AI’s Great, but It Still Takes Humans to Enforce Cybersecurity

When it comes to protecting computers and information systems from cyber attack, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help — but they’re no cure-all for a growing problem. Notwithstanding the current excitement over AI and its increasing ability to best humans on numerous fronts, it’s no magic bullet for shoring up cybersecurity, says Randy Watkins, […]

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Using Password Crackers to Analyze the Virus

In addition to helping doctors provide care, technologists are helping researchers find a vaccine for the coronavirus. White hat hackers are using crowdsourced simulations to understand how the virus behaves. The red team at CRITICALSTART found that the company’s password cracker Cthulhu can be used to run computer simulations that mimic the same complex protein […]

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Interview: 2020 Election Security and the Future of Online Voting

Jordan Mauriello, SVP of Managed Security, shares his thoughts with Steve Gruber of the Steve Gruber Podcast on election security and the vulnerabilities associated with polling places in light of the coming 2020 elections.   Full Video Transcript: SG: It is six states going to the polls today, and critical states. Bernie Sanders would like […]

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The Cost to Defend: Automation is Key in Combatting Cybercrime

As organizations find themselves short on budget and talent, security automation that supplements the work of security experts can reduce discovery costs. It’s no secret: cybercrime is skyrocketing. Security breaches in the last five years grew by 67 percent for public and private sector organizations, according to Accenture and Ponemon Institute’s 2019 “Cost of Cybercrime Study,” […]

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Super Tuesday: Election Cybersecurity Survey

A recent survey by computer security firm CRITICALSTART showed 66 percent of Super Tuesday voters said they fear the elections aren’t secure — with many believing one of the campaigns would seek to influence the election and others concerned a foreign power, like Russia, might try to interfere. Jordan Mauriello, CRITICALSTART Senior Vice President of Managed […]

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Q&A: How Firms Can Stop Wasting Time Pursuing ‘Cyber Ghosts’

In an increasingly connected and digital world, no company or industry is safe from the growing threat posed by malicious online actors. How can companies attempt to manage this? Rob Davis of CRITICALSTART provides some advice for businesses. For many firms, as cyberattacks are increasing in number and sophistication, there are still countless hours wasted […]

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Data Breaches and Their Main Causes

A data breach is an incident in which a victim’s sensitive information is accessed without permission. According to a recent article by FOX Business, the main causes of data breaches are the lack of employee cybersecurity training, the tendency for vulnerable users’ to click on malicious links, unsecured and out-of-date company computer networks, and weak passwords without multifactor authentication. […]

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First in MC: Super Tuesday Hack Safety Confidence Low

Two-thirds of voting-age adults in Super Tuesday states believe the election is vulnerable to foreign interference, a poll by cybersecurity company CRITICALSTART discovered. While most believe their states are trying to address the problem, about half the respondents said they feel more confident with in-person paper ballots, and those who believe their state is secure are […]

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New Survey: 66% of Super Tuesday Voters Fear Elections Aren’t Secure

New Survey: 66% of Super Tuesday Voters Fear Elections Aren’t Secure With less than one week to go before voters in 13 states cast their Presidential Primary Ballots, two-thirds of voting-age adults in Super Tuesday states do not believe their state’s election is secure from hacking or other technological threats. 44% believe one of the […]

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CRITICALSTART Named to CRN’s Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list for 2020

CRITICALSTART has been named to CRN’s MSP 500 list for 2020, in the Security 100 category. CRN’s Managed Service Provider 500 list recognizes the top technology providers and consultants whose forward-thinking approach to providing managed services is changing the landscape of the IT channel. This annual list honors solution providers who bring innovative approaches to […]

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Ransomware Is Back: Tips for Avoiding the Growing Context-Based Ransomware

Cryptojacking is so 2019. Ransomware is reemerging as the top cybercrime of choice, with attacks expected to increase in 2020. The pivot back to ransomware can largely be attributed to the attacker’s ability to contextualize the malware and weaponize it in targeted attacks. These enhanced capabilities are exacerbated by the ease of access through ransomware […]

