What Dangers do Third Party Vulnerabilities Pose?
The leveraged vulnerability that enables a devastating data breach or launches an expensive ransomware attack may not even be within your own organization.
Third party suppliers and vendors are increasingly interconnected with the organizations they serve. They often share systems and data, but unfortunately they may not share the same strength of cyber security infrastructure. In turn, a third party service usually has its own third party services, resulting in a dizzying maze of online assets with varying security. If a threat actor exploits a vulnerability in your supply chain’s systems, they are able to move laterally to infiltrate your organization and install malware or exploit your data for financial gain.
Organizations must include the monitoring of their third party services within their vulnerability management strategy.
Common Third Party Vulnerabilities
Some of the most common vulnerabilities that may be exploited by threat actors include:
Many apps and cloud services require manual configurations which render them susceptible to exploitation by threat actors if misconfigured. For example, many cloud services use a shared responsibility model for cyber security, leading to customer generated misconfigurations in the infrastructure which may permit unauthorized users access to systems or data.
No matter how well it is built, after software has been released, you can bet patches will be distributed to correct vulnerabilities that have been discovered. Failure to apply patches will leave the software wide open to cyber attacks and with the contents of patches typically being public knowledge, threat actors are provided with a handy list of entry points to exploit and will actively conduct reconnaissance to identify businesses still unpatched.
Zero Day Vulnerabilities
Some vulnerabilities are unknown to even the developers. And because they were unknown, no patch is ready to be issued, meaning that a vulnerable system remains exposed as threat actors race to exploit the vulnerability.
How Can You Combat The Threat of Third Party Vulnerabilities?
Before onboarding or purchasing your third party service, it is critical to perform a comprehensive risk assessment that covers their cyber security systems and incident response. This way you can understand the risk they pose to your organization, including existing compromised credentials and likelihood of related attacks, before they are integrated with your organization.
Don’t give third party vendors more access than they need to complete the job. Organizations following this rule will limit the avenues a threat actor who has infiltrated the third party can use to move laterally to infiltrate your own.
CTI can provide timely intelligence about active threats, vulnerabilities, and threat actors relevant to the organization and their third party suppliers to stay one step ahead of attackers.
How Can Intel 471 help?
Our dashboard tracks vulnerabilities at every stage of their lifecycle and provides timely alerts to any changes in the weaponization and exploitation of a vulnerability, along with observed discussions in the cyber underground. An exploit lifecycle indicator allows you to instantly recognise the threat level associated with a vulnerability and pivot to analyst driven assessments and related intelligence reports to ensure you know when to act. Inform a third party about the impending exploitation of their vulnerability and deploy defensive action to ensure your organization is not affected.
Use our Attack Surface Protection solution to schedule scans to identify all known, unknown, and rogue assets within a third party’s attack surface. From a long-forgotten user account to a misconfigured wireless access point, you can locate all vulnerabilities that threat actors may leverage and alert your third parties to them.
We monitor our sources continuously to deliver accurate and timely intelligence on the latest threats and alert on those relevant to your organization. Understanding where the highest risks to your organization lie, along with how and why attacks were carried out. Enabling you to take preventative cyber defensive steps that can help mitigate attacks.
Intel 471 collects from unique sources including Human Intelligence (HUMINT), infected machines, threat actors, and malware sources. Our intelligence teams are also located globally and include native speakers from countries where criminal actors operate and have a wealth of experience navigating underground ecosystems enabling them to not just speak the native language of the threat actor, but also the criminal vernacular too. This provides us unique insight into the threats faced by your organization and third parties to ensure you are prepared.
We are your window into the cyber underground. Our unparalleled CTI offers unique insights into attackers’ intent and motivation to change the odds of an attack. Monitor your third parties for vulnerabilities and protect your organization by leveraging Intel 471’s unique intelligence to: