Industry News
Ed Cartier's monthly roundup of industry news
Links to recent articles relating to asset management, technology and cloud computing

Industry News - Jul 2020


Microsoft Releases Emergency Security Updates for Windows 10, Server

Microsoft recently released two emergency security updates to address remote code execution bugs in Microsoft Windows Codecs Library. The updates, addressed a critical-severity flaw (CVE-2020-1425) and important-severity vulnerability (CVE-2020-1457). They were sent out via Windows Update and affect several versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019. According to the updates, the vulnerabilities allow remote code execution in the way that Microsoft Windows Codecs Library handles objects in memory. Microsoft included a complete list of the Windows 10 and Windows Server distributions affected in its advisories, but it did say that there are no mitigations or workarounds for the vulnerabities. IT managers are urged to use their IT asset management tools to identify un patched devices.

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The New Business Technology Priorities Of 2020

Conserving costs can be simple as turning off an unused service. IT managers can utilize the information generated by their IT asset management solutions to identify cloud services and accounts that result in budget waste.

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Working Remotely? Here Are 4 Often-Overlooked Steps That Secure Your Data

Private sector businesses should mimic the federal government s process for telework, especially as it pertains to assets and devices. Teleworking federal employees are generally issued a federal laptop or tablet. The laptop is given an agency-specific image that includes antivirus (AV) software and an approved access portal. If a firm cannot issue a standard device to each employee, management should require each employee to have an approved antivirus subscription. The IT department specify an AV program that best interfaces with the company s network configurations. Having multiple AV subscription on any device can cause problems for the device. The benefit of distributing company-owned devices is that the company can control the who, what and how of its employees touching the network. Additionally, the data on the device can be collected, even remotely and archived on a secure server. The IT group can leverage the company s IT asset management toolset to interrogate employee-owned devices to insure that the AV software and access portal software comply with company standards.

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Microsoft Warns of Critical Windows DNS Server Vulnerability That s Wormable

Microsoft is advising all systems administrators to patch a critical Windows DNS Server vulnerability that it has classified as wormable. The flaw could enable attackers to create special malware that remotely executes code on Windows servers that could result in a company s infrastructure being breached. Microsoft said that this vulnerability is not currently known to be used in active attacks, however it is essential that customers apply Windows updates to patch this vulnerability as soon as possible. A patch to fix the exploit is currently available across all supported versions of Windows Server. today, but the race is on for system administrators to patch servers as quickly as possible before malicious actors create malware based on the flaw. Systems administrators can utilize the information generated by their IT asset management solution to identify vulnerable servers.

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Industry News - Jun 2020


How to Start, Optimize, and Elevate your ITAM program

2020 has presented businesses with a set of diverse challenges. IT departments have worked to provide safe remote working environments and have enabled organizations to implement new products and customer experiences. Now, as the economy starts to open up again, they need to manage a new hybrid working environment. During the crisis the focus has been on rapid deployment instead of cost and risk management. Now IT groups need to focus those elements of IT governance. ITAM is well-positioned to drive success against those objectives. This article provides a structure for starting, optimizing, and elevating a firm s ITAM program.

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Antivirus, Firewalls Top Security Solutions For Remote Work

This year nearly 5% of organizations had three-quarters or more of their workforce working remotely on a regular basis. However, according to a recent survey of more than 400 IT security decision-makers, the coronavirus pandemic pushed 75% of companies to allow most of their employees to work remotely. The survey also showed that over half of respondents intend to continue increasing their work-from-home (WFH) security budgets. Antivirus and firewalls solutions were the top WFH security solutions. SSL-VPN, multifactor authentication and backups rounded out the top five. To insure the security of remote devices, IT managers will also need a means of discovering and inventorying remote devices to determine compliance with mandated configurations.

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Microsoft Fixes 129 Bugs in Largest Patch Tuesday Release

Microsoft issued updates for June 2020, fixing 129 vulnerabilities across its products and services. This is the company's largest monthly security release and the fourth consecutive month of more than 100 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) patched. Eleven of the bugs addressed are categorized as Critical, and 118 are classified Important. The vulnerabilities exist in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Edge browser, ChakraCore, Office, Office Services and Web Apps, Windows Defender, Microsoft Dynamics, Visual Studio, Azure DevOps, and Microsoft Apps for Android. None are publicly known or currently under active attack. IT managers are urged to use thier IT asset management solution to identify any unpatched systems.

