Category Archives: Cloud security

How to beat cloud misconfiguration: Trend Micro @ Cloud Expo Europe

By Bharat Mistry

Cloud adoption is moving pretty fast. So fast, in fact, that sometimes organisations roll-out infrastructure without being able to fully support their end of the shared responsibility model. The bad news is that the vast majority of incidents still go unnoticed. That’s a compliance timebomb waiting to go off.

Fortunately, we have an answer. At Cloud Expo Europe this month, Trend Micro’s Cloud Security Architect, Ian Heritage, will be taking to the stage to explain all.

Clouds are everywhere
There was a time not so many years ago when the public cloud was only for the early adopters. It’s safe to say we’re well beyond that point now. In fact, Gartner predicts that the public cloud services market will grow 17% in 2020 to top$266 billion, and continue on to reach nearly $355 billion by 2022. 

However, as more firms build out hybrid cloud environments from multiple vendors, complexity rises. And as it does so, in-house teams find it increasing difficult to stay on top of the multiple competing protocols, policies and platforms they must manage. Sometimes they’ll have brought in different security vendors, which can create further complexity and allows coverage gaps to appear. 

Complexity means mistakes
The end result is inevitable: mistakes get made that can leave cloud data stores unprotected. You don’t have to go far to find an example. Whether it’s an online Elasticsearch database a MongoDB instance or an AWS S3 bucket, configuration incidents have impacted defence contractors like Boeing, big-name brands like Honda, and a whole host of companies and service providers in between.

The worrying news for CISOs is that, whereas over the past few years such leaks have usually been found and responsibly disclosed by security researchers, cyber-criminals are now starting to take notice. A growing number of cases have seen hackers probe for unsecured cloud databases, steal the data and hold it to ransom. One report even suggested that Magecart hackers are getting in on the act by trying to seed malicious digital skimming code in misconfigured buckets.

A cloud misconfiguration was also technically to blame for the mega-breach at Capital One which exposed data on 100 million customers and applicants.

Trend Micro at Cloud Expo
The cost to organisations could be massive. One vendor claims that over 33 billion records were exposed in leaks due to cloud misconfigurations in 2018 and 2019.

Fortunately, Trend Micro’s Cloud Conformity offers a solution: a cloud security posture management (CSPM) platform providing continuous monitoring, alerts and remediation of AWS and Azure environments. It will flag when configuration errors have been made and offer simple steps to get you back on track, all from a single pane of glass.

Join our Cloud Security Architect, Ian Heritage, at Cloud Expo Europe this month to hear how you can tackle the challenge of cloud misconfiguration, and in so doing drive DevOps and business growth. 

What: Cloud Misconfiguration Causes Breaches—How to Avoid it: Ian Heritage, Cloud Security Architect, Trend Micro. At Cloud Expo Europe.
Where: ExCel London, Keynote Theatre
When: Thursday, 12 March, 2020. 11.10-11.30 

Securing our cloud-connected world in 2020

By Ross Baker

It’s been a tough year for CISOs. The past 12 months has seen another spike in data breaches, cloud misconfigurations, and security threats at a DevOps layer. Ransomware is up, filelessmalware is on the rise, and business email compromise continues to increase. Trend Micro alone blocked over  26.8 billion unique threats in the first half of the year. With no let-up in store for 2020, cybersecurity leaders need to ensure they work with trusted partners — vendors with a clear vision of the future.

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As Server 2008 is retired, there’s an obvious alternative to Microsoft extended support

By Ross Baker

On the 14th of January 2020, Microsoft will be retiring its popular Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 products. This leaves businesses with a difficult choice: stick with the OS and pay for expensive extended support, spend time and resources on migration, or leave the company exposed to cyber-threats.

The good news is that there’s a better, lower cost option that will enable you to keep running Server 2008 whilst mitigating cyber risk and avoiding major disruption – invest in comprehensive server security.

Wait-and-see won’t do
Speaking to numerous businesses over recent weeks, a worryingly high number are prepared to adopt a wait-and-see policy (WASP) following the end of Server 2008 support on 14 January 2020. This amounts to an extreme hedging of bets and something we would definitely not recommend.  

Without Microsoft support, customers will no longer have access to security updates for Windows 2008. Unsupported servers will become be exposed to attacks exploiting vulnerabilities found after January 2020. This is more likely than you think: the black hats know there will be many organisations that may be running exposed servers and will be putting more resources into finding these bugs.  

