Third-Party Cyber Risk — Zero-Day Findings and Mitigation
Discover the latest zero-day findings and mitigation strategies for third-party cyber risk in this comprehensive blog. Stay ahead of threats.
Third-Party Cyber Risk — Zero-Day Findings and Mitigation
Third-Party Cyber Risk is a major concern for organisations in today’s digital age. With technology playing an ever-increasing role in business operations, the threat of cyber-attacks has become a top priority. Unfortunately, one of the most common sources of vulnerability is the relationships between organisations and their third-party vendors and partners. As more companies rely on external resources to support their operations, they need have an awareness of the risks associated with third-party cyber risk and take proactive steps to mitigate them.
This includes performing thorough risk assessments, implementing strong security protocols, and regularly monitoring and updating their security posture. By taking these measures, organisations can reduce their exposure to third-party cyber risk and better protect themselves against potential attacks.
These third-party relationships can introduce new and complex risks into the organisation’s cybersecurity posture, which can be challenging to manage and mitigate. This is especially true regarding zero-day vulnerabilities, previously unknown security flaws that attackers can exploit.
Organisations must adopt a proactive and strategic approach to security to mitigate the risk posed by third-party cyber risk and zero-day vulnerabilities. This involves regular monitoring and assessment of third-party partners and robust risk management protocols and mitigation strategies.
In this blog, we will explore the risks posed by third-party cyber risk and zero-day findings, as well as practical steps organisations can take to protect themselves from these threats. From conducting regular security assessments, implementing strong security policies and procedures, and investing in technology solutions, organisations can take proactive measures to reduce their exposure to third-party cyber risk and zero-day vulnerabilities.
What is Zero-Day Attack?
A zero-day attack is a security vulnerability that has not been discovered or publicly disclosed. This attack takes advantage of a flaw in software or hardware, exploiting the vulnerability before the vendor has had a chance to release a patch or provide a fix. Zero-day attacks are dangerous because they often go unnoticed, allowing the attacker to remain undetected for an extended period.
Zero-day attacks can have a significant impact on organisations and individuals alike. They can cause damage to systems and data, disrupt operations, and lead to financial losses. As a result, it is essential for organisations to understand what zero-day attacks are and to take steps to prevent and mitigate their impact.
In the context of third-party cyber risk, zero-day attacks are particularly concerning because they can originate from within the supply chain or external ecosystem. This can make detecting and respond to these attacks difficult.
As technology advances and new threats emerge, organisations must stay ahead of the curve regarding zero-day attacks. By understanding what zero-day attacks are and taking steps to identify, prioritise, and mitigate them, organisations can reduce the risk associated with their third-party partners and suppliers and help to ensure the security of their systems and data.
What are the Types of Zero-Day Attacks
In this section, we will explore the following types of zero-day attacks:
Software Zero-Day Attacks: These attacks target software programs’ vulnerabilities, such as operating systems, web browsers, and other applications. These attacks range from simple exploits that allow attackers to gain unauthorised access to systems to complex campaigns that result in large-scale data breaches.
Hardware Zero-Day Attacks: Hardware zero-day attacks target vulnerabilities in hardware devices such as routers, IoT devices, and other connected systems. These attacks can range from simple exploits that allow attackers to gain unauthorised access to systems to more sophisticated attacks that can cause physical harm or damage to devices.
Malware Zero-Day Attacks: Malware zero-day attacks are a type of software zero-day attack involving malicious software to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. These attacks can range from simple payload delivery mechanisms to more sophisticated campaigns resulting in large-scale data breaches.
Social Engineering Zero-Day Attacks: Social engineering zero-day attacks use psychological manipulation to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or performing actions that put systems at risk. These types of attacks include phishing attacks, baiting attacks, and others.
Application Zero-Day Attacks: Application zero-day attacks are a type of software zero-day attack that targets vulnerabilities in specific applications, such as web-based applications, mobile applications, and other types of software. These types of attacks can result in significant harm to organisations and individuals. They can range from simple exploits that allow attackers to gain unauthorised access to systems to more sophisticated campaigns that result in large-scale data breaches.
Zero-day attacks can take many forms and can cause significant harm to organisations and individuals. To effectively mitigate these threats, it is crucial to understand the types of zero-day attacks and the methods and strategies used to carry out these attacks. By doing so, organisations can better position themselves to defend against these threats and reduce the risk of becoming victims of a zero-day attack.