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Abandoned Apps May Pose Security Risk to Mobile Devices

Mobile security firm Wandera recently warned that many mobile users are using applications on their mobile devicves that are no longer in active development nor offered on major app stores. The company found a "significant number" of obsolete applications on employee's devices during its regular scanning for security threats. Michael Covington, vice president at the firm noted that these applications pose security risks because any vulnerability found in the code will never be patched. He said that "These abandoned applications are on worker devices: they are outdated, and they are not maintained. When the developer stops updating, then vulnerabilities go unpatched, and that is a security issue." IT managers should determine if their IT asset management tools can inventory mobile devices and use those tools to identify obsolete apps.

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UPnP Flaw Exposes Millions of Network Devices to Attacks Over the Internet

UPnP has opened users to a variety of attacks. An Internet-wide scan found that UPnP was making more than 81 million devices visible outside the local networks. The finding was unexpected because the protocol isn't supposed to communicate with outside devices. The vulnerability, along with a list of affected devices (see link below for the list) was reported the Open Connectivity Foundation, which maintains the UPnP protocol. The foundation has updated the underlying specification to fix the flaw. Users can check with developers and manufacturers to determine if or when a patch will be available. A significant percentage of IoT devices never receive updates from manufacturers, which will extend the life of the vulnerability om unpatched devices.

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Overcoming IoT Complexity with Flexible Device Management

Comprehensive management of a firm s IoT device estate, whether it is managed directly at the edge or in the cloud, is critical. Open standards, interoperability and a system-wide approach to security are core requirements to efficiently and securely manage the dynamic landscape of an organization s IoT devices. This new playbook explores how meeting these design objectives can enable the choice and flexibility of devices, data, and clouds while ensuring a secure network of devices.

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How to Build an Effective Cloud Management Practice

This whitepaper outlines how to build an effective Cloud Software Asset Management practice to ensure that a firm s cloud foundation is safe, secure, and cost-effective. The paper explains how companies can minimize 'Cloud Shock', (unexpected, unbudgeted cost increases related to delivering IT services via public cloud), track cloud-related cost and risks, migrate existing on-premises processing and applications to the cloud and manage cloud optimization processes. Click on the link below download the document.

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New Malware Campaign Targets Unpatched Windows Vulnerabilities

Palo Alto Network Unit 42 research team recently identified a new malware campaign known as Lucifer, which targets a long list of unpatched, high and critical Windows vulnerabilities. Hackers are leveraging long list of exploits that include CVE-2017-0144 and CVE-2017-0145 found in the SMBv1 server of some Microsoft Windows platforms, CVE-2017-8464 found in some Windows Server versions, and Apache Struts flaw CVE-2017-9791, among others. Patches for these vulnerabilities are currently available once again senfing a message to all organizations why it s critically important to keep systems up-to-date whenever possible, eliminate weak credentials, and have an active layer of cyber-defenses. IT managers are also reminded that their ITAM solution can be used to identify vulnerable systems.

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Put Yourself in a Winning Position

Due to the transition to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations may have needed to buy extra IT assets to accommodate employees without adequate computing devices at home. These included hardware assets, software assets, and mobile assets, all of which were necessary during the work-from-home period. Now that states are beginning to open up those IT assets may become surplus assets. Resolving this situation is something. in which IT Asset Managers will play a key role When these assets come back to the organization with the employees, the ITAM professionals will be key in finding a way to make those unused assets beneficial to the organization.

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The Great Cloud Migration

Click on ther4 link below to download the white paper.

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Industry News - May 2020


Lockbit, The New Ransomware For Hire: A Sad And Cautionary Tale

Ransomware is one of the top threats facing large organizations. An infection by a fairly new strain called LockBit recently ransacked one company s poorly secured network in a matter of hours, leaving management with no viable choice but to pay the ransom. Attackers started out by researching potential targets with valuable data and the means to make big payouts. The attackers used a list of words attempting to gain access to one of the accounts. Eventually, they found an administrative account that had access to the entire network. The weak account password, combined with the lack of multifactor authentication protection, gave the attackers all the system rights they needed. Unlike other ransomware software that rely on live human hackers whospend large amounts of time surveying and surveilling a target s network and then unleash the code that will encrypt it. LockBit it is completely self-spreading. The attacker needs to be inside the network for a few hours.

