Category Archives: CLOUDSEC

As millions more records hit the dark web, CLOUDSEC offers best practice security advice

by Ian Heritage

The cybercrime economy has an insatiable appetite. It’s a beast that generates an estimated $1.5 trillion each year, feeding in part off stolen data grabbed in large-scale breaches. Over the past few years both organisations and consumers have arguably become desensitised to these, although with the advent of the GDPR there’s a major new incentive for boards to take security seriously. The latest incidents at CafePress and StockX serve as a depressing reminder that firms are still getting things wrong.

If you are an IT/security leader and need a refresher in current best practices for data security and incident response, Trend Micro’s CLOUDSEC conference next month could offer a great opportunity.

Focus on response
No organisation can expect to be 100% secure today. The odds are stacked too heavily in favour of the attacker. But they can be quick to react to a possible intrusion, blocking and kicking out the hackers before they’ve had a chance to impact the business. Yet both CafePress and StockX have come under criticism for their handling of the respective breaches.

In the case of online merchandise store CafePress, the breach of an estimated 23 million customers was first reported on breach notification site HaveIBeenPwned? in August, despitethe incident occurring back in February. It’s unclear how attackers broke into to the firm’s customer database, but it has been revealed that around half the passwords in the trove were protected by the weak SHA-1 algorithm. The firm’s sluggish approach to notifying its customers, coupled with its storage of passwords in a potentially crackable format, may have put them at extra risk.

In the case of StockX, a database of over 6.8 million user accounts is reportedly already being sold and distributed online. Username and password combinations are fetching as little as $2 and a dark web user has apparently already decrypted the MD5-hashed passwords. It’s fairly certain that these credentials, like those of the CafePress breach, will be used in automated credential stuffing attacks designed to crack open accounts with the same log-ins.

Lessons from the experts
While it’s certainly the responsibility of users to manage their passwords securely, via a password manager and/or 2FA, there are clearly things the firms in question could have done better to reduce the impact of the breaches. Under GDPR rules, notification must happen within 72-hours, for example. Regulators would also take a dim view of firms using weak encryption to protect key data.

Best practice security evolves over time, so it always pays for CISOs to stay abreast of the current recommended advice. That’s where conferences like CLOUDSEC can come in handy, by offering an opportunity to hear from security leaders, industry practitioners and global experts. This year’s event features keynotes from CISOs at Thomson Reuters, Oxford University and Swedish giant Stena alongside Trend Micro experts, a former White House CIO and the UN’s Cybercrime and Cryptocurrency Advisor.

Throughout there’ll be a focus on real-life examples and case studies, to inform and educate attendees about the latest developments in the threat landscape, and how their peers have been able to successfully mitigate cyber risk.

Make sure you book your place at this year’s event today!

What: CLOUDSEC 2019
When: 13 September 2019
Where: Old Billingsgate Market, London

As North Korean crypto-theft ramps up, it’s time for CISOs to prepare for a new reality at CLOUDSEC

by Ian Heritage

It has just emerged that North Korean hackers have made an estimated $2 billion from a long-running campaign targeting banks and cryptocurrency exchanges. The leaked UN report detailing the scheme to make money for the hermit nation’s illegal weapons programme is food for thought for CISOs everywhere. It’s proof of a new reality: that organisations must counter the threat from nation states as well as organised cyber-criminals.

At Trend Micro’s CLOUDSEC conference next month, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) cybercrime and crypto-currency advisory Alexandru Caciuloiu will be on hand to share his wisdom.

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Hear about the latest in cyber policing at CLOUDSEC

by Ian Heritage

Few people could dispute the vital role government strategy plays in efforts to tackle cybercrime and state-sponsored attacks. The security industry also plays a crucial part in developing products and generating key intelligence to keep organisations safe. But there’s a third essential pillar to these efforts: law enforcement. And the good news is, cross-jurisdictional operations are starting to generate significant results. But recent news from within the EU has shown us that education and societal intervention is just as important as arresting hardened criminals.

Industry professionals wanting to find out more about this valuable work should get down to Trend Micro’s annual CLOUDSEC event in London next month, where leading figures from law enforcement will be sharing their thoughts and expertise.

Arrests and interventions
Global police have been on a roll over the past couple of years, dismantling thriving dark web marketplaces like AlphaBay, Hansa, Wall Street Market and Silkkitie and disrupting major cybercrime rings like Rex Mundi. However, in Europe, there’s a potentially even more important operation currently being run.

