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Risk

3/25/2021
09:15 AM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
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6 Tips for Limiting Damage From Third-Party Attacks

The ability to protect your organization from third-party attacks will become increasingly critical as attackers try to maximize the effectiveness of their malicious campaigns.
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Implement a Zero-Trust Approach
It's rare that attackers are able to directly access the system or data they are most after. Most attacks, including those via a third party, involve the threat actor gaining an initial foothold on the target network and then expanding that access via lateral movement to gain access to the target environment.
A zero-trust security model -- where all access requests, whether from inside or outside the enterprise network, are authenticated and vetted for security issues every time a request is made -- can help contain such lateral movement. A zero-trust model can minimize the damage in the case of a breach by, for example, limiting the ability for hijacked credentials to be used to move laterally, export data, or  set up backdoors for future attacks, says Kevin Dunne, president at Pathlock. It can help ensure that users do not have access to applications or privileges they don't require, and to make sure they are constantly deprovisioned to the least privileged access required.
'Reducing the scope of users' access will limit the amount of damage that a bad actor can [inflict] with any single credential,' Dunne says. 'Most major data breaches occur when bad actors gain access to accounts with unnecessary privileges.'
Aanand Krishnan, founder and CEO of Tala Security, says the key to implementing an effective zero-trust approach is finding the right balance between risk and trust. Organizations cannot do business without a willingness to take some risk. At the same time, endowing too much trust on third parties and supply chain partners is risky.
'Ultimately, the needle has to move more toward zero trust than a higher level of trust,' he says. 'The question is, what level of friction is that going to create in your organization? What level of friction is that going to create in your pipeline?'
Image Source: Fit Ztudio via Shutterstock

Implement a Zero-Trust Approach

It's rare that attackers are able to directly access the system or data they are most after. Most attacks, including those via a third party, involve the threat actor gaining an initial foothold on the target network and then expanding that access via lateral movement to gain access to the target environment.

A zero-trust security model -- where all access requests, whether from inside or outside the enterprise network, are authenticated and vetted for security issues every time a request is made -- can help contain such lateral movement. A zero-trust model can minimize the damage in the case of a breach by, for example, limiting the ability for hijacked credentials to be used to move laterally, export data, or set up backdoors for future attacks, says Kevin Dunne, president at Pathlock. It can help ensure that users do not have access to applications or privileges they don't require, and to make sure they are constantly deprovisioned to the least privileged access required.

"Reducing the scope of users' access will limit the amount of damage that a bad actor can [inflict] with any single credential," Dunne says. "Most major data breaches occur when bad actors gain access to accounts with unnecessary privileges."

Aanand Krishnan, founder and CEO of Tala Security, says the key to implementing an effective zero-trust approach is finding the right balance between risk and trust. Organizations cannot do business without a willingness to take some risk. At the same time, endowing too much trust on third parties and supply chain partners is risky.

"Ultimately, the needle has to move more toward zero trust than a higher level of trust," he says. "The question is, what level of friction is that going to create in your organization? What level of friction is that going to create in your pipeline?"

Image Source: Fit Ztudio via Shutterstock

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