• Data has 3 States: We want to protect it as well as we can in each state.
    • Data at Rest (Stored Data):
      • This is data on Disks, Tapes, CDs/DVDs, USB Sticks
      • We use disk encryption (full/partial), USB encryption, tape encryption (avoid CDs/DVDs).
      • Encryption can be Hardware or Software Encryption.
    • Data in Motion (Data being transferred on a Network).
      • We encrypt our network traffic, end to end encryption, this is both on internal and external networks.
    • Data in Use: (We are actively using the files/data, it can’t be encrypted).
      • Use good practices: Clean Desk policy, Print Policy, Allow no ‘Shoulder Surfing’, maybe the use of view angle privacy screen for monitors, locking computer screen when leaving workstation.
      • The Three States of Digital Data

        Understanding the different states digital data can be in can help you select the kinds of security measures and encryption that are appropriate for protecting it. There are three basic states of data: data at rest, data in motion, and data in use. Below you will find brief descriptions of the three states of data as well as the kinds of encryption and security needed to protect it.

        Data at rest

        Data at rest is a term that refers to data stored on a device or backup medium in any form. It can be data stored on hard drives, backup tapes, in offsite cloud backup, or even on mobile devices. What makes it data at rest is that it is inactive data that is not currently being transmitted across a network or actively being read or processed. Data at rest is typically in a stable state. It is not traveling within the system or network, and it is not being acted upon by any application or the CPU.

        Data at rest is data that has reached a destination (even if only temporarily). At this destination, there can be additional layers of security added to it, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and both digital and physical access controls. Data at rest should almost always be encrypted.

        Data in motion

        The second phase of data is data in motion. Data in motion is data that is currently traveling across a network or sitting in a computer’s RAM ready to be read, updated, or processed. Data crossing over networks from local to cloud storage or from a central mainframe to a remote terminal should be encrypted so that it cannot be read or manipulated by any machine or hacker between the data’s source and destination. This data in motion includes data moving across a cables and wireless transmission. It can be emails or files transferred over FTP or SSH.

        Cryptography was originally invented to protect data in motion–such as sensitive communications between a military general and his army. Software like ASPG’s MegaCryption can protect enterprise data from prying eyes by encrypting it before it is transmitted beyond the system where it is stored or generated.

        Data in use

        Data in use is data that is not just being stored passively on a hard drive or external storage media. This is data that is being processed by one or more applications. This is data currently in the process of being generated, updated, appended, or erased. It also includes data being viewed by users accessing it through various endpoints. Data in use is susceptible to different kinds of threats depending on where it is in the system and who is able to use it. The most vulnerable point for data in use is at the endpoints where users are able to access and interact with it.

        Protecting data in use is a challenging task since there is such variety in the ways the data can be accessed and manipulated. One set of data can potentially have multiple users working with it from multiple endpoints. The large number of in-house systems, devices, and employees accessing mainframe data from personal devices means this data should be protected through strong user authentication, identity management, and profile permissions. This will help ensure that only individuals with the proper permission and knowledge are able to access and manipulate data. Also, since technology makes it nearly impossible to prevent data leakage from endpoints, most employers also have their employees sign legal agreements that they will not share private data with anyone that does not have permission to view it.

        If you are looking for ways to protect your organization’s sensitive data across all its states, sign up for a free trial of ASPG’s data protection program, MegaCryption.

Understanding the security risks of Remote Desktop Protocol over the internet

Understanding the security risks of Remote Desktop Protocol over the internet

  • RDP, if not properly configured and secured, can act as a gateway within an organization for cybercriminals to access sensitive internal resources.
  • Attackers can also exploit vulnerable RDP services to perform remote code execution and seize control over targeted gateways.

Today, it is very common for businesses to use RDP as a method to access servers, collaborate with other employees and remotely access documents stored and backed up in their office. Given its wide range of functionality across a business, this network-based service can also be misused by cybercriminals to launch attacks. A recent statistics from Coveware has highlighted that RDP is the most dominant attack vector, being used in 63.5% of disclosed targeted ransomware campaigns in Q1 2019.

To add more woes to it, the year 2019 saw the discovery of the dangerous BlueKeep vulnerability impacting Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol implementation. Despite the security updates being issued by Microsoft, the vulnerability was widely exploited in a cyber-espionage campaign to mine cryptocurrencies.

