Security Experts:

NASDAQ Implements New Security Measures Following Cyber Attack

In a letter sent to customers on Friday, and obtained by SecurityWeek, NASDAQ outlined measures put in place to secure its Directors Desk platform, including changes made since an attack that occurred October of 2010.

NASDAQ Directors Desk Security

“After the attack, our customers rightly questioned our security. Since then we have made substantial investments to implement additional cutting-edge security enhancements, thereby outpacing our competitors and bringing our security to an industry leading, military-grade level,” the letter explained.

“Our achievements in security are not lost on our new and existing customers. In fact, in the last 12 months, we have increased sales of Directors Desk by 52% and the number of new users increased by more than 170. This is no doubt a measure of the fact that you recognize that we are hyper-focused on providing the most secure environment for our customers.”

Included in the security overview for Directors Desk is the mention of hardened operating system, database, and network perimeter deployments. NASDAQ’s security posture has been subject of several reports suggesting that lax security controls contributed to the 2010 attack against the exchange.

Other security mentions include, AES-256 encryption for data storage, encrypted backups, customer data segregation, IDS systems, extensive integrated logging, alerting, and reporting (SEIM), a policy of least privilege, as well as vulnerability and patch reviewing processes.

The interesting part however was focused on the WebAppSec processed, which include WebApplication Firewalls, annual third-party audits, and the kicker – independent validation against the OWASP Top 10.

“The NASDAQ OMX Information Security Department conducts ongoing security assessments of Directors Desk using multiple leading security testing firms. The independent reviews have been expanded to include the new iPad app that was recently launched,” the security overview explains.

When it comes to disclosure, the final report summaries for the independent testing are included in the Directors Desk Information Security Packet, available to all Directors Desk clients.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.