Monday, September 11, 2017

The external victim

We have the same doubt every summer. We are never 100% sure about needing to hire an alarm for our home. "Well ... nothing ever happens to us, why does it have to be this year?" The feeling that thieves will prefer the house of others and that this is a reality that will never occur to us is a thought that accompanies more than one. But what happens when your house is chosen?

With the resounding filtration that HBO starred in mid-August, users experienced what it is like to take part in how cybersecurity can affect our day. Thanks to the interview of this week we discover a little more of the ins and outs of cybersecurity in entertainment companies. This time it's time for Stephen Gates, Chief Intelligence Research Analyst at Zenedge, a leading cybersecurity company in the industry.

For Stephen Gates, the root of the problem is clear: " It seems no matter how much we train employees to not fall prey to phishing attempts, they still click, open, or take some sort of action that unlocks the doorway for hackers".

But, how fast the development of this action is? Stephen says: “Once hackers are in the network through an infected computer, it can take days, weeks, or even months to search through the network to find what they are looking for. A phish happens in a matter of seconds, but once the door has been opened, hackers can remain resident inside of networks for months or even longer without being detected , which appears to be the case for HBO.”

Regarding the question of whether the trend continues to rise, Gates is clear: "I do believe this trend will continue in the entertainment industry, since so much money is at stake. These scripts and shows are of extraordinary value to organizations like Sony, Netflix, and HBO. Hackers know that and have attacked accordingly. Unlike many smaller companies, these networks have the money to pay when hackers come calling and they may be tempted to pay a significant amount of ransom if it means keeping their shows from leaking."

We have a question, "How is it possible for such large companies to remain victims of hackers, taking into account the advanced technology in cybersecurity that we have available today?", Stephen clarifies: " Entertainment firms like Sony and HBO continue to face ransom demands because sometimes the protection they have in place is limited to their own network and simply isn’t enough They have the budget and manpower to implement state-of-the-art cybersecurity technology and have large security teams, but the host of production vendors that they contract with may not have the same resources. As these incidents become commonplace, larger companies are going to have to start looking at the security practices of their partners and contractors, to remain safe."

About the most advanced technologies Gates believes that: "IEM solutions that touted an ability to intelligently chain together alert logs so that an operator would be able to piece together the steps taken during an attack, have not stood up to their claims, and are often are seen as a technology that never fulfilled its promises. WAFs and anti-DDoS solutions are only valuable when they are deployed and maintained properly, instead of being on the security teams’ wish list.  And no matter how good each of your security technologies are, if they are not configured and used properly, then they only leave you with a false sense of security.  "For Stephen Gates these are the main shortcomings in the application of security strategies in large companies: "One of the biggest problems I see daily is that leaders of large companies often have the belief that this will not happen to them . As a result, they try to manage risk instead of taking actions and implementing approaches that eliminate this risk. It is often an act of financial equilibrium for them. "

To help anyone who starts feeling the risk, Stephen Gates gives us what are for him the basic tools of protection that all entertainment companies should have into account:  "First of all, ensure that the devices accessing private data on the inside, are not already compromised and being run remotely by hackers. Second, always monitor paths in and out of your network, to ensure that only authorized transactions are taking place at your perimeters. It is also important to encrypt and back up all data. If hackers gained access to highly-encrypted data, it would be nearly useless to them if they can’t crack the encryption algorithms and finally begin to find ways of implementing “smart automation” into your security strategies".

In case of a ramson, Stephen Gates says: "“When Stolen Data Ransom happens to highly valuable data, it may be best to pay when the stolen data is more valuable than the ransom itself". Although on this subject also says:" The losses incurred when an organization decides not to pay a ransom can be massive in some cases. "

This interview proves that the leaders of large entertainment companies are like everybody else. They also think that they will not be victims of ramsonware. The advice given by Stephen Gates is applicable to any type of company and help us to know how to put up barriers to thieves who want to enter your home or to criminals who want to enter in the network of your business.


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