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.

  • Is penetration testing required for HIPAA compliance?

    June 22, 2015, Andrew Hicks, Managing Principal, Coalfire

    In this blog post we’re going to focus our discussion on the technical requirement part of this standard.  The evaluation is supposed to establish the extent to which a covered entity’s (or business associate’s) security policies and procedures meet the requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule.  A question is posed: how does an organization evaluate this requirement without performing specific technical testing?

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  • Truth is SCARIER than Fiction Redux

    October 30, 2014, Mike Weber, Vice President, Coalfire Labs

    Yes... To be honest, although we really do some neat stuff here at Coalfire Labs that can be pretty scary, I’ve got to give a shout out to “reality” for being even scarier than any emulated attack we could possibly develop.  The astounding number of data breaches announced this year is just shocking, really.  It really felt like there was a new one every month.  As it turns out, there was!  Even more than that on average, as we’ve had at least 14 of them over a 10 month span.

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  • IT Security Horror Story: Is your Network an Unsegmented Haunted House?

    October 29, 2014, Mark Manousogianis, Information Security Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    One day I went to a client site to perform internal penetration test to emulate the insider threat. This testing was designed to help this client understand the damage a rogue employee or an intruder who gained physical access to the network could do.  The site that I was visiting was a storefront and had public WiFi.  I told the store staff who I was there to meet, and while I waited for the client to become available I connected to the public WiFi just to have a look.

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  • IT Security Horror Story: Digging your own grave with Default Credentials

    October 29, 2014, Mark Manousogianis, Information Security Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    I recently performed a penetration test that really required no “hacking skills” whatsoever. I was able to obtain domain administrator rights simply by logging into web applications and network hardware using default credentials.

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  • IT Security Horror Story: Slow Network, Big Phish

    October 29, 2014, Mark Manousogianis, Information Security Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    It was a typical morning, just like any other for Annie. She arrived at the office just in time to fill her coffee mug and get to her desk to read her email that had been piling up since Friday. After reading through the standard office wide emails she came across one from the help desk.

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