Letter from the Editor - November 2018

By: Scott St. John

There is a war being waged and you are at the center of it. There is an army of bad actors armed with billions of connected devices executing precise operations with sophisticated weapons aimed at you, your loved ones, your company, and even your country. These malfeasants are seeking to destroy, pillage, and profit at your expense - and they are winning.

You might think I'm being a bit over dramatic but, unfortunately, I'm not.

An entire market has been dedicated to weaponizing software, which can be bought off the shelf and even comes with call center support. Droves of captured identities and their relative credentials are being bought and sold on the Dark Web every day, and yours very well may be one of them. Each year, fraudsters are estimated to steal three trillion dollars from victims of this new warfare. Not to mention, a relatively simple DDOS attack aimed at video cameras turned them into robotic soldiers to shut down the entire Internet across the Eastern United States, including the websites of industry giants such as Amazon and PayPal. And those are just a few highlights from what we know is happening or has happened to date. What will happen in the future may be much worse.

If you take a look around your home, you'll see some old friends.  Your TV, a toaster, a fridge, a thermostat, and maybe a vacuum. On your wrist, perhaps you'll find a smart watch or fitness tracker. In your pocket or purse, as smartphone. In your car, you may have Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS navigation, assisted or self-driving mode, and a shiny new infotainment system as the centerpiece of your dashboard. The problem is all of these things have been getting smarter, they've become connected, and they know you; intimately. They know who you are, where you are, what you like, your credit card number, passwords, vitals signs, and the name of your pet. And one day very soon, they may be turned against you.

In this issue of Pipeline we look at ways you can protect yourself, your data, identity, business, and networks from these threats and bad actors. We explore IoT security and methods to combat IoT fraud and identity theft. We learn how fraudster are using commercially available software to target online shoppers, and how they're gearing up for this year's holiday season. We look at how resilience is begin added to data center security by going deep underground, quite literally. We also discover how the threat of ransomware has evolved, how advanced analytics is being used to combat robocalling, and how service providers are assuring their businesses and networks with proactive network resolution, threat emulation and simulation, and by leveraging emerging technologies like blockchain (while avoiding its pitfalls).

We hope you enjoy this and every issue of Pipeline

Scott St. John
Managing Editor


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