300 million pesos ($15.33 million) in fraudulent transfers from five companies, but it was unclear how much thieves had managed to pull out in cash.

Former CIA Software Engineer ID’ed as Suspect in Vault 7 Leaks — SC Magazine

  • The former CIA software engineer believed to have leaked the CIA’s Vault 7 hacking tools is already behind bars at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, after being indicted for possessing child pornography.

DHS Issues More Medical Device Cybersecurity Alerts — GovInfo Security

  • The Department of Homeland Security has yet again issued a warning about cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices. These warnings have come after independent researchers, or the companies themselves, have reported the problems.

Cybersecurity Whistleblowers are Growing Corporate Challenge — The Wall Street Journal

  • Signals from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over how seriously it takes cybersecurity, combined with a Supreme Court ruling on whistleblower protections, are putting pressure on companies to be more careful about how they deal with potential tipsters, lawyers say

In Case You Missed It


 

 

RSA Conference 2018: See You Next Year

Every year, RSA Conference 2018 is a fast-paced, high-energy gathering for cyber security discussion, networking, innovation and learning for attendees, panelists, speakers and exhibitors alike. It’s almost impossible to see and hear all the show has to offer.

To help, we’ve collected all the interesting events and news from the week. It was an amazing four days — or eight days if you are part of our event staff — and we thank everyone for visiting us.

Endpoint protection still top of mind

While endpoint protection was a major theme at RSA, the technology partnership between SonicWall and SentinelOne stole the show with a modern take on endpoint protection. Throughout the week, SonicWall and SentinelOne collaborated to show off the new SonicWall Capture Client and integrated SentinelOne capabilities, like continuous behavioral monitoring and unique rollback capabilities.
> READ MORE

Awards and honors deserve a ‘thank you’

The CRN accolades noted above were just the start for SonicWall, which collected eight awards, including Gold in the CEO of the Year and Security Marketing Team of the Year, at the 2018 Info Security Product Guide Global Excellence Awards ceremony Monday in San Francisco. Also at RSA, SonicWall was named Cybersecurity Company of the Year in the Cyber Defense Magazine InfoSec Awards 2018.

These honors were the result of true dedication from our amazing SonicWall SecureFirst Partners and loyal customer base that spans 200 countries across the globe. Sincerely, thank you.

Streaming RSA Conference live

No matter your good intentions, sometimes it’s impossible to make it out to RSA every year. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on SonicWall’s presentation on the cyber arms race. That’s why we streamed a session from SonicWall malware expert Brook Chelmo on Facebook Live. Relive his presentation again and again, or watch it for the first time.

Music to inspire

While this musical inspiration was published before RSA kicked off, we had so much fun with our RSA Conference 2018 playlist on Spotify we’d be remiss in not offering it up once again.

Worn out

By the final day of RSA Conference, we’re spent. Our presenters logged dozens of hours presenting during the week. Their voices tired. Their legs weak. And some couldn’t even wait to get back to the hotel for some much-needed rest. And you know what? We can’t wait to do it again next year. See you at RSA Conference 2019, March 4-9.

Farewell, RSA Conference 2018

SonicWall Named 85th Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority (CNA)

SonicWall has recently been named the 85th Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority (CNA) by the MITRE Corporation, an international not-for-profit security institute.

What does this mean for SonicWall and the cyber security world at large? SonicWall has a new way to contribute to cyber security education and defense. The purpose of the CVE program is to provide a method and consortium for identifying vulnerabilities in a standardized manner.

SonicWall now has the authority to identify unique vulnerabilities within its products by issuing CVE IDs, publicly disclose vulnerabilities that have been newly identified, assign an ID, release vulnerability information without pre-publishing, and notify customers of other product vulnerabilities within the CNA’s program.

“This program takes us one step closer to reaching the transparency security administrators need in order to make swift and educated decisions when it comes to threat protection,” said SonicWall Chief Operating Officer Atul Dhablania in an official announcement. “SonicWall looks forward to working with MITRE in a collaborative effort to expand the arsenal of information needed to properly equip those who are being targeted or looking to strengthen their security posture.”

On a larger scale, the program is effective because an entire network of certified organizations works together, with the backing of numerous researchers and support personnel, to identify and stay ahead of emerging threats.

CVE Numbering Authorities (CNAs) are organizations that operate under the auspices of the CVE program to assign new CVE IDs to emerging vulnerabilities that affect devices and products within their scope.

