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Security News: WannaCry Surfaces in Taiwan, as Reddit Breach Puts 2FA in the Spotlight

WannaCry rears its ugly head again. Reddit gets hacked, despite using two-factor authentication. A cryptojacking campaign targets carrier-grade routers. Here are some recent security industry news that have caught our attention.

WannaCry hits Taiwan Semi

The notorious WannaCry ransomware re-appeared recently, when Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, a chip supplier to Apple and other smartphone makers, suffered an infection that dented its operations.

Specifically, the ransomware disrupted chip production to a point that will delay shipments and cut revenue in the third quarter, although no confidential data was compromised, the company said.

According to Sophos’ Naked Security blog, the chip maker, which is Taiwan’s largest company, blamed the incident on a careless supplier that installed software infected with a WannaCry variant on its network. “When the virus hit, it spread quickly, affecting production at semiconductor plants in Tainan, Hsinchu and Taichung,” Naked Security’s Lisa Vaas wrote.

Of course, WannaCry can be avoided altogether by patching vulnerable systems, as Ben Lovejoy reminds us in 9to5Mac.

That’s the major lesson from last year’s WannaCry global rampage, which infected 300,000-plus systems, disrupting critical operations globally. Long before WannaCry erupted in May of last year, organizations should have patched the vulnerability that the ransomware exploited. Now they’ve had more than a year to fix it.

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Eager to Boost your Container Security? Don’t Miss this Webcast

DevOps teams can’t get enough of containers — and for good reason. Faster and more efficient application development and deployment, as well as increased application portability, are some container technology benefits, which in turn help drive digital transformation efforts.

Container-based applications can be smaller, often focused on one or a few capabilities, and be more easily distributed across an IT environment. That’s why containers have facilitated the popularity of microservices, a type of architecture in which applications are structured as independent, small, modular services.

However, containers create their own set of security and compliance issues. These challenges include the use of un-validated software pulled from public repositories, which often contains unpatched vulnerabilities, and the deployment of containers with weak configurations. In addition, containers communicate directly with each other via exposed network ports in a way that bypasses host controls, and they’re hard to track because they’re so ephemeral.

Hari Srinivasan, Director of Product Management for Qualys’ public cloud infrastructure platform integrations

This Thursday, Qualys will host a webcast, “Building Security into the 3 Phases of Container Deployment,” led by Hari Srinivasan, Director of Product Management, who’s our resident expert on container security.

In this webcast, Srinivasan will outline security use cases for containers at the build, registry, and runtime stages of DevOps pipelines. He will also explain the importance of having visibility into container assets, and of the need for container-native vulnerability analysis. Srinivasan will also address strategies to detect and address drifting runtimes.

Register for Thursday’s webcast, which begins at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET.

Security News: Bluetooth Bug Triggers Patch Frenzy, as Ransomware Attack Hits Global Shipper

A scary Bluetooth bug. A crippling ransomware attack. A cyber threat to the U.S. electrical grid. A data leak of trade secrets from major car makers such as Tesla and GM. These were some of the security industry news that caught our eye last week.

Bluetooth vulnerability rattles vendors, end users

The disclosure of a major flaw in Bluetooth last week has sent vendors of all shapes and sizes scrambling to patch their products, including cell phones and computers.

The bug, found by researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology, affects the elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman key exchange mechanism employed by Bluetooth. “The authentication provided by the Bluetooth pairing protocols is insufficient,” they wrote.

The CERT advisory explains that an unauthenticated, remote attacker within range could use a “man-in-the-middle” network position to find out the cryptographic keys used by the device. “The attacker can then intercept and decrypt and/or forge and inject device messages,” it reads.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Securing Containers – From Build to Deployments

DevOps teams have embraced Docker container technology because it boosts speed, agility, and flexibility in app development and delivery. But it also creates security and compliance challenges.

“Containers are revolutionizing the IT landscape,” Hari Srinivasan, a Qualys Director of Product Management, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition. As the next big thing in IT, containers are seeing tremendous growth in adoption.

“Containers are lightweight, efficient, portable, and they boot faster, making it highly efficient and easy for developers to deploy their applications,” he said during his presentation “Securing Containers — From Build to Deployments.”

Containers are lighter than virtual machines because they can be spun up without provisioning a guest operating system for each one. For that reason, they also churn much more frequently.