The Hack_Right initiative isn’t designed to track down and arrest suspected cyber-criminals, but instead to step in to prevent first-time-offenders becoming serial hackers. It works quite simply: when police spot a possible cyber crime, they visit the suspect and explain what happened – offering the culprit a type of community service rather than pushing them towards the criminal justice system. In this way, the individual gets 10-20 hours of ethical hacking training and help and advice on possible career paths or further education.

It’s a remarkably mature and progressive approach to policing reflective of the fact that the average age of a convicted cyber-criminal is just 19, according to Dutch cyber police. So far the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), which is running the programme along with its counterparts in the Netherlands, has already spoken with 400 youngsters. It’s proof of the vital role law enforcers can play in providing a deterrent to would-be offenders. Time will tell how well it works, but it’s worth a shot: the economics of cybercrime and the ease with which tools and know-how can be bought on the dark web mean there will always be a lure for budding black hats.

Focus on policing at CLOUDSEC
An increasingly important part of the CISO’s role is to co-ordinate effectively with law enforcement. That may be in the event of a major cybersecurity breach, where time is of the essence in terms of incident response. Or it could be during outreach and education programmes run by the police themselves. Whatever the cause, it makes sense to get familiar with how policing works in the high-tech crime prevention space.

That’s where CLOUDSEC comes in. Trend Micro’s annual event in September will feature an impressive roster of speakers from law enforcement. There’s former head of the UK’s Police National Cyber Crime Unit, Charlie McMurdie; UN cybercrime advisor, Alexandru Caciuloiu; and others to be announced.

Make sure you reserve your place today!

What: CLOUDSEC 2019
When: 13 September 2019
Where: Old Billingsgate Market, London

The view from the CISO at CLOUDSEC 2019

by Ian Heritage

Modern IT security leaders are increasingly caught in the middle: of rapidly professionalising cyber-criminals, nation state hackers, and board demands for more agile, digital-centric systems. Knowing how to mitigate cyber risk whilst supporting business needs to become more efficient and flexible can be a thankless task. That’s why CLOUDSEC this year is devoting more of its time to real-life case studies.

Sometimes the best way to learn what may work for your company is not from a vendor presentation, but by hearing first-hand how a counterpart in another organisation has managed. With that in mind, we’re delighted this year to welcome Magnus Carling, Chief Information Security Officer at Swedish ferry operator Stena AB.

Under attack
The past week alone has seen a raft of stories that perfectly characterise the pressure CISOs are under today. On the one hand, digital transformation projects risk exposing the organisation to threats on a whole new scale. A new Nominet report reveals that 53% of security leaders view security as a top concern, with customer data (60%), cyber-criminal sophistication (56%), an increased attack surface (53%), visibility blind spots (44%), and IoT devices (39%) all cited as issues.

On the other, the threat landscape has never been more varied or fast-changing. BEC scams are rapidly emerging as one of the biggest money-makers out there for cyber-criminals: new stats from the US treasury department claim that these attacks made the bad guys over $300m each month in 2018. CISOs must balance these and other threats like ransomware and crypto-jacking with more traditional attacks including phishing and vulnerability exploitation. One new report claims that over 800,000 machines worldwide are still exposed to the critical Bluekeep flaw – putting them in the firing line of a possible global worm-like campaign.

Sharing best practice
Fortunately, help is at hand. Trend Micro’s CLOUDSEC event has, for five years now, been offering expertise from some of the industry’s biggest names. This year is no exception: it will feature representatives from the United Nations, and luminaries who used to head up the Police National Cyber Crime Unit and the White House CIO’s office, among others including Trend Micro experts.

But we’ve also tried to go one better than previous years, by inviting CISOs from large multi-nationals to share their war stories and provide insight into how they manage the challenges of being a security leader at a time of unprecedented volatility and risk. That’s why we’ve got Magnus Carling along to speak during an industry case studies section of the show. He’ll be joined by Frank Thomas – Senior Director of Security Platforms and Engineering at Thomson Reuters – and another IT security leader to be confirmed.

Magnus is a seasoned CISO with a quarter of a century’s experience ensuring cybersecurity is always a business enabler and not the block on innovation that it can often become. He can also speak with authority about the challenges of regulatory compliance: Stena AB has operations in five areas including ferries, offshore drilling, property and finance. That means Magnus must manage GDPR as well as NIS Directive and a patchwork of other industry regulations.

CLOUDSEC will take place this year in the historic surroundings of Old Billingsgate, the perfect backdrop to explore how technology and cyber threats are forcing traditional industries to rethink their approach in our modern digital age.

Tickets are selling fast, so book now to reserve your place at the show.

What: CLOUDSEC 2019
When: 13 September 2019
Where: Old Billingsgate Market, London