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.


  • How to Address Major Gaps in Third-Party Risk Management Programs

    September 05, 2017, Mike Stankiewicz, CISSP, CRISC, Senior Consultant, Healthcare, Coalfire

    While securing the organizational environment, it’s easy to focus on the enterprise assets without thinking as much about the vendor ecosystem. However, that extended ecosystem and how it interacts with the organization is a potential significant risk if not secured properly.

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  • Forensically Imaging a Microsoft Surface Pro 4

    August 29, 2017, Robert Meekins, Director, Forensics, Coalfire

    Working on digital forensics can sometimes create some challenging situations. Recently, we received a couple of Microsoft Surface Pro tablets to image and analyze. Having conducted forensics for a while, I realized that, depending on the version, imaging this tablet could be a challenge. Some setbacks normally associated with Surface tablets include not being able to remove the hard drive, the inability to place the device in target mode, and the hardware being very finicky about what OS can and cannot boot. Ultimately, the challenge comes down to having to use the tablet itself to perform the image, and the only option for input is a single USB port.

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  • FedRAMP JAB Business Case extended

    August 22, 2017, Abel Sussman, Director, TAAS – Public Sector and Cyber Risk Advisory, Coalfire

    The FedRAMP Business Case for being considered for this cycle of the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) has been pushed out to August 31 at 5:00pm eastern. The additional time is to accommodate the large number of requests to document demand verification. Earlier the JAB has stated that federal demand across the U.S. government is the primary selection criteria for cloud service providers to be selected. This demand can be shown in current customers, on premise customers interested in a cloud offering, and potential customers documented through RFI/RFPs.

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  • Coalfire’s Adaptive Penetration Testing at Black Hat Helped Prepare Tomorrow’s Security Talent

    August 16, 2017, Ryan MacDougall, Sr. Security Consultant

    What makes a penetration tester highly successful? Most obviously, the technical skills to hack into a network, application, or location comes to mind first, and without those capabilities and the ability to continuously learn, an aspiring pen tester has a tough road ahead of them.

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  • SOC 2 Criteria: Change Is Coming - And You Can Have a Voice

    August 07, 2017, Jeff Cook, Principal, SOC Practice, Coalfire

    SOC 2 reports are an important tool service providers use to give their customers assurances about their service’s security, compliance, privacy, availability, confidentiality and processing integrity by providing details about the service and the related controls that are in place. SOC 2 examinations are conducted by independent CPA firms such as Coalfire Controls, LLC and other credible firms. Periodically, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) reviews the standardized criteria used in a SOC 2 examination and makes updates to keep the process relevant and assure it is providing stringent measures for customer organizations’ peace of mind.

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