Creating a Cyber Panic Room to Fight Off Invasions

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Genghis Khan was a mastermind.  A terrifyingly brilliant military strategist who altered the course of world history.  He used fear to paralyze his enemies.

“In one apocryphal account circulated to create anxiety among the enemy, the Mongols supposedly promised to retreat from a besieged city if the defenders would give them a large number of cats and birds as booty. According to the story, the starving residents eagerly gathered the animals and gave them to the Mongols. After receiving all the birds and animals, the Mongols attached burning torches and banners to their tails and released them, whereupon the frightened animals raced back into the city and set it on fire.” – Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World 

History repeats itself.  This summer the overt colonization of American Cyberspace continued at breathtaking speed.  China and Russia have escalated their cyberespionage campaigns and cybercriminals have armed themselves with weapons-grade capabilities, which have allowed them to conduct thousands of virtual home invasions unabated.

I fear that this year is “the year” winter comes. Strategically, geopolitical conflict has served as a harbinger for destructive cyberattacks. More rogue nations have developed A-teams who are leveraging sophisticated attack campaigns which are destructive in nature. Cyber intrusions have transformed from burglary to home invasion to arson. As evidenced in our upcoming Quarterly Incident Response Threat Report (QIRTR) there has been a three-fold increase in destructive attacks.  32% of all attacks witnessed by our Incident Response partners were destructive. Cyber spies and cyber criminals alike are setting our networks on fire.

After 21 years in cybersecurity, I am witnessing a dramatic evolution of cyber criminal capabilities, which is terrifying. The increasing attack surface, coupled with the utilization of advanced tactics has allowed the adversary to become clairvoyant.  The cyber criminal is already in our house.  Given this phenomenon, we should mirror a model of physical security which is used to protect dignitaries and diplomats-           the panic room.  

“A panic room is a fortified room that is installed in a private residence or business to provide a safe shelter, or hiding place, for the inhabitants in the event of a home invasion.” (Wikipedia)

A traditional panic rooms contain communications equipment like a phone or radio so that law enforcement authorities can be contacted. There is also a monitor for CCTV and alarms.  Creating a panic room around your critical assets, users and sub-nets is imperative in 2018.  As corporations continue to deploy additional services and IoT based devices, the surface area prone to attack is becoming too vast for existing static and sparsely deployed preventative controls. A major shift in security spending is necessary to provide improved situational awareness and visibility into the more advanced attacker movements post breach. This spending must be strategic and accompany a tactical paradigm shift from prevention to detection to suppression.

Panic Room 101

  1. Create an inventory of the most critical assets and users.
  2. Conduct a penetration test – whose objective is to destroy those assets.
  3. Deploy Application Control / Iron Boxing on those assets. This is your fortified room.
  4. Deploy EDR on all endpoints who have access to those assets. This is your CCTV and alarm system.
  5. Hire an MDR to monitor threats against your environment.

Cyberspace has become punitive.  As destructive attacks flourish and counter incident response becomes mainstream we must ensure that we create an inhospitable environment for cyber criminals. It is time to build your panic room.

The post Creating a Cyber Panic Room to Fight Off Invasions appeared first on Carbon Black.

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About Carbon Black, Inc.
Carbon Black is the leading provider of next-generation endpoint security. Carbon Black’s Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) solution, Cb Defense, leverages breakthrough prevention technology, “Streaming Prevention,” to instantly see and stop cyberattacks before they execute. Cb Defense uniquely combines breakthrough prevention with market-leading detection and response into a single, lightweight agent delivered through the cloud. With more than 7 million endpoints under management, Carbon Black has more than 2,500 customers, including 30 of the Fortune 100. These customers use Carbon Black to replace legacy antivirus, lock down critical systems, hunt threats, and protect their endpoints from the most advanced cyberattacks, including non-malware attacks.

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