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What the SolarWinds episode has taught us so far

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Unless you have been on a digital detox vacation, you must have heard of the SolarWinds breach. Just to refresh your memory, multiple US government agencies were compromised by pushing a trojanized update. Post installation, this update allowed the hacker to conduct multi-level reconnaissance, modify user privileges, move laterally into other critical environments and compromise the data.

The scope and scale of this breach has ‘shaken cyber defenders and governments alike. It is now time to focus on the takeaways from this incident.

  • Cyber supply chain awareness: a dual-purpose risk assesment should be conducted to assess the state of security emanating from third-party solutions and evaluating the implications of such risks
  • Finding the right cybersecurity models: such models and frameworks should be able to uncover security gaps and prioritize them. Businesses should work towards constantly reviewing these models while keeping their risk appetite to the lowest level possible
  • There is no ‘business as usual’ for cybersecurity: in 2021, the new normal will be about being cyber risk aware at all times. Cybersecurity teams will have to overwork their imaginations to identify new sources of vulnerabilities
  • Developer access management: the backdoor introduced by the hacker must have been in a file not often accessed by developers (a developers account must have also been compromised). If developer access was managed diligently and reviewed to check for anomalies, the breach would have been discovered earlier.
  • Trust is dangerous: as many such episodes before have shown, trust should not be be implicit, explicit or stated with caution. Instead trust should be established on a session to session, device to session and connection to connection and time basis. No entity should be allowed to transact for long durations from a position of trust no matter the level of privilege. Zero trust should be the way forward

Subex has been working to secure businesses in all livable continents for over two decades now. Our offerings use a blend of tactics to introduce layered security including discovery of rogue and compromised assets.

As of today, we are securing some of the toughest and hard to secure OT and IOT-based deployments globally. We can help you improve your cybersecurity posture to secure your assets.

In just under 45 minutes, we can tell you how our solution can keep such episodes of grief at bay.

Get in touch with natalie.smith@subex.com  to learn more

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Prayukth K V has been actively involved in productizing and promoting cross eco-system collaboration in the emerging tech and cybersecurity domains for over a decade. A marketer by profession and a published author, he has also proposed and promoted critical infrastructure protection strategies that rely on in-depth threat research and deflection strategies to deceive hackers and malware. Having been at the frontlines of cyber securing infrastructure, Prayukth has seen cyberattacks and defense tactics at close quarters.

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