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Cloud Security Staples Today's Enterprises Need

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Organizations have been venturing further into the cloud, faster than they anticipated just to deal with the whipsaw effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to 2020, organizations were learning that the cloud can help make them more agile. In 2020, they discovered cloud was essential for business continuity and organizational resiliency. However, cloud environments and everything connected to them must be secured.

In fact, cloud security like enterprise security itself has many parts that address different parts of the tech stack. Following are some of the essentials enterprises should have.

Security Review of Cloud Contracts (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)

Security professionals may not be privy to cloud contracts simply because no one thought to include them in the review. Alternatively, security may be viewed as an obstacle when a quick implementation is desirable.

One of the biggest misconceptions among non-security professionals is that a basic cloud service includes enough security, even though cloud providers offer an array of add-on security services. For example, AWS offers six categories of security services which include identity and access management (IAM), detection, infrastructure protection, data protection, incident response and compliance.

Another concept that’s not well understood is the shared responsibility model in which the cloud provider is responsible for managing and maintaining the infrastructure and the customer is responsible for:

  • Customer data
  • Platform, applications, IAM
  • OS, network and firewall configuration
  • Client-side data encryption and data integrity; authentication
  • Server-side encryption
  • Networking traffic protection (encryption, data integrity, authentication)

Security should review cloud contracts to ensure adherence to security policies, including the rules, mechanisms and monitoring of data ingress and egress.

Container Security

Containers were originally considered inherently secure, like cloud. Then, reality kicked in. Today, most developers realize that container security is “a thing,” but they may not know what to do about it.

Container applications, including their dependencies, need to be scanned for vulnerabilities, especially since they tend to include considerable third-party software. Rather than scanning near the end of the software development lifecycle (SDLC), scans should be run at various SDLC stages to ensure that the code is secure from its creation to runtime.

The communications patterns between containers should be monitored for changes and abnormalities as well as the communications between the containers and the host operating system.

There are also environmental considerations including the security of the container orchestration platform, the infrastructure and the deployment environments.

App Security/WAF

Some consider cloud app security synonymous with a cloud application security broker (CASB), but it’s not that simple. CASB monitors user behavior to identify suspicious activity so it can adapt access to resources accordingly. CASB also controls access to resources across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS and provides insights into the security posture across those services.

However, security should be designed into applications which is best accomplished through DevSecOps and shift-left testing. In addition, application security should also include:

Web application firewalls (WAFs) are a defense mechanism that helps prevent or minimize application attacks, botnets, denial of service (DoS) attacks and other threats.

Mobile and IoT security

Mobile and IoT devices require an endpoint security solution to ensure security at the edge, which is typically paired with zero trust network access (ZTNA) for dynamic access to resources. Mobile and IoT applications use cloud as a backend so CASB might be used to monitor activity and enforce security policies. Alternatively, a secure access service edge (SASE) which combines SD-WAN with CASB, firewall as a service (FWaaS) and other security features may be used instead.

Other mobile security elements to consider include:

  • Anti-virus/anti-malware
  • Email security
  • Enterprise mobility management (EMM)
  • Mobile device management (MDM)
  • Mobile threat defense
  • Secure web gateway
  • VPN

IoT security is a less mature category, but there are various solutions available now, some of which are specific to IIoT:

  • Authentication
  • Data security/encryption
  • Device discovery
  • Device security
  • Firmware security
  • M2M security
  • Embedded security
  • IoT cloud security
  • IIoT/ICS security

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Source: https://www.cshub.com/executive-decisions/articles/cloud-security-staples-todays-enterprises-need

Cyber Security

Find a Cybersecurity Career

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career guide

When it comes to career paths in tech and beyond, the cybersecurity industry remains a promising area of development. While many sectors experienced a drop in opportunity as a result of the economic instability and uncertainty that came with navigating an unprecedented global pandemic last year, the cybersecurity industry grew. Security threats associated with remote work, an increase in ransomware attacks, and other factors have all led to the increased demand for cyber professionals. During the pandemic, work listings for cybersecurity professionals increased by 65 percent.

According to a recent survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, cybersecurity is the top concern among CEOs of US-based businesses. One source of concern is that there aren’t enough people with the necessary skills to fill all of the open cybersecurity positions. This is an excellent time to think about one of the many different cybersecurity careers that are open to those who have the necessary experience.

