BSIT380 - Week 12 Post - Happy Trails to You, until we meet again.

BSIT 380 - System Hardening and Network Risk Management

As my current class ends, I'd like to thank whoever took the time to read all of my blog posts that, although required for the class, were still enjoyable to research and write. The name of the class is "System Hardening and Network Risk Management", which explains all of the cybersecurity and server references throughout the blog posts. I chose to write on a variety of topics, mostly revolving around the class topics for that particular week. Internet searches with and provided most of the source material for my posts. It also helped that I have been working in the Information Technology field for the past 40 years. I hope this Blog's content was helpful to any information security professional who happens to stumble across it in my little corner of the internet. And here is a free "lesson learned" that I figured out while doing this: use to write your blog posts. Let it teach you correct spelling and grammar. First impressions count.

BSIT 380 - Week 11 Posting - What is an Incident Response?

In cybersecurity, an "incident response" refers to the organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also known as a security incident. The goal is to handle the situation in a way that limits damage and reduces recovery time and costs. An effective incident response plan is critical to any organization's cybersecurity strategy and includes the elements of preparation, identification, containment, eradication, and recovery.

Preparation is the foundation of incident response. It involves setting up an incident response team, defining their roles and responsibilities, and developing a response plan. Identification consists of detecting and determining whether a cybersecurity event is a security incident, which requires practical monitoring tools and awareness to recognize signs of a potential breach, such as unusual system behavior, alerts from security tools, or reports of suspicious activity. Once an incident is confirmed, the immediate goal is containment, limiting its scope and preventing further damage. After containment, the next step is to find and eradicate the incident's root cause, which may involve removing malware, deactivating breached user accounts, or fixing vulnerabilities. In recovery, affected systems are restored and returned to regular operation. This process must be carefully managed to avoid reintroducing the threat. It often includes validating systems functioning normally and monitoring for any signs of compromise.

After the incident is resolved, conducting a post-incident review is crucial,  analyzing what happened, how it was handled, what worked well, and what could be improved. The insights strengthen the incident response plan and overall security posture.

BSIT380 - Week 10 Post - Automating data enrichment at scale

 In the fast-paced realm of cybersecurity, automating data enrichment at scale is a game-changer. Data enrichment is the process of enhancing raw data with additional context and information, transforming it into a more meaningful, actionable form. In cybersecurity, this means taking vast amounts of data from diverse sources—like system logs, network traffic, security device outputs, and external threat intelligence—and augmenting it with extra layers of detail. The objective is clear: to provide deeper insights and a clearer understanding of the cyber threats lurking in the data. However, given the data's sheer volume and complexity, manually sifting through it is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. This is where automation steps in, leveraging advanced tools and technologies to process and analyze this data efficiently, ensuring that the valuable nuggets of insight are found and utilized effectively and timely.

Automating data enrichment involves several sophisticated techniques. First, it employs big data technologies like Hadoop or Spark, which can handle and process large datasets at high speeds. Machine learning and artificial intelligence play a pivotal role, too, in identifying patterns and anomalies that might indicate potential security threats—a task too intricate and vast for human analysts to perform consistently and accurately. Another critical aspect is the integration of real-time threat intelligence. This involves enriching internal data with up-to-date information about emerging threats from around the globe, adding crucial context, and aiding in quickly identifying potential risks. All of this is wrapped up in an environment that emphasizes scalability and flexibility, often leveraging cloud-based solutions to adapt to the ever-changing volume and nature of data. Ultimately, automating data enrichment in cybersecurity isn't just about handling data more efficiently; it's about staying one step ahead in a world where cyber threats evolve just as quickly as the technology we use to combat them.


Nachaj, A. (2024, January 29). Data enrichment: The holy grail of the Cybersecurity Industry. Metron Security Blogs.

BSIT380 - Week 9 Post - Fortifying Your Server Against Brute-Force Attacks: Essential Strategies

Hello, computer security nerds! Today, I'm talking about protecting your servers against brute-force attacks. These persistent threats can compromise your server's security. Here are some strategies to bolster your server's defenses:

1. Crafting a robust Password Policy
A robust password is your first line of defense. Opt for lengthy and complex passwords that mix various character types. The goal is to make them difficult to guess but still memorable. Avoid dictionary words, personal info, and recycled passwords – remember, creativity is vital.​ If possible, use lengthy passphrases which are easier to remember. And stop writing down your passwords unless you're keeping your notebook in a locked security container of some type...

2. Login Attempt Limitations
Limiting failed login attempts is crucial. Implement a system that blocks IP addresses after several unsuccessful tries. However, be cautious – you don't want to lock out legitimate users accidentally.​

3. The Art of Progressive Delays
Here's an interesting twist: Use progressive delays instead of outright account lockouts. Each failed attempt increases the wait time, frustrating potential attackers and slowing down their efforts​

4. CAPTCHA: More Than Annoying Squiggles
Integrating CAPTCHA challenges helps differentiate bots from humans. Although they can be a bit of a nuisance, they're incredibly effective against automated brute-force attempts​
5. Two-Factor Authentication: Doubling Down on Security
Adding a second layer of security, like a code sent to a mobile device, significantly enhances your protection. It's a simple yet effective barrier against brute-force attacks.​

6. Vigilant Monitoring: Keeping an Eye Out
Regularly scan your server logs. Look for patterns that suggest a brute-force attack, such as repeated failed logins from the same IP address or various addresses trying the same account​.

7. Shaking Up Defaults: Ports and Usernames
Changing default ports and admin usernames can dramatically reduce the success rate of attacks. It's a small change with a significant impact – a tactic often overlooked but highly effective.​ Just ensure you keep excellent documentation on which ports are now in use!
8. Network-Level Guardians: Firewalls and IDS/IPS
Deploy network-level security measures like firewalls and intrusion detection systems. They're your digital sentinels, guarding against suspicious traffic​​.

9. Keeping Software Up-to-Date: A Continuous Process

Last but not least, ensure all server software and applications are regularly updated with the latest security patches. Staying current is staying safe.

In Summary:
Combining these strategies forms a formidable defense against brute-force attacks. While no single method is completely foolproof, a layered approach significantly reduces risk. Stay vigilant, stay updated, and remember, the best defense is proactive.