To make matters worse, Microsoft will continue to release fixes for vulnerabilities in current versions of its server OS products which may also affect Server 2008. That’s an open goal for a hacker.

What are the alternatives?
One way out of this bind is to pay for Microsoft extended support, which will deliver security updates beyond the retirement deadline. But be warned, this is not cheap. An analysis of Microsoft’s End of Service FAQs from CRN reveals:
• The cost of Extended Security Updates will be 75% of the Enterprise Agreement or Server & Cloud Enrolment license prices of the latest version of SQL Server/Windows Server
• Firms will be covered for three consecutive 12-month increments following end-of-support, but must pay up-front for the first year
• Organisations that sign-up in the middle of a year must pay for the full year
• Companies that decide not to sign-up for a year and then do so the following year must pay for both years

Why go through all this when there’s an easier and more cost-effective alternative? 

Trend Micro Deep Security features a next-generation intrusion prevention system known as “virtual patching” to protect servers and endpoints from threats that target vulnerabilities in critical applications. It will keep your Windows Server 2008 systems safe even from zero-day threats that Microsoft hasn’t yet encountered.  Virtual Patching will also:

Buy additional time: for security teams to assess vulnerabilities and test and apply the necessary patches. 

Avoid unnecessary downtime: by allowing enterprises to patch according to their own schedule. This mitigates the potential revenue loss caused by unplanned disruptions.

Improve regulatory compliance: such as Cyber Essentials and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

Provide flexibility: by reducing the need to roll-out workarounds or emergency patches. 

Given the current threat landscape, WASP is simply not a risk worth taking for your organisation. Whether you need to stick on Windows Server 2008 for financial reasons or because of legacy application support, look to third-party virtual patching to minimise cyber risk and support your business beyond January 2020.

Find out more and how much you could save by visiting https://resources.trendmicro.com/uk-windows-server-end-of-support.html and try out our Windows 2008 End-of-Support Cost Savings Calculator.

Flying High in the Hybrid Cloud with More “Market Leader” Analyst Recognition

by Bharat Mistry

Modern organisations are laser-focused on business agility and the customer experience. To help them respond quicker to changing market demands they are turning to the hybrid cloud and DevOps. But this kind of innovation-centric digital growth can only be achieved with a strong and secure foundation. Trend Micro was one of the first to spot this emerging trend a decade ago, and today we’re recognised as the market leader.

In fact, we’re celebrating again, having just been named the “dominant leader” in IDC’s latest report, Worldwide Software Defined Compute Workload Security Market Shares, 2018

Why SDC workloads matter
As the IDC report explains, software-defined compute (SDC) covers a large number of abstraction technologies across the system software stack. Although technically a subset of endpoint security, SDC workload security is primarily designed to protect VMs, containers and cloud system software — and as such is commonly used in the context of cloud environments. Tools in this category can include things like anti-malware, firewall, host intrusion detection, application control and integrity monitoring.

Why does this matter? Because increasingly the cloud, and therefore VMs and containers, is being used to develop and support the microservices-based applications needed to drive faster, more responsive customer-facing experiences. But as we predict in our new report, The New Norm, these environments are set to come under much greater scrutiny by hackers over the coming decade. Cloud platforms are particularly at risk from code injection attacks, either directly or via third-party libraries, while containers and serverless architectures could be exploited because they contain vulnerable shared code components.

This poses an existential threat to modern businesses. If your cloud systems and apps get hacked, digital growth efforts could be halted in their tracks.

A long journey
Trend Micro’s share of the SDC workload security market now stands at over two-fifths, nearly triple its nearest competitor, according to IDC. That’s due in part to our vision in this space. Back in 2009 we acquired a little-known host-based intrusion-prevention and firewall software provider called Third Brigade. It was the start of a long journey, as we steadily built out our capabilities for virtual, hybrid cloud and container environments.

Today we offer comprehensive security across physical, virtual and hybrid cloud environments from a single pane of glass with tight integration into AWS, Azure and GCP. Trend Micro has also focused on automation and security-as-code to embed seamless protection into DevOps pipelines, including pre-runtime scanning of container images.

Most recently, we released XDR, which correlates data across email, network, endpoint, server and cloud workloads to spot and block malicious workload activity. And we bought leading cloud security posture management firm Cloud Conformity to tackle misconfiguration and compliance/governance challenges.

All of these capabilities and more will soon be offered as part of a holistic Cloud One solution that allows organisations to receive automated protection from a single console — minimising risk, management overheads and billing issues. Trend Micro is always looking one step ahead to provide protection where you need it.