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Office 365 May Be Popular Target for Bad Actors, But Difficult to Hit

The report utilized information obtained from 950 cyber incidents that Baker & Hostetler consulted on in 2019. In over 30% of the cases examined, cyber-criminals initiated an Office 365 account takeover after the initial breach. Deployment of ransomware was the next most common step followed by the installation of malware.

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Thunderbolt Flaws Expose Millions of PCs to Hands-On Hacking

Security researchers known that Intel's Thunderbolt interface as a potential security issue. It offers faster speeds of data transfer to external devices and direct access to a computer's memory ports, which can lead to security vulnerabilities. A collection of flaws in Thunderbolt known as Thunderclap indicates that plugging a malicious device into a computer's Thunderbolt port can quickly bypass all of its security measures. Security researchers have recommended that users take advantage of a Thunderbolt feature known as "security levels." This feature disallowd access to untrusted devices or even turns off Thunderbolt altogether. That would turn the vulnerable port into a mere USB and display port. IT managers can scan their network for affected devices using their IT asset management solutions.

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IT Asset Management (ITAM): A Centralized Approach To Managing IT systems And Assets

IT asset management (ITAM) coverds practices and strategies for managing and optimizing company-owned IT systems, including hardware, software processes and data. As part of an ITAM strategy, IT departments implement, track and maintain IT assets. They also assess if those IT assets can be optimized, replaced or be upgraded. These insights into an organization s IT assets enables IT executives visualize the ROI on IT assets. The information also provided information other key stakeholders regarding how those assets directly benefit the company s business goals. A successful ITAM strategy requires a complete IT inventory that gives organizations a quick view of every IT asset within the company. That includes data centers, software, hardware, networks, employee or user workstations and any other related technology. The main goals of ITAM are to optimize budgets, track assets, improve control over the company s IT environment, bring more structure to the IT lifecycle management process and reduce waste by managing the disposal of IT assets.

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You Need to Update Adobe Acrobat for MacOS Right Now

Protected Mode is turned off by default, so users will need to take a few steps after updating Acrobat to the latest version. To enable protected mode users will need to Open Acrobat, go to the Edit menu, select Preferences, and from the Categories section, select Security and click the checkbox that says Enable Protected Mode at Startup (Preview).

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Three Years After WannaCry, Ransomware Accelerating While Patching Still Problematic

An important lesson from the WannaCry incident that impacted companies worldwide three years ago is that vompanies that use outdated systems and do not rigorously patch those systems are at risk from data breaches and attacks by ransomware. Too many y companies continue to use out-of-date software that is vulnerable to destructive attacks. According to Jacob Noffke, senior principal cyber engineer at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, in a statement sent to Dark Reading, companies with weaker defenses will be a prime target for cybercriminals looking to capitalize on WannaCry-inspired attacks. IT managers can easily identify unpatched system by running detailed discovery reports onn their IT asset management software.

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Chrome 83 Released with Enhanced Privacy Controls, Tab Groups Feature

Google recently released version 83 of its Chrome web browser. It is one of the most feature-packed Chrome updates released since the browser's initial launch. The v83 release includes a slew of new including enhanced privacy controls, new settings for managing cookie files, a new Safety Check option, support for tab groups, new graphics for web form elements, a new API for detecting barcodes, and a new anti-XSS security feature..

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Industry News - Apr 2020


Holy Water Watering Hole Attack Targets Visitors of Certain Websites with Malware

Kaspersky recently reported on the behavior of several watering hole websites established through a malware campaign dubbed Holy Water. In a watering hole attack, cybercriminals identify websites that are visited by particular groups of people and then infect hose sites with malware. When a user visits an infected site, a piece of malicious JavaScript automatically loads to determine if the user is a potential target. Next a second JavaScript piece loads a plugin that launches a fake Adobe Flash update popup window. By accepting the update the victim unknowingly downloads a malicious installer that sets up a backdoor caledGodlike12. This malware provides the attacker dfull remote access to the infected computer where they can change files and steal confidential information.

