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.


  • Preparing for PCI DSS 4.0

    Andrew Barratt, Managing Principal, Solution Validation, Coalfire

    PCI DSS 4.0 is currently in its request for comments (RFC) process, where the industry can provide comments and feedback to help shape the next iteration. This process is initially open to the participating organizations – members that help steer and inform the PCI SSC based on their experiences. The RFC period for PCI DSS 4.0 ends in November 2019, and the council hopes to release PCI DSS 4.0 toward the end of 2020. 

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  • Data Governance in the Cloud

    Jonathan Leach, Principal, Cyber Risk Services, Coalfire

    Data governance is something your organization has likely considered, put into action, and implemented. The question is, to what degree is the data actually being governed – or not?

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  • The HITRUST Common Security Framework: Not Just for Healthcare Anymore

    Andrew Barratt, Managing Director, Europe

    The HITRUST 2019 conference took place last month in Dallas, Texas, and covered important topics such as risk management, compliance, third-party assurance, cybersecurity, medical devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT). As speakers and sponsors, we saw much enthusiasm about HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) validation and certification outside of the healthcare industry.

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  • Introducing Slackor, a Remote Access Tool Using Slack as a C2 Channel

    Esteban Rodriguez, Consultant, Coalfire Labs, Coalfire

    As a penetration tester at Coalfire Labs, I frequently use exploitation frameworks such as Metasploit or PowerShell Empire to perform post-exploitation actions on compromised endpoints. While anti-virus (AV) bypass and detection avoidance is often trivial in all but the most mature environments, detections from AV have caused me to look toward custom tooling to mitigate the risk of being detected by both traditional AV as well as security operations teams relying on network indicators. Over the past year I’ve been slowly developing my own tooling to deal with these challenges.

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  • Fuzzing: Common Tools and Techniques

    Andy Bowden, Consultant, Coalfire Labs

    Fuzzing is a software testing methodology that can be used from either a black or white box perspective and predominantly consists of providing deliberately malformed inputs to an application to identify errors such as unhandled exceptions, memory spikes, thread hangs, read access violations or buffer overruns that could lead to further compromise of a system.

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