The program is voluntary but the benefits are substantial, among them the opportunity to disclose a vulnerability with an already assigned CVE ID, the ability to control disclosure of vulnerability info without pre-publishing, and the notification of vulnerabilities for products within a CNAs scope by researchers who request a CVE ID from the CNA.

Becoming a part of the CVE program is a chance to not only connect to a vast network of organizations working to identify cyber threats, but also to contribute to the effort as a whole.

Sneak Peek: 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report

The cyber security industry relies on perpetual cadence of collaboration, research, analysis and review.

For SonicWall, that comes via our in-depth cyber threat report. This year, we’re excited to announce that we will publish the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report on Tuesday, March 6.

This premier cyber security industry report puts you a step ahead of cyber criminals in the global cyber war, empowering you with proprietary security data, global knowledge and latest trends, gathered and analyzed by our leading-edge SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Network.

Reimagined and refreshed, the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report is more comprehensive, informative and actionable than ever before with:

  • A comprehensive comparison of security industry advances versus cybercriminal advances year-over-year, to help you know where you stand
  • Proprietary empirical data that you will get nowhere else, to help you confidently understand key threat trends
  • Detailed predictions on trending threats and security solutions, to help you plan and budget resources
  • Expert best practices and valuable resources, to help successfully guide you forward

Here is a sneak preview

The modern cyber war — against governments, businesses and users alike — is comprised of a series of attacks, counterattacks and respective defensive countermeasures. Many are simple and effective. Others are targeted and complex. Yet they are all highly dynamic and require persistence, commitment and resources to mitigate.

Unfortunately, organizations large and small are caught in the middle of a global cyber arms race with vastly different resources at their disposal. And while growing budgets do make a positive impact on the effectiveness against known exploits, the threat landscape evolves at such a rate that yesterday’s investment in technology could already be insufficient to deal with tomorrow’s cyber threats.

No one has immunity.

Headline breaches

2017 was another record year for data breaches. The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report breaks these down by the numbers.

Ransomware

With WannaCry, Petya and Bad Rabbit all becoming headline news, ransomware was a hot topic for the second year in a row. The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report reveals a key indicator of how attack strategies are shifting.

Memory attacks

While the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were first publicly known in early 2018, the processor vulnerabilities were actually exposed last year. In fact, Intel notified Chinese technology companies of the vulnerability before alerting the U.S. government.

Threat actors and cybercriminals are already leveraging memory as an attack vector. Since these memory-based attacks are using proprietary encryption methods that can’t be decrypted, organizations must quickly detect, capture and track these attacks once they’re exposed in memory — usually in under 100 nanoseconds. Chip-based attacks will be at the forefront of the cyber arms race for some time to come.

IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) also had a big year. The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report examines last year’s trends to predict what will be in the crosshairs next.

Business risk

Data breaches and cyber attacks are no longer back-of-mind concerns. The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report explains why they are the No. 1 risk to business, brand, operations and financials.

The battle within encrypted traffic

For the first time ever, the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report will provide key empirical data on the volume of attacks leveraging SSL/TLS encryption.

Want the report first?

The cyber arms race is a challenge we face together. And it’s the core reason we’re committed to passing our findings, intelligence, analysis and research to the global public via the SonicWall 2018 Cyber Threat Report.

About the SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Network

Data for the 2018 SonicWall Annual Threat Report was gathered by the SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Network, which sources information from global devices and resources including:

  • More than 1 million security sensors in more than 150 countries and territories
  • Cross‐vector, threat‐related information shared among SonicWall security systems, including firewalls, email security, endpoint security, honeypots, content-filtering systems and the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection multi‐engine sandbox
  • SonicWall internal malware analysis automation framework
  • Malware and IP reputation data from tens of thousands of firewalls and email security devices around the globe
  • Shared threat intelligence from more than 50 industry collaboration groups and research organizations
  • Intelligence from freelance security researchers

The full 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report will feature detailed threat findings, best practices, predictions and more, to help you stay a step ahead in the global cyber war.

SonicWall CEO Bill Conner Joins Cyber Security Panel on Capitol Hill

Cybercrime is a lucrative and booming industry, with recent reports estimating $600 billion in damages to businesses. With the introduction of innovative cyber security technologies and new cyber attack variants, the race is on for private and public organizations to arm themselves for a battle that is being waged in a dynamic threat landscape.

