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Monitor & Optimize Your Cybersecurity Posture with Real-Time Risk Metering

Modern organizations understand the criticality of having the best possible cyber defense to defend against malicious actions of skillful cybercriminals. Most firms today employ various cybersecurity tools designed to help prevent inevitable attacks from wreaking havoc and causing data loss.

“The increase in internet-connected devices and cloud application usage exacerbates the situation as threat vectors expand beyond the traditional corporate perimeter.”

Yet, why do CIOs and CISOs, and their security teams, still caution about the state of their organization’s security posture?

Simply, it’s because new scams, vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and hacking techniques used in cyberattacks represent an ongoing risk. The increase in internet-connected devices and cloud application usage exacerbates the situation as threat vectors expand beyond the traditional corporate perimeter.

Typical threat vectors include the network, web, cloud, applications, endpoints, mobile devices, databases and even the Internet of Everything (IoE) — all are possible defenseless launch pads bad actors use to attack their victims.

Thus, the pressing concerns we often hear from our customers, with regards to their security operations, are about understanding their risk profile and responding to risks. However, the lack of visibility and awareness of daily security situations makes it nearly impossible to determine the proper responses.

A data breach happens quickly. During such a security incident, figuring out where risks exist, the current reality of their security posture and, ultimately, what security actions are necessary are top security priorities. Security-conscious organizations need an easy and reliable way to:

  • Analyze and measure their security posture in real time
  • Perform ‘what-if’ analysis on various defense layers
  • Identify defensive actions needed to remove present risks

Manage Cyber Risks via SonicWall Risk Meters

To solve these three core security challenges, SonicWall introduces Risk Meters, a powerful risk management service that provides personalized threat information and risk scoring adapted to individual situations.

A new capability of the Capture Security Center, Risk Meters help reveal weaknesses in current defensive layers and guides immediate and necessary defensive actions for a specific environment.

Risk Meters provides real-time display of live attacks, coupled with detailed graphs and charts, that capture malicious activities at the specific defense layer that could result in compromised networks, systems and data residing on-premises or in the cloud.

Capture Security Center Risk Meters
Restrict the focus on incoming attacks in a specific environment
Display live attacks in real-time
Categorize attackers’ malicious actions at the specific defense layer
Update computed risk score and threat level based on live threat data relative to existing defense capabilities
Underscore current security gaps where preventable threats get through due to missing defenses
Promote immediate defensive actions in response to prevent all incoming threats

How Risk Meters Work

Available in January 2019, the Risk Meters service categorizes attackers’ actions, underscores current security gaps where preventable threats get through due to missing defenses, and presents appropriate responses to neutralize incoming threats. The solution can be tailored to a specific environment by compiling and accurately parsing threat information exclusive to an environment.

Additionally, Risk Meters continuously update computed risk score and threat level based on live threat data relative to existing defense capabilities. These logical scores may be used to guide security planning, policy and budgeting decisions.

Risk Meters enable precise defensive measures that optimize network, cloud, web and endpoint defenses, and shrinks the threat surface and susceptibility to cyberattacks.

Such measures include turning on SSL/TLS inspection, application visibility, sandboxing services, processor and memory scanning, and/or next-generation antivirus (NGAV). These, in turn, enable organizations to catch the most evasive malware hiding inside encrypted traffic, ransomware and never-before-seen malware variants.

With actionable threat data at your fingertips, Risk Meters empowers you to shrink the threat surface and susceptibility to cyberattacks, guide security planning, policy and budgeting decisions, and bolster your security posture.

Measure Your Organization’s Cyber Risk Score

The SonicWall Capture Security Center Risk Meters service will be available in January 2019 to deliver personalized threat information and risk-scoring that reveals gaps in defensive layers, fosters decisive security planning and facilitates actions needed for an optimal cyber defense.

5 Cyberattack Vectors for MSSP to Mitigate in Healthcare

It’s no secret that healthcare continues to be one of the most targeted industries for cybercriminals. Healthcare providers store and maintain some of the most valuable data and the appetite for fraudulent claims or fake prescription medications is insatiable.

Despite all of the regulations, there are still fewer watchdogs overseeing healthcare. For many providers, cyber security hasn’t been a priority until very recently.

With more and more organizations reaching out to cyber security experts for assistance, it’s more important than ever that managed security services providers (MSSPs) understand the healthcare industry so that they can tailor solutions aimed at improving the security posture of healthcare providers.