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Over 350,000 Exchange Servers Exposed to Serious RCE Bug

Over 350,000 Exchange servers worldwide remain exposed to a critical vulnerability that was patched by Microsoft in February. The vulnerability is being exploited in the wild, according to Rapid7.The vulnerability, labeled CVE-2020-0688, enables remote code execution on unpatched systems if the Exchange Control Panel (ECP) interface is accessible to the attacker sand they have a working credential for it. aAtackers can gain access an Exchange server with a simple user credential or old service account. This issue further underscores why changing passwords periodically and patching systems in a timely manner are good best practices. IT managers can utilize their automated IT asset management resources to identify unpatched servers.

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New White Paper - Create Secure Work from Home Machines

With thousands of end-users using Work From Home (WFH) computers, companies need to determine that those WFH computers are not creating security risks when they access corporate or government networks. As WFH devices are not located within the organization s firewall and need to be better protected than the organization s on-premises machines. NIST and the CIS have established specific WFH security controls firms can follow with confidence to minimize the security risks for their WFH machines. The whitepaper "Create Secure Work from Home machines", describes how to accomplish this with standardized controls from NIST and the CIS. Click on the link below to download a free copy.

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Security for Enterprise Telework, Remote Access, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Solutions

This bulletin summarizes highlights from NIST Special Publication 800-46 Revision 2, Guide to Enterprise Telework, Remote Access, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Security, which helps organizations protect their IT systems and information from the security risks that accompany the use of telework and remote access technologies. To download a complimentary copy of the bulleting click on the link bwlow.

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Hacking Against Corporations Surges As Workers Take Computers Home

Hacking activity against corporations more than doubled im March as cyber criminals took advantage of security weakened by pandemic work-from-home policies, researchers said. It is more difficult for corporate security teams to protect data when it is distributed on home computers with widely varying setups and on company machines connecting remotely. Even remote workers using virtual private networks (VPNs are adding to the problem. VMware cybersecurity strategist Tom Kellermann noted that There is a digitally historic event occurring in the background of this pandemic, and that is there is a cybercrime pandemic that is occurring. It s just easier, frankly, to hack a remote user than it is someone sitting inside their corporate environment.

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Google Launches BeyondCorp Remote Access for Virtual Workers

Google LLC updated its BeyondCorp security framework to enable companies to secure their most important applications and data at a time when many workers are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BeyondCorp is a zero-trust security framework that moves access controls from the perimeter to individual devices and users It allows employees to work securely from any location without the need for a traditional VPN. BeyondCorp assumes that users are requesting access from inside the network are just as untrustworthy as those seeking remote access. Consequently, access requests are granted based on details about the particular users, their jobs and the security status of their devices. That s the zero trust model, and Google claims it is far more effective than traditional network security controls.

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New iPhone Text-Bomb Bug: Just Receiving This Sindhi Character Notification Crashes iPhones

The latest version of Apple's mobile OS, iOS 13.4.1, will crash if device running the OS simply receives an app notification with a particular string of characters in the Sindhi language. This 'text bomb' bug can potentially cause widespread problems for iOS users. The crash can be triggered by a notification from any app, including Messages, WhatsApp, and social-media apps like Twitter. It can affect thousands of users simultaneously. 9to5Mac reports that the crash-inducing characters have been going viral on Twitter and that it seems to have originally been shared on a Telegram group. After the Sindi character in a text or other message the iPhone freezes, can't be turned off, and will eventually crash.

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Symlink Race Bugs Discovered In 28 Antivirus Products

In a recent report Security researchers from RACK911 Labs said k that they found "symlink race" vulnerabilities in antivirus products. The report notes that the bugs can be exploited by an attacker to delete files used by the antivirus or by the operating system. The result would be crashes that would render the computer unusable. The RACK911 team has been researching the presence of such bugs in antivirus products since 2018 and found 28 products across Linux, Mac, and Windows to be vulnerable, and notified vendors as time went by. The researchers said that "Most of the antivirus vendors have fixed their products with a few unfortunate exceptions." Some vendors acknowledged the issues in public advisories while others appear to have rolled out silent patches. The RACK911 team did not identify the unpatched products.

