Effective Vulnerability Management Process

Organisations store and retrieve information every now and then. In this era of information, the security of data is the prime requirement of every individual. Therefore, organisations strive hard to keep the confidentiality and integrity of their data asset secure and strong.

Vulnerability is a feebleness of an asset or group of assets that is exploited by the threats. Vulnerability management is referred to the process of identification and elimination of weakness in the data assets which can be exploited by the data threats. It is done with the help of different process depending upon the management life-cycle of organisations.

Whatever the process of management is adopted by the organisation, it is imperative to understand that vulnerability identification is a must in any way. Without identification of vulnerabilities, it is not possible to handle data security.

Effective Vulnerability Management Process
Effective Vulnerability Management Process
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The Importance of Effective UEBA When Countering Insider Threats

While considering all of the problems experienced by today’s IT security team, the most difficult detection of threats is within the organization. Most of the tools are designed to protect the infrastructure from external risks and do not track the threats that are within the firewall.

The insider threat is divided into three main groups. One must be treated by malicious employees. They can try to create a new revenue source by selling valuable data to competitors or creating client databases for new employers.

The second group is called “intruder.” These are the people that have devices infected with malware and used it to connect to corporate IT infrastructure. Some might only attach a USB key to your company’s PC and malware transfers to the PC.

The third group is the called “random informer.” They are employees who accidentally leak confidential emails to others or put a laptop on the back of the taxi. They do not intend to hurt your organization, but your actions end there.

The role of UEBA

More and more organizations are turning to user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to protect themselves from internal threats. These tools use the rapid development of artificial intelligence and machine learning and help the security team to overcome the challenges.

Many user and entity behavior analytics tools are available to the organization, but the most effective need is too capable of identifying the internal threats before some suspicious thing happens

Given the most appropriate UEBA tool, the security team must evaluate four key criteria. They are as follows:

 1. The ability to prepare data and associate it with an identity

Data used for monitoring and security response can be obtained from various sources. This includes accessing the control systems and content control filters, network management platforms and firewalls. It is necessary to understand the reliability of these data and to analyze whether they contain signals of unauthorized activity.

Also, these data must be associated with a specific user. Account IDs, such as Active Directory, cloud, e-mail access, etc. All of them must be stored in one place. Therefore, if a user accesses a financing application, accesses Dropbox and downloads a large data file, you can create a database of behavior using the AI ​​function or the machine learning function, but it is possible to associate it with a specific user. This is not useful if you are not associated with a particular user.

2. Use real-time analytics to detect threats

Effective UEBA tools can also support the security team by analyzing large amounts of collected data using analytical functions to determine user behavior in real time.

This tool should be able to identify the threat using statistical analysis and trending learned reliably. This increases the way in which risks are prioritized and helping in minimizes false positives by adjusting the outcome of factors such as risks and contexts.

3. AI / ML to enable hunting and user monitoring

The selected user and entity behavior analytics tool can help organizations stay ahead of unauthorized use and automatically identify the most significant threats for further analysis. As a result, the security team can prevent the many low-level warnings and focus their time and effort on the most serious threats.

Here, the use of the AI / ML cloud tool will bring great benefits to the organization. Because this requires much effort for its configuration before installation, it can reduce installation costs compared to the on-premise deployment.

 4. Strong integration with the underlying data platform

The 4th requirement for an efficient user and entity behavior analytics tool is the capability to differentiate among the simple anomalies and the real threats. This is achieved by using a situation that is provided by evaluating all of the available data and is particularly useful when the tool is intensely incorporated in the data store.

With such integration, security groups can have a single pane that centrally manages the legal visibility of the complete IT infrastructure. It can respond quickly to incidents and provide more effective protection for the organization.

Given these requirements, the security team can be convinced that the best and optimal UEBA tool has been selected for deployment. This ensures effective protection against one of the most complex internal threat sources.

Top 3 Disastrous Data Breaches Of Recent Times

Hundreds of data breaches are taking place on a daily basis. Hackers are devising new strategies to break into your defenses and cause you serious damages. Because of the vital importance of data and information, counter strategies have been made to protect the data.

We install data security software programs and applications on our PCs to protect us from these costly breaches, but almost 80% of breaches remain undetected before their occurrence. Antivirus, firewalls, windows defenders and other systems stood guard against these threats, but all became vulnerable to these dangers. However, Software Intelligence Event Management (SIEM) provides better security by applying advanced security measures.

