Preempt began with a basic premise: Effective security within an enterprise should combine threat detection and real time response within a single solution. As enterprises transition to the cloud and the perimeter disappears, identity is the new perimeter. If identity is the new perimeter, access management from a security standpoint can lead to effective threat prevention. That simple but powerful idea was the genesis of Preempt and has given us the opportunity to solve challenging security problems for our customers.
At the recent Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, analysts presented their findings on the top technologies for information security and their implications for security organizations in 2018. At the event Neil MacDonald highlighted Top 10 Security Projects for Security and Risk Management Organizations. He continues by emphasizing that these are projects with real supporting technologies that CISOs should be exploring.
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 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.
Over the past few months, the Preempt research team discovered and reported two Microsoft NT LAN Manager (NTLM) vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities have a common theme around two different protocols handling NTLM improperly. These issues are particularly significant as they can potentially allow an attacker to create new domain administrator accounts even when best-practice controls such as LDAP server signing and RDP restricted admin mode are enabled.
It was recently published that Shadow Brokers, the group behind the Equation Group leak, are selling a new set of tools that have the ability to tamper with Windows event logs. What stood out to me is the inefficiency of security solutions that rely solely on logs for detecting threats. Implementing a security analytics or a UEBA product that relies on logs for detection of advanced cyber threats has advantages, but it is also risky.