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New Licensing Changes in Latest Oracle Java Update


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Industry News - Mar 2020


Microsoft Discloses New Windows Vulnerability That's Being Actively Exploited

Microsoft disclosed that it discovered a new remote code execution vulnerability that is found in all supported versions of Windows. The company said the vulnerability is currently being exploited in limited targeted attacks. In a successful attack hackers could theoretically remotely run code or malware on the victim s device. The flaw involves the Adobe Type Manager Library, which helps Windows render fonts. The vulnerability has a severity level of critical, which is the company s highest rating. Updates to address security vulnerabilities are usually released as part of Update Tuesday. The next Update Tuesday is scheduled for April 14th. IT managers can verify then patch was installed by using their IT asset management toolset.

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Avast Disables JavaScript Engine In Its Antivirus Following Major Bug

"Despite being highly privileged and processing untrusted input by design, it is un-sandboxed and has poor mitigation. Any vulnerabilities in this process are critical, and easily accessible to remote attackers." Exploiting this type of bug is trivial and only requires a hacker to send a user a malicious JS or WSH file via email, or tricking a victim to access a boobytrapped file with malicious JavaScript code.

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MALWARE ALERT! Do Not Open Email from World Health Organization!

Researchers at IBM X-Force have discovered that the HawkEye malware is being distributed to the public using a World Health Organization e-mail address from Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Upon opening the email victims are asked to click and open up a link that is attached to the e-mail which launches a password-and-bitcoin harvesting malware on Windows. IT managers are urged to alert their users to this threat.

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Microsoft Issues Emergency Windows 10 Patch for Leaked Vulnerability

Microsoft released an unscheduled patch for a security bug that it disclosed during the release of its March 2020 patch. The vulnerability, which difficult to exploit, is "critical" because it could allow malicious code to automatically spread from one machine to another. With the fix Microsoft is working to avoid a chain reaction scenario such as the one that occurred with the WannaCry and NotPetya viruses. The vulnerability exists in Microsoft's Server Message block (SMB) protocol on recent 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 both on the client and server sides. IT managers can use their It asset management software to determine if the fix has been installed.

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UPDATED: Get Your Free Cybersecurity Tech to Cope With Your Coronavirus Chaos

In light of the Covid-19 crisis, some companies are making some of their services available for free. If your users don t already have a password manager or two-factor authentication, you might be wise to advise them of some of these current offers. Cisco is allowing customers of its Duo Security tool go above their user limit as their employees increasingly work from home. New customers can get a free license. Duo Security s primary service is a two-factor authentication tool that can be added to web and mobile apps. Canadian company 1Password has removed the 30-day trial period on 1Password Business, making the first six months are free. (The normal cost is $7.99 per user.) Its password manager keeps all of a user s logins in one spot so they don t have to remember them. If your company doesn t already have a password manager, it s not a good place to start.

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AT&T Suspends Broadband Data Caps During Coronavirus Crisis

AT&T is the first major ISP that it will be suspending all broadband usage caps as millions of Americans work at home in order to slow the proliferation of COVID-19. Consumer groups and a coalition of legislators are now pressuring other ISPs to do the same. While many AT&T users have no usage caps, others see usage caps ranging from as little as 150 GB to 1 terabyte per month. Users that exceed those limits face penalties upwards of $10 per each additional 50 gigabytes consumed. As millions of US citizens are forced to work, videoconference, and learn at home, overage costs could increase the financial burden on consumers. US consumers already pay some of the highest prices for broadband in the developed world.

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Google And Microsoft Are Giving Away Enterprise Conferencing Tools Due To Coronavirus

To help companies cope with the coronavirus outbreak Google and Microsoft have said, to make it easier for people to work from home, they will provide free access to their more robust teleconferencing and collaboration tools that are typically only available to enterprise customers. Both companies are only offering free access for a limited time. Google announced that it would be offering free access to advanced features for Hangouts Meet to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers through July 1st. This will organizations to host meetings with up to 250 participants, live stream to up to 100,000 viewers within a single domain, and record and save meetings to Google Drive. Google typically charges $13 extra per user per month for these features in addition to G Suite access under its enterprise tier, which bring s the cost to $25 per user per month. Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial globally for a premium tier of Microsoft Teams Business The tier was originally designed to enable hospitals, schools. When signing up for it, users be prompted to work with a Microsoft partner or a member of Microsoft s sales team to get it set up. Microsoft will also roll out an update to the free version of Teams that will lift restrictions on how many users can be part of a team and allow users to schedule video calls and conferences.

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Almost Half of Mobile Malware Are Hidden Apps

The malware waits up to eight hours before showing the fake notification in an effort to separate the warnings from installation. The malware, first identified in May 2019, has been spreading globally.

