Posts Tagged ‘IBM’






Here’s a link to a posting I did for IBM’s Security Intelligence Blog on the perils of ignoring the whole Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. Enjoy …



The bi-annual IBM X-Force Trend and Risk Report was recently released and, as always, there are some interesting insights …

First of all, in case you aren’t familiar, the IBM X-Force team is a group of security researchers who “study and monitor the latest threat trends including vulnerabilities, exploits and active attacks, viruses and other malware, spam, phishing, and malicious web content.”

They have at their disposal an enormous base of empirical data based upon the information gleaned from the more than 3,700 client networks managed  which generate roughly 13 billion (with a “b”) events per day across 133 countries. In addition, this group also maintains a data base of 17 billion web pages and images, 40 million spam and phishing attacks and 80 thousand documented vulnerabilities. In other words, way more than enough data to identify meaningful trends which can be generalized to apply across industries and international borders.

So, what did they find? Lots of things, of course, but some that I found interesting were:

  • Publicly disclosed vulnerabilities increased by 14% over to 8,168 over the previous year
  • Cross-site scripting accounted for over half of the total web app vulnerabilities disclosed in 2012 — the highest rate seen in X-Force’s history
  • Java has become a favorite hacker target in part due to its cross-platform nature, which means that a single exploit can be developed that would compromise Windows (all versions), Mac OS and Linux, for instance, essentially leveling the playing field for the bad guys and removing the (false) sense of security that some have enjoyed due to their choice of operating system
  • Botnet command and control server users have become more resilient over the past several years as the impact of taking down these infrastructures has had progressively less and less effect going forward

Then there’s this provocative prediction that mobile computing will actually become increasingly more secure eventually surpassing that of traditional desktop/laptop devices. That’s a statement you may want to noodle on a bit to see whether you agree or disagree but before you decide either way, take a look at the report to see the rationale behind this unconventional assertion.

The report is available at or In addition, you might want to listen in on a podcast hosted by IBM’s Caleb Barlow discussing some of the findings, which can be found at his blog at


Pulse 2013

Posted: February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Looking forward to seeing many of you at Pulse 2013 in Las Vegas, March 3-6. There will be loads of sessions led by IBM customers talking about their experiences, best practices,lessons learned and the like as well as a great opportunity for professional networking.

For those that can’t make it there in person, many of the sessions are available online at the web site.

BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” is like a runaway train barreling down the tracks. If you’re the IT Dept you can either jump on board where at least you have a chance to determine which track it rides on or stand in front of the train, hands outstretched yelling “stop!” As you might guess, in that latter scenario, the train always wins.

But that doesn’t mean you just give up and let anyone bring any device they want into the corporate network where sensitive data is kept. The threat these handy gizmos pose is real but so is their value to the organization so you have to recognize both aspects and do what you can to mitigate the risks.

One of those risks is that the phone could be riding around New York City in the back of a cab even though the device’s owner no longer is. According to this article article in USA Today, Americans lost $30 billion (with a “b”!) worth of cell phones last year alone…


With the proper precautions, though, you actually can embrace the trend that has resulted in the proliferation of this ubiquitous computing capability. Here’s a good story from InfoWorld on how IBM is doing it …

How IBM manages 80,000 bring-your-own devices

There are no risk free options here but learning to say “how” rather than “no” at least ensures that you remain part of the conversation. 



IBM’s X-Force researchers have released their 2011 year end Trend and Risk Report and there’s good news and bad news for those of us trying to defend the castle, so to speak. First the good …

  • spam is down compared to last year (although you wouldn’t know if from my inbox),
  • software vendors are doing a better job of patching their products in a more timely manner,
  • and one of the long-standing threats to web server security, cross site scripting vulnerabilities are down (but not out, I might add).

But don’t pop the corks just yet …

  • attacks focused on mobile devices (i.e. smart phones, tablets, etc.) are on the up tick,
  • and so are automated password guessing and phishing attacks.

Also, bear in mind that some of these statistics are cyclical in nature with a down year typically proceeding an increase in the following year.

All in all, though, some great info to have at your disposal and to factor into the way your organization views IT risk.

For more info including access to the free report and an overview video go to

I attended IBM’s Pulse Conference in Las Vegas this week (March 4-7, 2012) and what a show it was! IBM Fellow Grady Booch’s interview with Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak (Woz starts about 56 mins in), was a real highlight as was the Maroon 5 concert the night before. They even let me join in on the fun with a video interview of “all things security” which ranged from discussing the significance of launching of the new IBM Security Systems division to the changing nature in both motivation and sophistication in the current hacker threat.