This article is part of Panther’s new Future of Cyber Attacks Series which features interviews with cyber security experts, thought leaders, and practitioners with a goal of better understanding what organizations can do to prepare themselves for the future of cyber attacks.
The following is an interview we recently had with Slava Bronfman, CEO and Co-Founder at Cybellum.
We see repeated targeted attacks on various edge devices and not only on traditional PCs and servers – hackers are targeting IoT devices deployed within organizations, as they understand that these devices are often the weakest link in the organization. On top of that, we see that supply-chain attacks are on the rise, as again and again, malicious actors realize that one way to circumvent the “perimeter security” set by enterprises is to look for an entry point from within. Suppliers or 3rd party products (software and hardware) received via the supply chain, are weak spots that malicious actors can take advantage of, and use as an easy entry point.
Analyzing recent attacks such as SolarWinds, it becomes clear that organizations can’t rely on securing the assets they develop on their own – they must take responsibility for their supply chains’ security. This should not come as a surprise – to drive innovation and cut time-to-market, products (especially software) are becoming more assembled than developed from scratch. These third party components are integrated with internally developed components to create the final product. If not secured, these components could risk the final products or networks on which they operate. Another issue we can learn is that it takes long months for these big, targeted attacks to be detected. In all major attacks, we saw that the attackers spent months (sometimes even years) in the vulnerable network, before detection.
Unfortunately, it is safe to say that there will be an increase in cyber attacks in the future. With more data and greater connectivity driving our day-to-day lives (both as consumers and businesses), malicious actors will find new opportunities to access high-value assets. What we are starting to see today will likely be the norm in the future – cyber attacks will no longer target PCs, servers and networks, but will take advantage of all connected edge devices that can be either a target on their own or most likely an entry point that enables attacks towards higher-value assets. Smartphones, smartwatches, connected vehicles and smart sensors are just a few examples of such edge devices that would likely become the focus of targeted attacks in the future.
On top of that, we’ll likely start to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) based attacks. That means that malware, ransomware, etc. are being created by an AI code and not by humans, which will make them easier to develop and reproduce.
Below are three areas of focus for organizations looking to get ahead of cyber attacks: