Author Archives: AdminDCS

  • 0

2018 Security Predictions

Category : Forcepoint

New security challenges in 2018

Hackers are already scheming their next wave of targets: will they replicate the colossal Equifax breach and cash in on reams of personal data or freeze up IoT devices simply in order to disrupt critical systems?

Join Forcepoint’s Bob Hansmann, Director, Security Technologies for a Forcepoint 2018 Security Predictions Report webcast on the most pressing security issues for the upcoming year.

You’ll receive an advance copy of the Forcepoint 2018 Security Predictions Report just for attending.

Live online Nov 30 2:00 pm
or after on demand 60 mins

  • 0

Protecting Critical Infrastructure Is … Well … Critical

Category : Gigamon

In our day-to-day lives, we rely on a well-running infrastructure. Whether that infrastructure is transportation, power plants or water utilities, we expect seamless functionality – there’s a reason we call them “critical.”

Today however, we no longer live in an analog world. Everything, including infrastructure, is increasingly being connected digitally, and with digitization comes the risk of greater vulnerability and the potential for online attacks to result in real, physical tragedy. Dams, communications infrastructure, nuclear reactors … these critical infrastructure sectors consist of assets, systems and networks that if impacted, could cripple the economy and put public health, safety and national security at risk.

Thankfully, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been thinking about these vulnerabilities and has identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors as vital to the United States’ economy. In fact, last week on October 23, based on joint analytic efforts between the DHS and FBI, the US-CERT issued a technical advisory that warned of advanced persistent threat (APT) activity targeting energy and other critical infrastructure sectors.

It should be a no-brainer that every country needs to take special steps to safeguard its critical infrastructure, but if you still need convincing, I suggest watching the absorbing documentary “Zero Days” about the Stuxnet malware that was famously used to destroy centrifuges in Iranian nuclear facilities.

A Whole Other Ballgame

Protecting critical infrastructure is a different ballgame compared to protecting data center assets. Several characteristics stand out:

  • Remote locations. Unlike with data centers, many elements of critical infrastructure are typically distributed across a large geographical region. Many of these locations are unmanned or at best, have very few personnel.
  • Long equipment life span. Most active infrastructure elements in data centers have a useful life of about five years. By contrast, the lifetime of critical infrastructure equipment is extremely long, often spanning 10 to 20 years or more. The immediate implication is that cybersecurity defense postures must consider the impact of legacy equipment running several vendors’ outdated software.
  • Government regulation. Critical infrastructure is typically regulated by a government body to ensure compliance, failing which, drastic fines are levied on the critical infrastructure operator or owner.
  • Legacy technologies. Many critical infrastructure elements communicate over legacy technologies such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) – a method developed to standardize universal access to a variety of local control modules in industrial control systems (ICS), which are at the heart of critical infrastructure.
  • Unencrypted communications. Much to an attacker’s delight, most communications over a SCADA infrastructure are unencrypted. Moreover, the nature of SCADA communications also requires timely response and interaction between the communicating entities, making such equipment soft targets for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

These characteristics combined with the criticality of the sector have made such infrastructure elements high-value targets for threat actors. Unlike a data center breach that leads to valuable data loss, a similar critical infrastructure breach could have a devastating impact on lives, health or economies. Indeed, research over the last few years in both academia and industryhas shown potential risks to critical infrastructure from malware and ransomware attacks, malicious payloads and other threat vectors.

What Can Be Done to Protect Critical Infrastructure?

Fortunately, awareness on this topic has been on the rise. Earlier this year, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has also developed a framework for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

If you or your organization is responsible for some part of critical infrastructure, there are three steps that you can take as part of developing your risk management strategy:

  • Close the visibility gaps: Put simply, it is essential to have continuous network visibility across both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) operations.
  • Close the budget gaps: With the right visibility platform, you should be able to get a significant boost in ROI.
  • Close the protection gaps: If your current operational processes are coming in the way of upgrades and new cybersecurity initiatives, consider using innovations like inline bypass to speed deployment of new security tools or software.

For a more detailed explanation of the above steps, please read the Gigamon Point of View “Aligning Agency Cybersecurity Practices with the Cybersecurity Framework.”