Different SIEM systems offer different service capabilities. A SIEM system can analyze millions of events per second. We can protect our data by using SIEM as a service.

Here are the disastrous data breaches that took place in the recent years

Yahoo

Yahoo was once a technology giant. In 2016, when Yahoo was negotiating with Verizon for selling its business, it announced the largest data breach of its history. It was reported that the breach compromised the data of more than 500 million users. The hackers had stolen the names, email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information.

Yahoo recently revised the estimate of loss and stated that the data of 3 billion users was compromised. Verizon bought the company for $4.48 billion, which was then worth more than $100 billion. The amount of loss inflicted by the data breach becomes approximately $95 billion.

eBay

eBay is one of the biggest online auction stores. In 2014, hackers broke into its system and stole the data of all 145 million users. The data involved names, passwords and email addresses.

The hackers entered the system by using the credentials of a few of its corporate employees. They remained in the system for 229 days and reached the database to steal all the information.

The company observed a decline in user activity after this breach. It is recommended to approach a competent information security consultant to avoid such losses.

Equifax

One of the largest financial organizations dealing with credit cards has been recently hit by a cyber-attack, which resulted in the loss of personal information of more than 143 million users. The data involved social security numbers, names, passwords and other personal information. The credit card data of 2,090,000 consumers was also compromised in this attack.

The company was of the view that the breach took place because of an application vulnerability on one of their websites.

What Risks Do Cyber Security Threats Pose To The UAE’s Oil Industry?

It is a well-known fact that the oil industry is the backbone of the UAE’s economy. In fact, considering that the UAE has signed a pact to constrain oil production, the country had to lower its crude oil out for the sake of compliance. Presently though, the country’s oil industry is unprotected against new cyber security risks. This necessitates professional and thorough security threat and risk assessment within local oil businesses. Like other Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the UAE is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Oil companies in the UAE are not even properly aware of the potential cyber security risks that pose a threat to them.

How Severe Is The Threat?

The severity of the threat that a cyber security risk may pose to an oil company may vary, depending on the goals of the culprit. For instance, a cyber attack may result in the leaking of critical, top-secret information. Culprits behind a cyber-attack on an oil company may even sabotage its operation.

Where Does The Vulnerability Lie?

Worms, a malware computer program capable of multiplying, have been specifically designed to target the data acquisition, logic and supervisory control programs that are currently in use within oil companies. Back in 2010, several gas and oil companies in Iran fell victim to the Stuxnet virus, even though they were not the intended the targets. This was an eye-opener.

Where Does The Vulnerability Lie?

Oil companies can actually increase their vulnerability to cyber attacks even just by using common enterprise applications. This is because oil companies use various integration technologies to integrate these applications with their plant infrastructure, connecting them with a wide range of devices within the plant. If the connections between them are unsecured, cyber attackers can take advantage of them.

What Is The Worst That Could Happen?

  • In petroleum companies, the systems that manage tank information and gauge the tanks are interconnected. Some are even indirectly involved in the control of tank filling. Cyber-criminals can hack into these systems, altering critical values, such as an oil tank’s maximum filling limit, which could lead to disastrous consequences like an explosion.
  • Using a malicious, remotely operated computer program, a cyber criminal may alter a petroleum company’s critical oil stock information. In such a scenario, a company may realize that its oil stock has depleted and it may not be able to provide oil to its customers, resulting in the company being deemed fraudulent and suffering drastic losses.
  • As mentioned, cyber criminals can easily sabotage the equipment at a petroleum plant since they are connected to enterprise and other such applications, especially if the connections are unsecured. This way, they can remotely tamper with critical equipment measurements related to pressure and temperature, which could lead to equipment malfunction, resulting in the wastage of valuable financial resources and time.

Conclusion

The solution to such cyber-security threats may sound rather commonplace and ordinary, but oil companies in the UAE can simplify matters just by hiring a managed security services UK-based firms. When it comes to cyber security vulnerabilities, the entire critical infrastructure of an oil company, and the UAE’s oil industry at large, depends on being protected from such threats. Considering everything that can potentially happen if a cyber-criminal hacks through, it is not worth taking the risk by not deploying some sort of a security operation.

How To Protect Yourself From Cyber Attacks?