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AI Stats News: 35% Of Workers Worldwide Expect Their Job Will Be Automated

The Life of Data, the fuel for AI: Security Recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of the progress of AI highlight anxiety about AI eliminating jobs, the competition for AI talent, questions about employees AI preparedness, and data quality, literacy, privacy, and security. 70% of cybersecurity professionals investigate more than 10 security alerts […]

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Threat Overload: IT Feels the Security Burnout

How can enterprises and IT professionals combat the increasing IT security threats without feeling burnt out? With the number of security attacks that enterprises are facing, it’s no wonder why some IT security professionals are feeling burnt out. In addition to an overall increase in attacks, dealing with security alerts require lengthy investigations. This is […]

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Iran Conflict Could Shift to Cyberspace, Experts Warn

  Hackers linked to Iran are probing American companies for vulnerabilities, cybersecurity researchers and U.S. government officials say. The warnings suggest that the next phase of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, following the Jan. 3 killing of a top Iranian general in an American drone strike, is likely to play out in cyberspace. The Iranian regime […]

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False Positives Plague Cybersecurity Professionals

Automation is helpful in reducing the time to investigate alerts. Cybersecurity providers are being bombarded with alerts, many of which turn out to be false positives, creating challenges for the industry. That’s according to CRITICALSTART‘s latest report, The Impact of Security Alert Overload. MSSPs, Managed Detection and Response (MDR) providers and Security Operations Center (SOC) […]

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Avoiding Risk Acceptance With Security Alerts

As the shortage of security professionals grows, most organizations struggle to attract and retain the talent necessary to mitigate risk. Though analysis efficiency in investigating security alerts is improving with automation advancements, organizations still face an overwhelming number of false positives generated by activity that is not malicious. When managing false positives, there are three […]

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Cyberattacks Are an ‘Immediate’ Challenge for Businesses Following Iran Strike

Cyberattacks, already seen as the top risk of doing business by executives, are likely to receive renewed attention — and spending — as tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate. Last weekend, a group claiming to be Iranian hackers defaced a federal government library website with a violent image depicting President Donald Trump. The White House and […]

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Tips for Building Camaraderie in a Remote Tech Team

With an exclusively remote tech team, there may be fewer opportunities for team building. However, with a bit of extra effort, it’s possible to build extraordinary camaraderie within a remote group. Forbes Technology Council surveyed Randy Watkins, CTO for CRITICALSTART, and 13 other council members for their best tips for tech executives looking to build […]

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Getting the Most out of Endpoint Security Solution Evaluations

The endpoint security market has evolved over the last decade from a “one agent to rule them all” approach, to “best of breed,” to today’s “Platformula” model. The evolution of endpoint security companies has driven innovation in machine learning (ML), user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), root-cause analysis (RCA), and managed detection and response (MDR). […]

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CRITICALSTART’s Randy Watkins Joins Forbes Technology Council

CRITICALSTART CTO, Randy Watkins, was recently tapped for membership in the Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives. Watkins was selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well […]

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Plano’s CRITICALSTART Plans to Continue Growth After Recent Successes

Plano-based cybersecurity software company CRITICALSTART was created in response to a number of cyberattacks on businesses and government organizations at the beginning of the decade and to address what founder and CEO Rob Davis saw was lacking in the marketplace. Now, nearly seven years after its launch, CRITICALSTART is focused on staying ahead of trends in […]

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Data Breaches: Safeguarding Your Healthcare Organization

Breaches are increasing – a proactive approach to data protection can help you safeguard your organization’s data. 2019 has not been a good year for healthcare data. HIPAA’s Healthcare Data Breach Report, says the first six months of the year saw 9,652,575 Americans exposed to breaches. Factoring in the American Medical Collection Agency data breach […]

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CRITICALSTART Recognized by Dallas Business Journal as Best Workplace

We’ve always known CRITICALSTART is a great place to work, and now we have additional proof. The Dallas Business Journal recently honored CRITCALSTART as one of the top 100 workplaces in North Texas, ranking 5th overall in the mid-sized company category. Employee engagement and satisfaction played a primary role in the award criteria. CRITICALSTART scored a 94.10 […]

