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.

The Coalfire blog is written by the company's leadership team and our highly-credentialed security assessment experts.


  • Is penetration testing required for HIPAA compliance?

    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

    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?

    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: Slow Network, Big Phish

    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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  • A New Cold War – with Many Sides

    Rick Dakin, CEO, Co-founder and Chief Security Strategist

    A New Cold War – with Many Sides  There’s a lot we still don’t know about the FBI’s investigation of the data theft at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Criminal hackers based in Russia were targeting U.S. financial institutions long before Russia annexed Crimea or the West responded with sanctions. Is this truly a state-level act? Is it more than a coincidence that the attacks on our financial institutions follow a series of relatively effective sanctions against Russian financial interests? Or is it just another money-making venture by a Russian hacker network?

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