Chris J Powell

Is Sony to Blame for the Latest Breach???

Data Breaches and Sony seem to be a fairly consistent theme.  Remember back to 2011 when the Play Station Network suffered a breach that leaked out 77 million records…well if you hadn’t heard, it happened again for the media giant…and this time…it is likely to cost a lot more than the $177 million that the last one did. The real question that must be asked is who’s fault is it?  Well the first line of defense against a data breach is each and every one of Sony’s 141,000 employees…and every company out there should take a lesson from the acts, actions and inactions that lead to the leaking of this information. While I have not personally seen any of the leaked files, the reports that I have seen list one of the main culprits in the breach as being the inclusion of plain text “password files” that had all the information the hackers needed right there in plain sight.  Access codes and a road map to the deepest darkest levels of the Sony “Digital Empire”.  Sure, some of this was … Read more

Are We Entering into an Alert Fatigue Phase?

Ok, we all remember the colour coding of the Global Security Alerts from back in the early 2000’s when it seemed like every other day there was some new Global Terrorist Threat that could take down the free world and leave us a lawless anarchy.  Well beyond the fact that the proponents of the New World Order Conspiracy are saying this is happening “quietly” and is being controlled by our governments anyways…there is a threat that is just as real and far more personal that is happening all around us EVERY DAY! Until recently, most organizations out there kept it under wraps if there was a computer security breach…but now it seems every day there is another announcement of a major security breach that potentially could affect everything from our credit history to our medical care and just like owners of General Motors vehicles…the constant alert is starting to wear on the public.  You see in an article titled: “As security breach reports mount, experts fear alert fatigue“, Seth Rosenblatt says that the public and business alike are more than … Read more

Security on the Web – What Can You Do?

Whether you are one of the millions who make regular purchases or the billions who use the web as a communications tool both at work and at home, it is important to realize that YOU are the first line of defense when it comes to establishing Security for your Online Identity.  The recent release of a massive Data Breach that compromised 1.2 BILLION email addresses (yes that is right 1.2 BILLION) is not so much a reason to be scared, but it is a reminder to each of us to take the world of security a little more seriously. The way that I see it, there are three minimum things that everyone who accesses the internet should do to offer a basic level of security: 1) Change your Passwords at Least 3 times per year Personally I have things set that I change my passwords across the board on everything every 2 months regardless of what is going on in my life.  This is across all aspects of my online life (Social Media, Web Site, Email, Computer Logon & WiFI Encryption). … Read more

Infographic of the Week – Is Your Information Secure?

The world is not generally a safe place these days.  Sure here in our relatively peaceful corner of the big blue planet North Americans enjoy a modest level of security…but that goes right out the window when we place our personal data in the hands of strangers.  This week’s Infographic is a look back at the the 1st Quarter of 2014 and what stands out most glaringly is the 200 Million Records that were lost or stolen!  Brought to you by SafeNet the stats are quite scary 78% if all “reported” breaches coming from and/or affecting North America…it points a glaring finger at the world of the Interwebz is not exactly safe.  Add into the mix the security hole that XP Support Ending, the Heartbleed exploit and the growing gap between the tech we use and the tech we understand and looking at the SecureList IT Threat Evolution for Q1 2014 has me thinking that my new Network I am building…will need to have a bit more security than an encrypted password! by SafeNet. Explore more visuals like this one on … Read more

Cloud Computing and the Heartbleed Bug

There has been much talk about the Heartbleed Bug lately.  Everything from the Canada Revenue Agency having to shut down its Income Tax website to to Blackberry needing to patch its BBM service.  It has been a scary time indeed for those of us who rely on the Interwebz for our data.  Within days of the announcement though, I started receiving emails from some of my Cloud Service Providers advising me of how they patched the Bug and that all was right with the world…for now. While I was concerned enough to change every password to every website that I subscribe to, I am surprised as to how many companies did not bother to notify me directly that they were taking actions to protect me.  There were major sites all over the globe that were affected by this security hole…and progressive companies should have no problem with telling their customers that they were aware of the issue and had taken actions to protect their customers information! I received this email from on April 9: Hi all, Just letting you … Read more

The Wild, Wild Web – Personal Security in the Internet Age

This week it was revealed that there is a major flaw out there on the Interwebz that potentially affects 2/3 of all web sites.  That seems like a big deal and it is, according to there are over 938,000,000 websites so the Heartbleed Bug could affect over 600 Million web sites and that includes the world of Google, Yahoo, eBay, Internet Banking, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and basically any other website that uses the LAMP Stack and leverages the OpenSSL standard for generating security certificates. I generally never really took much stock in increasing my Security Posture when it came to my online life.  I reset my passwords on a regular basis and tend not to surf to unreliable sites or download things that are questionable but this latest flaw had me really really thinking and after listening to This Week in Google on T.W.I.T TV last night before bed I took some precautions to protect myself and the things that are important to me: Installed LastPass – a Password Manager that lets me tie all my passwords to an encrypted … Read more

Free App Friday – Keeping you Million Passwords Safe

It is not a secret that for the most part do not take our own computer security seriously enough.  Very Simple or No Passwords on User Accounts and Critical Information exposed potentially for the world to see.  With the most common Password in the world being “password” and well the other top passwords are not a whole lot better with things like 123456 and abc123 being in the top 10.  So for those of us who do take security seriously and actually either use a Random Password Generator or regularly change our Passwords…how are we supposed to keep them all straight? In keeping with the Free App Friday theme, both the Pro Version and the Standard Version of KeePass Password Safe are completely Free, Open Source and what is even more important comes as both an Executable and a Portable Application which in my opinion is an amazing option as many of my own Passwords have become “transportable” for me and are used nearly everywhere I go. First thing about this software is that it is small, easy to install … Read more

Info-graphic of the Week – Got a Teen…I do!

With my wonderful daughter turning 14 and heading down the path of Technology I thought it fortuitous to find this Info-Graphic produced by the PhoneSheriff which is a product for Parental Controls.  It had me taking a long hard look at all the gadgets that my little girl has…what about you? Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.   Cheers, Krispy

The Future of Mobile Device Security

This week I have been promoting two colleagues that were over in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress but I also had two other good friends off on the West Coast of the United States at the RSA Conference in San Francisco.  James McCloskey and Jessica Ireland focused on the Security of things and I thought it might just be an interesting tie in to connect the dots with a week of Mobility with a little bit of Security. One of the key challenges of the new BYOD world that we live in is the general security of the Data that is being used by these devices that for the most part are out of the control of IT Leaders and their support staff.  Early in the conference, a start up company called Remotium was named as the most innovative and I thought it would be interesting to gain some understanding of how a company that has yet to receive any substantial funding can achieve such an impressive title. The premise of the service provided by Remotium is that the key … Read more

Info-graphic of the Week – Flash back to the 80's

At the age of 40 now, I somethings think back to how I truly did grow up with the coming of age for modern Technology.  I was around when we were taught BASIC in school, actually had one of the original Pong games and have seen all that early goodness grow into what it is today…a tangled mess of Security breaches and dangerous times.  Well that is a pretty dark view of Tech today and while it is not all doom and gloom there are some real issues that are happening out there.  This week’s Info-graphic looks at “Computer Invaders” and is a Mashable find and built by F-Secure.  Virus Attacks, Trojans and Worms still exist and while it has been a very long time since I have had my system affected…millions are not so lucky!

Read moreInfo-graphic of the Week – Flash back to the 80's