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The Last Watchdog Talks to CRITICALSTART About Quantifying Risk

“Security is really the art of handling risk” – Randy Watkins, CTO of CRITICALSTART. It’s clear that managed security services providers (MSSPs) have a ripe opportunity to step into the gap and help small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) meet the daunting challenge of preserving the privacy and security of sensitive data. CRITICALSTART is […]

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Protecting Your Agency Against Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are not going away. Security researchers have repeatedly warned the public sector about their data vulnerabilities. Yet they continue to get hammered by cyberattacks launched by hackers demanding ransom for their hijacked systems. Callie Guenther, CYBERSOC Data Scientist for CRITICALSTART, outlines the step organizations can take to help stave off an attack, protect […]

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What’s the Real Role of AI and ML in Cybersecurity?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are being heralded as a way to solve a wide range of problems in different industries and applications, such as reducing street traffic, improving online shopping, making life easier with voice-activated digital assistants, and more. Jordan Mauriello, Senior Vice President of Managed Services at CRITICALSTART, discusses the real […]

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The Importance of Password Managers and MFA in Your Security Stack

The subject of password strength and complexity requirements has been discussed and debated ad nauseam in the security industry. It’s a subject as old as information security and will not be going away any time soon. Cory Mathews, Offensive Security Technical Lead for CRITICALSTART‘s TEAMARES, outlines the importance of proper password management and the steps you can […]

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Network Security: Keys to Adopting Zero-Trust, Micro-Segmentation

Adoption of zero-trust and micro-segmentation as core design principles can help improve the security posture of your network and the attached systems. However, it is important to understand how we got to our current state to understand how these principles can help us. Chris Yates, Senior Security Architect at CRITICALSTART, discusses the keys to adoption […]

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Decoding CRITICALSTART‘s Rapidly Expanding MSSP Business

CRITICALSTART and Microsoft recently announced a collaboration that will see the Texas-based MSSP offer a managed detection and response service for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). In addition to that deal, CRITICALSTART accepted a $40 million minority investment from Sagemount, a growth equity firm. The money will help fuel CRITICALSTART’s U.S. expansion – new field offices in […]

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What a Plano Cybersecurity Firm’s $40M Capital Raise Tells Us About the Region’s Ecosystem

A Plano cybersecurity firm will open offices in Los Angeles and New York in a national expansion fueled by its first outside investment. CRITICALSTART said it’s raised $40 million from New York private equity firm Sagemount to accelerate its expansion. The company’s software detects and investigates computer security alerts. It’s the latest Dallas-Fort Worth technology […]

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Plano Cybersecurity Company Gets $40M in First Outside Investment, Has Valuation of $150M

CRITICALSTART is looking beyond itself to fuel fresh growth. The Plano cybersecurity company raised $40 million in its first outside investment, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The funding will help the company bolster its sales and marketing in North America and potentially Europe, according to Rob Davis, CRITICALSTART‘s chief executive. In addition, there […]

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Data Breach Threats in the Real World: How MSSPs Can Help Mitigate Them

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said this week that travelers’ images and personal data such as driver’s license info were compromised in a breach. While the threat of identity theft is very real, the real-world implications of one or more data breaches like this one will likely far exceed this expectation. “It does no good to […]

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Managed Detection and Response: CRITICALSTART Raises $40M

CRITICALSTART, a Top 100 MSSP with managed detection and response (MDR) cybersecurity services, has raised $40 million to expand nationwide across the United States. The funding involves a minority investment from Sagemount, a growth equity firm. Among the Plano, Texas-based company’s latest moves: Opening field service offices in New York City and Los Angeles, California to support […]

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Equifax Breach, Two Years Later: Lessons for the Financial Services Industry

Nearly two years after the Equifax breach, the fallout is far from over. As detailed in the 96-page Senate Committee on Investigations report, serious flaws in the financial systems’ consumer data security framework were exposed. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a vocal critic of Wall Street and its many entities, echoes the Reuters report, stating that Equifax […]

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