Why Cybersecurity Career Paths Matter

To become a well-rounded cybersecurity professional, you must have a diverse set of skills. Early on in your cybersecurity career, exposure and experience are important building blocks that will become more valuable (and make you more effective) as your career progresses and you become a senior cybersecurity chief. More importantly, exposure and experience help you to determine which cybersecurity domains you want to work in, allowing you to tailor your career path accordingly. It’s important to gain experience in various areas of cybersecurity before committing to one as a career route.

Examples of Cybersecurity Career Paths

In the field of cybersecurity, there are several job options. You may see various categories and titles depending on the organisation or resource you read because it’s a relatively new and rapidly changing industry. However, it’s popular to divide paths into three categories:

1. Management

2. Technical

3. Senior leadership

Management: Security governance and oversight roles

The security monitoring and governance domain is concerned with the organization’s cybersecurity supervision and management. Though it’s critical to know as much as possible about technology and the technological complexities of cyber risk, this is a less technical field than others. Instead of configuring systems or delving into operational support, a career in this field involves programmatically managing security using business acumen, organisational management, and soft skills. Opportunities to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Training and awareness: Since the majority of cyber attacks are caused by human error, employee and consumer training and awareness is an important aspect of every cybersecurity strategy. A career in this field entails creating engaging and long-lasting curriculums and content to inform people about cyber threats and affect behavioural changes that foster protection.
  • Audits and compliance: Cybersecurity is all about checks and balances, so audits and enforcement are important. Many rules and regulations, such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA, define cybersecurity standards for regulated businesses. This career domain’s professionals strive to obtain, check, and maintain conformity with certain laws.
  • Third-party risk management: In today’s connected environment, businesses must consider the effect of their suppliers and partners on their security posture. Numerous security flaws arise as a result of attackers breaking into one company’s network and then using that connection to gain access to another linked company’s network. Professionals in this field assist in the verification and management of third-party protection to ensure that business partners do not pose a risk to the organisation.
  • Project management: Every security strategy includes process and technology components. To ensure that solutions are implemented successfully and efficiently, excellent project management systems are required to design and execute them.

Technical: Security engineering and operations roles

This section of the journey focuses on the more scientific aspects of cybersecurity. You’ll probably spend a lot of time here looking at processes, info, tools, and networks. Cyber threats must be avoided, detected, and responded to. Opportunities to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Cloud security: With so many companies migrating their data and activities to the cloud, the cloud has become a hot topic in cybersecurity. Working in this field entails securing data and systems in off-prem or cloud environments.
  • Identity and access management: Managing access is the first step in ensuring the confidentiality, fairness, and availability of data. People should have access to only what they want, and only when they require it. A career in access control will help you do exactly that.
  • Security engineering: A layered approach to enterprise security is needed. All of the designing and construction of the layers of security systems needed to protect the enterprise is covered by security engineering career paths. Building encryption systems, email protection systems, firewalls, and other technologies are examples.
  • Security operations: With a plethora of hackers working around the clock to target businesses, businesses must keep a constant eye on security posture, intrusion attempts, and other factors in order to protect against attacks. All of the monitoring and response is covered by a career in security operations.
  • Ethical hacking: Attempting to hack your own system is a perfect way to find flaws in your system. Professionals in this field are actively attempting to break into organisations’ structures and making suggestions for ways to enhance protection.

Senior leadership: Focusing on the people

Company culture and leadership, like every other industry, are essential to the company’s success. The following are some examples of opportunities in this space:

  • Chief information security officer: In cybersecurity, senior leadership is crucial. It’s critical to have a senior-level champion who leads the team and the organisation toward a world-class cybersecurity posture to achieve buy-in and help. This career path necessitates a wide range of cybersecurity expertise and knowledge, as well as good people management skills.
  • Managers and directors of domains: Depending on the size of the organisations, every domain requires some form of leadership or management. As a result, progressing in some domains can provide opportunities to move from doing hands-on work to leading and directing a team of professionals who then do the hands-on work. In any area, pursuing this career path necessitates a sense of balance. To elaborate, it’s critical to strike a balance between knowing the domain’s core values and best practises and knowing how to handle and inspire others.

Choosing a cybersecurity career path can be an exciting adventure. There is no correct or incorrect answer. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success. It’s critical to get a sense of what’s out there, try new things, learn everything you can, and find out which domains you enjoy the most. Then decide whether you want to develop more in-depth career pathways within those areas or gain broad experience in order to pursue more senior leadership positions. Considering career opportunities does not have to mean limiting yourself to a single sector. Have fun learning and developing along the way, no matter which direction is chosen.

