Back to School: Keeping Your IT Skills Sharp

It’s back to school time for the kids—and it’s the perfect time to consider sharpening your IT skills. You’ll find continuing education opportunities abound at colleges and universities, but if you are like most Information Technology professionals you don’t have time to make that level of commitment.

So what’s a hungry IT security pro to do in order to keep on the cutting edge of this fast-paced,

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Change Your LinkedIn Password – Now!

LinkedIn – the online professional networking site which I suspect many Optimal Security blog readers use – has apparently been hacked, resulting in something like 6.5M SHA-1 hashed passwords being posted in a Russian hacker site. This evolving situation will certainly be updated through-out the day (and beyond), so I don’t want to recap the facts as we know them at the moment.

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Safe Social Media in 3 Steps

Social media introduces risk – no doubt about it. As security pros, our first inclination is to of course ban it’s use on our networks altogether because it’s the safest approach. But, it’s also the wrong one.

Like it or not, social media has forever changed the way we do business, for the better.

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Social App Security – An Oxymoron?

The recent Wall Street Journal investigation on the Facebook privacy breach begs a fundamental question:  Can a “social application” be secure?  This is a question bigger than just Facebook.  Popular mobile communications platforms such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android have also struggled with this as of late.  Here is the core conundrum – platform vendors need to provide a secure platform for developers to build consumer apps bursting with compelling functionality and innovation – so where do platform vendors draw the line between consumer privacy and innovative functionality? 

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How To Reduce Your Web 2.0 Risk

95 percent of companies use Twitter and Facebook. Learn about the latest risks these web 2.0 applications bring into your organization and how to manage them.

My Password Is My Password

Education is still key to IT security. Just look at users’ passwords. The New York Times reported last week on a study that exposed the overwhelming simplicity of users’ password choices.
According to the study, which was conducted by Imperva, 20 percent of Web users choose a very simplistic password that can be easily guessed — such as “123456.” The Imperva study looked at a list of 32 million passwords that an unknown hacker stole last year from a company involved in developing software for social media sites like Facebook and MySpace.

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Key Steps to Navigate Around New Facebook Privacy Settings

What’s all the fuss about the latest changes on Facebook? Simply put, the changes mean that nearly everything that you place on your Facebook page can now potentially be made available to anyone surfing the Internet.

The latest Facebook changes are purported to be an enhancement to make the social networking site easier for people who are looking for you using a search engine like Bing or Google to find you on Facebook. 

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Who Owns Your Data in a Social World?

Over the past months it has been interesting to watch the furor over certain End-User License Agreements and the definition of data ownership.  Most draconian was the idea that once posted by a user, the data transferred ownership to the social networking site.  This of course has huge implications to an individual user, especially for professionals that use social sites to propagate their content. 

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Another Phishing Scam Plagues Twitter Users

With Twitter expected to top 18 million users by the end of this year, users of the widely utilized social media tool are seeing first-hand the ugly side of this popular platform.  Another Twitter phishing scam reared its ugly head this week, aggressively sending out direct message spam, hoping to lure unsuspecting users to click on links sending them to malicious Web pages.

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Facebook Grows Up with Better Protection of User Information

Whether you want to admit it or not, social networking is a fact of everyday corporate life. In most companies, the number one social networking application used daily during work hours is Facebook. This is not a fad as it took less than 9 months for Facebook to reach 100 million users and the Apple iPhone application to reach 1 billion downloads.

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Is Banning Facebook or MySpace the Solution?

According to this by Maryland-based blogger/attorney Judd Legum, the state Office of Legislative Information Services there banned access to Facebook and MySpace last week. And not for the usual time-wasting or inappropriate usage reasons. Nope, it was the “significant increase in viruses and malware … [which they] have determined … are originating from pages hosted on Facebook and MySpace.”


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Caution: Social Sites Can Be Hazardous for Your (Network’s) Health

I was interested to see two articles on the front page of the Personal Journal section of the Wall Street Journal last Thursday (29-Jan-09) about the increase in cybercrime and malware found on social websites such as Facebook. It is always remarkable to me when some tech meme (esp. one from our neck of the woods) breaks into the “big time”… the mainstream press.

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