It’s a Racket-Cyber Security for Enterprise Biz
This is an excerpt from a letter I sent to the fine people that come in and fix network issues that are over my head. The “you” below is the top guy there. It’s a cautionary tale that come straight out of my own experience this week. A firewall device gave it up and probably must be replaced. that’s the black box in the diagram above except ours is between our internet modem and the lan hub and switch. I researched the options carefully and frankly I was appalled. I needed to buy a particular device, found it all over Amazon, Newegg etc etc. All but a rare couple sources were gray market screw jobs. These devices would never factory activate or get updates for new threats. Plus now they sell special add ons to protect you from malicious threats in SSL traffic. wut? That was supposed to be the safe traffic to begin with. More on that later. The state of the art so to speak is awful. These days we all have to watch our firewalls on our devices. At this point that’s part of national cyber defense.
The whole circumstance of illegitimate devices at entirely legit sellers is disquieting. Say I want a new Malibu. No matter how hard I shop and cajole I need not worry it’s from a secret Chevrolet Malibu factory in Burma for Asian sales only.
FYI (Device brand) makes a rather thinly veiled intimation that any source but a Certified Source is suspect. By inference that’s you (if we just said to you go get it and bill us for it and installation) unless you get from (redacted) or whoever might be near you in Glendale. How messed up is that? Hallmarks of shady.
Not long ago we upgraded our website to SSL, this to provide a trustworthy environment for our goldsmith customers to buy online. We sell gold, platinum, jewelers are as wary as anyone of getting defrauded. SSL builds confidence in us as a company, right? Apparently not anymore. (redacted) will cheerfully tell you that 60+% of the internet is SSL, so we must guard against all that traffic, right?
The benefit of confidence in SSL has been ruined by that sales tactic. My own industry shamefully did something similar. Recession time, people went in to sell their 14kt jewelry for scrap. The buyer would tell them it was not really 14k but less than that to pay less. Someday that customer will have recovered from the recession and want to buy a nice gift. It won’t be gold because now they think it’s a fraud. Under karat. A cheat.
The whole IT world is awash in cash. Inflation is surely a key result. Snapchat ran up property values in Venice to the point of gentrification. It’s just a silly photo app! Workflow is a Hollywood term for those massive digital files from Imax and Panavision digital cameras. The guys that own and run the DIT cart that gets that data to an editable format from an Imax camera make as much per hour on set as anyone, far more than most of the crew. Thousands a day. Data shepherds is what they are.
The lower end $1100 devices we are talking about don’t appear to be as powerful as $200 Chromebooks. The value is in the function. Yet that value has become inflated by relentless ransomware headlines and the ongoing slowly escalating nation state cyberwar. The government should require far more robust firewall features in all ISP supplied modems. Stop the next cyberwar attack in its tracks right there. Well that and some Siemens industrial controllers on the power grid need help.
Ever wonder if Symantec is any less tied up with NSA than Kapersky is Russia? I would expect at least as much. I could be acting paranoid. Or if the two sides tip each other off to make more money? Okay that’s cynical. My bad.
Did you ever see the Caller ID skit from SNL? “MaBell” sells Caller ID to residents. Then caller ID blocking to salesmen. Then for a higher fee Caller ID Through Blocking for residents. Then of course the ” salesman bundle” of everything through blocking unblocked but blocked again yet unblocked anyway (Sell the bigger bundles to the resident). They could do a new skit…