Supply chain risk to dominate 2020: from the cloud all the way to the remote worker

by Bharat Mistry

We all know that the success or otherwise of most modern organisations depends to a large degree on their supply chains. From professional services partners to software providers and transportation contractors, an average enterprise could maintain hundreds of these partnerships. But these all threaten to introduce extra risk to the business, especially in the cyber domain.

Trend Micro’s newly released 2020 predictions report highlights some of the key areas where organisations may be exposed next year: from cloud and managed service providers (MSPs), new DevOps dependencies and even supply chain risks associated with their remote workers.

A new spin on an old risk
Supply chain risk is not a new phenomenon per se. The infamous NotPetya ransomware attacks of 2017 were introduced via the software supply chain, for example, while Operation Cloud Hopper was a major attack campaign targeting global organisations via their MSPs.

However, the scale of the threat coming down the line requires urgent attention. It stems to a large degree from the way organisations are changing the way they work. Digital transformation is viewed by many as an essential driver of business growth, enabling firms to respond with agility to changing market demands. In practice, this means cloud and DevOps increasingly taking centre stage in the IT departments of the coming decade.

More agility, more risk?
Unfortunately, this will introduce new cyber risk. First, organisations’ increasing reliance on third-party cloud providers will encourage attackers to go after data stored in these accounts, via code injection attacks exploiting deserialisation bugs, cross-site scripting and SQL injection. They’ll also capitalise on mistakes made when misconfiguration of these accounts leaks data to the public-facing internet.

Next, they’ll look to exploit the reliance of DevOps teams on third-party code in container components and libraries to compromise microservices and serverless environments. As these architectures become increasingly commonplace, so will attacks.

The risk posed by MSPs will also escalate, enabling a much higher ROI for attackers because they can access multiple customers via a single provider. Such threats will imperil corporate and customer data, and even pose a risk to smart factory and other environments.

Finally, supply chain risk may come from an unlikely source in 2020 and beyond. As remote and home working becomes the norm for many employees, hackers may come to view these as a handy stepping-stone into corporate networks. Whether they’re logging-on via unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots or at home, where smart home flaws could provide an unlocked door to sneak through, these employees need to be considered as part of holistic enterprise risk management strategies.

What to do
I
t will be tough for CISOs to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change as we head through the next decade. But it’s vital that teams are equipped with the right tools and strategies to manage these third-party risks and other threats to the bottom line and corporate reputation. Here’s a snapshot of advice offered in the report:

  • Improve due diligence of cloud providers and MSPs
  • Conduct regular vulnerability and risk assessments on third parties
  • Invest in security tools to scan for vulnerabilities and malware in third-party components
  • Consider Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools to help minimise the risk of misconfigurations
  • Revisit security policies regarding home and remote workers

To find out more on our predictions for 2020 and advice on how best to manage risk in your business, check out the report here.

Tackling risk in a multi- and hybrid cloud world

by Bharat Mistry

Cloud computing sits front-and-centre of most organisations’ growth plans today. The sheer scalability and cost efficiencies that can be wrung out of on-demand compute services helpfirms to do more with less, respond with greater agility to meet market demands, support seamless DevOps processes, and run a leaner, greener business. It’s no surprise that the public IaaS market grew over 31% in 2018 to top $32 billion.

Yet cybersecurity is a perennial barrier to cloud success, and it’s getting harder as cloud deployments grow in scale and complexity. Put simply, organisations can no longer handle their cloud security needs with a collection of point products. They need a simple, unified platform for maximum visibility and control.

Fragmented and risky
The macro trend points to increased cloud adoption as digital transformation efforts taking hold across a range of verticals. But peer closer and the picture is much more nuanced. In reality, there are many different flavours of cloud adoption. No two organisations are alike and running the same kind of IT infrastructure. Legacy servers may sit alongside virtualised infrastructure and/or public cloud deployments. Then there are fast-emerging services like containers and serverless. Some organisations may be investing in multiple platforms from different providers, ramping the complexity up even further.

In dynamic hybrid and multi-cloud environments like these, CISOs need to ensure that workloads are protected wherever they are. At the same time, hackers are increasingly focusing their efforts on exploiting vulnerabilities in containers and the third-party code that is shared and reused in the developer community to accelerate DevOps. Then there’s the challengeof human error, with misconfiguration of cloud architecture a major risk.