Cybersecurity Career Options

The following is a list of full career profiles:

  • A company’s cybersecurity infrastructure, policy/planning, and implementation are developed and overseen by a chief information security officer, who is an executive-level role. This role necessitates both technical and managerial abilities.
  • Chief privacy officer (CPO) A chief privacy officer (CPO) is a modern executive-level role that is becoming more prominent in large corporations, organisations, and organisations, including municipalities and government agencies. This new position was established to ensure the security of sensitive data such as personal information and financial data.
  • Computer forensics These professionals are detectives who work with company officials or law enforcement to piece together an image of how a computer or computer system was compromised after a data, network, or security breach.
  • Computer security incident responder This job’s duties are almost identical to the job description. When a data breach or hack is discovered, incident responders are normally the first call to an agency or corporation. The job entails recording the attack and devising a strategy to counter it.
  • Cryptanalysts Today’s codebreakers who use mathematics, computer science, and engineering to examine various methods of data concealment. Although this job title is often interchanged with cryptographer, there is a difference within the industry.
  • Cryptographer Specializing in cryptography as a cryptographer is a new take on an ancient discipline. Cryptographers build (and decrypt) encrypted applications and services using algorithms and computer code.
  • Cybercrime investigators are unusual in that they are carried out remotely, can take place in virtual worlds, and involve complex collaboration across multiple nodes or hubs. After a hack or cyberattack, cybercrime investigators serve as digital detectives to help bring cybercriminals to justice.
  • Data protection officer (DPO) is a relatively new role created to meet the requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A DPO assists a corporation or organisation in developing and implementing data protection policies, since the legislation affects all businesses doing business in Europe.
  • Digital forensics These experts are the digital equivalents of sleuths. They are often charged with determining what happened during a security incident and reversing hacks and assaults. The demand for professionals with digital forensic expertise is increasing as the number of digital attack surfaces grows.
  • Ethical hacker A penetration tester, also known as an ethical hacker, is charged with finding weaknesses in a computer system or network. Before cybercriminals or black-hat hackers may exploit the systems, the aim is to find these vulnerabilities and recommend improvements or defences.
  • Malware analyst Malware analyst is a significant and rapidly rising position within the cybersecurity hierarchy. This critical feature, which is part security engineer, part digital forensics specialist, and part programmer, provides in-depth intelligence following a cybersecurity case.
  • Penetration tester A common role inside cybersecurity is that of a pen tester, also known as an ethical hacker. Companies or organisations pay penetration testers to search for software flaws and bugs before any hackers do.
  • Risk management is an important aspect of operating a business. For companies with a digital footprint, recognising and minimising cybersecurity risk is becoming increasingly essential. Risk managers today must have a diverse technical experience, including knowledge of cybersecurity.
  • Security administrator A security administrator is typically an IT-centric position that can concentrate on or shift into security-related responsibilities.
  • Security analyst A security analyst is in charge of overseeing security processes and ensuring that best practises are applied. The position of a security analyst varies greatly depending on the size and industry of the business that employs them, but the profession is growing in popularity across all industries.
  • Security architect Security architects are responsible for designing computer networks and other infrastructure with a focus on security and general integrity. This role often draws on a wide range of skills and experience, and it is regarded as a foundational feature when it comes to building stable and robust networks.
  • Security code auditor A security auditor, source code auditor, or security auditor are all terms used to describe this role. This role, which serves as an editor of sensitive security code, necessitates a diverse set of skills, including programming, knowledge of network and systems infrastructure, and experience with penetration testing and underlying security protocols.
  • Security consultant Security consultants also have a wealth of expertise and skills to draw on, and they are hired when a company or agency is trying to solve or eradicate a pressing security problem or issue.
  • Security engineer This is the highest-paying cybersecurity position on average, with a published (averaged) annual salary of $128,128. Security engineers are in charge of creating and managing security code and frameworks in order to protect data and infrastructure.
  • Security software developer A security software developer’s job is to take software that a company or organisation has written for its business or operations and add layers of security on top of it so that it is more resistant to attacks. This position straddles the worlds of conventional commercial software development and evolving information security in certain ways.
  • Security specialist A security professional is someone who has a thorough knowledge of strategies and best practises and may be assigned to a variety of security-related positions, depending on the size and complexity of the business or organisation.

