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.

  • Ransomware: the anatomy of paying a ransom to decrypt hostage files

    May 25, 2017, Bryce Bearchell, Security Consultant

    Ransomware is on the rise and clients seeking to understand the process can learn from this client’s story about being a victim of ransomware as to what can be expected and how to handle a ransomware attack. Recently a company facing a malware infection approached us to help them deal with the encryption of most of their servers across their domain. This also included systems that held online backups - and there was no offline backup solution (that’s a topic for a whole different blog post). The company had discovered a ransom note on their affected systems, along with data files that had been deleted and new files created in the format of <original_filename>.whereisyourfile that appeared to be encrypted.

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  • President’s Cybersecurity Executive Order

    May 19, 2017, Dave McClure, Chief Strategist, Coalfire Federal

    On May 11, 2017, President Trump released the Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure.   This E.O. -- while stand alone in focus --should be seen in the context of a greater move in the Executive Branch to elevate the awareness and preparation for better cybersecurity across government.  This is evidenced by the complimentary cyber actions in the Presidential Executive Orders creating the Office of American Innovation and the American Technology Council calling for IT modernization and customer service excellence as well as the The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director’s Memo 17-22 outlining reform calling for a smaller, more accountable and more efficient federal government.  The issuance of these directives does not in-of-itself “solve” the government’s modernization, cyber, and performance problems; rather, collectively they denote a priority in the new administration for cyber and a recognition of the need for a coordinated approach across government and with the commercial sector.

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  • Information and guidance for dealing with WannaCry

    May 15, 2017, Mark Lucas, Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer, Coalfire

    Coalfire continues to closely monitor the WannaCry ransomware attack.  Much has been written over the past few days about the attack.  For those of you who may not have had time to review in detail and assess appropriate actions for your organization, we wanted to provide summary information.  

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  • SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 Frequently Asked Questions

    May 09, 2017, Dixon Wright, Managing Principal, SOC

    Coalfire’s SOC Practice Directors Dixon Wright and Jeff Cook recently conducted a webinar on AWS and SOC Reporting, What you need to know. The presentation provided a lot of good points that organizations should know or be prepared for regardless of the technology that is being used. Below you will find a transcript of the Q&A session from the webinar.

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  • Meeting FedRAMP and Government Standards – Coalfire Securealities Report

    May 02, 2017, Tom McAndrew, EVP Commercial Services, Coalfire

    Coalfire released the results of its first annual FedRAMP Marketplace report – Securing Your Cloud Solutions: Research and Analysis on meeting FedRAMP and Government Standards. The findings highlight many positives for cloud service providers and federal agencies, but also opportunities for both to improve. The report examined more than 500 FedRAMP assessment and advisory engagements that Coalfire conducted, analysis of authorized and in-process csp listings and interviews with information security executives with FedRAMP experience.

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