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.


  • New National Exam Program Risk Alert

    April 24, 2014, Justin Orcutt, Regional Sales Manager

    In case you missed the most recent National Exam Program Risk Alert, you might want to head over to their website and determine what this may mean for you and your company. Since this may be a topic at your next board meeting, you should be prepared to answer any potential questions. Your board will want to know the status and effectiveness of your cybersecurity because the SEC will now be conducting examinations of more than 50 registered broker-dealers and registered investment advisers. 

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  • Heartbleed – When Will the Next Shoe Drop?

    April 22, 2014, Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

    Last week, while I was in the offices of one of our customers, a long-present but little-known vulnerability in OpenSSL became public knowledge. Our client detected it early and made the necessary patches and updates. The systems deployed by their customers are now secure. Consumers will change their passwords and credentials stolen prior to the Heartbleed fixes will be worthless. Read more
  • SEC Roundtable

    April 04, 2014, Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

    On Wednesday, I attended a roundtable discussion the Securities and Exchange Commission held to gather information on cybersecurity trends and potential disclosure requirements for regulated public companies and stock exchanges.

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  • Target Hackers Broke in Via HVAC Company?

    February 06, 2014, Adam Shnider, VP, West Region, Professional Services

    When I first heard about the account used to gain access to the Target environment, my first reaction was to laugh at the ridiculousness of the HVAC vendor having an impact on the CDE like it seems to (or is rumored) to have had in the recent breach.  Then I started thinking with the PCI controls, including 8.5.6, requirements for revoking vendor access, how could an HVAC vendor account be the culprit for such a broad attack and how could this affect our customers.

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  • Detecting and Preventing Compromises in Retail Payment Systems

    January 14, 2014, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    Information Week’s Matthew Swartz published an article on the recently- confirmed payment card breaches at Target, Nieman Marcus and three other unnamed  retailers. This article and many others reveal that these attacks involve sophisticated malware and some even suggest it is the work of the same gang.  To be clear, Coalfire and the Coalfire Labs group that I lead are not involved in these investigations. But we do perform security audits and digital forensics investigations for many retailers. And based on that experience, we can confidently say this: all retailers are targets, and many retailers have already been compromised..

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