Already, several critical infrastructure sectors have deployed Gigamon visibility solutions to achieve these protections. For example, many leading public power utilities have used the GigaSECURE Security Delivery Platform to develop a visibility strategy to detect grid tampering, obtain insight right down to substations and gateway nodes, and extract both network traffic and vital metadata to feed their central Security Operations Centers (SOCs) and achieve compliance with NERC[1] CIP[2].


Author: Ananda Rajagopal

  • 0

Tomorrow’s Endpoint Protection Platforms

Category : FireEye

Why common endpoint security can’t beat modern threats

Although endpoint protection platforms (EPP) continue to rely on the decades-old technology that was part of their original design, cyber threats are forcing a change. You cannot afford to settle for standard endpoint security products.

As attack methodologies have evolved, endpoint security has continued to adapt based on several insights:

  • The static, reactive approach of signature-based security and machine learning programming are no longer sufficient.
  • Encryption, vulnerability assessment and data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities add value, but don’t close the security gap.
  • Comprehensive visibility, intelligence, behavior analysis and automation are critical to the future of endpoint security.

The FireEye whitepaper, “Tomorrow’s Endpoint Protection Platforms,” discusses how EPPs are changing, and explains what EPP capabilities might be best for your needs.

  • 0

CyberArk Unveils V10 – Simplicity, Automation, Risk Reduction

Category : Cyber-Ark

The iPhone is not the only v10 to be released this year! As a product leader, I am not sure if splitting the release of the iPhone 8 from the release of the iPhone X was an example of Apple’s marketing genius or not, but as an Android user, I’ll observe the results from a safe distance. I will save my thoughts on the merits of the Android over the Apple for another day.

What I am very excited about, however, is the latest release of the CyberArk Privileged Account Security Solution.  Like Apple, we’ve achieved a milestone of sorts with a v10 of our own (and unlike Apple, we actually delivered a v9!). Nearly a 12-year veteran of CyberArk, I can honestly say this release is one of my proudest moments, right up there with the global recognition and debut of CyberArk on the NASDAQ in September of 2014 and the previous introduction of Threat Analytics capabilities. What really makes this release stand out for me is our unwavering focus on two big themes: simplicity and automation.

As the #1 market share leader in privileged account security, we push ourselves to always do better by our customers, and with this v10 release, we have delivered!  After spending countless hours engaging with and soliciting input from our customers and partners—not to mention organizing extensive usability and beta testing—we are unveiling a brand new, modernized user interface (UI) that is elegant, clean and simple. Here is a sample of what one of our customers, a senior consultant at a global financial services organization had to say:

 “The new user interface and account management features will dramatically facilitate adoption and ease-of administration, providing a better experience for our end users, and saving our IT staff valuable time by simplifying day to day management tasks.”

The new v10 UI offers a simplified view of account management that reduces time spent on common tasks for operation teams by 10x and the time it takes auditors to review sessions recordings has decreased by 5x. All of this means simpler and faster deployment, allowing operations and auditor teams to spend their time on value-add endeavors!

On the automation front, we’ve fully embraced that we now live in an API-first digital world.To that end, our new and improved REST APIs make it even easier to integrate CyberArk solutions with existing security, operations and DevOps tools. A good example of this is a new integration with AWS CloudWatch and Auto Scaling that automates onboarding to enable security teams to save time and reduce the risk of unmanaged SSH keys.

Along with our big focus on simplicity and automation, we continue to stay true to our corporate mission to reduce risk associated with privileged accounts wherever they exist, whether on-premises, in the cloud or in DevOps workflows. The AWS integration is great example of this since manually provisioning SSH keys just doesn’t work with modern, elastic scaling infrastructure.

On the endpoint, where many damaging attacks start, we have further enhanced our Endpoint Privilege Manager to deliver a new cloud-based Application Risk Analysis Service, which enables timely, well-informed privilege and application control policy decisions. We’ve also extended support to the Mac, a platform that is increasingly adopted in the enterprise.

Unlike the release of iPhone, you don’t have to set up a tent outside of a big glass store for the next big release from CyberArk. You can learn all about it here and sign up for our upcoming webinar covering all of the great details from this latest release. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that will provide additional details on what we’ve delivered, since there are a lot of great new capabilities in this release that I did not have the real estate to cover here.



