The Coalfire Blog

Welcome to the Coalfire Blog, a resource covering the most important issues in IT security and compliance. You'll also find information on Coalfire's insights into the unique cybersecurity issues that impact the industries we serve, including Cloud Service Providers, RetailFinancial Services, Healthcare, Higher Education, Payments, Government, Restaurants, and Utilities.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts. We look forward to your comments, so please join the conversation.


  • What You Should Know About the Changing Nature of Telephone-Based Payments

    December 10, 2018, Karl Steinkamp, Director, PCI Product and Quality Assurance

    In March 2011, the PCI SSC released the initial version of the “Protecting Telephone-Based Payments Card Data” Information Supplement as a guide to help assessors assess environments where cardholder data was stored, processed, and/or transmitted over the telephone. It was a pivotal guidance document at the time that set the stage for a broader focus on telephony technologies. As of November 2018, that time has finally arrived. The revised document provides a comprehensive dive into various telephony architectures (specifically VoIP, ISDN, and PSTN) and related people and processes that are required to be considered within scope for PCI DSS compliance.

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  • Kubernetes Vulnerability: What You Can and Should Do to Protect Your Enterprise

    December 07, 2018, Nathan DeMuth, Senior Manager, Cyber Engineering, Coalfire

    This week, news was released regarding a critical security Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) associated with the Kubernetes container software (CVE-2018-1002105). While this is only a reported vulnerability at this stage (and no actual exploits have been reported to date), organizations that have Kubernetes deployed within their environment(s) are strongly advised to treat this matter with high priority.

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  • The Effect of NIST 800-171A on Government Contractors

    November 26, 2018, Mali Yared, Practice Director, Cyber Risk Advisory & Privacy, Coalfire

    NIST 800-171A introduces a standardized opportunity to perform a more structured and granular level of assessment leveraging the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 framework.

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  • HIPAA Complaints, OCR Investigations, and Security Risk Analysis for Healthcare Delivery Organizations – A Common Thread

    November 26, 2018, Rich Curtiss, Principal, Healthcare Risk Assurance Services

    Many HIPAA covered entities (CEs) and business associates (BAs) may not be meeting the regulatory mandate as defined in §164.308(a)(1)(ii)(A) of the HIPAA Security Rule. This implementation specification requires that healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) “Conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information held by the covered entity or business associate.”

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  • Automating Incident Prevention and Response in AWS

    October 22, 2018, AJ Yawn, Principal, SOC Practice, Coalfire

    Information security incidents can result in reputational damage, financial losses, or a loss of system functionality for organizations at any time. Because threats and attack vectors are growing rapidly, organizations must prepare to respond to incidents in real time. The incident response (IR) process must be able to detect common attack vectors and common misconfigurations that could potentially lead to an incident. Effective IR is vital to the security of any organization and is also a critical process that is evaluated when undergoing the following compliance assessments: FedRAMP, SOC & SSAE 18, ISO, HITRUST, PCI-DSS, among others.

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