December 23, 2014

Security News: News you can use

December 20, 2014

Holiday OPSEC Poems

Here are a couple of holiday OPSEC poems I have seen circulating around over the years. I've never seen an author name associated with them so I can't really credit any particular person. Keep these rhymes in mind to remember OPSEC this season.

The week before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas,
and all through the neighborhood,
thieves were out prowling,
they were looking for goods!
Uncollected newspapers
and grass two feet high -
Indicators the owner was not home,
and this caught the thief’s eye,
Now their home is empty,
the rooms are all bare,
If only they had remembered,
to be OPSEC Aware!

OPSEC and Ham

Sam I am.
Do you like OPSEC and ham?
I do not get it, Sam I am.
I do not get OPSEC and ham.
We must use it here and there.
We must use it everywhere.

You CAN share it in a car.
But you CANNOT in a bar.
You CANNOT share it in a text.
You CANNOT share it at the PX.
You CAN say it in your house.
But should NOT tell a random spouse.

You CAN say it in the shower.
But do NOT go sharing at happy hour.
DON'T make the security officer sweat.
DON'T post it on the internet.
You CANNOT share it in a tweet.
That would not be very sweet.

Beware of Facebook too!
It's tempting to let your feelings through.
You Cannot tell it to a friend.
NOT even at the very end.
It is a privilege to know a date.
DON'T tell ANYONE or they may be late!

Oh, I get it, Sam I am.
Now I get OPSEC and ham!
I will not tell anyone.
I will keep hushed until they're done!
I will not tell him or her.
I will not tell my dog with fur.
I will not tell my child's teacher.
I will not tell any creature.
Thank you, THANK YOU, Sam I am.

December 18, 2014

Happy Blog Birthday

It's that time of year.
This month Security Checks Matter hits the three year mark! Throw cyber confetti and pass the birthday cake. I thought I should do something special to mark this special occasion. Some blogs do give aways. Unfortunately, I really don't have anything to give except security advice, which I've been giving away all year. I know! We can reflect on how far we've come baby! :)

Reflecting upon the past three years, I can see how the blog steadily matured and continues to grow. Slow and steady can win the race, just ask the turtle from that old children's fable. Granted I don't have the millions of followers I had in my grand vision when I first started out on this trek, but then again, security never was the popular kid. Enough with the pity party!

The important thing is to take steps towards improvement.

Goal Review
One of my goals for the year was to maintain viewership at or above 400 per month.  Not only did I maintain it, I crushed it. I accredited this to maintaining social media presence (mainly Google +, Facebook, and Twitter), submitting to StumbleUpon, and leveraging SEO (especially in photo properties).

My other goal was to post at least twice a month. Success! Granted, there were a couple of months, that is all I posted, but there were other months of multiple posts.

Besides reaching my goals, I reached some important milestones.
  • Reached 100th blog post and still posting. 
  • Security Poster Library with over 500 security posters became the most popular destination here. I'm hoping it is security officers looking to add variety to their security awareness programs.

Top 10 posts of 2014. About half-way through the year, I posted a mid-year review to conduct a check on the blog's performance for the year. During that post, we looked at the top five posts for 2014. Some of the posts picked up more views, while others lagged, and one didn't even make it to the end of year top ten.

10) 4 FREE Security Awareness Resources. This year I started providing tips and suggestions for security professionals to grow their own organic security awareness program using free resources. One major complaint most security officers give for not investing into an awareness and training program is a lack of a budget. With four free resources (no catch!), you can still build a viable program.

9) Thieves break into cars using unknown device. This article highlights the growing threat of car prowlers breaking into vehicles using an electronic device that targets the car's keyless entry. An interesting note, most of the car prowlers are not looking to steal your vehicle, rather they're searching for the contents within. 

8) Security posters of a bygone era. 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the World War II Ally D-Day landing. To commemorate the anniversary, I gathered up some iconic security posters from the era.

7) Army uses TSP in phishing awareness. Early in 2014, an Army command used the Thrift Savings Program (TSP) as the topic in a phishing awareness exercise. Unfortunately, the exercise didn't go as according to plan.

6) Personal Security Measures. In this article, I provide some personal travel security measures I use as a woman in the security field. These easy to follow tips can help you stay safe and secure when planning any travel.

5) Experian Data Breach. Earlier this year, the major credit reporting bureau was part of an investigation involving selling people's credit information to a known identity thief.

4) 7 Home Security Tips for Summer. This article provides some helpful tips in securing your home while you go away for the summer.

3) SF 701 Instruction. Posted back in September without trying to market it, the post quickly picked up viewership. I find it rather odd due to the fact this topic belongs to a niche market.

2) Stupid on Social Media. When looking back on 2014, we'll see a bunch of stories about the idiots posting on social media making headlines. This post highlights a few cases.

1) SF 702 Security Container Check. Since this topic has such a niche audience, I am shocked that this became the most viewed post of 2014. Over the year, it became my most popular post of all time. I guess niche markets need material too.

2015 Goals.
Hold steady with two posts per months and keep views above 1,000. I'll continue to throw in a mix of advice for security professionals to grow their own organic security program, as well as tips for individuals to keep themselves secure throughout the new year. I'll will try to capitalize upon the niche market making its way to my little corner of the Internet. Another focus area for the upcoming year is to develop "evergreen" articles. No, I'm talking about trees here. I'm referring to timeless articles that can be reused throughout the year without appearing dated.

Let's hope 2015 brings even more joy, hope, safety, and security.