Valentine’s Day, hearts and love may bring mixed emotions for security pros

A brief look back on some of the heart-themed security challenges as a cybersecurity army swarms San Francisco

It’s Valentine’s Day and instead of being home with their sweethearts, thousands of security pros are in San Francisco attending the RSA Conference to bolster their security knowledge, skills and awareness.

I can’t help but see a hint of irony here. Not that long ago, love and hearts were things security pros wanted to remove from their lives when they were in reference to the ILOVEYOU virus and Heartbleed.

A love letter tainted with an infectious virus

The ILOVEYOU virus hit the scene in 2000 and was named one of the 10 worst computer viruses of all time. It was sent via an email “love letter” and reached an estimated 45 million users in one day.

By year 2000 standards, this was one of the biggest threats of the day. Today, we seem to have better control over virus attacks; still, there is a place in the toolbox and need for the skills to fight the Trojans that slip into our networks – especially when they enter under the cover of love.

Is your heart still bleeding?

The Heartbleed vulnerability that came to light in 2014, was and still is, one of the most serious software vulnerabilities recorded.

Sadly, nearly three years after the vulnerability was discovered and fixed, unpatched systems still exist, according to a report posted by Shodan.

Ensuring the security of the code – open source or otherwise – remains a challenge. This was a key message from Josh Corman during his talk on Monday at the DevSecOps forum in San Francisco. Corman believes applying supply chain management to software development will result in faster delivery and higher quality.

If you work or think you work for one of those unpatched organizations, be sure to read Naresh Persaud’s New Year’s resolutions for security pros.  It’s not too late to resolve to keep your systems patched and updated, focus on the biggest vulnerabilities and practice good governance.


Leanne Agurkis has spent 20 years in the communications field. She has worked for CA…

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