Bill Conner Portrait

On March 6, cyber security experts and policymakers will come together in a panel discussion to address the current threat landscape and its impact on the U.S. economy. Featuring Congressman Lamar Smith, SonicWall CEO Bill Conner and the Honorable Secretary Michael Chertoff, the panel will foster dialogues that focus on the preventative measures organizations should take to thwart cyber attacks, as well as the joint efforts of government and law enforcement agencies combatting modern-day cyber attacks, cybercriminals and threat actors.

Preceding the event, Conner and Chertoff penned an opinion piece, “SEC, Congress take steps toward cyber accountability and transparency,” on The Hill.

Michael Chertoff Portrait

“Cyber risk affects virtually every kind of enterprise. It is not a matter of if, but when,” they wrote on The Hill. “Companies should start with the presumption that they will be attacked and have a comprehensive incident response plan in place. An incident response plan should include a consumer notification process especially when sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and financial information is corrupted.”

Event: Cybersecurity Panel Discussion – 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report
Date: Tuesday, March 6, 12:30 p.m. EST
Location: Committee Room 2325, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.
Panel:

  • Chairman Lamar Smith, Congressman, 21st Congressional District of Texas
  • Honorable Secretary Michael Chertoff, former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Bill Conner, President and CEO, SonicWall
  • Michael Crean, CEO, Solutions Granted

The panel also will leverage and discuss the findings and intelligence from the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which provides key advances for the security industry and cybercriminals; exclusive data on the 2017 threat landscape; cyber security predictions for 2018; cyber security guidelines and best practices.

Get the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report

The cyber arms race is a challenge we face together. And it’s the core reason we’re committed to passing our findings, intelligence, analysis and research to the global public via the SonicWall 2018 Cyber Threat Report.

Three Tough Questions You Must Ask About HTTPS to Avoid Cyber Attacks

Preventing your organization from being the victim of an inevitable cyber-attack is paramount so it is important for us to kick off this blog with an important risk question.

Do you know whether or not your organization‘s firewall is inspecting HTTPS traffic traversing its networks?

I have polled this question on numerous webinars I have conducted over the past year. The results consistently showed the majority of organizations have yet to perform HTTPS inspection as part of their defense strategy. With HTTPS on the rise, accounting for nearly two-third of your organization’s internet traffic today, hackers have expanded their craft to use the protocol to obfuscate their attacks and malware from security systems. Your timely response to this new threat could mean the difference between experiencing a material breach versus successfully averting one. Of course, the latter would be desirable. So, should you have the slightest doubt about your organization’s security posture to deal with encrypted threats, I want you to immediately pause and resume reading this post after you have spoken to your IT security leaders. I’d like you to raise your concerns about the potential millions of intrusions and tens of thousands of malware attacks launched against your organization each and every hour – many of which are likely new versions of ransomware delivered inside of HTTPS sessions. If the firewall is not inspecting this traffic, it would not have the ability to understand what is inside that traffic – whether a file is benign or malicious, credit cards being stolen or financial and health records were being shared with an external system. I hope you return to this blog with a sigh of relief that your organization is not among the majority of respondents that do not.

You got the good news that your organization is inspecting HTTPS traffic. The next logical question is:

“Has your organization experienced frequent network service disruptions or downtime as a result of a total collapse of your firewall performance when inspecting HTTPS traffic?”

Inspecting encrypted traffic is not without its set of big challenges. There are two key components of HTTPS inspection that severely impact firewall performance – establishing a secure connection and decrypting and later re-encrypting packets for secured data exchange. Unlike inspecting internet traffic in plain text, encrypted traffic introduces six additional compute processes that must occur before data is sent back and forth between a client’s browser and the web server over an HTTPS connection. Each process is highly complex and compute-intensive. Most firewall designs today don’t provide the right combination of inspection technology and hardware processing power to handle HTTPS traffic efficiently. They often collapses under the load and subsequently disrupt business-critical operations. According to NSS Labs, the performance penalty on a firewall when HTTPS inspection is enabled can be as high as 81 percent. In other words, your firewall performance is degraded to a level that it is no longer usable.

This leads us to the final and most important question:

“How can you scale firewall protection to prevent performance degradation, lag and latency of your network when inspecting HTTPS traffic?”