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To download the McAfee report go to: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/52182589/en

Security researchers reported that an Android malware strain can steal one-time passcodes generated through Google Authenticator. Google Authenticator is a a mobile app that is used as a two-factor authentication (2FA) layer for many online accounts. Google launched Authenticator as an alternative to SMS-based one-time passcodes. Google Authenticator codes are generated on a user's smartphone and never travel through insecure mobile networks and are considered more secure than those protected by SMS-based codes. Security researchers from mobile security firm ThreatFabric identified an Authenticator OTP-stealing capability in recent samples of Cerberus, an Android banking trojan that launched in June 2019. The ThreatFabric team said "Abusing the Accessibility privileges, the Trojan can now also steal 2FA codes from Google Authenticator application. When the Authenticator]app is running, the Trojan can get the content of the interface and can send it to the command-and-control] server." IT managers are urged to use their IT asset management, anti-malware and MDM software to protect their user s devices.

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ITAM and Coronavirus: What s the Impact?

During the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak it s worthwhile considering the impact it may have on ITAM organizations. The sudden need for many companies workforces to start working from home puts pressure on IT in various ways, particularly in the licensing and compliance aspects of the practice. Three areas of note are: processes not being followed, becoming under-licensed and becoming over-licensed. Many of processes will have been forgone during the effort get people up and running in their newly created home offices. To keep things functioning at as normal a level as possible may mean bending/breaking/ignoring processes. The most likely result of processes being ignored is becoming under-licensing. Giving people access to software and sorting the licenses out later is the most common approach. However, later rarely comes and firms become out of compliance. On the other end of the spectrum the higher than average need for many software programs requires companies to buy more licenses. The obvious titles are remote working programs such as Zoom/WebEx/GoToMeeting/Teams etc. Previously just a portion of the organization who used these applications, but now potentially close to everyone will need them. Consequently, more licenses are required. Additionally, the increased number of users might put a firm into the next pricing bracket, making your existing users more expensive as well.

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Creating an ITAM Clean-Up Action Plan

Creating an ITAM clean-up action plan will mean that, after any major ort unexpected change a company will have a checklist of steps to methodically take stock of the situation. Firms need to be able to identify likely areas where and out-of-compliance situation may exist and then work to identify the new situation. Key areas include hardware re-inventory, software location and SaaS discovery. Although this list was compiled with the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic in mind but applies to a wide variety of scenarios. Firms need to current on what devices they have, where are they, and what s on them. With work-at-home increasing many additional laptops may have been deployed. IT management will need to know where they ve been deployed, who has them and, what data they hold, and what software is installed on them. Re-examine the servers and determine if new software been added. Then review your contracts to insure you are not non-compliant. If the software no longer needed, remove it and if it is needed, determine what may need to be purchased/negotiated. What apps are being used now? Do you have a tool or system that enables you to see this? It s highly probable that the firm utilized duplicate instances of certain types of SaaS software, especially video conferencing software. Most may be on free plans, but some might be paid and It managers should work to identify any double spending where corporate licenses already are in place.

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Industry News - Feb 2020


Stop What You re Doing and Delete These Android Apps Right Now

VPNPro has loisted 24 apps dealing with everything from weather to calendar and camera functionality, that are malware-laden and/or request a wide range of potentially nefarious permissions. Google has removed them from the Play Store, but not before they were million downloaded over 375 million times. VPNpro, noted that Our research has uncovered that they re asking for a huge amount of dangerous permissions, potentially putting users private data at risk. These dangerous permissions include the ability to make calls, take pictures and record video, record audio, and much more. apps in question come via a Chinese company that has a history of malware, rogue-ware and unethical practices. IT managers should access the report and use their MDM or IT asset tools to identify and remove them from company-owned devices.

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How Could ITAM Help Travelex Restore Service?

Foreign currency exchange provider Travelex has been down since ransomware attack on December 31st, 2019. Travelex has not paid the ransom demanded by the hackers and that they re rebuilding their IT estate from scratch. Travelex has taken quite a bit of time to repair it s IT infrastructure. Could their ITAM team be helping them to restore service more quickly, or prevent the attack? It has been widely reported that the ransomware was deployed to their network via unpatched Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. ITAM teams could be reporting the level of potentially vulnerable software deployed on the network. To restore service, the IT group first need a detailed understating of what the infrastructure was comprised. ITAM will have discovery and inventory data which can help, especially id it in a cloud-based solution partner vs cloud hosting model for your ITAM tool.