Threats against RDP services

  • RDP, if not properly configured and secured, can act as a gateway within an organization for cybercriminals to access sensitive internal resources.
  • Attackers can also exploit vulnerable RDP services to perform remote code execution and seize control over targeted gateways.
  • Furthermore, cybercriminals have developed a wide array of tools to continuously look for remote access points on the internet. Because RDP is so widely used, it is a common target for MiTM attacks.
  • Following the release of PoC for BlueKeep, Microsoft has estimated that nearly 1 million devices using earlier versions of Windows are currently open to cyberattacks due to vulnerable RDP services.

Actions to be taken

Enhancing RDP security: Patching is an important way to enhance RDP security. An improperly secured RDP can open doors for malware infection or targeted ransomware attacks, resulting in critical service disruption.

Limiting the access: Use firewalls to restrict access to remote desktop listening ports – default is TCP 3389. Additionally, using an RDP gateway is also highly recommended for restricting RDP access to desktops and servers.

Using strong passwords: Strong passwords on any accounts with access to Remote Desktop should be considered as a necessary step before enabling Remote Desktop.

Enabling restricted admin mode: In a situation where there are multiple administrator accounts on a computer, it is very necessary to limit the remote access to those accounts that need it. This prevents the attacks due to the escalation of privileges.

Enabling Network Level Authentication (NLA): To reduce the amount of initially required server resources, and thereby mitigating against denial of service attacks, Network Level Authentication (NLA) can be used. NLA can also help to protect against MiTM attacks, where credentials are intercepted.

This chapter is from the book

Security Models

Security models of control are used to determine how security will be implemented, what subjects can access the system, and what objects they will have access to. Simply stated, they are a way to formalize security policy. Security models of control are typically implemented by enforcing integrity, confidentiality, or other controls. Keep in mind that each of these models lays out broad guidelines and is not specific in nature. It is up to the developer to decide how these models will be used and integrated into specific designs, as shown in Figure 5.5.

Figure 5.5Figure 5.5. How security models are used in the design of an OS.

The sections that follow discuss the different security models of control in greater detail. The first three models discussed are considered lower-level models.

State Machine Model

The state machine model is based on a finite state machine, as shown in Figure 5.6. State machines are used to model complex systems and deals with acceptors, recognizers, state variables, and transaction functions. The state machine defines the behavior of a finite number of states, the transitions between those states, and actions that can occur.

Figure 5.6Figure 5.6. Finite state model.

The most common representation of a state machine is through a state machine table. For example, as Table 5.3 illustrates, if the state machine is at the current state of (B) and condition (2), the next state would be (C).

Table 5.3. State Machine Table

State Transaction State A State B State C
Condition 1
Condition 2 Current State
Condition 3

A state machine model monitors the status of the system to prevent it from slipping into an insecure state. Systems that support the state machine model must have all their possible states examined to verify that all processes are controlled. The state machine concept serves as the basis of many security models. The model is valued for knowing in what state the system will reside. As an example, if the system boots up in a secure state, and every transaction that occurs is secure, it must always be in a secure state and not fail open.

Information Flow Model

The Information Flow model is an extension of the state machine concept and serves as the basis of design for both the Biba and Bell-LaPadula models, which are discussed in the sections that follow. The Information Flow model consists of objects, state transitions, and lattice (flow policy) states. The real goal of the information flow model is to prevent unauthorized, insecure information flow in any direction. This model and others can make use of guards. Guards allow the exchange of data between various systems.

Noninterference Model

The Noninterference model as defined by Goguen and Meseguer was designed to make sure that objects and subjects of different levels don’t interfere with the objects and subjects of other levels. The model uses inputs and outputs of either low or high sensitivity. Each data access attempt is independent of all others and data cannot cross security boundaries.


Although the preceding models serve as a basis for many security models that were developed later, one major concern is confidentiality. Government entities such as the DoD are concerned about the confidentiality of information. The DoD divides information into categories to ease the burden of managing who has access to what levels of information. DoD information classifications are sensitive but unclassified (BU), confidential, secret, and top secret. One of the first models to address the needs of the DoD was the Bell-LaPadula model.


The Bell-LaPadula state machine model enforces confidentiality. The Bell-LaPadula model uses mandatory access control to enforce the DoD multilevel security policy. For a subject to access information, he must have a clear need to know and meet or exceed the information’s classification level.