The impact of security breaches could be catastrophic, leading to data theft, ransomware, and other cyber-threats that could undermine brand value and damage the bottom line.

Trend Micro unifies cloud security
Up until now, organisations have had no choice but to keep running multiple point products to secure various parts of their hybrid cloud infrastructure. But it doesn’t have to be this complicated. 

Cloud One from Trend Micro brings together the world’s leading workload security service and container image scanning/runtime protection with brand-new offerings for application security, network security, file storage security and cloud security posture management (CSPM). The latter comes from Trend Micro’s recent acquisition of Cloud Conformity – delivering a product designed to mitigate misconfiguration mistakes and enhance security compliance and governance in the cloud.

Whatever stage your cloud journey is at, you’ll get simplified, automated protection delivered from a single console, with single-sign on, common user and cloud-service enrolment, and a common pricing and billing model.

Available from Q1 2020, Cloud One will cover:• Trend Micro™ Cloud One – Workload Security• Cloud One – Container Image Security• Cloud One – File Storage Security• Cloud One – Network Security• Cloud One – Cloud Posture Management• Cloud One – Application Security

To find out more, please visit https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/business/campaigns/cloud-one-services.html

Industry 4.0: protecting the smart factory from escalating cyber-threats

by Ian Heritage

As in many other sectors, manufacturing organisations are rapidly embracing digital transformation to drive efficiencies, agility and growth. In so doing, they’re investing in new industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems to accelerate convergence between previously siloed IT and OT spheres. But this digital revolution also opens the door to new threats, as previously air-gapped systems and proprietary technologies are brought online and exposed to remote hackers.

That’s why Trend Micro has just announced major new security products designed to enhance visibility and protection for imperilled industrial control system (ICS) environments.

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Tackling CSAM One Wi-Fi Hotspot at a Time

by Bharat Mistry

At Trend Micro our work to combat online threats and make the digital world a safer place stretches far beyond the obvious: malware and cyber-attacks on customers. In fact, since 2008 our Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) programme has been a leading light in the industry, spearheading Trend Micro’s efforts to be a more responsible corporate citizen. One of its core goals is to help combat the spread of child sex abuse material (CSAM) online.

We’re delighted to be driving these ambitious aims forward, most recently with newly minted recognition as a “Friendly WiFi Approved Provider” in the UK.

Family friendly Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is rightly regarded with some suspicion by cybersecurity experts, who point out that it could enable attackers to eavesdrop on private conversations and even steal important log-ins. However, there’s another risk: that the internet service behind it could allow individuals, especially young people, to view inappropriate and even CSAM material.

First trailed by the Prime Minister in 2013 and launched the following year, the Friendly WiFi scheme is industry’s response. By applying to be certified under the scheme, public and guest Wi-Fi providers can show they’re putting their customers first. How? By offering global public assurance that the wireless networks consumers use when out and about is independently certified as filtered from pornography and CSAM.

Although Trend Micro doesn’t run its own public/guest Wi-Fi networks across the UK, we wanted to get involved and show our support for the initiative and the wider aims of online safety that ISKF has been driving for over a decade. That’s why we’re delighted to now be certified as an Approved Provider.

ISKF and the next decade

This latest recognition can be seen as part of our three-pronged approach to tackling CSAM. This is built around the following tenets:

Educate: raising awareness among young people about the risks involved in sharing images or trusting people online.

Integrate into products/services: blocking known CSAM using watchlists such as those run by the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and building it into our products, ie via web reputation. We’ll also alert industry hotlines if our products and services come across such content.

Collaborate: We’re already serving on the advisory board of the INHOPE Foundation, a global association of internet hotlines.And we’re always on the lookout for new ways to team up with like-minded organisations across the world.

Friendly WiFi is just the latest in a long line of initiatives by ISKF to extend our goal of creating a world safe for the exchange of digital information to the world’s youngest citizens. We educate, we collaborate, we innovate and we practice what we preach all around the world in order to help realise this vision.

Trend Micro’s bottom-line message to kids and families is that, if you’re online: be safe, be savvy and be kind. It might not always be easy, but there’s plenty of support and advice on our website to help those who need it.