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One of the Most Destructive Botnets Can Now Spread To Nearby Wi-Fi Networks

Over the past five years, the Emotet malware has become a leading Internet threat that empties bank accounts and installs other types of malware on its victims systems. Recently, Emotet operators were caught using a new version that uses infected devices to enumerate all nearby Wi-Fi networks. Using a programming interface called wlanAPI, it profiles the SSID, signal strength, and use of WPA or other encryption methods for password-protecting access. Next, the malware uses one of two password lists to guess commonly used username and password combinations. After gaining access to the Wi-Fi network, the infected device enumerates all non-hidden devices that are connected to it, which the malware also infects using the same technique. To combat the Emotet malware, IT managers can use their It asset management solution to identify all Wi-Fi routers and then insure they use complex password and username combination ns.

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75% of SAM Projects Fail. Why?

According to a well know IT consultancy, three quarters of all Software Asset Management (SAM) projects go over budget and do not meet their business goals. This whitepaper examines the SAM process and demonstrates where and why so many SAM projects run into major problems that impact performance and over budgets. Click on the URL below to download the whitepaper.

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Ransomware - How to Stop It

Ransomware has affected all types of public and private organizations on a worldwide basis. These attacks will likely continue as long as attackers can easily perform successful ransomware attacks and get paid,. However these attacks can almost all be pre-vented by implementing cyber defense best practices, such as those recommended by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). Click on the URL below to download the whitepaper.

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The Secrets to ITAM Technology Success Community Survey

To participate in the survey go to: https://itamreview.typeform.com/to/jFEdmM

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Gartner Report: SaaS Management

Truly effective Software Asset Management (SAM) requires more than a thorough understanding of licensing rules, ITIL processes and an effective SAM tool. For a SAM program to deliver all of its goals and drive IT efficiency, the soft skills of Software Asset Management are also required. SAM managers need to engage with other stakeholders outside of the SAM team and assist the wider business to understand the importance of Software Asset Management.

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How to Help Finance Your ITAM Program With The Assets You Manage

A good ITAM program should catalog the configuration of every item it discovers in a database. By using a sustainable ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) partner, IT managers can derive the maximum value from their retired IT assets. This tracking allows them to determine what assets they have in total and to decide which ones can be sold. Naturally the revenue derived from the sales of retired technology will not cover the cost of the ITAM program. However, any value recovery will increase the ROI of the program by reducing the net spend.

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Cybersecurity Warning: Almost Half Of Connected Medical Devices Are Vulnerable To Hackers Exploiting BlueKeep

Connected medical devices are twice as likely to be vulnerable to the BlueKeep exploit than other devices on hospital networks. BlueKeep is a vulnerability in Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) service which was discovered in 219. It impacts Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft issued a patch for BlueKeep after the vulnerability was discovered in May of 2019. Security authorities, including the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), issued urgent warnings about patching vulnerable systems. Healthcare IT managers can use thier IT asset management tools to identify unpatched systems.

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Ransomware Victims Thought Their Backups Were Safe. They Were Wrong

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said it has now updated its guidance by emphasizing that offline backups are required as an effective defense against ransomware. The agency observe4d that "We've seen a number of ransomware incidents lately where the victims had backed up their essential data (which is great), but all the backups were online at the time of the incident (not so great). It meant the backups were also encrypted and ransomed together with the rest of the victim's data." The NCSC has continuously recommended offline backup be part of a data security practice. However, it said that the key to mitigating a ransomware attack is to ensure that companies maintain up-to-date backups of important files. Organizations should ensure that a backup is kept separate from their network, wither offline or in a cloud service. IT managers can use their UT asset management tools to idedity where their back-up files are located and stored.

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Industry News - Jan 2020


Windows 7 Reminder: Get a Free Windows 10 Upgrade While You Can

With the Windows 7 end of life in the rearview mirror, CIOs need to decide whether they want to upgrade existing systems to Windows 10 or purchase new PCs. Microsoft has already released the last cumulative update for all editions of the operating system. No additional security updates will be available unless the firm purchased Extended Security Updates. Non-updated computer will become vulnerable to any security vulnerabilities that are discovered after January 14. However, firms that want to upgrade to Windows 10, you can still do so for free by going to Microsoft's Windows 10 download page. IT managers can use their IT asset management tools to identify non-upgraded systems, or systems with Windows 10 compatibility issues.