The Bell-LaPadula model is defined by the following properties:

  • Simple security property (ss property)—This property states that a subject at one level of confidentiality is not allowed to read information at a higher level of confidentiality. This is sometimes referred to as “no read up.”
  • Star * security property—This property states that a subject at one level of confidentiality is not allowed to write information to a lower level of confidentiality. This is also known as “no write down.”
  • Strong star * property—This property states that a subject cannot read/write to object of higher/lower sensitivity.

Although the Bell-LaPadula model did go a long way in defining the operation of secure systems, the model is not perfect. It did not address security issues such as covert channels. It was designed in an era when mainframes were the dominant platform. It was designed for multilevel security and takes only confidentiality into account.


Integrity is a good thing. It is one of the basic elements of the security triad along with confidentiality and availability. Integrity plays an important role in security because it can verify that unauthorized users are not modifying data, authorized users don’t make unauthorized changes, and that databases balance and data remains internally and externally consistent. Although governmental entities are typically very concerned with confidentiality, other organizations might be more focused on the integrity of information. In general, integrity has four goals:

  1. Prevent data modification by unauthorized parties
  2. Prevent unauthorized data modification by authorized parties
  3. Must reflect the real world
  4. Must maintain internal and external consistency

Two security models that address secure systems for the aspect of integrity include Biba and Clark-Wilson. Both of these models are addressed next.


The Biba model was the first model developed to address the concerns of integrity. Originally published in 1977, this lattice-based model has the following defining properties:

  • Simple integrity property—This property states that a subject at one level of integrity is not permitted to read an object of lower integrity.
  • Star * integrity property—This property states that an object at one level of integrity is not permitted to write to an object of higher integrity.
  • Invocation property—This property prohibits a subject at one level of integrity from invoking a subject at a higher level of integrity.

Biba addresses only the first goal of integrity—protecting the system for access by unauthorized users. Availability and confidentiality are not examined. It also assumes that internal threats are being protected by good coding practices, and therefore focuses on external threats.


The Clark-Wilson model was created in 1987. It differs from previous models because it was developed with the intention to be used for commercial activities. This model addresses all the goals of integrity. Clark Wilson dictates that the separation of duties must be enforced, subjects must access data through an application, and auditing is required. Some terms associated with Clark Wilson include

  • User
  • Transformation procedure
  • Unconstrained data item
  • Constrained data item
  • Integrity verification procedure

Clark-Wilson features an access control triple. The access control triple is composed of the user, transformational procedure, and the constrained data item. It was designed to protect integrity and prevent fraud. Authorized users cannot change data in an inappropriate way. It also differs from the Biba model in that subjects are restricted. This means a subject at one level of access can read one set of data, whereas a subject at another level of access has access to a different set of data. Clark-Wilson controls the way in which subjects access objects so that the internal consistency of the system can be ensured and that data can be manipulated only in ways that protect consistency. Integrity verification procedures (IVPs) ensure that a data item is in a valid state. Data cannot be tampered with while being changed and the integrity of the data must be consistent. Clark-Wilson requires that all changes must be logged. Clark-Wilson is made up of transformation procedures (TP). Constrained data items (CDI) are data for which integrity must be preserved. Items not covered under the model are considered unconstrained data items (UDIs).

Take-Grant Model

The Take-Grant model is another confidentiality-based model that supports four basic operations: take, grant, create, and revoke. This model allows subjects with the take right to remove take rights from other subjects. Subjects possessing the grant right can grant this right to other subjects. The create and revoke operations work in the same manner: Someone with the create right can give the create right to others and those with the revoke right can remove that right from others.

Brewer and Nash Model

The Brewer and Nash model is similar to the Bell-LaPadula model and is also called the Chinese Wall model. It was developed to prevent conflict of interest (COI) problems. As an example, imagine that your security firm does security work for many large firms. If one of your employees could access information about all the firms that your company has worked for, he might be able to use this data in an unauthorized way. Therefore, the Chinese Wall model is more context oriented in that it prevents a worker consulting for one firm from accessing data belonging to another, thereby preventing any COI.

Other Models

A security model defines and describes what protection mechanisms are to be used and what these controls are designed to achieve. Although the previous section covered some of the more heavily tested models, you should have a basic understanding of a few more. These security models include

  • Graham Denning model—This model uses a formal set of protection rules for which each object has an owner and a controller.
  • Harrison-Ruzzo-Ullman model—This model details how subjects and objects can be created, deleted, accessed, or changed.
  • Lattice model—This model is associated with MAC. Controls are applied to objects and the model uses security levels that are represented by a lattice structure. This structure governs information flow. Subjects of the lattice model are allowed to access an object only if the security level of the subject is equal to or greater than that of the object. Every subset has a least upper bound and a greatest lower bound.
fee weather friends  –  Those friends  they must charge you for the weather that is the economic climate when you go out they always are the ones broke 
fear weather friends   Their weather is always fearful dark they are always afraid of something armed robbers  the neighbours dog  their wife etc ..
fyi weather friends  –  
Dogs can’t operate MRI scanners, but catscan.

