Last week I had the opportunity to speak with several CISOs about what they are doing to deal with cyberattacks, breaches and internal threats. A consistent theme I heard is that detection only solutions aren't enough. They need more practical approaches to rapidly respond to anomalous behavior and they need to reduce burden on analysts. Working smarter not harder. This is one of the great benefits of real-time threat prevention based on identity, behavior and risk. It can removes work from analyst via adaptive response and automated resolution of false positives. One customer recently told me that within just a couple months, automated response has helped them improve their efficiency by 30-40%. That’s a lot of time that can focused on more critical security tasks.
The RSA Conference is just around the corner, and with it, one of the true spectacles of the security industry. If you visit the show floor of exhibitors you will find a seemingly endless sea of security vendors and products stretching in all directions, each one promising to be the critical missing piece to save you from the next attack. It can be exciting, quasi-educational, and more than a little mind numbing all at once.
In March Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released a patch for CVE-2018-0886, a critical vulnerability that was discovered by Preempt. This vulnerability can be classified as a logical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability. It resembles a classic relay attack, but with a nice twist: It is related to RSA cryptography (and prime numbers) which makes it quite unique and interesting.
In March Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released a patch for CVE-2018-0886, a vulnerability discovered by Preempt researchers. The vulnerability consists of a logical flaw in Credential Security Support Provider protocol (CredSSP) which is used by RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and Windows Remote Management (WinRM) that takes care of securely forwarding credentials to target servers. The vulnerability can be exploited by attackers by employing a man-in-the-middle attack to achieve the ability to run code remotely on previously not infected machines in the attacked network. The vulnerability, in many real-world scenarios where victim network has vulnerable network equipment, could result in an attacker gaining the ability to move laterally in the victim’s network and even infect domain controller with malicious software. No attacks have been detected in the wild by Preempt.
Protecting privileged accounts and actively responding to any potential compromises has become a critical initiative for many CISOs. Stolen credentials are at the heart of most all modern attacks and breaches. Attackers can easily obtain credentials via phishing attacks, brute force, keyloggers, pass-the-hash techniques, or using a database of previously stolen credentials. And once an account is compromised, the attacker can see and do anything that is allowed for that user or account.
Attackers and their malware are increasingly relying on a handful of common tools such as Mimikatz, PsExec, and WMI to spread through a network and do damage. Some of these tools are very common and hard to blacklist in a network, and likewise make use of protocols such as NTLM and RPC, which are also historically difficult to control inside of most enterprises. Preempt has delivered industry-first functionality that allows organizations to directly analyze these protocols, detect and challenge abnormal behavior. This allows organizations to control some of the most persistent areas of risk in the network while simultaneously robbing attackers of their favorite tools. You can see it in action in the following video.
If your organization handles credit cards, you are no doubt familiar with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. PCI DSS is a set of requirements and procedures that have been established in order to strengthen security of cardholder transactions and data in order to reduce fraud. PCI DSS controls have been implemented for many years but as hackers have advanced their efforts, new requirements continue to emerge with updates to existing controls and reporting.
Identity, Behavior and Risk. Identity, Behavior and Risk. Almost like a mantra. Think about it for few seconds. Identity, Behavior and Risk are the 3 main pieces of evidence that security personnel would like to deeply understand so they can protect their organization and users from credential compromise
Vendors, especially in the over crowded security space, often must help buyers justify their investment. But what happens when there isn’t a real problem during the test period? This can make it difficult to properly assess. Some security vendors will simulate problems, others may sponsor penetration tests, or they may provide a list of tests and tools, and so on. In the highly competitive End Point market (aka AntiVirus) they will use any tool they may have in the box.
I’ve heard it many times from customers: “IT Security needs to be transparent to users in order to be successful.” Unfortunately, we are now in a digital age where things have dramatically changed and research has shown over and over that credential compromise is the top way that hackers breach an organization.