Welcome to Security Week 2023

Last month I had the chance to attend a dinner with 56 CISOs and CSOs across a range of banking, gaming, ecommerce, and retail companies. We rotated between tables of eight people and talked about the biggest challenges those in the group were facing, and what they were most worried about around the corner. We talk to customers every day at Cloudflare, but this was a unique opportunity to listen to customers (and non-customers) talk to each other. It was a fascinating evening and a few things stood out.

The common thread that dominated the discussions was “how do I convince my business and product teams to do the things I want them to”. Surprisingly little time was spent on specific technical challenges. No one brought up a concern about recent advanced mage cart skimmers, or about protecting their new GraphQL APIs, or how to secure two different cloud vendors at once, or about the size of DDoS attacks consistently getting larger. Over and over again the conversation came back to struggles with getting humans to do the secure thing, or to not do the insecure thing.

This instantly brought to mind a major phishing attack that Cloudflare was able to thwart last August. The attack was extremely sophisticated, using targeted text messages and an extremely professional impersonation of our Okta login page. Cloudflare did have individual employees fall for the phishing messages, because we are made up of a team of humans who are human. But we were able to thwart the attack through our own use of Cloudflare One products, and physical security keys issued to every employee that are required to access all our applications. The attacker was able to obtain compromised username and password credentials, but they could not ..

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