It has been a while since I have written about UEFI, Secure Boot and their impact on Full Disk Encryption (FDE) pre-boot authentication (PBA) so it’s time for an update on what is new in this area, but first here is a recap because this is a bit of an arcane technical subject. UEFI stands for “Unified Extensible Firmware Interface”. The UEFI specification defines a standard model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and platform firmware. It provides a standard environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications such as the PBA for FDE. It replaces the traditional legacy BIOS interface that was used with Windows 7 and older systems. Now that Windows 10 is being widely adopted I expect to see UEFI used on almost all new machines.
I reflect today on two online article headlines that recently captured my attention – “Legal firms prime target for cybercriminals warn experts” and “500 law firms targeted by scammers”. I wonder how an industry that has been historically known as the stalwarts of client privilege and protection has come into the crosshairs of cybercriminals.
I was on the phone the other day with a member of the education community asking – at large – “what are our steps to ‘becoming secure’?” All of a sudden, panic struck me. Did I lock my front door? Does my Gmail password contain a child, pet or street name? Do I use the same 4 digit PIN on my iPhone as I do on my MasterCard? That’s where my head’s at – and I’m just one person.
Last week, I once again had the pleasure and privilege of attending the RSA Conference in San Francisco. I heard estimates of a record breaking 40,000 attendees. It didn’t seem much busier than previous years but as another participant pointed out to me, that might be because it was better organized, with pre-registration for the sessions, this year. This year I focused my sessions on the Cloud.
The RSA Conference began in 1991 as a forum for cryptographers to gather and share the latest industry knowledge. In 1997 – just 6 years later – WinMagic launched into the data security market – offering software full disk encryption. Since then, similar to the RSA Conference agenda, WinMagic has continued to push the art of security forward, bringing encryption and intelligent key management to new markets and new heights. As we celebrate our 20th year anniversary, we have the same mindset we had when we started out – to protect data no matter where it resides. However now, more so than ever, data has become the lifeblood of the modern world – from banking to education – it’s everywhere. And the surface area of data has expanded across a wide variety of devices, platforms and operating systems, making it more and more difficult to secure.
Data Privacy Day is a reminder that the privacy of data – corporate and personal – increases in importance year after year. And it’s amazing that this year, on January 28th, Data Privacy Day turns 10. You may recall another interesting announcement that occurred in January 2007 – the introduction of the Apple iPhone. Perhaps this was sheer coincidence, or maybe this was the foresight to know that the dawn of rapid data collection and sharing by individuals was about to create an evolution of data security challenges we’d never witnessed before.
Today’s IT leaders have to ensure that desktops, laptops, and tablets are secure, which is not any easy feat when they all run on different operating systems – and that is just the beginning. As most organizations move to the cloud, there is a new set of security considerations to tackle. An organization needs to ensure that every confidential piece of data is protected no matter where it resides.
‘Tis the season to be jolly! We wanted to share the 5 best seasonal posts about security to help everyone stay safe because this is, unfortunately, also the season where Cyber criminals take advantage of unsuspecting people. So let’s make data protection a priority, and end this year on a high note.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation was adopted in April 2016 and will, after two-years of transition, be applied starting May 2018. As we head fast into 2017, it would be easy to start thinking that there is still over a year left before your company must be compliant, but how much have you done to get ready in the last eight months? Probably in all reality, not as much as you would like.