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Source: https://cybersguards.com/find-a-cybersecurity-career/

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Cyber Security

Cybersecurity Degrees in Pennsylvania — Your Guide to Choosing a School

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Cybersecurity degrees

While cybersecurity is a growing area, not all states and regions have the same degree of educational and economic opportunity to fully prepare for the opportunities and jobs opportunities in the evolving industry.

Table of Contents

Cybersecurity Development in Pennsylvania

When it comes to cybersecurity growth, Pennsylvania is a bit of a mixed bag. It has several small cities, as well as many large metropolitan centres that are near to some of the world’s most significant business centres, such as New York and Washington, DC.

Furthermore, Pennsylvania used to be one of the country’s major manufacturing centres, but now focuses on banking, financial services, and insurance companies, especially in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is home to a large number of rapidly expanding technology firms.

As a result, relative to other partially rural states, Pennsylvania’s cybersecurity growth has accelerated. The Pennsylvania Office of Administration has successfully pressed for cybersecurity advancement in the state, resulting in multiple awards and the promotion of a cyber-aware society, among other things.

Cybersecurity Education in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is an excellent place to pursue cybersecurity education, particularly because three of its universities are ranked among the top ten HP cybersecurity schools. Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and West Chester University of Pennsylvania are the universities in question.

Other worthwhile schools are mentioned below, but these three provide robust cybersecurity initiatives as well as extensive resource networks to aid in job search after graduation.

Why is Pennsylvania such a good cybersecurity state?

For instance, the Army Research Laboratory is leading the latest Cyber-Security Collaborative Research Alliance with Penn State. Present and potential cybersecurity practitioners will use this cybersecurity research collective to push the boundaries of current cybersecurity knowledge.

Furthermore, Amazon, Google, Tesla, and Adobe all have major presences in Pennsylvania and its universities. All of these big corporations have made substantial investments in the future of cybersecurity, and those who make the cut will have excellent job opportunities. They are responsible for a significant portion of the state’s existing cybersecurity jobs and growth.

Overall, Pennsylvania is well-positioned along the United States’ East Coast, with plenty of cybersecurity research and job openings within its borders and other companies within driving distance for many of its graduates.

Associate Degrees

Campus-based cybersecurity associate’s degrees in Pennsylvania

As a starting point, associate degrees in cybersecurity are ideal. They usually have curricula that concentrate on fundamental cybersecurity and computer science concepts, as well as many of a student’s general education requirements. These degrees aren’t always enough to get you a work in cybersecurity, but they’re a good place to start.

Butler County Community College, the Community College of Pennsylvania, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and Pennsylvania Highlands Community College are the five colleges that deliver on-campus associate degrees in cybersecurity.

The majority of the degrees on offer are in computer science, with cybersecurity as a specialty or specialisation. This isn’t surprising, considering the need for an associate’s degree to concentrate on general knowledge rather than details.

Online Associate Degrees

There are no online associate degree options in Pennsylvania. Students will also get a cybersecurity education online from a Pennsylvania school if they participate in a bachelor’s programme or higher; these programmes would have the foundational courses that most associate degrees do as well.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Campus cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees in Pennsylvania

Bachelor’s degrees are far more focused on their subject matter, with more courses relating to cybersecurity or computer science expertise in their curricula. These degrees are typically the entry-level qualifications required for employment in the cybersecurity sector.

In Pennsylvania, 11 colleges offer on-campus bachelor’s degree programmes. Penn State University’s cybersecurity programme is renowned for its extensive class offerings and comprehensive educational pathways, as well as its connections to numerous cybersecurity organisations that can help you find work after graduation.

Because of its proximity to many cybersecurity firms and major metropolitan areas, the University of Pittsburgh is also a good choice. Although these do not have a direct impact on the school’s program’s efficiency, they do include comprehensive networking opportunities during and after school.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Pennsylvania colleges and universities now offer five online bachelor’s degree programmes. At Penn State’s Main Campus, two of these are accessible. Their programmes place a heavy emphasis on basic programming and statistical awareness, as well as the mathematical underpinnings of many cybersecurity concepts. These systems, on the other hand, are well-known for their outstanding performances.

Although it is in Cyber Forensics and Information Security, Robert Morris University also has an excellent curriculum. If you want to merge a passion for criminal justice with your cybersecurity expertise, this might be a great degree for you.

