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Presented By

Dan Michaluk

November 18, 2020

Cyber attack prevention basics

o Recent reports
• Twitter NY DFS report
• Marriot ICO report
• Coveware Q3 report
o Key program elements
• Basic technical defences
• Access and authentication
• Addressing the human element
• Intrusion detection
• Incident response

Recent reports
Recent reports

Twitter NY DFS report – 15 October 2020

o July 2020 - hackers gain access to Twitter’s
account management tools - hijack over 100
o Impersonated the Twitter IT department and
called employees to help with VPN
o Directed employees to a fake login page,
which allowed them to capture credentials
and circumvent multifactor authentication

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Recent reports

Twitter NY DFS report – October 15, 2020

o Stricter privilege limitations, with access being
re-certified regularly
o “The most secure form of MFA is a physical
security key, or hardware MFA, involving a USB
key that is plugged into a computer to
authenticate users.”
o Establish uniform standards of communications
and educate employees about them
o “Robust” monitoring via security information and
event management systems – monitoring in
“near real-time”

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Recent reports

Marriot ICO Report – 30 October 2020

o Starwood compromised in 2014, purchased
by Marriott in 2016
o Foothold used to install Mimikatz –
credential theft of accounts, only some of
which secured by MFA
o Encrypted data found - staged for export
o Finally found in September 2018 when
intrusion detection tool alerts to access to
activity relating to credit card data

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Recent reports

Marriot ICO Report – 30 October 2020

o Not surprisingly, findings relate to the deeper
layers cyber defence
• Monitoring of privileged accounts (more
logging, more analysis, more alerts – signature
and heuristic capabilities)
• Monitoring of databases (risk based evaluation
of what to activity to log and what alerts to set)
• Server hardening (via binary software
whitelisting on certain devices)
• Encryption (based on documented risk

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Recent Reports

Coveware Q3 Ransomware Report – 4 November 2020

o Average payments increasing
o 50% of cases involve threat to release
exfiltrated data
o “Coveware has seen a fraying of promises
of cybercriminals (if that is a thing) to delete
the data.”
o Time to “doxx” could be shortening

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Recent Reports

Coveware Q3 Ransomware Report – 4 November 2020

o “The repetitive exploitation of improperly
secured Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is
the gift that keeps on giving for the cyber
extortion economy.”
o “As the size of an organization grows, the
method of ingress shifts to the next
cheapest and most plentiful attack vector.
This tends to be either email phishing or
unpatched vulnerabilities.”

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Key program elements
Key program elements

Basic technical defences

o Technical layer creating strong perimeter that
is used to stop the intrusion
• Firewalls can block RDP access
• Intrusion Prevention Systems identify attacks
from traffic patters
o Secure backups
• 3-2-1 principle
• Test them
o Vulnerabilities and patching, and testing
o Tune based on threat intelligence
Mandiant: Ransomware Protection and Containment
11 Strategies
Key program elements

Access and authentication

o Network segmentation
• Restrict lateral communication
o Least privilege principle
• Periodic revocation reviews
o Multi-factor authentication
• Not all multi-factor authentication is the same

Key program elements

Addressing the human element

o Awareness campaigns – necessary but not
• At least annually
• Simulated attacks
• External message warnings
o Recall the NY DFS prescription – tell
employees how we will and will not
o There is a link to organizational social media

Key program elements

Intrusion detection
o IDPS and SEIM systems
o Constraint is typically cost of security
analysis (through a “SOC”)
o Recall the ICO
• Signature based detection
• Heuristic based detection

Key program elements

Incident response
o It will happen, and bad and good response
can dramatically affect outcomes – can you
hide in the noise?
o A good response plan will
• Save you time
• Lead to better decision-making
o Prepare it, update it

Thank You
For more information, contact:

Dan Michaluk

Ira Nishisato
Partner, National Leader, Cybersecurity

Eloise Gratton
Partner, National Co-Leader, Privacy

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice, a complete statement of the law, or an opinion on
any subject. No one should act upon it or refrain from acting without a thorough examination of the law after the facts of a specific situation are considered.
You are urged to consult your legal adviser in cases of specific questions or concerns. BLG does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, currency or
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