Inside Users Present the Greatest Threat

According to a 2018 survey of cyber security professionals conducted by HIMSS, over 60 percent of threat actors are internal users within a healthcare organization. Email phishing and spear-phishing attempts are aimed at tricking users into providing credentials or access to information for cybercriminals. Negligent insiders, who have access to trusted information, can facilitate data breaches or cyber incidents while trying to be helpful.

In addition to systematically monitoring and protecting infrastructure components, MSSPs need to consider a multi-faceted campaign that creates a cyber security awareness culture within healthcare organizations. This campaign should include template policies and procedures for organizations to adopt, regular and routine training efforts, and human penetration-testing.

From a systematic perspective, it’s important to have tools that will do everything possible to mitigate cyberattacks. Tools like next-generation email security to block potential phishing or spear phishing attempts; endpoint security solutions to monitor behavior through heuristic-based techniques; and internal network routing through a next-generation firewall to perform deep packet inspection (DPI) on any information transgressing the network — especially if it’s encrypted.

Mobile Devices Open Large Attack Surfaces

Mobile devices have changed the way that we do just about everything. And the same is true for the manner in which healthcare conducts business.

To enable mobility and on-demand access, many electronic health record (EHR) applications have specific apps that create avenues for mobile devices to access portions of the EHR software. The widespread adoption of mobile devices and BYOD trends are pushing healthcare to adapt new business models and workflows. Cyber risk mitigation must be a priority as momentum continues to build.

MSSPs need to pay very careful attention to the access that mobile devices have to the EHR application, whether hosted on-premise or in the cloud. For more protection, implement a mobile device management (MDM) solution if the organization doesn’t already have one.

IoT Leaves Many Healthcare Providers at Risk

The Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing connectivity and statistical information to providers in near real-time while offering incredible convenience to the patient. Even wearable devices have immense capabilities to monitor chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. With these devices comes an incredible opportunity for hackers and immense threat for healthcare providers.

IoT devices tend to have weaker protections than typical computers. Many IoT devices do not receive software or firmware updates in any sort of regular cadence even though all of them are connected to the internet. There are so many manufacturers of IoT devices, and they are distributed through so many channels. There are no standards or controls regarding passwords, encryption or chain of command tracking capabilities to see who has handled the device.

If it’s feasible for the organization, totally isolate any IoT-connected devices to a secure inside network not connected to the internet (i.e., air gapped).

Encryption for Data at Rest Is Critical

For healthcare providers, it’s equally important to have a strong encryption for both data at rest and data in transit. Encryption for data at rest includes ensuring the software managing PHI doesn’t have a really weak single key that could unlock everyone’s PHI. If at all possible, records should be encrypted with unique keys so that a potentially exposed key doesn’t open the door to everyone’s information.

Attacks Are Hiding within Encrypted Traffic

MSSPs serving healthcare organizations need to realize that there is not one layer of defense that they should rely on. That said, perhaps the most important layer is the firewall.

A next-generation firewall, with DPI capabilities, is a critical component to securing a healthcare network. Even internal traffic transgressing the network should be routed through the firewall to prevent any potential malicious traffic from proliferating the entire LAN and to log transactions.

As much as possible, isolate medical devices and software applications that host PHI inside a secure network zone and protect that zone with an internal DPI-capable firewall that will only allow access to authorized services and IP addresses.


About ProviNET

ProviNET is a SonicWall SecureFirst Gold Partner. For nearly three decades, ProviNET has delivered trusted technology solutions for healthcare organizations. Whether it’s a single project or full-time onsite work, ProviNET designs and implements customized solutions so healthcare organizations can focus on core services.

ProviNET’s tight-knit group of experienced, industry-certified personnel are focused on customer satisfaction. They are a reputable organization, fulfilling immediate IT needs and helping plan for tomorrow. They are ready to put their extensive knowledge to work for healthcare, developing strategies and solving challenges with the latest technology.

To learn more about ProviNET, please visit www.provinet.com.