  • 0

Presenting security and risk to board members

Category : F5

Your board’s time—and attention—is limited. But the security of your company, its reputation, and its financial health can all depend on how well your board members understand the business risks you face, and how you plan to mitigate them. Keep it short, and make it matter. This article looks at IT and security budgets and explains how to balance against a risk security profile.

t’s that time. You have to report on the state of enterprise security to your board. The presentation is critical: the security of your company, its reputation, and its financial health all depend on you. Your board members need to understand the business risks you face, and how you plan to mitigate them. But their time—and attention—is limited. Keep it short, and make it matter.

Follow these six steps to achieve your goals.

1. Cyber threats are real—stick to the facts

They’ve heard the numbers. As much as $575 billion is lost to cyber crime annually. Data breaches can cost more than $400 million. Information like this falls on deaf ears. Board members are numb. But they need to understand the general risks of doing business online—which are endemic—versus the threats that face your industry, and your business specifically. If your organization’s largest risk is related to a lack of controls or inadequate processes, they need to know that. Most importantly, they need to know what you are doing about it. Don’t go to the board with problems for which you haven’t figured out solutions.

Tell a compelling story about a security breach, preferably in your industry. Give examples from your own company. Identify critical information assets—intellectual property, sensitive customer data—and paint a picture of what would happen and what it would cost if they were compromised.

2. Provide metrics that convince

If you have gaps in security control that you are struggling to get resources to fix, give them evidence proving that you are continuously under attack and your networks are constantly probed. Make it clear that sooner or later, the bad guys will succeed. Educate them. Surprise them.

  • 73 percent of companies suffered at least one security breach in the past year
  • About a third of employees targeted for phishing will open fraudulent emails
  • More than one in 10 take the bait—and it only takes one
  • Less than two minutes elapse from the hacker hitting send to your systems being compromised
  • Hackers are inside your organization, on average, for at least four months before they’re discovered
  • Web apps are the number one entry point for breaches

3. Get their support in adopting a culture of security

Human error accounts for 58 percent of cyber breaches. A secure business is a business in which everyone is educated about threats and does their part to reduce risk. This starts with rigorous—and repeated—training, and perhaps even commitment to a standard like ISO 27001.

4. Convince them they need incident response help

Encourage the board to face facts: all organizations today face the very real possibility they will be breached. How much damage you suffer depends on how quickly and effectively you respond, so why not get prepared? Most companies don’t have the skills for effective incident response (IR). You need technical, forensic, legal, and public relations support to get through the trauma. Your best bet: a third party with specialized expertise. A good IR firm will have your back.

5. Discuss cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is integral to your security strategy. Yet only 19 percent of companies have cyber insurance. And most are grossly underinsured, with only 12 percent of the total costs of a typical breach covered. Cyber insurance is the fastest-growing insurance in the world, projected to increase 300 percent from $2.5 billion today in annual premiums by 2020. Do the math for your board. Calculate how much your business can absorb from a breach without financial catastrophe. Pick a level of risk that you are comfortable with, and insure the rest.

6. Get them to champion those efforts for which you didn’t get budget approval

You have done your homework and already secured funds for some of your efforts. If you have risk areas that need addressing that you don’t have budget to address, board members need to know this and either accept the risk or champion a solution. There’s no better way to get something accomplished than by saying that “the board” requested it get done.


As you go through this exercise, be a little selfish. If you’re not getting the support you need to defend against existential threats, think of your own reputation and career. If your board doesn’t get it, it might be time for you to consider your options.



Author: Ryan Kearny

  • 0

Digital Vikings and the Internet of Ransomed Things

Category : Citrix

The saying “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future” is an amusing Danish proverb. But predicting the future of the internet that uses sensitive and personal information as its fuel is less amusing. One dystopic prediction is an Internet of Ransomed Things full of hijacked smart devices. I previously wrote about how organizations are under siege by the explosion of ransomware. Ransomware has been retooled to not only attack individuals, but organizations and enterprises, as well. As we saw this year with WannaCry and NotPetya, both were designed to worm and spread throughout networks to encrypt and destroy data. I’m afraid that’s just the tip of the iceberg, unless we change the fundamental way we approach security.

Is it really that hard to predict the future? No, not if the past repeats itself. Edmund Burke stated that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Let’s look at history and predict Tomorrow’s Internet by looking at the parallels between the cyber world and the kinetic world. And there is a certain period in history that is repeating — The Viking Age.

