Malware Will Cripple Cloud And IoT Infrastructure If Not Contained

The Malware Cloud Concern

This year we’ve had two cyber attacks in which malware was used to cripple government computer systems. Unless counter-measures are deployed, similar malware attacks can be used against cloud and IoT infrastructure.

2017 started with the Shamoon2 cyber attack on Saudi Arabian government systems.  The attack wiped out data on 50,000 compute devices and servers.  More recently a cyber attack against the Ukraine government called NotPetya wiped out data as well as disabled energy management systems.

The destructive power of both malware attacks derived from the difficulty to patch large numbers of compute devices. Thus while the attacks were not “zero-day”, cyber attackers created weapons-grade malware by adding the ability to laterally search for vulnerable systems.

For organizations migrating to the cloud or deploying IoT infrastructure the recent cyber attacks should be a wake up call to the destructive power of malware that can autonomously hunt for targets!

The increasing number of personal compute devices and supply chain partners connecting to enterprise clouds makes universal endpoint protection impossible. Subsequently, malware can find and propagate from infected compute devices to cloud-based applications. Once infected, hosted apps can become malware super spreaders. However as bad as the risk of malware is to enterprises, the risk to IoT systems is even greater.

The new generation of IoT devices has the ability to autonomously communicate locally and globally.  As IoT devices come in hundreds of different variations with specialized software modules, patching IoT systems is far more difficult than personal compute devices.

Infected IoT devices can spread malware from autonomous vehicles and energy management systems to consumer products and cloud computers – and then back again.  A malware attack on billons of networked IoT devices would take months or years to correct.

Malware Cloud Concern

Fortunately there is a proven counter-measure to weapons-grade malware that is a Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) based application layer access control solution.

Vidder developed an application layer access control solution under the PrecisionAccess brand two years ago.  At that time enterprises with high value intellectual property wanted a counter-measure agianst the office of Personnel Management (OPM) cyber attack.

The OPM attack utilized stolen credentials in combination with lateral movement to find classified data that was hidden deep in the data center.  To ensure similar attacks didn’t happen again, Vidder developed an access solution that verified identity (to stop credential theft) and then provisioned an application layer tunnel (to stop lateral movement).

Application layer access control protects cloud assets by ensuring only authorized devices are granted connectivity.  Only whitelisted applications on the user’s device are allowed access to a specific port on the application server.  If a hosted app should become infected, application layer connectivity ensures that malware can’t spread from the cloud back to the user’s device.

Similarly application layer access control can protect IoT infrastructure from lateral movement malware by only allowing authorized process-to-process connectivity.  Subsequently malware cannot re-task IoT devices or backend cloud infrastructure.

With cyber attackers now developing malware that can hunt for vulnerable compute devices, we must deploy proven counter-measures to protect cloud and IoT assets.  Application layer access control, such as Vidder’s PrecisionAccess, is a proven counter-measure that should be deployed before disaster strikes.

By Junaid Islam

Stacey Farrar
Modern Auth and Exchange Online Migrations Microsoft has phased out Basic Authentication (Basic Auth), replacing it with Modern Authentication (Modern Auth) to provide increased protection and user security. Through this, Microsoft has turned off Basic ...
Tosin Vaithilingam
Amid economic uncertainty lies opportunities Lately, it seems that each day brings news of more economic uncertainty. Companies that have been navigating the pandemic for the past two and a half years have been suddenly ...
Gilad David Maayan
What is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)? In a zero-trust security model, all user connections are authenticated, and users only receive the access and privileges they need to fulfill their role. This is very different ...
Ronald van Loon
By now it’s evident that artificial intelligence (AI) is the singular most definitive technology of this generation, and it’s powering broad industrial transformation across critical use cases. Enabling this AI-driven transformation hinges on accurate, high ...
Gary Bernstein
Test Data Management How do you test your data management systems? With Delphix, you can automate your tests by running your data against a virtual copy of your production environment. Today, the amount of data ...
  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.

Cloud Community Supporters

(ISC)²
Aws
Hp
Ca
Cisco Logo

Cloud community support comes from sponsorship advertising and collaborative network partnership initiatives.

Contact us for more information on how to get involved in our flexibly priced programs!