Cybersecurity: A Way Forward

The Here and Now of Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity industry is rapidly changing and continues to be at the forefront of national security discussions. It is evident there is an upward trend of defensive measures, capabilities, and tactics used to stop the various risks that exist in the cyber space. Unfortunately, attackers and threats are generally one or two steps ahead. It is the responsibility of cybersecurity companies and practices to understand and operate new defensive measures and identify and implement threat-resistant capabilities.


One of the defining factors in cybersecurity history has been the understanding and appreciation of differences between state and non-state actors. In recent years, these lines have been blurred and fused together to where it is now almost impossible to delineate between a government sponsored cyber-attack or a single hacker in a remote part of the world.

Attacks can be designed similarly and cause the same destruction on networks or systems. What is different about the cyberwarfare landscape versus any other battlefield is that you could be fighting a lone actor, an organized hacking group, a government employee working on behalf of a foreign intelligence agency, or a type of cyber mercenary who is a non-state actor, but is funded by a government organization to help separate themselves from the actions taking place. This is unique for the cyber landscape and requires various levels of attention depending on the attack.

Changes in Cybersecurity

Technology is changing so quickly that you can only really look at the development of cyber capabilities several years at a time. No one knows where technology will go and what direction it will take to get there. Looking into the future, experts believe that the trend may move toward insider threats rather than outside criminals. In this manner, the bad actors would be looking for people with valid access to the network they are targeting rather than trying to work from the outside in.

As cyber threat actors continue to adapt to new defenses, it is imperative that security experts continue to try and stay ahead of ever-changing threat capabilities. To achieve this dominance in the space, cyber security professionals must understand the ground rules and what the hackers are trying to achieve. Most importantly, identify which actions pose the most danger to the network or system. For cyber issues, it is important that organizations address these issues as soon as possible. We have already seen too many companies and government agencies become target to these attacks.

Cybersecurity Solutions

A strong option to the rising number of cybersecurity threats both external and internal is a solution which focuses on endpoint security. This is the basis of a cybersecurity solution by Vir2us, one of McKeon Group’s cybersecurity clients. Vir2us’ product VMunity protects endpoints by securing these endpoints beneath the operating system. VMunity has protocols in place which eliminate insider threats which otherwise could wreak havoc on “traditional” endpoint security software. Using a method of containerization, VMunity creates a “Zero Trust” environment, which isolates and stops threats from spreading. In addition, the VMunity solution is OS agnostic – providing a solution for legacy systems that are often left unprotected on networks.

The Future is Cyber

Governments, corporations, small businesses, and individuals must remain aware and alert to the imposing risks we all face every day by simply logging onto our computers. As we continue to become more and more technologically advanced, these risks will only grow exponentially. It is with that understanding that it remains vital to leaders that cyber continue to be a main subject in our political and national security discourse.

For more information on solutions to the cybersecurity threats that we face please contact:
Wesley Horn

The Ongoing Cyber Battle

There is an ever-changing battle being waged across the globe, a cyber battle in which the systems and networks were not designed to handle. Initial developers did not foresee the hostile environments that would take place over these networks that they had created. These initial creators could not have predicted the capabilities of such networks or the many security problems that such an environment would produce.

Virtually every well-known cybersecurity intrusion or exploit began with an endpoint security breach. Although this is a widely-known statistic, most cybersecurity firms do not provide an authentic endpoint security solution. Why not? Because almost all the cybersecurity firms approach security from an “outside-in” or “top-down” approach, rather than a “bottom-up” approach.

The “outside-in” or “top-down” method is flawed because it uses the perspective of the hacker to create checkpoints and security above the operating system (OS) and once they are breached, they collapse and provide virtually no defense. The “bottom-up” approach takes the security of the system down below the OS so that no viruses or unwanted programs can operate.

