Incident Response Training in 50 Minutes

NYSTEC presented on Incident Response at the 2019 NYS Cyber Security Conference.  Below is the session description and the slides.  The presentation was done in Prezi so the PDF has some repeated slides due to the way Prezi works.  Enjoy and reach out with any questions.

Cyber Defense

Cyber Incident Response Planning – In 50 Minutes

Paul Romeo, NYSTEC

Robert Zeglen, NYSTEC

In today’s threat landscape, it is not a matter of if, but when, your organization will need to respond to a cyber incident. Hold off on buying that shiny new expensive security tool until you learn just how effective your incident response capability can become, simply by implementing the appropriate processes, procedures, and configurations into your existing environment. When it comes to incident response, communication and preparation are everything, because there may not be time to react properly, as things are moving too fast when an incident happens. In this session, we will cover the full incident response life cycle and share with you simple steps to immediately prepare your organization to respond to an incident effectively. We will share best practices and freely available resources that you can use to prepare. It is our goal that after this presentation, you will return to your organization with an approach to plan to prepare your organization in how to respond when a cyber incident happens.

Incident Response Training – NYSTEC NYS Cyber Security Conference 2019

How to Protect Your Organization from Ransomware

Stack of Golden Bitcoins

By Randy Wheeler, NYSTEC Information Security Consultant

One thing is certain in 2017: the threat landscape continues to increase at an exponential rate, and so do the business risks. In my opinion, one of the biggest threats—with the greatest level of impact—is ransomware.

Continue reading

Are You a Target for Hackers?

Protection concept: arrows in Shield With Keyhole target on wallBy Bruce Barnett, NYSTEC Information Security Consultant

Let’s be honest:  everyone who has a computer is a potential target for cybercriminals, but not all targets are equal.  How much effort a hacker may be willing to expend to compromise your account or your computer depends on what your information is worth.  Continue reading

Is it Phishing?

Have you ever received an email from a company that you would have sworn was a phishing scam (a method of online identity theft and virus spreading) — and yet wound up being completely legitimate? In an age of increasing cybersecurity, customers are becoming more wary of potentially fraudulent email messages. And yet, when companies take pains to  make their email notifications more secure, the end result can be a suspicious-looking (but safe) email.

How can companies send their customers email securely without sacrificing user-friendliness? This article from Lenny Zeltser looks at the challenges in “How to Send Customer Emails That Don’t Look Like Phishing.”

The link to this content is provided because it has information that may be useful. NYSTEC does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in the link and neither endorses nor intends to promote the advertising of the resources listed therein. The opinions and statements contained in such resources are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of NYSTEC.

Hashed and Salted and Peppered, Oh My!

Security breaches are becoming a fact of life. We may be tempted to just discard a company’s official notification about a breach, especially when it’s couched in legalese and technical terms. But it’s worth reading such notifications so that you can determine what the company did to protect your information—and what actually happened to cause the breach. Continue reading

Biggest-Ever Hack of User Data

catena d'oroRemember that cybersecurity breach Yahoo announced back in September 2016, reporting that 500 million user accounts had been hacked two years earlier? Earlier this week, the company outdid itself by reporting it also had been breached (in what seems to be a separate attack) in August 2013—and 1 billion accounts were compromised.

Continue reading

Cyber Security Shopping Tips

Senior couple doing shopping on internetBy Paul Romeo, NYSTEC Information Security Consultant

Being a safe and secure shopper starts with taking security precautions and thinking about the consequences of your actions online. Remember the following tips:

  • Use websites with trusted names and strong reputations. Well-established retailers usually have more robust online security.
  • Use credit cards instead of debit cards. A compromised debit card will enable access to your money, but a compromised credit card will only expose the bank’s money, and the consumer is typically not responsible for purchases they did not make. Just be sure to regularly check your statement and notify your credit card company of any suspicious charges. Whenever possible, use a payment service like PayPal.
  • Look for the “https” URL and the padlock symbol.  The “s” in “https” stands for security. It signals that the site uses encryption.


  • Avoid using public WiFi for online shopping. Public WiFi is easily compromised. In public, you are better off using your cell phone network with WiFi disabled.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t click on links in emails, texts, or social media posts. Links are the most popular means for cybercriminals to install malware on devices.
  • Make your password a sentence. These days, your password should be more than 15 characters long. Using a remembered sentence mixed with letters, numbers, and symbols is a good way to create a password that’s difficult to crack. Avoid using birthdays or anniversary dates.

Example: #y0uCantH@ckM3!

  • Use different passwords for different accounts. Don’t use the same password twice. If you reuse the same password, hackers need to steal it only once to access all your accounts.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication. Use strong authentication tools. Google and Apple allow two-step verification by sending a one-time PIN to your cell phone coupled with a password while logging in.
  • If possible, use a separate computer for online shopping and banking. Most viruses and malware are transmitted through casual web browsing. If possible, use one computer or device for web surfing, email, and social networking, and a different computer for online banking and shopping.

How to Develop Security Policies and Standards in Five Steps

Business People In Meeting

By Alan Kowlowitz, NYSTEC Information Security Consultant

If you are an information security professional, at one point you will probably be expected to write security policies and standards for your company or agency. You already know why such documentation is important: failure to produce sound policies and standards could lead to a lack of compliance or security awareness—leaving your data vulnerable to security breaches.

Many excellent guidelines, models, and resources are available, making it relatively easy for you to develop sound policies. However, it remains difficult to write policies and standards that can be readily implemented and actually improve your organization’s security posture. Continue reading