Summer Reading Series: Assignment #3 Network Security

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On any given day, I can open up a news website and find some reference to a network security breach or a new breed of cybercrime. These are never-ending security breaches and cybercrime stories with slightly different twists—like the scams with the emails addressed to “Your Most Royal Excellency,” from a “prince” in unfamiliar territory, advising that if you’d be so kind as to wire $3,200 immediately, you’re guaranteed a piece of his newly inherited estate. (Please tell me you haven’t responded to these.) Or the sweeping network security breaches affecting large, well-known enterprises—– banks, credit card companies, hospitals and universities—that are occurring with alarming frequency.  And since security issues continue to grow and morph daily, I’m determined to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible to keep our network security products ahead of criminal activity. I’ve found some references that help me do just that and have shared them below.  Enjoy!

Required reading: I’ve found that keeping current on the US government’s efforts is the best place to start on my defense mission. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is part of the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and houses a virtual vault of information, from the latest cybercriminal arrests to a formal list of the most current threats and potential targets. The US-CERT “About Us” section describes the organization as leading the “efforts to improve the nation's cybersecurity posture, coordinate cyber information sharing and proactively manage cyber risks to the nation while protecting the constitutional rights of Americans.” That pretty much says it all.

Reading for understanding: Fortinet’s blog is just plain old good. That’s all there is to it. They know what they’re doing and their blog digs even deeper into the minds of their product experts, making me feel like I’m getting exclusive information. Another favorite is the Security Research page of Network World, which offers tons of insight from industry bloggers across the country. I find myself refreshing that page almost daily just to see what the latest post has for me.

Extra credit: Need to feel like a cyber detective? Brian Krebs, of Krebs on Security, is kind of like CSI for network security sleuths. This blog offers more investigative articles than you’ll have time to read in one sitting. So if you don’t have a lot of time, bookmark this one for later. Once you read one post you’re hooked—you’ll look up and realize two hours have passed. I feel like I’m reading a best-selling cybercrime novel once I start, except that these stories are true. Maybe some day he’ll think about creating a “Cyber-CSI” television series?

About Our Summer Reading Series

This summer, Windstream bloggers are reviewing some of their favorite resources relevant to their areas of expertise—other blogs, online publications, websites, books and other resources—and sharing them with our readers and followers. Throughout the series, you’ll find great insight and links to lots of helpful resources you’ll want to read and bookmark for future reference. And of course, you can contact a Windstream advisor to learn more about products, services and the latest network security solutions.