The right answer begins with the right inspection architecture as the foundation. Most modern firewalls today have deep packet inspection (DPI) capability claiming to solve many of the above security and performance challenges. However, not all firewalls perform equally or as advertised in the real world. In fact, many of them have inherent design inefficiencies that reduce their ability to handle today’s massive shift towards an all-encrypted Internet. You have one of two choices when it comes to inspection technology. These are Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection (RFDPI) and Packet Assembly-based. Each uses different inspection method to scan and analyze data packets as they pass the firewall. You will quickly discover the performance of most firewalls will collapse under heavy HTTPS load. To avoid a post-deployment surprise, my recommendation is to do your due diligence. Thoroughly qualify and measure all firewalls under consideration and select one that meets both your desire level of performance and security effectiveness without hidden limitations. These are fundamental metrics that you want to heavily scrutinize when selecting a firewall to perform HTTPS inspection. Establishing the right firewall foundation will give you the agility to scale your security layer and solve the performance burden of inspecting HTTPS traffic inside your data center operations.

Uncovering evasive threats hiding inside encrypted network traffic is central to the success of your network defense. For more detail information, read our Executive Brief titled, “The Dark Side of Encryption – Why your network security needs to decrypt traffic to stop hidden threats.”

Next Steps to Defend Against Cyber Attacks

Whenever I start to write about cybersecurity, something else comes up. I wanted to write about last week’s cybersecurity-focused Executive Orders ““ we’ll get to them shortly ““ and then I read that in an IRS hack last month, stolen social security numbers enabled attackers to get more than 100,000 E-file PINs. The IRS says, “No personal taxpayer data was compromised or disclosed by IRS systems,” and is notifying affected taxpayers. This follows a hack reported of employees at Justice and DHS, in which the attacker used social engineering, reportedly impersonating a government worker, to gain access to agency information.

These incidents just don’t stop, do they?

Which brings us to the two new Executive Orders. One establishes a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, the other a Federal Privacy Council. And they’ve been signed into existence during the same week that the White House submitted its budget proposal for federal FY 2017, including requests for $19 billion for cybersecurity as a whole, with $3.1 billion dedicated to getting rid of older, less secure systems. While agreement on and approval of budgets is, let’s face it, problematic in the current political climate, getting funding for cybersecurity is less problematic than for many other areas. Across the board and across the Executive branch and the Congress, leadership understands and generally supports cybersecurity initiatives, understanding the very real costs of inaction as shown by the two news items I mentioned.

The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity’s mission is to “make detailed recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, ensuring public safety and economic and national security, fostering discovery and development of new technical solutions, and bolstering partnerships between Federal, State, and local government and the private sector in the development, promotion, and use of cybersecurity technologies, policies, and best practices.” There’s a lot in that mission statement that’s worth pointing out. The Commission’s scope covers both public and commercial sectors, specifically mentioning state and local government along with the feds. It’s about partnership and collaboration, and about protecting privacy as we improve cybersecurity. It’s specifically tasked with strengthening identity management, cloud computing, and laying a cybersecurity foundation for the Internet of Things. The Commission will reside in the Department of Commerce and be supported by NIST, and will have until December 1 of this year to complete its activities and report out to the President. That’s a lot to ask for in ten months of work; here’s hoping that the Commission employs some variant of Agile methodology ““ as the Federal CIO did quite successfully last July with the 30-day Cybersecurity Sprint ““ in order to accomplish its mission.

While the Commission is time-delimited, the newly-established Federal Privacy Council is not, and I think that’s a good thing. The point of the council is to serve as an interdepartmental support, coordination, and collaboration mechanism for privacy standards among Cabinet department and the larger federal agencies. It will be chaired by OMB’s Deputy Director for Management and largely comprised of Senior Agency Officials for Privacy. The Council, as described in the EO, seems to be about breaking down barriers when it comes to sharing best practices and lessons learned, and reducing duplication of privacy-related efforts across agencies.

More cybersecurity funding (hopefully), more collaboration across government and industry, more coordinated and focused efforts on privacy. All three of these items are needed and appropriate steps toward improving our cybersecurity.

SonicWall Security is here to help government and industry decrease their cybersecurity risk, update older infrastructure, and improve privacy protections. Follow the links to learn more about our SonicWall One Identity solutions for identity and access management and SonicWall network security solutions for greater performance and deeper network protection.