Our mountains aren’t just funny, they’re hill areas.

Turning Vegan would be a missed steak.

Well, to be Frank I’d have to change my name.

Ban Shredded Cheese. Make America Grate again.

Electricians have to strip to make ends meet.

For chemists, alcohol is not a problem, it’s a solution.

I’m friends with 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know Y.

If a cow stumbles into a pot field, the steaks will never be higher.

Crushing pop cans is soda pressing.

Irony is the opposite of wrinkly.

If you suck at playing the trumpet, that’s probably why.

Received from Becky Day.


Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon performs at Schimanski night club in Brooklyn, New York, October 14, 2018. Trevor Hunnicutt | Reuters

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon isn’t your average C-suite executive. Yes, he made $23 million last year, but since taking the helm at the investment bank from Lloyd Blankfein in October 2018, he’s been eschewing Wall Street’s stuffy ways.

Fifty-seven-year-old Solomon, for instance, is known as “D-Sol” on weekends, when he performs his side gig as a classic rock DJ at nightclubs in New York City, Miami and the Bahamas (think Guns N’ Roses and The White Stripes).

Solomon also rides the New York City subway to work and prefers to fetch his own coffee at the office.

“I mean, why wouldn’t you take the subway?” Solomon told Fortune recently. “No, seriously. It’s quicker and more efficient. You know, the mayor of New York [City, Bill de Blasio] can take the subway. Why can’t the CEO of Goldman Sachs?”

(In reality, while de Blasio sometimes rides the subway as a promotional event, he typically takes a private car to work, and infamously, to the gym, because of his hectic schedule, he says.)

According to Fortune, certain Goldman Sachs’ board members are unhappy with the idea Solomon on the subway. But that doesn’t bother him. Neither does the fact that his DJ persona has become fodder for the media, at least not anymore.

Solomon was first outed as DJ D-Sol by The New York Times in 2017 when he was a co-president at Goldman Sachs and in the midst of his campaign to be named CEO. Solomon said some of his associates urged him to hang up his headphones if he got the job, and he himself felt anxious that the public wouldn’t take him seriously.


GP: David Solomon, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs & Co.,
David Solomon, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., listens during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 29, 2019.
Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“I thought for a minute, ’Well, can I do this? Can I not do this?” Solomon told Fortune. But with support from Blankfein, he decided to stick with it.

“You know what, it’s who I am, and nobody would tell me not to play golf,” Solomon said. “And why shouldn’t I — because I’m a CEO?” (Solomon gives all his earnings as a DJ to charity.)


Now as the head of Goldman, Solomon wants to ensure he’s more admired and respected than envied and feared. Getting his own coffee and showing up unannounced at office meetings throughout the day are small ways he does that. He also allows colleagues or guests who have an appointment to bypass his receptionists and knock on his door directly. What’s more, Solomon made news in March when he relaxed the company’s dress code policy, making suits and ties optional.

Beyond company culture, Solomon’s first year as CEO has come with challenges.

Overall revenue at Goldman has been on the decline since 2010 as assets like bonds and commodities dropped to 37% of the firm’s net revenues, down from 72% in 2009.

Solomon is also tasked with pivoting Goldman into commercial banking. In August, Goldman launched its first credit card in partnership with Apple. (Since then, it has lent about $10 billion to Apple cardholders, some of which previously had no credit history or below-average credit score). Solomon recently denied allegations of gender discrimination with the Apple Card after Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson complained his wife was offered a dramatically lower line of credit than he was offered despite her being a better candidate.

Solomon’s personal life has been tumultuous as well. His divorce was finalized in 2018, and during his second week as CEO at Goldman Sachs, his former assistant killed himself after being charged with stealing $1.2 million worth of wine from Solomon’s collection.

But whether it’s running an investment bank or spinning records, “if I decide I’m interested in something and I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it,” Solomon told Fortune. “I mean, I’m going to try to really do it to the highest capacity of my ability, or I’m not going to do it.”