May 2018: Cyberattack Volume Continues to Rise, Ransomware Attempts Jump 299 Percent

The very latest cyber threat intelligence for May 2018 depicts increases in a number of attack areas, particularly when comparing against 2017 cyber threat data. Through May 2018, the SonicWall Capture Labs threat researches have recorded:

Global Cyberattacks — May 2018

  • 2 million malware attacks (64 percent year-over-year increase)
  • 9 million ransomware attacks (78 percent year-over-year increase)
  • 238,828 encrypted threats (142 percent year-over-year increase)

Global Cyberattacks — Year to Date

  • 5 billion malware attacks (128 percent increase )
  • 2 million ransomware attacks (299 percent increase)
  • 2 million encrypted threats (283 percent increase)

To put these numbers in a more practical light, it’s helpful to break them down by customer. In May 2018 alone, the average SonicWall customer faced:

  • 2,302 malware attacks (56 percent year-over-year increase)
  • 62 ransomware attacks (69 percent year-over-year increase)
  • Almost 94 encrypted threats
  • Over 14 phishing attacks per day

With each passing month, cybercriminals continue to perpetrate cyberattacks at an ever-accelerating rate. It is interesting to note that although encrypted traffic is actually down slightly when compared with last year, encrypted threats have more than doubled. This points to cybercriminals who are more aware of the efficacy of encrypting their attacks.

In addition, phishing attacks have increased by almost 40 percent since last month. To better educate your end users and follow secure email best practices, use the phishing IQ test to increase their suspicions when opening emails, particularly from unknown senders.

As the cyber war continues between threat actors and security professionals, arming your organization with the latest cyber threat intelligence is critical to implementing or improving a sound security posture. As long as vulnerabilities exist, there are threat actors working to exploit them.

Find Threat Metrics When You Need Them

Would you like to keep up-to-date on threat metrics, security news and worldwide cyberattacks? The SonicWall Security Center has all of this and more.

VISIT THE SECURITY CENTER

State of Encrypted Traffic – New Cyber Attacks Spreading via Use of Encryption

The earliest schemes of cryptography, such as substituting one symbol or character for another or changing the order of characters instead of changing the characters themselves, began thousands of years ago.  Since then, various encoding and decoding systems were developed, based on more complex versions of these techniques, for the fundamental purpose of securing messages sent and received in written or electronic forms for all sorts of real world applications.  Although the progress we have made in modern cryptography has its advantages, we are seeing that it creates many security risks too dangerous to be ignored.  This blog reviews what this means to your organization and helps your security teams stay alert and be ready for the new threats and attack vectors that spread from the criminal use of encryptions.

The momentum in information and communication technology innovations have significantly changed the way we function in both the public and private sectors.  How we store, share, communicate and transact information over the web, for personal use, for work or to run businesses, agencies and institutions, require that we adopt strong information security in everything that we do digitally. As the result, the majority of today’s web traffic are encrypted using the latest Transport Layer Security (TLS), formerly known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL), encryption protocol to establish a private connection between two computer networks for securing data transmission and web traffic and interactions.

According to the Google Transparency Report, encrypted connections, displayed as HTTPS on the browser address bar, account for approximately 87 percent (Figure 1) of web requests sent to Google’s data centers from around the world, as of June 17, 2017. Moreover, the report reveals that Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome users spend more than three-quarter of their time on HTTPS pages (Figure 2).  With these facts, we can reasonably generalize that the majority of the web traffic traversing our networks are encrypted today.

Figure 1: Percentage of page requests that used encrypted connections

Percentage of page requests that used encrypted connections

Figure 2: Percentage of browsing time spent on HTTPS websites

Percentage of browsing time spent on HTTPS websites

Now imagine from a security standpoint, what is the likely scenario if your network security such as a firewall or intrusion detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS) is not examining the encrypted traffic?  Obviously, the security system would have zero visibility of any malicious activities. Therefore, attacks carried out inside the encrypted session will go unnoticed and likely lead to a data breach event.  This method of attack is among the top security issue facing many organizations right now.  A recent survey1 of over 1000 security professionals from various industries in North America and Europe conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of A10 Networks reveals:

  1. Of eighty percent of respondents who were victims of cyber-attacks, forty-one percent of those attacks hid in SSL encrypted traffic to evade detection.
  2. Only one-third of respondents believe their organization can properly decrypt and inspect SSL encrypted traffic, even though an overwhelming 89 percent of them agree it is an essential procedure required for the performance and safety of their business.
  3. Use of SSL encryption to mask malicious activity will parallel the growth of encryption of inbound and outbound web traffic.

So what must you do to address the security risks associated with encrypted threats?  Watch the informative webcast, “Defeat Encrypted Threats,” presented by a SonicWall Security Solution Engineer, to learn how you can defeat it.  This presentation provides detail analysis of the latest trends and tactics of the cyber threat landscape as seen from the eyes of a practicing security professional. Once you have seen what your adversaries have been up to today, you will receive a crash course in security policy management and network security architecture design that will help prevent the breach of tomorrow.

1 2016 Ponemon Study, Uncovering Hidden Threats within Encrypted Traffic