Tag Archives: Enterprise IT security

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.

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