Articles about Security

Purple Team engagements uncover security weaknesses

Purple Team

Our threat researchers at Lares encounter a broad range of security flaws and vulnerabilities when we conduct Purple Team exercises on behalf of our clients. Over time, the same unforced errors seem to come up so often that we warn security teams to develop standardized practices to defend against them.

The Lares Adversarial Collaboration Unit assists clients with defensive collaboration engagements and Purple Team assessments, which combine offensive and defensive techniques to strengthen security protections. Red Teams emulate external or insider attackers, while Blue Teams serve as internal security defenders. Purple Teams assist both sides by aligning the defensive tactics of the Blue Team with the threats attempted by the Red Team.

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Beyond the smoke and mirrors of zero trust security [Q&A]

Enterprises are faced with a barrage of new threats and entry points and as a result need to deploy, scale, enforce and maintain zero trust security policies to keep pace.

Access control needs to be at the core of any successful zero trust model but this too presents challenges. We spoke to Denny LeCompte, CEO of Portnox, to discover how organizations can overcome zero trust barriers.

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Microsoft fixes Azure BingBang bug that allowed Bing search hijacking and leaked private data


Microsoft has addressed a serious flaw in Azure Active Directory which was dubbed BingBang by the security researchers that discovered it.

The vulnerability not only made it possible to manipulate Bing search results, but also to access private data from Outlook, Office 365 and Teams. The issue stemmed from an Azure misconfiguration; it dates back to January this year, but Microsoft has only just plugged the hole.

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71 percent of employees have sensitive work data on personal devices

Allowing people to use their own devices for work comes with risks. A new report from SlashNext shows that 43 percent of employees were found to have been the target of a work-related phishing attack on their personal devices.

When it comes to securing BYOD hardware, 90 percent of security leaders say that protecting employees' personal devices is a top priority, but only 63 percent say they definitely have the tools to do so adequately.

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Shadow data is a top concern for security teams

Shadow data is named as the number one concern around protecting cloud data by 68 percent of data security professionals.

A new study from Laminar reveals that the number of respondents expressing concern over shadow data has increased to 93 percent compared to 82 percent the year before.

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Agent-based vs. agentless approaches -- how to implement cloud security

Cloud security

Implementing your security approach will depend on how you can translate your approach from strategy into reality. As part of this, you will have to make decisions on what tools you use based on the functions that they cover, how they help you create and use data, and how they work. This latter part is important as all security professionals have their own preferences. One of the big debates here is whether you use agent-based or agentless tools.

Using security tools that rely on agents can be an issue for some security professionals, while others will swear by their agent-based tool of choice, and you would have to pry it from their hands. The challenge here is when you have a combination of complex environments to consider, faster software development goals to support, real-time security pressures to contend with, and more data than you know what to do with. So what approach should you choose?

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HEAT attacks: A new spin on browser exploit techniques

HEAT attacks

It is no secret that the web browser is becoming an increasingly popular target for cybercriminals looking to compromise an endpoint to gain entry to a network. The increased business use of the browser (remote work) on networks that lack the perimeter security infrastructure of traditional campus networks has made them easier to exploit. In recent months, we have seen an increase in cyberattacks and data leaks caused by browser-related security incidents, including a data breach caused by a phishing attack on Dropbox that gained the hacker access to over 100 of the company’s code repositories in November, and December’s CircleCi breach resulting from an infection of information-stealing malware.

Highly Evasive Adaptive Threats, or HEAT attacks, are a new spin on existing browser exploit techniques that make them much more dangerous. These attacks exploit browsers by leveraging features and tools to bypass traditional security controls and then attack from within, including compromising credentials or deploying ransomware. Comprised of known tactics such as phishing messages, HTML smuggling and dynamic drive-by downloads, these attacks frequently target SaaS applications and other web-based tools that are critical to productivity.

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Reactive approach to cybersecurity is a problem for organizations

A new survey shows respondents feel a reactive approach to security is problematic for their organizations. 90 percent of them say they struggle with challenges when they react to cyber security problems as they arise.

The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting for WithSecure, shows most organizations currently approach cyber security on a reactive basis, with 60 percent of respondents saying they react to individual cyber security problems as they arise.

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Microsoft Defender caught issuing false warnings about safe URLs

Microsoft Defender on a laptop

Microsoft has confirmed an issue with Defender which resulted in users being shown warnings about URLs that were entirely safe. The emails advised admins that "a potentially malicious URL click was detected", with affected users complaining that legitimate URLs, such as Zoom meeting links, were being flagged up as dangerous.

In addition to the false positives, the "View alerts" link included in the warning emails sent out to admins failed to provide any further information that could prove useful.

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60 percent of organizations have had authentication breaches in the last year

Insecure authentication is a primary cause of cyber breaches and cumbersome login methods take an unacceptable toll on employees and business productivity, according to a new report.

The 2023 State of Passwordless Security Report, released by HYPR and Vanson Bourne, shows that 60 percent of organizations have reported authentication breaches over the last 12 months and that three out of the top four attack vectors are connected to authentication.

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Smaller means safer as bigger businesses see more endpoint infections

Computer security

Of businesses with between 21 and 100 protected endpoints, only five percent encountered a malware infection in 2022. For smaller firms with one to 20 endpoints, the rate is 6.4 percent, but as companies grow so do infections.

For businesses between 101 and -500 endpoints the rate rises to 58.7 percent and over 500 it's 85.8 percent. These findings are from a new report by OpenText Cybersecurity which looks at the latest threats and risks to the small and medium business (SMB) and consumer segments.

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Phishing emails soar as messages bypass standard email security solutions

A new report shows that 2022 saw a 569 percent increase in malicious phishing emails and a 478 percent increase in credential phishing-related threat reports published.

The report from Cofense also looks at emails bypassing SEGs and hitting users' inboxes and highlights that delivery methods for carrying out phishing campaigns continue to keep up with the advancement of technology. Cofense has witnessed a continued blending of tactics to make detection and mitigation even more difficult for organizations.

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API attacker activity up 400 percent in six months


The latest State of API Security Report from Salt Security shows a 400 percent increase in unique attackers in the last six months.

In addition, around 80 percent of attacks happened over authenticated APIs. Not surprisingly, nearly half (48 percent) of respondents now say that API security has become a C-level discussion within their organization.

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Companies struggle to protect against insider risks

insider threat

Although more than 70 percent of companies say they have an insider risk management (IRM) program in place, the same companies experienced a year-on-year increase in data loss incidents of 32 percent, according to a new report from Code42 Software.

Based on a survey of 700 cybersecurity leaders, cybersecurity managers and cybersecurity practitioners in the US, conducted by Vanson Bourne, the report shows 71 percent expect data loss from insider events to increase in the next 12 months.

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Stolen credentials and the rise of the 'traffers'


Even as we move towards passwordless authentication methods, stolen credentials remain a major problem for businesses.

A new report from cyber risk management company Outpost24 highlights the increasing professionalization of the market for stolen credentials thanks to the rise of what are known as 'traffers'.

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