With containers, applications can be smaller, focused on one or a few capabilities, and more portable, because they can be easily distributed across an IT environment, he said. That’s why containers have helped popularize microservices, a new architecture where applications are structured as independent, small, modular services.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Vulnerability Risk Management

When vulnerability risk management is proactive, organizations don’t have to hurriedly react to attacks that exploit bugs for which patches are available, as happened with WannaCry. 

“The vast majority of WannaCry remediation took place as an emergency type process,” Jimmy Graham, a Qualys Director of Product Management, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

It’s key to have an integrated breach prevention program with asset inventory, vulnerability management, threat prioritization and patch management, he said

Graham also outlined how Qualys can help customers comprehensively and proactively manage their vulnerability risk.

Read on to learn more.

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GDPR Is Here: How GDPR Readiness Can Boost Your Business

Most discussions about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have naturally focused on best practices for achieving compliance and avoiding penalties.  

With GDPR now a reality for all companies that store and process personal data of EU residents, an often overlooked aspect has been the overall business advantage of GDPR preparedness.

In this GDPR blog series’ last installment, Hariom Singh, Director of Policy Compliance at Qualys, delves into this topic.  Later, we round up major areas covered in previous posts, and summarize how Qualys can help with GDPR compliance.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Global IT Asset Discovery, Inventory, and Management

Maintaining an IT asset inventory is essential for a strong security posture, but digital transformation has further complicated this already challenging task.

“The volume and variety of assets, including cloud, virtualization, mobility and IoT, is disrupting IT, and security takes center stage,” Pablo Quiroga, a Qualys Director of Product Management, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

Consequently, many security teams can’t definitively answer questions like: What are your IT assets? Where are they located? Who are their owners and users? How are assets related?

Having asset-inventory blind spots heightens security risks, which is why most regulations and standards highlight this practice. For instance, the Center for Internet Security’s Top 20 controls begin with inventory and control of hardware and software, because attackers constantly look to exploit vulnerable assets.

In his presentation, titled “Global IT Asset Discovery, Inventory, and Management,” Quiroga explained the importance of a complete and accurate inventory, and how Qualys can help. Read on to learn more.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Securing Hybrid IT Environments from Endpoints to Clouds

As organizations embrace digital transformation to boost business processes, traditional IT environments get altered, becoming distributed, elastic and hybrid.  “That’s creating a new challenge for security,” Chris Carlson, Qualys’ Product Management VP, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

As elements like cloud services, mobility, IoT, and DevOps are incorporated into IT environments, security teams often struggle with asset visibility, credential issues, authentication failures, remote-user scanning, and scheduled scan ineffectiveness.

But these challenges also offer “an opportunity to redefine how security programs and controls are done,” he said during his presentation titled “Securing Hybrid IT Environments from Endpoints to Clouds.” 

Carlson went on to explain how organizations can secure digital transformation efforts with Qualys’ platform, and emphasized the benefits of Cloud Agent sensors. Read on to learn more.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition – Building Security In: The Qualys Cloud Platform and Architecture

Digital transformation, driven primarily by the DevOps movement, represents a new opportunity “to redo IT from scratch, but more importantly, to redo security from scratch,” Sumedh Thakar, Qualys’ Chief Product Officer, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

Specifically, organizations can organically build security into this new, hybrid IT infrastructure, instead of abruptly bolting it on as has been done traditionally — and ineffectively.  Meshing security in natively requires a unified security and compliance platform for detection, prevention and response.

Today, many organizations have a fragmented, siloed strategy that doesn’t provide the needed visibility because it’s based on accumulating point products that don’t scale, are costly to deploy and maintain, and complex to integrate.

“This is why security is so far behind,” Thakar said during his keynote.

“The effort and resistance that goes into putting together the information that’s required to make decisions is very costly, very time-consuming, and not accurate,” he added.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition – Securing our Networks and Enabling the Digital Transformation: One App at a Time

Qualys Chairman and CEO Philippe Courtot set the tone for the company’s first virtual conference, the QSC18 Virtual Edition, with a call to the industry to re-invent security to protect digital transformation efforts.

CIOs and CISOs can’t continue accumulating disparate, point solutions that are costly to manage, difficult to integrate, and ultimately ineffective at protecting hybrid IT environments. “The mission is for us together to stop bolting on security and compliance solutions, and start building them in,” he said during the opening keynote.

Digital transformation projects, built by DevOps teams and delivered via cloud services, web apps, and mobile computing, demand a recasting of security’s role. The traditional approach, in which security is an isolated element jammed in at the end of the software pipeline, erases the benefits of digital transformation by slowing it down. 

Qualys is uniquely able to help enterprises address these challenges, he said.

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