12th October 2017
Cyber Security: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Cyber Security: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
From tides of positive change via the IT networking bods at Netgear to despair in the tiresome encryption debate to undignified squirming from Microsoft about paying their taxes, this month Switch2IT explores the Good the Bad and the Ugly from the IT security and technology industries.
Getting into Netgear
It is good to see Netgear embracing the bug bounty program and finally provide patches for its hardware. With 20 patches for “high” cyber security risks and a further 30 for “medium” vulnerability issues, the global IT networking giant has released fixes for a variety of products including routers, NAS devices and wireless access points.
Noam Rathaus, founder and CTO of Beyond Security, one of the three companies that identified the latest IT security threats, said: “These are all vulnerabilities caused by what appears to be inadequate verification of user input, oversight on what should and should not require authentication, and improper mechanism of enforcing security on users accessing their product web interface… I believe much of Netgear’s products share the same codebase and same underlying code structure which is what’s causing many of their products to be vulnerable.”
Trustwave’s Martin Rakhmanov of Trustwave added: “Some of the issues reported are pretty severe. [The PSV-2017-1209] vulnerability would allow any local user to take full control of the router … Luckily ‘Remote Administration’ is not turned on by default, but if it were turned on manually this could make the router vulnerable to anyone on the Internet.”
Switch2IT has warned before about the dangers of using free WiFi and the issues encountered by Netgear go to show that router vulnerability is real and the importance of taking standard cyber security precautions whether using WiFi on the go between offices or business meetings.
Are we there yet?
The Switch2IT team is in agreement with Brian Barrett of WIRED that the encryption debate has long outstayed its welcome. The state, with its failure to grasp the basics of encryption coupled with its unquenchable thirst for access all areas, is not representative of a democracy in any way, shape or form.
Without encryption, the bedrock of cyber security, the UK is fast approaching a level of lawlessness, where regulators are irrelevant. This rabid obsession to control everything will surely result in control of nothing.
Also, while we await the treaty on movements of personal data and corporate data, the complexities of UK data protection law remain steadfast. We are none the wiser and none the happier – you are still not in a position of IT security and this is a serious problem for UK business owners.
Tech companies need to give back
An interview between Evan Davis of BBC’s Newsnight and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, about big businesses failing to pay adequate taxes in countries of operation, caught the attention of the Switch2IT team.
The Microsoft CEO strived to demonstrate that the corporation adds significant value to the UK economy and the BBC presenter played devil’s advocate. But we believe that you should play by the rules – no matter what the size of your business. Yes, Microsoft provide apprenticeships but the UK accounts for a good proportion of Microsoft’s business so it stands to reason that, just like any other companies who wish to operate here, they should pay their dues.
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