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Taking a new approach to combating cyber threats

Zafirah Salim and Nurdianah Md Nur | March 10, 2015
Speakers at the Computerworld Security Summit 2015 in Singapore share tips for IT leaders to effectively secure their organisations based on risk assessment, user policies and asset management.

Secondly, the mTLS will validate both entities (initiating and accepting host) as part of the SDP, and check if root certificate is a known valid root.

Device validation occurs next. Here, different forms of authentication including biometrics and geolocation can be used to validate that the device is holding the private key and is not stolen.

Dynamic firewalls make up the fourth layer. These gateways dynamically add a permit rule for the initiating host to connect to the protected server as instructed by the SDP controller, thus protecting the accepting host's servers.

Finally, the SDP creates encrypted TLS tunnels and restricts the authorised apps to only communicate through those encrypted tunnels. This prevents malware resident on a device from accessing those tunnels.

"The tools for SDP are already available; it is just a matter of layering it and darkening the network to make our security efforts more effective," concluded Wong.

Baseline counterstrokes

The final speaker of the day was TC Seow, editor of CIO Asia. In his presentation, Seow touched upon some of the fear factors in the United States, Singapore and Malaysia.

According to a 2014 Unisys survey, the top four things Americans fear most were the abuse of credit card data, identity theft, war and terrorism, as well as online shopping and banking risks. All of these are in relation to security, Seow noted. "If there is no fear, there is definitely no need for security," he said.

Seow also shared the concept of security adapted from a book by Joe Kissell. Titled 'Take Control of Security for Mac Users', the book highlights that security, privacy and anonymity are all interlinked.

"Security is defined as the freedom from danger or harm; privacy is freedom from attention or observation; and anonymity is freedom from identification or recognition," explained Seow. "The book also noted that it is imperative to determine one's risk profile. Most people have a tendency to misjudge their risks, but it is key to understand where you stand in terms of risk level."

Concluding his presentation, Seow said that security is a trade-off between safety and convenience, and it is not all about guarantees, but more about the "odds". He also recommended some simple ways to enhance security, such as keeping your software - both operating systems and applications - up-to-date. He added that these updates must also be from a reliable and reputable source.


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