GoT: Game of Threats?

Global organizations are like kingdoms under siege, threatened by “little birds” from all sides. From the outside: persistent targeted attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous while some adversaries are using surprisingly unsophisticated means to wreak damage. From the inside, employees are partaking in risky poor IT hygiene activities that put the entire organization at risk.

Just like everyone in Game of Thrones’ seven kingdoms fought for the “Iron Throne”, an army of “undead” bad guys is quickly increasing its numbers taking advantage of data breaches worldwide. The rapid proliferation of these threats begs the question: what steps are organizations taking to prevent data loss before it occurs?

In the light of GoT’s final episode aired in the US on May 19, our team has pulled together a spoiler-free list of the four scariest threats you should be aware of to protect your iron throne: your critical assets.

1. Identity and credentials theft

 The easiest way for a cyber attacker to gain access to sensitive data is by compromising an end user’s identity and credentials. They are stealing credentials using a wide range of techniques, tactics, and procedures. The compromised data has a variety of uses and enables attackers to breach organizations and steal sensitive information. Identity theft is currently a gold mine for cybercriminals.

2. Critical vulnerabilities

Microsoft has just posted a warning about an extremely dangerous flaw that exists in both current and older versions of Windows. The vulnerability could lead to new self-propagating malware that bears a resemblance to WannaCry that wreaked havoc on systems around the globe in 2017. The pre-authentication bug in the Remote Desktop Service could allow an attacker to execute their code on a target system. Microsoft considers this so severe that they released patches available for out-of-support OS(s) like Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

3. Supply chain attacks

The cybersecurity of any one organization within the chain is potentially only as strong as that of the weakest member of the supply chain. A determined aggressor, notably advanced persistent threats (APTs), will make use of this by identifying the organization with the weakest cybersecurity within the supply chain, and using these vulnerabilities present in their systems to gain access to other members of the supply chain.

4. Cloud attacks

Cloud adoption is on the rise among American businesses. Researchers firmly believe by 2020 the plurality of businesses will be based on cloud environments, specifically public cloud environments, according to Security Review. Yet with mass cloud migration comes a new challenge: cloud perimeter security. From an operational perspective, poor cloud security can deprive an enterprise of the full benefits of their digital transformation.

Your Organization Through the Eyes of the Attacker

Top-notch hackers can mimic legitimate user actions and go under the radar of protective measures. They can move laterally from hole to hole and reach your crown jewels. What if you could see your organization through the eyes of the attacker?

With cyber attack simulation, you can check every possible route and type of attack vector – from the attacker’s perspective – to see where the organization is at risk and take actions to remediate. While many red and blue teams have worked very much in silos and get can get out of sync with each other, a “purple team” should enhance their existing capabilities and allow them to exchange ideas, observations and insights more productively.

First Automated Purple Team

 With an automated purple team running continuously, organizations will finally be able to follow prioritized remediation guidelines and know as soon as an issue has been resolved. The move to automation empowers organizations with the ability to gain a worm’s eye view into new back doors and blind spots as soon as they appear and move to remediate them immediately without delay.

XM Cyber’s HaXM is the first fully automated Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) simulation and remediation platform to continuously expose attack vectors, from breach point to any organizational critical asset. This continuous loop of automated red teaming is completed by ongoing and prioritized actionable remediation of security gaps. Addressing real user behavior, poor IT hygiene and security exploits, HaXM continuously leverages advanced offensive methods to expose the most critical blind spots.

The final episode of Game of Thrones has been perhaps one of the most divisive TV finales of all time, with fans torn between loving and feeling disappointed by the ending.

But it’s now past. What everyone now agrees upon is that you must fight for your organization’s iron throne – your critical assets – from being conquered by “faceless men” – in this case, the hackers.

Put all the threats mentioned above in your “Arya’s kill list” and, if you haven’t watched the series final episode yet, sit back, enjoy and share your comments with us!

All threats must die!