The Viking Age

From the Ninth to the 12th century, Norsemen from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway went Viking — they left their homes to seek a fortune as pirates. Going on an expedition — “fara í Viking” was a way of life — every spring when the warming sun returned and melted away the snow, Vikings looted and pillaged their way around the European continent. Using their shallow-bottom longboats to move swiftly over rivers, tributaries, and open ocean, they excelled at exploring, raiding, trading, and settling in Europe and even North America. Cities in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Iceland, Greenland, Vinland, Ukraine, Russia, and the Middle East — among others — have Viking heritage or were raided, sieged, and sacked.

Besides being pirates, mercenaries, and slavers — Vikings also employed the tactic of ransoming — demanding tribute from cities they sacked. The First Siege of Paris is a prime example. On March 29, 845, led by Ragnar Lodbrok, one hundred and twenty Viking ships carrying five thousand warriors occupied and plundered Paris. King Charles the Bald paid a ransom of seven thousand livres — the first of thirteen payments of Dane-geld to the Vikings by the Franks. The Vikings attacked Paris three more times in the 860s. In 864, fortifications and bridges were built to block the Vikings sailing up the Seine. While eventually reaching Paris, the siege was repulsed and scattered by the imperial army — the Vikings managed to only gain seven hundred livres for their effort. The appeasement of the Vikings served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s poem Dane-Geld.

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

The digital Viking Age

Raids and sieges that took months and years of preparation, are now executed in a matter of hours and days from virtual encampments within the safety of “bulletproof hosting providers” in countries where policies are lax, search warrants are not honored, or extradition agreements are not in place. Bulletproof providers, compromised IT servers, and more recently, cloud hosting providers house the command and control servers, exploit kits, data stashes, and dark net markets — the weapons and spoils of a cyber war. A war that is waged campaign by campaign, in large part by criminal organizations driven by financial gain. From their bases, digital Vikings build their siege engines and launch their attacks, which they adapt, as needed. For example, the plague of Pharma spam used the same botnets as ransomware is using today.

Ransomware is a weapon that has evolved over three decades, gaining more capabilities — it’s become easier to spread, better at encryption, and more creative at monetizing attacks. The dozens of variants use different encryption algorithms and exploits to deliver the payload. However, modern ransomware is mostly spread the same way — targeted or spam emails with malicious attachments or links to infected web sites.

It started off as Scareware —malware that threatened to contact the “Cyber Police” with the victim’s IP address, embarrassing browser history, or webcam photo unless payment was made. Others demanded purchase of fake antivirus software. This was followed by ransomware that locked PCs, encrypted the Master Boot Record, or specific file types. More recently “Ransomware as a Service” has lowered the bar — for a cut of the profits, the platform allows the buyer to customize the message, payload, and payment address. And as devices proliferate, the attack surface expands as well. Last year, White hat hackers made the first proof-of-concept for malware that locked a smart thermostat and demanded a ransom. Mobile ransomware is also seeing tremendous growth — mostly via fake mobile video apps that lock the device. Rooted and jailbroken devices are the most susceptible.

Ransoms aren’t limited to ransomware. A more traditional attack involves penetrating a victim’s network, capturing sensitive data, and holding it for ransom with threat of doxxing personal info or leaking intellectual property. These types of attacks usually forgo the middle man and demand direct payment. Ransoms also include distributed denial of service attacks — harnessing tens and hundreds of thousands of compromised Internet facing devices to overwhelm the target’s infrastructure — as we saw when the Mirai botnet attempted to take down the Internet. Another more recent method involves hijacking resources on an endpoint or network device for crypto mining — bitcoin, the preferred currency of ransomware and the dark web.

Bitcoin: The new Dane-geld

Alongside Ransomware as a Service, bitcoin has fueled ransomware’s explosive rise. As the equivalent of digital gold or as some call it the “Internet of Money,” it acts like an open but almost anonymous ledger for financial transactions. Bitcoin is the first peer-to-peer electronic cash system using the decentralized and distributed database known as a blockchain. There are traditional use cases that crypto currencies like bitcoin are disrupting — perfectly legitimate and legal such as retail, investing, banking, and remittances. But these are just scratching the surface of the blockchain. The potential lies with more digital applications. Consider:

  • Machine-to-machine payments — SaaS- and Cloud-based systems can leverage API to purchase additional resources as required
  • Payment system for IoT — Devices using sensors which, based on environmental conditions, will trigger a workflow
  • Micro-payments — to replace advertisements for Web browsing. A fee model where you pay by the word

The current reality is that bitcoin facilitates the vast majority of ransomware payments replacing MoneyPak and WebMoney. In fact, Citrix conducted a survey that found that organizations are stockpiling bitcoins in anticipation of attacks. Earlier this year, an alleged administrator for the Russian cryptocurrency exchange BTC-E was arrested on charges of money laundering $4 Billion. The exchange was fined $110 Million for facilitating transactions involving ransomware. Researchers also presented a report at Black Hat 2017 that 95% of the traced ransoms were cashed out via BTC-E.

But as notorious as Bitcoin has become, its power lies in the blockchain. Proponents say that blockchain can secure the internet by providing an immutable and decentralized platform for tracking assets and contracts. Can the blockchain be the future of the internet? Using blockchain, IBM is transforming Inventory management. “Blockchain offers a shared ledger that is updated and validated in real time with each network participant. It enables equal visibility of activities and reveals where an asset is at any point in time, who owns it and what condition it’s in.” Another prime opportunity in the light of continuous breaches are Social Security Numbers.” As stated in the article, “The issue we have today is that a Social Security number is kept as a secret to authenticate access and identity. We need to be moving away from that and add biometrics on top of that or the equivalent of a private wallet with blockchain.” Blockchain also has promise in healthcare and artificial intelligence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating how they might use the blockchain to share medical data between organizations across the United States.

Defense and Fortifications

To Pay or not to Pay? It may actually be an easy decision — and the only viable option if caught unprepared. But paying the ransom incurs a cost; it rewards criminal activity and strengthens the incentive for such attacks throughout the industry. Additionally, as with WannaCry and NotPetya, there is no guarantee of recovery — “boneidleware” and “leakerware” are malware disguised as ransomware but designed to destroy or steal data with no recourse.

How should individuals and organizations fortify themselves to avoid becoming part of the “Internet of Ransomed Things?”

Just like in traditional warfare, cyber warfare requires preparations to reduce the attack surface, protect against vulnerabilities, and contain the blast radius. It requires a new security architecture built from the ground up to protect the apps and data being targeted. But, the most important and likely easiest defense against ransomware is to negate the ransom by having up-to-date (and tested) backups. Even as new and creative methods of ransoming, hijacking, and extorting are being devised, there are a few additional steps that will help:

In the end, we depend on an Internet that is connected via smart devices that are susceptible to being hijacked and our data ransomed. We must prepare and fortify ourselves against the “digital Vikings” so that paying the ransom is not our only option.


Author: Florin Lazurca

  • 0

Expanding the Cisco Security Technology Ecosystem

Category : Cisco

Today we are delighted to announce that the Cisco Security Technology Alliance (CSTA) is adding 26 technology integrations to expand its partner ecosystem to over 140 partners representing 225+ product platform integrations. Some of these integrations are with net-new partners while others are with existing partners that have integrated with yet more Cisco Security products. The rationale for this continued growth in the CSTA ecosystem is simple – there is a need for collaborative security.

Customers have a choice of various point products in the evolving security market. These disparate systems, however, can result in reduced security effectiveness – reduced time to respond to security threats, increased risk and exposure. By integrating siloed security technologies into the broader Cisco Security architecture, security practitioners can achieve faster and more accurate threat identification as well as rapid response to security threats. CSTA provides an environment for security vendors to integrate with various Cisco APIs & SDKs like Firepower eStreamer, pxGrid, REST etc. across the Cisco Security portfolio to the benefit of our mutual customer security deployments.

Enterprise security is comprised of interdependent systems; no one product can achieve absolute security.  By that same token no security solution exists in isolation. The more point security products interconnect with each other, share threat context, participate in an incident response framework, the less the risk of data breaches and security incidents. CSTA is an ecosystem where vendors integrate across a gamut of technologies – perimeter defense, intrusion prevention, advanced threat, sandboxing, cloud security and network policy, making it one of the largest security ecosystems out there. But the end goal isn’t size…it is increased security and decreased risk for our mutual customers.  This is what makes CSTA a truly collaborative ecosystem.