It is necessary for you to take cyber security seriously because it can leave you in trouble without even getting noticed. All around the world, businesses and technology experts have been busy in talking about it because it is such an issue which is troubling thousands of organizations. In short, it is the matter to be taken so much seriously regardless if you are a small, medium-sized or a huge organization.

Bank robbery, data compromising and hacking all these things are actually the main issues. And cyber-attacks are the reasons why these all are happening around the world on daily basis. To keep your firm safe from these attacks, the London SOC could be the right choice. Following are some of the main cyber-threats of the present era.

Hacking:

The hacking is something we all are well aware about, even the small children knows what it is. This cyber-attack penalizes the business completely. It can bring financial loss, as well as data corruption and stealing.

Viruses:

These are small hazardous files that arrive with the data transferred from an unknown online store, USB or other data traveler. It slowly starts corrupting all the data to leave you with nothing.

Malware:

The mostly enter your network from online sources. They also infect your data by either changing their format or locking them with some kind of unknown malicious security keys.

How to avoid Cyber Attacks?

The best way to avoid the cyber-attacks is via regular Security Threat and Risk Assessment. In the market there are a lot of 3rd party network information security consultant and service providers. Apart from that, following are some of the precautions which could also save us from these devastating cyber-attacks.

Providing Personal Information:

When you are providing the personal information or credentials to someone, make sure you don’t provide it in the form of text message or on email.

Keep the Anti viruses Updated:

You must keep all your anti viruses updated all the time. Never ever turn off the updates, otherwise it is going to be a problem for you when some new malware will attack.

Keep Strong Passwords:

It is highly recommended to keep your passwords really strong. Add special characters and those words that are actually really hard to guess.

Spy Through An iPhone

The stunning features of an iPhone device attract customers from all over the world. Friends boast the faster processing speeds, the seamless functionality and the dynamic layout of applications of an iPhone device in the face of an Android mobile user. It could come to a surprise to these avid Apple product users and fans that loopholes in the operating system of the iPhone devices enable certain applications to spy on its users.

The irony of the matter is that the user when spied on is never prompted or indicated in any way. The application can turn on the camera by itself without letting the user know that it is accessing the phone’s camera and take photos, videos and much more. Managed Security Services Dubai and Sharjah are scrambling to provide protection to their high-value customers from this new threat.

This alarming new threat to iPhone users was only recently discovered by a security expert named Felix Krause, last week on Wednesday. Felix is also an entrepreneur and an ethical hacker. On his website, he proved to the world by making an iOS application that could without any hint take photographs of the phone user.

The iPhone has been known for the security and privacy it ensures for its users. To protect the iPhone user, an application has to be scrutinized by Apple to be made available on the Apple Store. Regrettably, the application that Krause constructed fulfilled all standards Apple enforces on every application it makes available for download on its Apple Store. Yet, Krause’s application could infringe a user’s privacy. However, cloud security services protect the user’s information that has already left the iPhone and stored in a protected server.

Krause explained that the exploitation of this loophole is not because of a weakness of software designs or Apple’s own security benchmarks, but in the blanket approve all applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook require to use the phone’s camera.

A malicious application can exploit this expansive approval to access the camera of the phone and;

  • Access both the front and back of the phone’s camera
  • Make a video of the user anytime while the application is running in the background
  • Take pictures and video without the approval or prompting the user
  • Live stream a video from the iPhone of the unsuspecting user
  • Run real-time face recognition software to recognize and detect the user and the people sharing the device or an in the proximity of the camera
  • Based on the images collected the application can reveal the location of the user
  • Build a 3D image of the user’s face
  • Cause a great deal of embarrassment to the user (let your imagination run wild – seriously)

Krause suggested that Apple should give only temporary approval to an application to access its cameras and microphones, and revoke that approval after a specific time.

He also suggested that until considerable measures are taken users should cover their cameras with sticky tapes like Facebook founder Mark Zukkerberg and Former CIA director James Commey.

Security Operation Centres (SOCs) Assure Network Safety

The network is under constant threat from every possible destination. There is so much to be done to secure the assets. All applications are unique and requisite dedicated effort in monitoring and identifying any potential threat. The landscape to protect the applications and features on the network is extensive. An all-inclusive methodology is needed to address the specific security need of each application. Share the network security burden with managed SOC. The security professionals can incorporate the proficiency required to manage every devise like it should. The response speed to identify and diminish a threat is also a specialty of professional security experts.

Security Operation Centres (SOCs) Assure Network Safety