All posts by sedward5

Two Factor Authentication – Bank Security Explained (1 of 4)

I recently looked at four different aspects of the security posture of a number of US banks. I’d like to explain in detail what these security controls are and why they’re important. In this post I’ll explain what two factor authentication is and why you should be using it everywhere you can.

To start off, I’d like to define authentication. Authentication is the process by which one proves that they are who they say they are. In the case of most internet sites this is done with a username and password. I tell the site who I claim to be with my username, and prove it by providing something that only I would know: my password. That’s one factor authentication. Continue reading Two Factor Authentication – Bank Security Explained (1 of 4)

Reviewing US Banks’ Web and Email Security

I have had an account with the same bank for a really long time. Perhaps the time has come to switch to a new bank. After all in 2016 my bank still doesn’t offer two factor authentication, EMV cards, and several other modern features that I see from other banks. I’d like a bank that takes information security seriously, it seems like my current one does not. While I’m sure I could find clean compliance based audits for each of these banks, I would prefer to take a different, more open approach. For this exercise let’s just look at email and web site security.

Summary Report

My research methodology (inspired by Mark Stanislav’s MASSACRE talk) is broken down into four steps. Each step will be awarded a letter grade. At the end an average for each bank will be determined.

Continue reading Reviewing US Banks’ Web and Email Security

Raise your MASSACRE Score with HAProxy

Recently, Mark Stanislav gave a talk on holistic authentication security for companies who have implemented two-factor authentication. He developed a scoring system, MASSACRE, which quantifies the presence of several different security features on a web site; cookie flags, response headers, etc.. This inspired me to see if I could get our Jasig CAS server with Duo 2FA to the top of the charts. As you might know, CAS runs on Apache Tomcat, which leaves a system administrator little room for configuration of these features. Enter HAProxy. Continue reading Raise your MASSACRE Score with HAProxy

Tomcat SSL Tips

With POODLE being in the news recently, I decided it would be a good idea to look at my overall SSL configuration while closing the door to this issue. What better way to do that than by arbitrarily assigning a letter grade to my servers with the Qualys SSL Labs tool.

Looking at an Apache Tomcat 8 server I started with a C letter grade. Vulnerable to POODLE and Forward Secrecy not supported. Continue reading Tomcat SSL Tips

ePHI Storage Compliance

Digital storage of electronic protected health information is a treacherous path for a small company to walk. The health insurance portability and accountability act enforces a number of requirements on the security controls required for the storage of such sensitive data. Unfortunately, the language used in not crystal clear, and I have been able to find no description of actual technical systems used to comply with these controls.

These controls are required in order to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic protected health information [that a] covered entity creates, receives, maintains, or transmits 45 CFR § 164.306(a)(1).

I will outline these requirements here. In a future post I will explain the technical systems I propose implementing in order to comply with these requirements in a low-cost manner. Continue reading ePHI Storage Compliance

Duo Security and CAS

I have had trouble getting two-factor authentication with Duo Security working on our Jasig CAS server in the past. However, with a new package from Unicon I was able to do it. Below I will outline the steps I took to install CAS with Duo on a clean install of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.3.

Download the latest Java 7 JDK RPM, in my case 7u67, and install it. Continue reading Duo Security and CAS

Using Splunk to Monitor Palo Alto Firewalls

I recently installed the Splunk App for Palo Alto on our indexers and search heads and setup a syslog feed to one of our indexers from our Palo Alto. Using the app on that indexer worked perfectly. When I switched to our search heads no data was being populated in the app, however, the index was still accessible from search. After doing some research I found that a change to the data model was necessary.

In the SplunkAppForPaloAlto data model the “pan_index” constraint must be changed to index=pan_logs. (Note the removal of quotes). They also recommended disabling acceleration for this data model while making the change. Continue reading Using Splunk to Monitor Palo Alto Firewalls