What’s New:

Bringing 3rd Party Threat Intelligence into Cisco Next-Gen Firewall

By ingesting threat intelligence from 3rd party threat feeds, Cisco Threat Intelligence Director (CTID) capabilities in the Cisco Firepower Next-Gen Firewall correlate threat intelligence with events in the Firepower Management Console, thereby simplifying threat investigation. CTID has 6 new integrations with AlienVaultEclecticIQInfobloxNC4ThreatConnect and ThreatQuotient.

Multi-Vendor Threat Event and Platform Management for Cisco Next-Gen Firewall

Cisco Firepower has new partner integrations to its highly-enriched threat event API, eStreamer. ExabeamLogZillaQmulos and Verodinnow utilize Firepower next-gen firewall and threat context to complement their native threat analysis capabilities. Furthermore, Cisco firewall customers can now use Firewall Platform Management solutions from TufinAlgosec and Firemon for policy and configuration management with integrations built using the new Firepower REST API.

New Cisco pxGrid and Cisco ISE Technology Partners

Five new partners—CloudPost NetworksDB NetworksSecuronixTriagingX and WireX Systems are adopting pxGrid to gain network contextual awareness and network threat response capabilities with Rapid Threat Containment. Other partners joining the ISE Ecosysteminclude EMM/MDM vendor Moysle and ISE Guest integration partner Envoy. Also ALEF NULA has integrated their set of 802.1X productivity tools with ISE to simplify secure network access deployments.

Sharing Cisco Threat Grid Threat Intelligence

New partners BluVector and WireX Systems that have adopted the Cisco Threat Grid API to obtain powerful intelligence on malware and have joined the Threat Grid ecosystem.  This integration ecosystem simplifies threat investigation for our joint customers by incorporating Threat Grid threat intelligence directly into our partners’ platforms.

More Technology Partners Under the (Cisco) Umbrella

The Cisco Umbrella & Investigate ecosystem also expands with the inclusion of partners like Digital ShadowsExabeam, and LogRhythm. These integrations not only help organizations manage, prioritize, and mitigate IOCs, but they also provide mechanisms to automate several threat lifecycle workflows, effectively improving both mean time to detect and response to threats, as well overall SOC efficacy.

New Splunk Apps and McAfee pxGrid/DXL Integrations Now Shipping

Previously announced Cisco Firepower eNcore App for Splunk and Cisco AMP for Endpoints Apps for Splunk are both now shipping. Also, our joint announcement with McAfee to create the security industry’s most impactful integration ecosystem is now shipping as well.

Perhaps we should do these announcements more often, because there is a lot to absorb here.  But we like to shine the light on our new partners because multi-vendor integration and openness is key to successful and effective security deployment.

For even more details, read through the individual partner highlights.

Happy integrating!


Authore: Scott Pope

  • 0

How Companies do Digital Experience Measurement

Category : Riverbed

Every IT leader would agree that delivering an excellent digital experience is a primary goal of digital transformation. After all, if investments in cloud and mobile do not improve the digital experience of customers and other end users, what good are they? As management guru Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” So it’s important to measure digital experience. We wondered how people were doing this. So, over the past week, we ran a digital experience measurement poll on Twitter. We asked how people know that their digital transformation initiatives are actually delivering better digital experience.

The results are in: different approaches to digital experience measurement

If you were hoping for a definitive answer, we’re sorry to disappoint. Sorry, but not necessarily surprised. Effective measurement is one of the key obstacles to successful Digital Experience Management. There are many different reasons for this.

  • Enterprises have broad portfolios of business critical apps which must deliver excellent digital experience. IT must support the full range of enterprise applications – web, mobile, and apps running in the cloud, on virtual infrastructure, and legacy client-server environments.
  • Enterprises have a variety of end users whose digital experience matters. Not just customers and the workforce. But also partners and suppliers. Measuring the impact of digital transformation on each of these populations requires different approaches.
  • Many teams play a role in ensuring excellent digital experience, and each requires a different set of metrics and analytics. So a digital experience measurement approach that works for one team doesn’t necessarily work for all.

Let’s take a look at each of the poll responses and analyze them for effective digital experience measurement.

Getting fewer complaints

Getting fewer complaints from end users sounds good on the surface. If people aren’t complaining, they must be happy, right? Well, maybe not. Just ask anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a teenager’s “silent treatment.”

