On 14 October iSYSTEMS hosted its first in-person cyber security roundtable event since before the pandemic.
On 14 October iSYSTEMS Integration and iFORCE Security hosted its first in-person event since before the pandemic. The roundtable – held at Eight Members Private Club – brought together cyber security experts from iFORCE as well as from several leading vendors such as Arctic Wolf, CheckPoint, Cloudian and SOCRadar.
Given the scale of change organisations have undertaken to adapt to new ways of working, cyber security has been fore of mind for IT decision makers. Emerging threat actors today are exploiting new vulnerabilities and attackers have deployed far more effective strategies than before the pandemic, often praying on employees’ concerns about Coronavirus with convincing phishing emails.
For this reason, the iSYSTEMS round table centred on post-pandemic cyber security strategies.
The event consisted of two main sessions:
- The timeline of a ransomware attack: The crucial 48 hours; and
- Threats 2:0 – The Cyber Arms race.
Rob Robinson, co-founder and CTO at iSYSTEMS and iFORCE, presented a step-by-step action plan for enterprises which have fallen victim to a ransomware attack. He began by examining the state of the landscape and highlighted how attackers today are far more targeted in their approach.
Jason Monger at Arctic Wolf highlighted the increasingly advanced research techniques attackers are using when searching for targets –f or instance, some groups will search for a company’s security profile using tools like LinkedIn, detailing the staff headcount and the unique skills of the cyber security team. They’ll then do some digging into the organisation’s financial performance to determine what price they’ll demand should their attack be successful. Once they’ve launched an attack, often organisations right across the victim’s supply chain will receive email notifications containing hidden malware.
Rob then looked at the most common ransomware vectors, including malware phishing emails and API vulnerabilities, before turning to best practices during the initial stages following an attack, with a particular emphasis on the initial 48 hours.
The second session of the roundtable focused on how organisations might approach their cyber security roadmaps in 2022 and beyond. iFORCE Security kicked off and, with a team made up of former members of the UK Special Forces, we saw insights into some of the most advanced security breaches from threat actors across the world.
Ben Harris at iFORCE noted the growing breadth of threat vectors, from physical, techno-physical, human hacking, and socially engineered vulnerabilities. Taking this wider view of vulnerabilities into account – many of which have been exposed with the introduction of remote working – as part of a broader cyber resilience posture is crucial to become truly secure across all platforms, networks and infrastructures.
The conversation then moved on to future vulnerabilities that exist in IoT, and firmware hijacking for pivot access. Artificial Intelligence as-a-Service (AIaaS) and deep fakes were discussed as emerging threats that will increase during the course of 2022.
With digital transformation rapidly accelerating this year, new data storage trends have emerged, too. Data storage and backups were discussed at length. Rick Hannah at Cloudian noted the sudden rise in demand for immutable storage while participants agreed there was an urgent need to move away from on-premise encrypted solutions and instead use immutable storage or secondary storage with air gaps, which is a successful mitigation strategy against attacks so long as organisations maintain their discipline and keep separate admin details for logins, etc.
The event ended with an inspirational interactive talk by Brian Wood MC, a former soldier who was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in the Battle of Danny Boy, in Iraq. Brian shared his a number of extraordinary experiences and wrapped up the session with some key lessons on leading teams, collaboration and preparing for – then thwarting – an attack.
If you’d like to attend a similar event, iSYSTEMS & iFORCE are hosting the next roundtable event on 2nd December 2021.