Master’s Degrees

Campus-based cybersecurity master’s degrees in Pennsylvania

Master’s degrees aren’t required to work in cybersecurity, but they can open more doors to jobs than a traditional bachelor’s degree and have more advanced expertise in cybersecurity sub-fields. If you want to focus on a specific position or job direction, such as analysis, threat monitoring, or security, these degrees are a great option.

Carnegie Mellon University is one of 11 universities that deliver on-campus master’s degrees in cybersecurity. This school stands out because of its high rankings in multiple cybersecurity programme rankings as well as a diverse list of degree titles. Regulation and management, privacy engineering, information technology, and general information networking are all options.

Of course, Penn State’s master’s degree programmes enable students who have already completed their bachelor’s degree at the university to continue their education faster than if they moved.

Online Master’s Degrees

There are 12 schools in Pennsylvania that deliver online master’s degrees, with Penn State once again leading the list due to its wide range of degree titles and excellent curricula. These programmes do demand that all students have a bachelor’s degree in math or technology, but they still provide one of the best cybersecurity educations in the state to those who make the cut.

For those with three years of work experience and an asynchronous schedule, Carnegie Mellon offers an MS online degree in Information Technology; it’s a great option for part-time students who need to work while studying.

Finally, Robert Morris University offers an MS in cybersecurity for current IT practitioners, as well as many specialisations for an Enterprise Systems focus.

Certifications

Campus-based cybersecurity certificate programmes in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania schools offer 11 different certificates. These certificates help you to advance your career or sharpen your cybersecurity skills in a specific field. Alternatively, you can receive these certificates without having a cybersecurity degree and, with the right advice, get a job in the sector.

Online Certificate Programs

A large number of online credential programmes are also available. In addition to the schools listed above, several of these are accessible from:

Cybersecurity Jobs in Pennsylvania

According to CyberSeek, Pennsylvania has 14,441 open cybersecurity jobs, compared to a total cybersecurity workforce of 29,851. As a result, the supply/demand ratio for cybersecurity staff is 2.1, relative to a national average of 2.0. All of this means that while there are less cybersecurity positions in Pennsylvania than in larger or more urban states, there are still plenty of opportunities for cybersecurity professionals and graduates.

The majority of these jobs are entry-level or middle-management roles, such as cybersecurity engineers and analysts, cybersecurity managers and administrators, and vulnerability analysts and penetration testers. As a result, there are several job opportunities for new or experienced cybersecurity professionals.

The majority of jobs will be in Pittsburgh or similar metro areas, but you must consider the cost of living in this mixed rural/urban state. On a scale of one to ten, Pennsylvania’s average cost of living is 92.5, with ratings below 100 indicating a lower cost of living than the national average.

The average hourly wage for a cybersecurity worker in Pennsylvania is $46.93, with an annual income of about $97,000. These wages would go a bit farther in Pennsylvania than in other states, potentially making it a good place to save money or raise a family.

Pennsylvania and Cybersecurity

Overall, Pennsylvania is an excellent option for those interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity. Because of its proximity to many other tech-oriented states, there are numerous educational opportunities and choices, as well as many paths to consistent jobs either in the state or within a short distance of those schools.

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Source: https://cybersguards.com/cybersecurity-degrees-in-pennsylvania-your-guide-to-choosing-a-school/

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Cyber Security

Researchers Discovered Apple’s Find My’s Offline Finding Network to Upload Data from Devices

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Apple

Researchers have found a way to use Apple’s Find My’s Offline Finding network to upload data from computers that aren’t connected to the internet or mobile networks.

The data is sent to nearby Apple devices that can connect to the Internet through Bluetooth Low Energy, and then to Apple’s servers, where it can be retrieved at a later date.

According to researchers with Positive Security, a Berlin-based security consulting company, the technique could be used to escape the costs and power consumption associated with mobile Internet, or to exfiltrate data from Faraday-shielded sites visited by iPhone users.

Positive Security discovered a way to use Find My BLE broadcasts to send data to nearby Apple computers, based on a March 2021 study from academic researchers at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany, which explains weaknesses in Apple’s Find My network.

Although the link between an AirTag and an Apple device is protected using an Elliptic Curve key pair, the owner device doesn’t know which particular key is used by the AirTag, so it produces a list of keys that AirTag has recently used, as well as querying an Apple service for their SHA256 hashes, according to Positive Security’s researchers.

According to the researchers, “Apple does not know which public keys belong to your AirTag, and therefore which location reports were intended for you.”