How to Manage Distributed Risk Associated With Hundreds and Even Thousands of Vendors, Suppliers, and Partners
In today’s interconnected world, businesses rely heavily on a vast network of third-party partners to support their operations and supply chain. This interconnectedness provides numerous benefits, but it also creates new risks, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. With hundreds or even thousands of third-party vendors, suppliers, and partners, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of their activities and ensure they’re following security best practices. This is where the issue of third-party cyber risk comes into play. To mitigate the risk, organisations must implement robust risk management and third-party security programs that assess and monitor their third-party relationships for security gaps and vulnerabilities.
Understanding the potential cybersecurity risks associated with third-party relationships and implementing measures to mitigate them is critical. This includes developing a comprehensive third-party risk management program with due diligence, continuous monitoring, and response planning.
One of the critical components of a robust third-party risk management program is the ability to identify and respond to zero-day threats. A zero-day vulnerability is a previously unknown vulnerability that attackers can exploit to gain unauthorised access to a system or network. These types of threats can be particularly dangerous because they may go undetected for an extended period, leaving organisations vulnerable to attack.
To effectively manage third-party cyber risk, organisations must be proactive and be able to detect and respond to zero-day vulnerabilities in real-time. This requires a combination of technology and people, as well as the right processes and protocols.
Approaches to Identify, Prioritise, and Mitigate Active Threats and Critical/Zero-Day Vulnerabilities
The threat landscape in the world of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, and organisations must be able to adapt quickly to protect against emerging threats. One of the biggest challenges in this regard is managing third-party cyber risk. With hundreds and even thousands of vendors, suppliers, and partners involved in any organisation’s ecosystem, it can take a lot of work on all potential risk factors. This is why it’s crucial to have a practical approach to identify, prioritise, and mitigate active threats and critical/zero-day vulnerabilities.
Effective risk management requires a multi-layered approach that involves identifying potential threats, prioritising the most critical vulnerabilities, and implementing mitigation strategies to address them. This includes a combination of regular security audits and assessments, continuous monitoring and threat intelligence, and a thorough understanding of the organisation’s threat landscape. Using these tools and approaches, organisations can avoid emerging threats and ensure that their systems and networks are protected against the latest cyber-attacks.
In the face of a rapidly changing threat landscape, organisations must be proactive and agile in their approach to risk management. The ability to quickly and effectively identify, prioritise, and mitigate active threats and critical vulnerabilities is vital to an organisation’s overall security posture. It will be crucial to ensure they remain protected against the latest cyber threats.
Approaches to Identify Active Threats and Critical/Zero-Day Vulnerabilities
As the reliance on technology continues to grow, the threat of cyber-attacks from third-party vendors and partners has become a significant concern for organisations. The interconnected nature of the modern business creates new risks that can be difficult to keep track of, making it essential for companies to take an active approach to identify and mitigate third-party cyber risks.
This requires a comprehensive understanding of the current threat landscape, the organisation’s overall risk profile, and the unique challenges posed by individual third-party relationships. By taking a proactive approach, organisations can safeguard against potential vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
One of the organisations’ most pressing issues is the risk posed by critical and zero-day vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities have been discovered but have yet to be patched or mitigated, leaving organisations vulnerable to attack. Given the time-sensitive nature of these threats, organisations must clearly understand how to identify and respond to them.
There are several different approaches that organisations can take to identify active threats and critical/zero-day vulnerabilities. Some of these include regular security assessments, ongoing threat intelligence monitoring, and the deployment of specialised security tools and technologies.
Organisations must proactively mitigate third-party cyber risk regardless of the specific approach taken. This may involve working with third-party providers to implement more secure processes and technologies and regularly evaluating and updating the organisation’s risk management strategies to ensure they remain effective in the face of a rapidly changing threat landscape.
Ultimately, the success of any effort to mitigate third-party cyber risk will depend on several factors, including the organisation’s overall risk profile, the specific risks posed by individual third-party relationships, and the effectiveness of the strategies and technologies deployed to mitigate these risks. Nevertheless, by taking an active and proactive approach to identifying and mitigating active threats and critical/zero-day vulnerabilities, organisations can help to protect themselves against the growing threat of cybercrime.
Approaches to Prioritise Active Threats and Critical/Zero-Day Vulnerabilities
One approach is to conduct regular risk assessments of third-party relationships. This can include using questionnaires, site visits, and technical evaluations to understand the third party’s security posture. The results of these assessments can be used to prioritise which risks to address first and allocate resources accordingly.
Another approach is to implement a continuous monitoring program. This can involve automated tools to monitor threats and vulnerabilities in real-time. The results of these monitoring efforts can be used to identify high-priority risks that need to be addressed promptly.