Maybe your end users have given up complaining and are suffering in silence. Worse yet, maybe they’ve given up complaining to you, and have moved to a competitor. What you don’t know CAN hurt you.

If your service desk relies on end users complaints to learn of problems with poor digital experience, you’re at high risk for failure. Measuring the number of trouble tickets or user complaints received is useful. But it’s a poor substitute for measuring what end users actually see as they interact with your website or business critical apps. Watch this video to see how to proactively identify and resolve end user issues remotely and non-invasively.

Monitoring app usage

Monitoring the usage of business critical apps is a solid step up from measuring the number of user complaints. After all, tracking the number of downloads of your latest mobile app, or the traffic on your website is a good indicator of the volume of users. But when it comes to digital experience management, this approach still falls short. Tracking usage without tracking performance is like measuring quantity without measuring quality.

Application performance monitoring tools can help you ensure your users receive an excellent digital experience for their app transactions. And combining End User Experience Monitoring and Application Performance Management, as SteelCentral does with AppInternals and Aternity, can enable you to achieve this goal.

Tracking user experience
Tracking user experienceThe 24% of respondents who made this selection are on the right track for effective digital experience measurement. Measuring the user’s experience, what they actually see, as business critical applications render on their device screen, is the truest measure of digital experience. It’s critical to measure the digital experience of every type of user – customer, employee, partner, and supplier. And IT must measure the digital experience for every type of business critical application in the portfolio. Not just web and mobile.

There are a several methods of End User Experience Monitoring, so be sure to use the approach that meets all of your requirements. Unlike other products, SteelCentral Aternity measures IT from the point of consumption, the user’s device. This enables IT to understand the experience of end users for every type of business critical application in the portfolio.

Trying to figure it out

At 31%, this was the largest group of respondents. Thank you for your honesty! If you’re in this group, don’t despair! Measuring digital experience is complicated, and the results show that you’re not alone!

Take the first step to Digital Experience Measurement

As a first step to seeing a better way, try Aternity End User Experience Monitoring for yourself. Register here for instant access to Aternity in our cloud environment and take a self-guided tour of the key digital experience management use cases.

If your digital transformation efforts include mobile, be sure to attend our recent webinar on Mobile APM on how to ensure a 5 star digital experience for your mobile apps, even in a BYOD environment.

Does BYOD Mean Bring Your Own Dissatisfaction Webinar


Author: Mike Marks

  • 0

Coupon fraud could be costing your business millions

Category : Trend Micro

Customers are always looking for good deals with their purchases and a coupon could be the defining factor for a buyer completing his or her transaction. In fact, a 2015 survey by found that paper coupons were used by 63 percent of respondents. This is followed by discounts for online and mobile purchases. Distributed coupons are valued at billions of dollars every year and companies continue to use these techniques to attract consumers for their business. However, there is a darker side to couponing: fraud. The real-life costs of this crime go beyond the deals consumers get and could be costing your business millions.

coupon fraudWhile seemingly a mild form of fraud, wide-spread coupon fraud can add up.


What is coupon fraud?

Coupon fraud comes in a variety of flavors. Normally, coupon transactions are simply data changing hands between the consumer, coupon providers and an agent that sorts and audits the coupons. Because there are so many layers, only one needs to be vulnerable to affect the whole supply chain. The Balance noted that shoppers often participate in coupon fraud by making multiple copies of the coupon, using the discount for products that extend beyond those listed in the terms, stealing newspaper inserts and buying or selling coupons. When consumers don’t stick to the rules for printing out coupons or abiding by the usage agreements, this is considered illegal activity and leaves businesses covering the cost.

Coupon fraud is costing businesses millions.Coupon fraud is costing businesses millions.

Just how damaging is it?

When a business accepts a counterfeit coupon or scans and authorizes a deal for products that aren’t listed on the coupon, it might not be caught at first. It can even seem like a small occurrence compared to all of the other transactions that the business might see throughout the day. However, PennLive put realistic estimates of coupon crime costs between $300 million and $600 million per year in the U.S. While losses will vary per organization, this is still no small price to pay for any business.

With such a lucrative market, cyber criminals are taking advantage of coupon fraud for their own payday. In fact, Trend Micro stated that coupon fraud’s scalability results in business process compromise, which undermines business operations components and significantly impacts the bottom line. Fraudsters can generate purportedly valid coupon codes and distribute them to unknowing consumers. New customer promos are also sold in bulk in the underground, which allow buyers to take advantage of perks given upon account registration. These occurrences mount up, earning criminals money while costing your business.

