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Pipeline Advisory

In light of the ongoing breaches at organizations around the globe, due diligence, and best practice necessitates that IT leaders evaluate their assets and protection measures with the keen and astute focus of a highly sophisticated and well-resourced attacker. The latest successful penetration/cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline demonstrates that every organization remains at risk from a wide aperture of nation-state attackers, well-organized criminal gangs, and ‘lone wolf’ actors. While we have become accustomed to daily security incidents on a global scale, this particular event strikes so deeply not in an abstract manner but with a very tangible impact on our pocketbooks (the price of gas). Notably, the Russian Threat Group, code-named DarkSide even issued a poorly worded press release indicating a recognition that this attack went too far as “Our goal is to make money and not creating [sic] problems for society". While the press release was orchestrated in such an amateur fashion as to indicate the attackers may actually have been connected to a <much more> sophisticated nation-state, the reality remains that multiple actors intend to steal your data and disrupt your services for a wide variety of nefarious motives.

As the next step in ensuring your organization does not make the headlines tomorrow, it is essential that you enunciate and shield the crown jewels which you intend to protect and then provide sufficient defensive layers with an eye towards balancing risk, cost, and operational agility. Data Defenders recommends executing the following actions in a measurable and repeatable manner:

UNDERSTAND & PRIORITIZE

Identifying and prioritizing the core elements that must be protected.  These crown jewels including data assets, services, and interconnections within and outside your infrastructure boundary should be stratified in terms of sensitivity of the underlying data as well as the criticality of the supported service.

MAINTAIN
Regularly update servers, network devices, applications, and edge devices to ensure the latest patch levels.

EVALUATE
Regression test the hardening of your perimeter and internal networks with regular penetration tests and vulnerability scans, preferably by an external, third party.

ZERO TRUST
Assume breach and operate with a Zero Trust Mindset inside and outside your network:
https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-207.pdf

TRAIN AND PREPARE
Be ready for the inevitable breach or security incident…Drill at all levels of your organization…from the server room to the board room. Ensure you have a trusted partner such as Data Defenders to contact when and not if a breach occurs!

Based on decades of experience and wide industry knowledge, Data Defenders can assist your journey to protect your company from both real time (tactical) and enduring (strategic) threats. Take the critical next step today.