Our passive assessment capability continues to astound us with the things we find. I haven’t seen this many obvious hits since the early days of vulnerability scanning…
It seems that many organizations are missing issues that lie outside of their perimeter. Hosted sites, cloud-based systems and rogue network segments abound. Brand-focused assessments and passive testing of the security posture of partners, providers and external resources have proven to our clients to be a tipping point moment. It has become clear to them and us that a significant portion of the threats and attack surface have moved into wider distribution outside the network perimeter of yesterday.
Client have been using this capability to test and audit their own risks, but also their vendors, partners and cloud “en masse”.
We are looking for 3-5 key organizations to put together a summit and think tank group to develop standards and best practices together for how to best use passive assessments and targeted threat intelligence on an enterprise level. If your organization would like to discuss passive assessment and potentially engaging in the best practices development summit, please reach out to us on Twitter (@microsolved) or contact your account executive/project manager to arrange for a quick call. Thanks and we look forward to bringing these game changing new tools to organizations around the world shortly!
Many of our clients have been using our Targeted Threat Intelligence service offerings to assist them with due diligence efforts around mergers and acquisitions activities. For many years, clients have leveraged MSI services during and after an acquisition, usually to perform security assessments, identify control gaps and validate remediations. Our network discovery and mapping tools, including MachineTruth, have been an excellent fit for helping them understand exactly what their new architectures look like and where it makes sense for interconnections and network hardening.
Now, with TigerTrax™ and MSI’s passive assessment platform, our threat intelligence and passive assessment capabilities are aiding clients in the due diligence process, making us an excellent partner throughout the M&A lifecycle! These new offerings allow us to add brand/trend data and cyber-security analysis to potential M&A targets, before they are even aware that they are prospects and without their knowledge or contractual engagement. It allows organizations more flexibility in identifying potential Intellectual Property leaks, poor security practices or other IT risks before approaching an acquisition target. The brand/trend reputational data is blended in, providing a new lens to look for potential issues around customer service, activism, impacts from poor online or data hygiene, etc.
While these same techniques have proven to be a boon for vendor supply chain security, they have been leveraged in M&A activity for a year longer. MSI has a strong history in this space and continues to innovate with new data sources, optimized processes and bleeding edge tools for making M&A safer, more efficient and more profitable. To learn more about our M&A offerings, hear about our work and research in the M&A space or discuss how we can assist your organization with M&A services, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at (614) 351-1237 today. We look forward to working with you!
Hosting providers seem to be an often overlooked exposure area for many small and mid-size organizations. In the last several weeks, as we have been growing the use of our passive assessment platform for supply chain assessments, we have identified several instances where the web site hosting company (or design/development company) is among the weakest links. Likely, this is due to the idea that these services are commodities and they are among the first areas where organizations look to lower costs.
The fall out of that issue, though, can be problematic. In some cases, organizations are finding themselves doing business with hosting providers who reduce their operational costs by failing to invest in information security.* Here are just a few of the most significant issues that we have seen in this space:
“PCI accredited” checkout pages hosted on the same server as other sites that are clearly under the control of an attacker
Exposed applications and services with default credentials on the same systems used to host web sites belonging to critical infrastructure organizations
Dangerous service exposures on hosted systems
Malware infested hosting provider ad pages, linked to hundreds or thousands of their client sites hosted with them
Poorly managed encryption that impacts hundreds or thousands of their hosted customer sites
An interesting correlation of blacklisted host density to geographic location and the targeted verticals that some hosting providers sell to
Pornography being distributed from the same physical and logical servers as traditional businesses and critical infrastructure organizations
A clear lack of DoS protection or monitoring
A clear lack of detection, investigation, incident response and recovery maturity on the part of many of the vendors
It is very important that organizations realize that today, much of your risk extends well beyond the network and architectures under your direct control. Partners, and especially hosting companies and cloud providers, are part of your data footprint. They can represent significant portions of your risk, and yet, are areas where you may have very limited control.
If you would like to learn more about using our passive assessment platform and our vendor supply chain security services to help you identify, manage and reduce your risk – please give us a call (614-351-1237) or drop us a line (info /at/ MicroSolved /dot/ com). We’d love to walk you through some of the findings we have identified and share some of the insights we have gleaned from our analysis.
Until next time, thanks for reading and stay safe out there!
*Caveat: This should not be taken that information security is correlated with cost. We have seen plenty of “high end”, high cost hosting companies with very poor security practices. The inverse is also true. Validation is the key…
MSI’s passive assessment represents a new approach to understanding the security risks associated with an organization, be it yours or a vendor, prospect or business partner’s. MSI’s passive assessment leverages the unique power of the MSI TigerTrax™ analytics platform to perform automated research, intelligence gathering and correlation from hundreds of sources, both public and private, that describe the effective security posture of an organization.
The engine is able to combine the power of hundreds of existing tools to build the definitive profile of an organization’s security posture – such as:
open source intelligence
corporate data analytics
deep & dark net search engines
other data mining tools
MSI’s passive assessment gives you current and historical information about the security posture of the target, such as:
Current IOCs associated with them or their hosted applications/systems (perfect for cloud environments!)
Historic campaigns, breaches or outbreaks that have been identified or reported in public and in our proprietary intelligence sources
Leaked credentials, account information or intellectual property associated with the target
Underground and dark net data associated with the target
Misconfigurations or risky exposures of systems and services that could empower attackers
Other relevant intelligence about their risks, threats and vulnerabilities – new sources added weekly…
Best of all, it gathers and correlates that data without touching the target’s network or systems directly in any way. That means you do not need the organization’s permission or knowledge of your research, so you can keep your interest private!
In the supply chain security use case, the tool can be run against organizations as a replacement for full risk assessment processes and used as an initial layer to identify and focus on vendors with identified security issues. You can find more information about it used in the following posts about creating a process for supply chain security initiatives:
Clients are currently using this service for M&A, vendor supply chain security management, risk assessment and to get an attacker’s eye view of their own networks or cloud deployments/hosted solutions.
To learn more about MSI’s passive assessment, please talk with your MSI account executive today!