External Threat Detection: A Story Of An Alert

Threat Detection

As the world grows digitally, the industrial networks that once lost their existence and connections all across the world have now started to get deep roots in the digital world. This connection is very helpful for making operations run more smoothly. Still, it also leaves organizations that protect vital infrastructure open to threats from outside sources. Analyzing and detecting such threats requires dealing with a lot of different problems. These threats include intrusions that look easy because they use unprotected connections to IT networks and complex attacks that go after specific industrial processes. Claroy recently made a film called “A Story of an Alert”, in which he talks about why these important places need stronger and more reliable security measures to keep new attack vectors out. We will talk about the story of an alert and how Claroty finds threats from outside the company to lower risk in this blog.

What is External Threat Detection and Analysis?

Now, you might be curious about what External threats refer to. It means that people or groups exploit the system’s vulnerabilities outside of a company through malicious software, hacking, sabotage, or social engineering.

At the same time, External threat analysis is the process of detecting and evaluating the above-mentioned possible threats that can occur externally. When it comes to mission-critical settings, outside threats have an intense ability to create major losses apart from lost data, productivity, or money. If attackers successfully attack the cyber-physical systems (CPS) that support key infrastructure of the organizations, it could lead to equipment failure, problems with the supply chain, or even safety risks for employees and the public.   

What is an Example of an External Cyber Attack?

Cybercriminals who are getting better at what they do usually launch attacks on key infrastructure organizations from the outside. They know that these places can’t handle downtime and are ready to pay a ransom. We talk about an outside cyberattack on a manufacturing plant in the “Story of an Alert” movie. It was revealed that the hacker used the credentials and information from an earlier data breach to log in to a different service that wasn’t related. It is called “credential stuffing.” The hacker was able to connect to an engineering workstation from afar because they had full control over the surroundings. 

Hackers started their attack by downloading a new configuration file to a PLC that is linked to the compromised engineering workstation. It was possible because they got to a part of the network that was very important for operations. The newly downloaded configuration file then tells the PLC to turn off a crucial process. It can have terrible physical effects on the machinery it controls, putting workers at risk or causing equipment problems that cause the factory to shut down. If this company had done regular external threat analysis, they would have been able to figure out what led to the entry and stop the person before they could launch an attack. In the next segment, we’ll discuss how industrial companies can create a strong cybersecurity strategy to stop attacks like these, which happen every day around the world.

How Do 2b Innovations Mitigate Threats?

You can’t get rid of all risk, no matter how much you see, how well you find threats, or how well you handle vulnerability management controls. For this reason, 2b Innovations helps organizations that protect important systems find, rank, and deal with threats in case hackers get past security measures on their networks. 2b Innovations Continuous Threat Detection (CTD) could have been used to help stop any attempt to cause trouble in the situation described above. CTD’s wide range of visibility, risk analysis, and threat monitoring tools work together to stop the cybercriminal in A Story of an Alert from causing the following problems: 

Zone Behavior: The CTD divides the network into Virtual Zones. These areas have assets that are linked by type and the ways they have learned to talk to each other. When assets talk to each other across zones in strange or unnoticed ways, they break cross-zone policy and let the system know about a possible threat.

Configuration Download: When important changes to the network happen, like configuration downloads, CTD sends out a process integrity alert. 2b Innovations deep packet inspection (DPI) is so good that CTD can find the exact lines of code and parts that were changed in the configuration file. When this alert is linked to a chain of possibly dangerous behavior, it is added to the root cause study of an alert story.

Root Cause Analysis: This feature brings together all the events that happened during the same attack or incident into a single warning story. It makes it easier to see how everything fits together. Because of this, there is a higher signal-to-noise ratio, fewer false alarms, less alert fatigue, and better identification and mitigation.

The 2b Innovations CTD solution is strong and provides full security controls for all important industry settings. Through CTD, businesses can see everything that is connected to the extended Internet of Things (IoT), which helps them protect their networks, control risks and vulnerabilities, and find threats. CTD instantly profiles all assets, communications, and processes in your industrial environment with five detection engines. It also creates a behavioral baseline that defines normal traffic to weed out false positives and alerts you in real-time to known and new threats. This level of analysis of external threats can help make sure that organizations that protect key infrastructure are ready for threats like credential stuffing attacks that happen in their environment. As digital transformation programs and the growth of remote work continue to change businesses, it is more important than ever to put in place strong security controls to keep hacking and operational resilience going. 

How does testing web application security reduce the risk factor of your organization?

Although web applications may be susceptible to various flaws in today’s environment, certain problems can immensely affect your application’s functionality and security.

Following are the examples of some web application attacks:

  • SQL Injection
  • XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)
  • Remote Command Execution
  • Path Traversal

The impact of the above-mentioned attacks is as follows:

  • Restriction in accessing the contents
  • Compromisation of user accounts
  • Putting in harmful code
  • Revenue lost from sales
  • Customers’ confidence loss
  • Reputational harm to the company’s brand, etc.

The list above demonstrates some of the most common assaults that are done by attackers, which may cause significant disruption to an individual program or the whole organization. Having a clear understanding of different attacks that make an application vulnerable as well as what these attacks can lead to, enables you to address any vulnerability and perform accurate testing for the same.

Identifying the main reasons for such vulnerabilities helps you to counter such problems by minimizing controls during the software development life cycle, preventing any problems from occurring. Also knowing how these assaults occur, enables the security testing of web applications to focus on well-known concerns. 

It is important to detect potential attacks and understand their consequences for the protection of your company. By understanding the severity of an issue identified during a security test, you and your team can more efficiently use time and resources to address it. Work on remediation efforts in order of highest-risk (most critical) issues first down to lowest impact problems.

Assessing the potential impact of each application in your organization’s application library before a problem occurs might help you prioritize application security testing. It is best to schedule security testing to focus on your company’s most important applications first, with more focused testing following to reduce the danger of a breach.

Features to review in a Web Application Security

The following are the factors that you need to take into consideration while performing web application vulnerability scanning. Each may lead to flaws, which lead to significant risk to your organization: 

  1. Application and Server Configuration: Vulnerabilities may be found in various areas including encryption and cryptographic configurations, and web server settings. Following the container security best practices is important, specifically for applications deployed in containerized environments. This incorporates ensuring proper container image security and implementing strong isolation policies between containers.
  2. Input Validation and Error Handling: If you are unable to handle input and output properly, it will lead to SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other prevalent injection vulnerabilities.
  3. Authentication and Session Management: user impersonation may occur. Therefore, you should consider the strength of your credentials and how well they are protected.
  4. Authorization: This refers to assessing the application’s ability to protect vertical and horizontal privilege escalation.
  5. Business Logic: Business Logic is important for various commercial applications.
  6. Client-side Logic: Client-side technologies include Silverlight, Flash, and Java applets which are becoming more and more common in the latest web pages. This type of feature allows for more interactive and dynamic pages.

Web Application Security in a Nut-Shell

To summarise, web security is very important for every organization. By understanding the importance of web application security, the different types of web application security tests, and how web application security testing can help mitigate your organization’s risk factor, you can make sure that your web page is safe and secure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top