If you use AWS, you probably have a root user and one or more administrator users. If you are following best practice you have secured all logins with MFA, and you rarely if ever use the root user. Instead, you log in as one of the administrator users. The problem with that is that as long as you are logged in, you can do anything – including make disastrous mistakes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the power of an administrator at your fingertips, but only when you actually need it?
The online world has become too dangerous for us to keep protecting ourselves with no more than a username and a password. Especially when most of us choose stupidly simple passwords. Even if you choose a good one – upper and lower case, special characters, letters and numbers – you now need such a long one that no human can remember it. Tools like LastPass are great, but only if you also use ridiculously long passwords. Pretty much the best protection you can give yourself is a simple thing called two factor authentication. It’s simple, it’s free, and it’s very effective.
The matter of data centre security was raised recently on a network mailing list I subscribe to. Someone was wondering if data centres checked incoming equipment for “bad stuff” – explosives and what-not.
The reaction from some was “don’t talk about that, we don’t want to give people ideas”. What a muddle-headed response!
ssh is just about the most secure way you can provide access to a system. But even ssh is subject to attacks. You can reduce the likelihood of a breach even further with a few fairly simple steps. The specifics below are for Ubuntu 16.04, but the principles are the same for any modern Unix.
Data loss can be a business killer. There’s a simple test for how badly you need good backups: Imagine all your computers are irrecoverably gone. Just – gone. Did you shrug? Gulp? Or clutch your chest? If the last, you need good backups 🙂 Now let me tell you about ransomware, trojans and backups… Continue reading
Someone just asked (on a network operators list!) whether
telnet had a vulnerability, because he knew of a switch that was on the Internet and accessible via
telnet… This was my response.
Just read this article on the ABC website, about securing your enterprise against malware. They gave great advice – “detect and block at the perimeter and inside the network”, “assess and protect endpoints”, “analyse threats through context”, “eradicate malware and prevent reinfection”, “remediate attacks with retrospective security” and “be sure to implement integrated rules on the perimeter security gateway”. But one important bit of advice was missing.