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Microsoft Patches Windows 10 Security Flaw Discovered By The NSA

The bug is a problem for systems that depend on digital certificates to validate the software that machines run. This could result in far-reaching security issues if left unpatched. The NSA is recommending that enterprises apply any available patches it immediately. Microsoft is now in the process patching the flaw. Following release of the patch IT managers can use their IT asset management tools to identify patched and un-patched systems.

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Antivirus Vendors Push Fixes for EFS Ransomware Attack Method

Researchers have discovered how an EFS attack initiated by ransomware leaves systems relying on signature-based antivirus solutions open to attack. Major cyber-security software vendors are actively developing and releasing fixes. as a result. Safebreach Labs revealed an how the Windows Encrypting File System (EFS) can be abused by ransomware. A lab-based exploration of EFS found that major antivirus solutions might not protect the system. Safebreach Labs found that after testing three major anti-ransomware solutions, all three failed to stop attacks. IT managers can utilize their IT asset management tools to determine if any available patches to their cyber-security software systems have been applied.

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Why Does Asset Management Matter for Cybersecurity?

IT asset management and Security are becoming more closely associated. The delineation between keeping information safe and providing and managing the IT tools necessary for daily operations is no longer clear. This white paper explores why asset management, which was once considered a pure IT play matters for cybersecurity. It also explores how both IT and security teams can benefit from cybersecurity asset management. Click on the link below to download the whitepaper. )Registration required)

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European Court of Justice Rules That Under-Licensing Is IP Theft

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled for of French software firm IT Development, which brought a case against its customer, Free Mobile, for copyright infringement. IT Development brought proceedings in June of 2015 against Free Mobile for infringement of the copyright of one of its software package as free mobile was under-licensed and creating new forms in the application, both of which violate3d the terms of the software license agreement (SLA). It argued that the licensee no longer had any licensed rights because the application was under-licensed and illegally modified, and consequently infringing firm IT Development s intellectual property (IP) rights. Robin Fry, legal director at Cerno Professional Services said the ruling means that software firms can effectively treat under-licensing as copyright infringement.

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Hidden MacOS Threat: This Is The Sneaky Malware Most Likely To Infect You

The Shlayer Trojan is the nearest thing to a viral plague affecting devices running the MacOs. According to Kaspersky, 10% of all the systems running their security on-device software detected the malware at least once. The Shlayer Trojan has accounted for almost one-third of all its Mac detections since first detected in 2018. Shlayer deceives users into downloading its payload by hiding on popular legitimate sites. The malware s operators pay partners to host links on these sites. Kaspersky reported more than 1,000 partner sites distributing Shlayer. IT managers should use their IT asset system to insure that the most current versions of cyber-security software is installed on each macos system accessing the network.

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Ragnarok Ransomware Targets Citrix ADC, Disables Windows Defender

A new ransomware named Ragnarok has been used in targeted attacks against unpatched Citrix ADC servers vulnerable to the CVE-2019-19781 exploit. FireEye recently reported on new attacks to install the new Ragnarok Ransomware on vulnerable networks, exploiting the now patched Citrix ADC vulnerability. When attackers compromise a Citrix ADC device, a number of scripts would be downloaded and executed. They then scan for Windows computers vulnerable to the EternalBlue vulnerability. When those devices are detected, the scripts attempt to exploit the Windows devices, and inject a DLL that downloads and installs the Ragnarok ransomware. IT managers can use their IT asset discovery tools to identify unpatched Citrix systems and vulnerable windows systems.

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Should ITAM Job Titles Be Standardized?

Examining the software asset management roles, there are apparently no recognized experience requirements or career progression ladders for the position. There are also a multitude of ITAM job titles that aggregate people with a few months worth of experience with people who have years of experience. Within the SAM industry there are a few recognized certifications, such as CSAM, PITAM, and ITIL However the related courses can only cover the base layer of SAM. There are also some vendors who offer some SAM training, but the reality is that only experience can answer the questions ITAM professionals face.

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