Using the outdated “top-down” approach, (above the OS) enables low-level intrusions to bypass the kernel and bios system quickly. Antiquated antivirus and even more recent list-based solutions simply cannot keep pace with the quickly evolving cyber-threat landscape, and add significant latency and overhead to networks and computing resources, and are mere patches to the legacy fabric and an outdated way of thinking about secure computing. Again, they are treating the symptom of the problem and not the actual problem. The focus should be on creating solutions that immunize a system from the “bottom-up” approach.

It is time to start thinking differently about cybersecurity and focus on secure computing. Since it is known that the original computer systems were not developed with today’s cyber-connected world in mind, a ground-breaking and central change in the way computing resources are managed is required.

Innovative approaches to containerization, advanced white-listing, access control, and protection that sits below the operating system, are slowly being recognized and utilized to create next-generation endpoint protection to stop these advanced threats we see today.

For more information on solutions to the cybersecurity threats that we face please contact:
Wesley Horn

The State of Today’s Education System

There is no denying that the education system in America currently has been impacted by overpowering, external forces that have all but decimated the promise of affordable education…from budget cuts, to increasing tuition costs, and ultimately higher accumulated student debt. All of these are prohibitive to the quality education that so many want and need.

downloadThe student to teacher ratio has been steadily increasing in the public sector. With more students in the classroom, the learning environment is not what it once was, nor needs to be for the more focused and guided instruction. The classroom environment is not set up for proper learning as students are not getting the particular attention they may need to succeed in the classroom. Technology advancements and its associated curriculum, vitally necessary for our up and coming students to compete, are still too slow to find their ways into classrooms.

When it comes to budget cuts, the first programs to go are the extracurricular. Public schools have been losing funding for sports, after-school, and the theater and arts programs to name a few. Without these funds in public schools to prompt these activities early on, it is no surprise that children are becoming more focused on the internet gaming, and “app sharing” as their desired way to express their abilities and talents. But, of course, these new habits do little to truly advance the intellectual health of our students. Students need a well-rounded education, and should be given the opportunity to participate in activities that stir their individual growth.

This year’s election results directly affects how the nation’s education problems will be faced. The President-elect has outlined some of his ideas within the education system and it includes the immediate infusion of a $20 billion Federal investment towards school choice. This will be done by reprioritizing existing federal dollars. He intends on giving states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend. Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice, magnet schools and charter laws, encouraging them to participate.[1] He also wants to establish the national goal of providing school choice to every one of the 11 million school-aged children living in poverty. If the states collectively contribute another $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice, on top of the $20 billion in federal dollars, that could provide $12,000 in school choice funds to every K-12 student who are living in poverty today.[2] Beyond the K-12 education, another major crisis is the rise in tuition costs and increased student debts.

Due to increasing tuition costs at universities and junior colleges many Americans are unable to afford a higher education. Tuition costs have increased sharply over the last 20 years with no signs of slowing unless some actions are taken to counter these increases. In that time, the average tuition and fees at private National Universities jumped 179 percent, out-of-state tuition and fees at public universities rose 226 percent, and in-state tuition and fees at public National Universities grew the most, increasing a staggering 296 percent.[3] With the rise in tuition costs, student loans have followed suit. More and more Americans are taking on student debt to offset the total upfront cost to attend a university, college, or vocational school. Student loans are often difficult to pay off due to the lack of jobs available for students once they graduate. Many times the graduates are forced to pay back on their debts immediately following their graduation date, although some differ in their grace period. The President-Elect intends on working with Congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt in exchange for federal tax breaks and tax dollars. He also wants to ensure that the opportunity to attend a two or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education, will be easier to access, pay for, and finish.[4]

Only time will tell if the problems that face our Nation and our education system will be fixed. However, this is not a time to sit and wait; rather this is a time to act; this is a time to make the necessary changes; a time to get our education system back on track. Join us and help get education back on track by helping the young minds of America; learn, grow and ultimately lead our great nation.

Helpful links:

Student Loan and Federal Grant Assistance.

Recent Grad loan tips.