LookingGlass’ Chris Coleman talks cybercrime—and what you can do to protect yourself
Chris Coleman has been on the cutting edge of cybersecurity since the early ’90s (back when it was termed “information security”). Now the CEO of LookingGlass, Coleman’s clients include government, security-savvy organizations like financial institutions and Fortune 1000 companies. He spoke to Las Vegas Magazine editor Ken Miller about the constant threats we all face, where those threats come from and what we can all do to make ourselves a bit safer, as well as his company’s involvement with this year’s Black Hat conference from August 1-6 at Mandalay Bay.
What should people whose information was potentially stolen be concerned about?
We have to look at the motives as wide and vast. Any well-thought-out cyber attack uses an intermediary jumping point. They’re going to use it to attack your computer and use your computer to execute attacks. So not only can it attack and steal your own information, but they can use your computer to steal money or valuable information from someone else.
In addition to all the personal information being stolen, there’s been a lot of health care breaches recently—Anthem, Community Health Care, the Office of Personnel Management on the clearance information. There’s a lot of speculation that it was the Chinese that executed all those attacks. So you ask, “Why do the Chinese want health care information on me?” If you put all those things together, it’s really all about amassing information.
What do we do to protect ourselves?
There’s the traditional malware-spam guys that just find your e-mail and send you anything that can potentially make you think to click on. If there’s not enough information, don’t be curious. If it doesn’t seem right, just stay away from it. But the other thing I think people don’t consider enough is all the privacy controls on their social media. We put our whole lives out on social media. We connect to our families, our friends. That same information can be used in targeting information. So maybe I can’t get to you, but I know your friend or your mother is the next person I could go after. Phishing is still the No. 1 way to make people get infected, so scrutinize every e-mail you get.
What’s the risk to the Las Vegas area?
Las Vegas is this great attack surface. You have a lot of cash, 41 million tourists a year with personal information you could steal, and probably some of the most sophisticated building and power generation in the country. So the ability to use cyber as a mechanism to pull off an Ocean’s Eleven? It’s only bound by the imagination and the persistence and ability to actually pull it off.
What can you tell us about your involvement at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas?
We’ll be on the show floor all week. It’s really a great opportunity for us to connect with our customers, our peers in the industry, and have those one-on-one conversations with organizations wanting to do a better job as a whole in tackling these problems and staying ahead of the cybercriminals. We recently added to our arsenal and acquired a company called CloudShield that gets us more presence worldwide and the ability to delve even more deeply into Internet activity to find and stop cybercrime for organizations and the people who depend on them.