The position reports, on the other hand, can only be decrypted with the correct private key, but the researchers discovered that they could verify if such reports exist for a given SHA256 hash and even add reports to it.

“In the shared key-value store, we can set arbitrary bits and query them again. We can transmit arbitrary data if both the sender and receiver agree on an encoding scheme,” the researchers demonstrate.

The researchers used the ESP32 microcontroller, an OpenHaystack-based firmware, and a macOS application to retrieve, decode, and view the transmitted data in their setup, which they published on GitHub as proof-of-concept code.

The sending rate is about 3 bytes per second, but higher speeds are possible. Depending on the number of nearby devices, a latency of 1 to 60 minutes was reported.

The method could be used to upload sensor readings or other data from IoT devices, exfiltrate information from air-gapped networks, or even deplete the mobile data plans of nearby iPhones (through broadcasting many unique public keys).

Apple should enforce authentication of the BLE advertising (the current setup doesn’t distinguish between real and spoofed AirTags) and rate limit the position report retrieval to prevent such an assault.

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Source: https://cybersguards.com/researchers-discovered-apples-find-mys-offline-finding-network-to-upload-data-from-devices/

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Cyber Security

IOTW: Ransomware Attack Closes Colonial Pipeline

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Signs point to the fact that it was DarkSide, a Robin Hood-like hacking group who successfully executed a ransomware attack that shutdown the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline. There are conflicting reports about how the incident will further impact the distribution of U.S. domestic oil to the Eastern states and gas prices. 

Private companies working with U.S. government agencies shutdown the cloud servers from which the attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and 12 other companies were launched. They also retrieved the stolen data which was bound for Russia.

The main pipeline has been closed for several days. While the smaller pipelines were also affected, they were restored first as part of a phased plan. The Pipeline stretches from Texas to the Northeast, delivering about 45% of the fuel consumed by the East Coast.

The Facts

On Friday, May 7, the Colonial Pipeline announced its operations had been halted as a result of a ransomware incident that shutdown the main pipeline and smaller pipelines. Incident response began the day before, on Thursday. 

By Sunday, the smaller lines were operational again. However, the mainline remains down at the time of this writing. Early in the week, President Joe Biden worked with the Department of Transportation to lift oil trucking hour restrictions to keep the gas products flowing. On Wednesday, the White House released an Executive Order on Imrpoving National Cyber Security. The Colonial Pipeline is now fully operational, but not before panic-stricken consumers started hoarding gas and complaining about price gouging.

The Colonial Pipeline transports more than 2.5 million barrels a day of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and natural gas via Gulf Coast pipelines that span more than 5,500 miles.

Reuters reported that the hackers stole more than 100 GB of data and that the FBI and other government agencies had successfully collaborated with private companies to take down the cloud servers the hackers used to steal the data. The ransom amount remains undisclosed and so does Colonial Pipelines’ response to the extortion attempt.  

DarkSide claims it does not target schools, hospitals, nursing homes or government organizations and that it donates part of its bounty to charity. The group reportedly demands payment for a decryption key and is increasingly demanding additional payment not to publish stolen data. DarkSide also stated on its website recently that it is not geopolitically motivated.

The Colonial Pipeline attack has been deemed “the worst attack on critical infrastructure to date.” 

Lessons Learned

U.S. critical infrastructure has become a popular cyberwarfare target. The weak underbelly has been aging tech and industrial control systems (ICSs) which may lack adequate physical and cyber security.

The problem isn’t a new one, but the number of attacks continue to rise.

Quick Tips

No business is immune from a ransomware attack.

  • Limit administrative privileges.
  • Limit the use of hardware and software to authorized hardware and software. While this may not be possible in all organizations, it is important for critical infrastructure organizations.
  • Monitor system, application, network and user behavior for anomalous activity.
  • Do a thorough cybersecurity assessment that involves white hat penetration testing. Critical infrastructure organizations should check for physical and cyber weaknesses.
  • Fortify the soft spots.
  • Have an incident response plan in place that involves operations, finance, legal, compliance, IT, risk management and communications.
  • Patch software as soon as possible.
  • Train and update the workforce on cyber hygiene.
  • If your company is attacked, engage a firm that specializes in forensics. Contact local and federal law enforcement, as appropriate.

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Source: https://www.cshub.com/attacks/articles/iotw-ransomware-attack-closes-colonial-pipeline

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