Organisations can also leverage threat intelligence to prioritise their risks. Threat intelligence can provide valuable insights into the latest threats and vulnerabilities, allowing organisations to understand the most pressing risks and where they should focus their mitigation efforts.
By understanding which vulnerabilities pose the most significant risk, organisations can take steps to remediate these vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them. Additionally, organisations can implement a vulnerability management program. This can involve vulnerability scans and penetration testing to identify and prioritise critical/zero-day vulnerabilities.
Approaches to Mitigate Active Threats and Critical/Zero-Day Vulnerabilities
With the growing sophistication of cyber threats, it’s increasingly important to identify, prioritise, and effectively mitigate any active threats and critical or zero-day vulnerabilities that may arise. When mitigating the risks posed by third-party partners, suppliers, and vendors, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive and proactive approach. In this section, we will explore various approaches to mitigating these risks so that you can be better prepared to protect your organisation against cyberattacks.
One of the most critical steps in mitigating risk is conducting regular and thorough assessments of third-party partners. This may include conducting on-site visits and remote assessments using tools such as vulnerability scans and penetration testing. By performing regular assessments, you can identify areas of weakness in your partners’ security posture and work with them to address these issues proactively.
Another approach to mitigating risk is to implement adequate controls and processes. This includes firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and other security measures that can prevent unauthorised access to your systems and data. Additionally, you may consider implementing access controls and authentication mechanisms to ensure that only authorised personnel can access sensitive data and systems.
Another critical aspect of mitigating risk has effective incident response plans. This should include processes for identifying, reporting and responding to security incidents and procedures for containing and eradicating threats. It’s also important to regularly train your employees on the practices and policies that should be followed in case of a security breach.
Finally, it’s critical to have effective communication channels between your organisation and your third-party partners. This will enable you to share information about potential threats, vulnerabilities, and incidents promptly and effectively and to work together to address these issues. Regularly sharing threat intelligence and best security practices can help build trust and cooperation between partners and will be essential in effectively mitigating cyber risks.
Strategies to Reduce Supply Chain/External Ecosystem Risk Associated With Zero-Day
When managing third-party cyber risk, one of the most prominent challenges organisations face is reducing the risk associated with zero-day vulnerabilities in their supply chain and external ecosystem. A zero-day vulnerability is a security flaw unknown to the software vendor and, as a result, has not yet been patched or mitigated. If a hacker discovers the vulnerability before it is addressed, they can exploit it to gain unauthorised access to systems and data. Given the increased reliance on third-party vendors in today’s digital landscape, managing the risk associated with zero-day vulnerabilities has become a critical priority for organisations of all sizes.
To reduce supply chain and external ecosystem risks associated with zero-day vulnerabilities, organisations can adopt the following strategies:
- Conduct regular third-party security assessments: Regular security assessments can help organisations identify and prioritise potential vulnerabilities in their third-party supply chain. This can include internal evaluations, such as security questionnaires and penetration testing, and external assessments, such as independent third-party security audits.
- Implement continuous monitoring: Continuous monitoring can help organisations detect zero-day vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered and take immediate action to mitigate them. This can include using security tools such as intrusion detection systems (IDS) and security information and event management (SIEM) systems to monitor network activity for signs of suspicious activity.
- Maintain a comprehensive security inventory: Organisations should maintain an inventory of all third-party software and hardware used within their networks. This will help them track any updates or patches that need to be applied to address zero-day vulnerabilities.
- Establish clear security policies and procedures: Organisations should establish clear security policies and procedures that outline how they will address potential zero-day vulnerabilities in their third-party supply chain. This should include guidelines for regular security assessments, continuous monitoring, and communication with third-party vendors.
- Work with third-party vendors: Organisations can work with third-party vendors to reduce the risk associated with zero-day vulnerabilities. This can include implementing secure development processes, such as software security testing and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), to ensure that vulnerabilities are discovered and addressed as quickly as possible.
By adopting these strategies, organisations can reduce their exposure to supply chain and external ecosystem risks associated with zero-day vulnerabilities. While no single method is foolproof, a comprehensive approach that includes regular security assessments, continuous monitoring, and collaboration with third-party vendors can help organisations stay ahead of the curve when managing third-party cyber risk.
We are thrilled to announce that the conference topic ‘Third-Party Cyber Risk — Zero-Day Findings and Mitigation’ will be held in the blue room at the Nordic IT Security conference. This critical topic will provide valuable insights into how organisations can effectively reduce their exposure to supply chain and external ecosystem risks associated with zero-day vulnerabilities. Dan Vasile, Vice President of Cyber Strategy at BlueVoyant, will deliver the keynote speech on this topic.