Be aware of distribution channels

How coupons are sent to customers can be an important factor in coupon fraud cases. Social media in particular is being used more for delivering great deals and acting as a marketplace for potential transactions. Cyber criminals have identified this tactic and are devising their own legitimate looking coupons or discounts to scam social media users. According to Consumer Affairs, a recent online coupon scam promised deals on popular consumer products. The catch was that the buyer would need to provide their credit card information or personal identifying data in order to get the coupon. Fraudsters could then sell this data on the underground market and use it for identity theft.

If your business decides to market through social media, it’s important to show that your page is verified. This could help consumers better identify real deals while still attracting revenue opportunities through the social channels. As cyber criminals continue to create legitimate looking coupon codes and scams, it will be integral for organizations to direct customers to actual discount pages.

Spotting and stopping fake coupons

For businesses and consumers alike, coupon fraud is a major problem. Businesses increase the prices on products to make up for the losses, which then impacts consumers that seek to legitimately use coupons. This cyclical occurrence will continue as long as fake coupons are distributed. There are a few signs that organizations should be wary of:

  • Coupons without bar codes.
  • Discounts where a purchase isn’t required to redeem it.
  • Deals that are more than the actual price of the item.
  • Coupons that don’t have conditions of usage on them.

Cashiers themselves must be trained on how to use coupons properly and catch potential fraud cases.

Smart coupon creation can make a big difference in identifying legitimate ones over counterfeits. Trend Micro suggested putting safeguards in place like limiting the reuse, distribution and time limit for coupon codes. Businesses can also personalize coupons and use anti-counterfeit techniques like complex data codes, watermarks, code authentication and microprinting to deter scammers from duplicating codes and deals. Leaders must also work with distributors, stakeholders and law enforcement to establish stronger fraud resistance and risk management policies for coupon programs. All the while, organizations need to maintain the privacy, security and integrity of their infrastructure that manages critical processes.

Organizations must be prudent in their coupon strategies this holiday season. Organizations must be prudent in their coupon strategies this holiday season.


Don’t be duped this holiday

As the holiday season approaches, more businesses will start coming out with sales and deals on their products and services. However, it’s also the perfect time for cyber criminals and coupon counterfeiters to make a quick payday off of unsuspecting victims. Consumers must take care to check over their coupons for terms of agreement and remain wary of deals that ask for personal information, particularly those distributed through social media sites.

Organizations must take action now to determine the best distribution strategy for their sales marketing strategy while also designing their coupons to limit fraud opportunities. Here, a time limit mark could be a great solution, along with design choices to reflect the holiday season. This makes it much harder for criminals to replicate and helps consumers identify which deals are legitimate. Retailers must be prudent to ensure buyers play by the rules to get freebies and discounts.

Safeguards will limit coupon fraud and prevent abusers from repeatedly cashing in on coupons this holiday season.



  • 0

Never Home Alone

Category : Check Point

Securing IoT devices from your home to everywhere


The Internet of Things is happening now. With Internet connectivity rapidly expanding, smart homes are allowing users to remotely control various home appliances from anywhere at any time. Because devices are more interconnected now than ever, it is critical for enterprises to start implementing security by design. Security cannot be an afterthought anymore; it must be in the forefront of every IoT product and service design.

Recently, the Check Point Research team proved just how vulnerable IoT devices in the home can be. Our team found vulnerabilities within the LG Smart ThinQ platform that could let cyber criminals take control of home devices such as a connected refrigerator or robot vacuum and use a camera on the device to see inside the user’s home. However, cyberattacks on IoT devices are not just limited to the home environment. IoT attacks can happen in all industries; healthcare, retail, industrial control systems/SCADA, automotive and others. Once hackers find their way into a corporate environment, that breach can become a hacker’s beachhead for launching a wider attack into an enterprise core IT system.

Enterprises must build with security as a top priority. Incorporating even a simple security solution can help make a difference for any company.

Enterprises seeking to learn more about the latest advances in securing the Internet of Things can download this whitepaper to discover:

  • What are the challenges of IoT cyber security
  • The best way to bridge the IoT cyber security gap
  • What are the best security approaches that you should be thinking about