Author Archives: Trend Micro UK

NATO is adapting to the new reality of cyber-threats: CLOUDSEC will help you do the same

by Bharat Mistry

It’s sometimes easy to forget how far and fast the threat landscape has evolved in just a few short years. We now live in a world where attacks by nation states are no longer a threat to just a handful of critical infrastructure (CNI) providers, but virtually any organisation. Accordingly, NATO’s secretary-general has issued a well-timed reminder that the military alliance would hit back hard if one of its member nations is attacked.

NATO is adapting to the “new reality” of cyber-threats that are “more frequent, more complex and more destructive,” he said. CISOs must too: and Trend Micro’s CLOUDSEC conference next month offers a great opportunity to find out how.

A new era
The article by Jens Stoltenberg this week is not the first time NATO has said a serious cyber-attack could invoke Article 5, where an attack against one ally is regarded as an attack on all. However, the fact that he has been forced to repeat the warning is significant. It reflects a new era characterised by aggressive nation state cyber-activity and concerns over just how exposed organisations, and society in general, are to attacks. 

As NotPetya and WannaCry showed us, nation state hackers can cause global chaos to organisations of all shapes and sizes, whether they planned to or not. For smaller firms, such attacks could have a catastrophic impact. New research from insurer Gallagher this week revealed that nearly a quarter of UK SMEs were hit by a “crisis” event cyber-attack last year, costing them a combined £8.8bn. The firm calculated that as many as 57,000 such firms could be at risk of collapse this year if hit by an attack which forced them to stop trading.

Even larger enterprises may find serious ransomware outages and data breaches result in brand and financial damage that’s hard to recover from. For Stoltenberg, the key to mitigating the growing threat from cyberspace is by increasing resources, improving legal and institutional frameworks and sharingexpertise.

CLOUDSEC is here to help
It’s in this last sphere that CLOUDSEC comes into play. This popular one-day cybersecurity conference hosted by Trend Micro annually brings together leading industry experts from academia, law enforcement, government and the private sector to debate the issues of the day. This year is no different. We have a former White House CIO; the UN’s cybercrime advisor; the former head of the UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit; CISOs from Stena, Oxford University and Thomson Reuters; and several threat experts from Trend Micro, among many others.

CLOUDSEC offers a valuable opportunity for attendees tolisten to their insight into the threat landscape and current industry trends, and experiences working in high-profile and extreme high-pressure roles. But that’s not all: the event also offers a fantastic networking opportunity for IT security leaders to hear from their peers in the industry, in an informal setting.

Like NATO, the modern CISO has to contend with a reality today where cyber-threats are the new normal. In this context, gaining as much situational awareness and tactical insight as possible is a no-brainer. Make sure you confirm your place today!

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

As Misconfiguration Errors Hit Home, CLOUDSEC Can Light the Path to Improved Cloud Security

by Bharat Mistry

British organisations have always been among the first to adopt new technologies to give themselves a competitive advantage. Cloud computing is no different: in fact, with an adoption rate at over two-fifths (41%), it significantly outpaces the EU-wide average. But while it promises more agile, efficient IT and a platform for innovative digital growth, the cloud can introduce extra uncertainty and security gaps. Prime among these are misconfiguration errors which we have warned about in the past. Now these mistakes are really starting to hurt businesses as hackers get smarter about automating attacks.

IT security teams need to lead the fightback through improved technology, policy and processes. But it can be tricky knowing where to start. That’s where CLOUDSEC 2019 can come in handy. Trend Micro’s popular one-day conference is back in London next month and features expert advice to guide you towards more secure cloud deployments.

Human error exposes data
The research community has been flagging misconfigured cloud databases for several years now. Organisations as diverse as Verizon, Dow Jones and the US Department of Defense have been found wanting as sensitive data stores are discovered exposed online without password protection. Millions of customers and records have been left open to the public in this way, residing on popular platforms like MongoDB, Elasticsearch, and Amazon S3.

The bad news is that attackers are now waking up to the opportunities these security gaps offer. Over the past two months alone we’ve seen:
• Choice Hotels held to ransom after hackers stole 700,000 customer records from a MongoDB instance
• Mexican bookstore Libreria Porrua held to ransom after attackers stole 2.1m records from an unsecured MongoDB database
• A new campaign automatically injecting Magecart digital skimming code into S3 buckets linked to over 17,000 websites
The companies managing these systems have been at pains to point out the issues are not their fault, and they’re right. In fact, it is the customer IT department, or their partner’s, that is to blame, according to the shared responsibility model of cloud security.

Managing cloud risk
To ensure your organisation doesn’t suffer by failing to prevent basic configuration mistakes, there must be a concerted effort to properly map and understand cloud infrastructure.

Consider the following as best practice:
– Perform a comprehensive audit of cloud assets: know what is stored where and how sensitive/high risk the data is.
– Run regular checks to see if there are any misconfigurations which could expose the above assets.
– Restrict access permissions to a policy of “least privilege” and consider adding two-factor authentication for extra security.
– Logging tools and network segmentation can further improve visibility and reduce risk.
– Choose third-party cloud security from a reputable provider like Trend Micro.

CLOUDSEC has your back
One final opportunity to improve your cloud security strategy lies with CLOUDSEC: Trend Micro’s annual security conference taking place in London next month. CLOUDSEC features a host of world-renowned experts including a former White House CIO; the UN’s current cybercrime advisor; CISOs from Oxford University, Thomson Reuters and elsewhere; and Trend Micro threat research leads.

This year, we’re also delighted to have Steven Bryen, Senior Technical Evangelist at Amazon Web Services, to share his wisdom with attendees in a keynote entitled: Improving your Security Posture with the Cloud. It will be a great opportunity to hear first-hand how – when configured correctly – the cloud can actually enhance security rather than lead to extra cyber-related risk.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

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

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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