Weekly Tech Tidbits – Monsters and robbers and other things that go bump in the night

January 13th, 2020
Weekly Tech Tidbits – Monsters and robbers and other things that go bump in the night

Happy New Year!   Unfortunately, there is no rest for the weary fighting the battle to keep everyone safe.

Today I read a couple of scary articles:

"Couple says their Smart Home was hacked"

Most of you are installing all of these IoT, IP enabled devices throughout your network.   What would happen to you if those devices came under the control of the bad guys?   Is that a denial of service attack from your own devices?  Is that your IP controlled speakers shouting bad things into classrooms?  Is that light bulbs uncontrollably strobing?   Is that doors locking and unlocking randomly?

Do you know that you have these devices properly segmented so that they cannot do bad things to the inside of your network?   Do you have these devices using passwords that are not the default passwords?   How are these devices being updated (if relevant)?

Lightning cables may contain secret wifi connections to allow hackers remote access to host devices

We have already had the bad guys altering "courtesy USB charging plugs" at airports, malls or in hotel clock radios to gain access to your mobile devices and steal your data.  Now we have mobile device cables that look legitimate but have "extra" parts that could also expose your devices to data theft or hacking..

Do you have a plan to block USB access to your workstations?   CSI's CSEDR product now features USB and Bluetooth device control.  Microsoft has released GPOs in 1909 that allow granular USB control.  Have you configured them to allow "approved" devices and deny the rest?

High-end printers not "wiped" before they are returned to the vendor, or otherwise disposed of.

I was reminded that those big, fancy multi-function printer/copier/scanners are really just specialized servers with hard drives.  Those hard drives often store copies of what was printed long after the person printing, scanning, or copying has walked away.   Depending on the device location, some of that data may be personally identifiable information that you are responsible for.   Then you may have staff using those devices for personal use copying things that contain their personal information - which you are then responsible for as it is saved in your system.

When you retire your printers, how do you ensure that all the drives are wiped/removed so that none of your data is leaking outside of your control?  How are those "printers" being maintained for security updates, etc.?  They say most times those printers are picked up by the vendor or otherwise disposed of and often re-purposed - never wiping the drives of the previous owner's data!

If you need help sorting out vendor VLANs, USB access control, or how to better secure your printers, give us a call.