Archive for May 13th, 2009

Laptop security – myths and mistakes

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Today’s businesses are very mobile. Sometimes you don’t even need to have a conventional office, it becomes virtual, it is always with you in your mobile phones, netbooks and laptops. Such mobile mini-offices stuffed with corporate documents and reports, partners’ data, confidencial correspondence, access passwords are in danger of being stolen, both virtually and physically. You can try to protect your laptop using laptop security cable locks but what if it was stolen? Let all your information go into adversary’s hands? Do you _really_ think that your Windows logon password is an impenetrable barrier for the adversary? Have you heard of Elcomsoft System Recovery? You still think your laptop is secure because you have BIOS password and/or partial drive encryption? Read an article by Kevin Beaver ‘Securing corporate data on your laptops’ , take off rose-colored glasses and revise your laptop security as suggested in Kevin’s step-by-step outline. 

 

NIST drafts new enterprise password management (open to publication, distribution and adaptation!)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Probably you’ve already heard about this vicious circle thousand times:

Requiring that passwords be long and complex makes it less likely that attackers will guess or crack them, but it also makes the passwords harder for users to remember, and thus more likely to be stored insecurely. This increases the likelihood that users will store their passwords insecurely and expose them to attackers.

So, how to work out an appropriate password policy? Need help? Find some tips in NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) study, GUIDE TO ENTERPRISE PASSWORD MANAGEMENT (DRAFT), which “has been prepared for use by Federal agencies”, but also “may be used by nongovernmental organizations on a voluntary basis”.

Here are some nuggets from the paper: 

• Organizations should review their password policies periodically, particularly as major technology changes occur (e.g., new operating system) that may affect password management.

Users should be made aware of threats against their knowledge and behavior, such as phishing attacks, keystroke loggers, and shoulder surfing, and how they should respond when they suspect an attack may be occurring.

• Organizations should consider having different policies for password expiration for different types of systems, operating systems, and applications, to reflect their varying security needs and usability requirements.

Do you have something to add? So, review and revise it freely – the paper is not subject to copyright. ;)  

 

More on SLI

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

If you are going to purchase a new computer (or make it yourself), you should definitely think about graphics — for CAD/CAM, gaming, searching for extraterrestrial intelligence at home or password cracking. Of course, thinking of budget, too. I hope you’re already aware of NVIDIA SLI which allows to use multiple video cards, but how a single dual-GPU compares to two single-GPU ones? Read GeForce GTX 295 Vs. GTX 275 SLI: When Two Are Better Than One.