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.


  • The hackerproof password? Tips and advice on password management

    May 02, 2012, Kennet Westby, President and COO

    Having some security expert tell you that you should be creating strong passwords that are unique per account and change frequently is like your dentist telling you that you should floss morning, night and after consuming any dentally dangerous foods. The majority of us say, “yeah right”. The truth is that you really must do better than what the average person is doing today. In our penetration testing and forensics practices we constantly discover, usually very intelligent, people using the same weak password or PIN across every account without ever changing them.

    Read more
  • Surprises Ahead for Some Level 2 Merchants

    April 12, 2012, Chris Lietz, Vice President, Marketing & Channels

    The PCI DSS has been around for years, and most PCI “pro’s” are familiar with the processes needed to validate compliance. However, insiders often forget that small changes to the guidelines can have a big impact on merchants.

    One such change is upon us:  MasterCard’s new validation guidelines for Level 2 merchants that are scheduled to take effect on June 30, 2012.

    Read more
  • Mobile Banking Malware: Protect Your Finances

    April 02, 2012, Mark Lucas, Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer, Coalfire

    The prolific rise in smartphones, tablets and other portable devices has greatly expanded the ways in which we interact with personal and professional services. The public can now singlehandedly use their mobile device to pay for things with the ease of flashing their cell phone. Unfortunately, this rapid expansion of convenience and service also expands the threats.

    Read more
  • What We Learned at HIMSS12

    March 16, 2012, Andrew Hicks, Managing Principal, Coalfire

    A few weeks ago, more than 35,000 healthcare IT professionals and 1,100 exhibitors converged on Las Vegas.  Some were there to go shopping for “HIT” or health information technology; others were there to sell it.  The IT professionals from across the healthcare spectrum were there to meet with each other and regulators, and stay abreast of the rapid technological changes in the healthcare industry.  This was an overwhelming event; a flood of information.  It’s been a couple of weeks.  Here’s a few of the HIMSS12 highlights:

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  • RSA 2012: Mobile, Cloud, and Intelligent Control

    March 02, 2012, Rick Norman, Director, Professional Services

    It was good to catch up with our customers and partners at RSA 2012 this week. Much of the buzz this year was around mobile devices and securing the cloud. We were glad to see innovative organizations introducing compliance-validated architectures based on these emerging technologies. One such organization was Hewlett-Packard, a Coalfire client and business partner. 

    Read more
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