By Wade Kilgore, VP of Technical Operations, Axxys Technologies
Cybersecurity is becoming a standard discussion point in all businesses, in all technologies, and in every part of our daily lives. Protecting ourselves, our families, our businesses, our clients, and our data from cyber threats seems to just be part of the norm. While this is frustrating and discouraging, it is an opportunity to work together and build systems, processes, and partnerships that will withstand the ongoing barrage of threats of today.
Recently several news sources in the technology industry have announced a new wave of attacks that target a consumer class of equipment called VPNFilter. This is an “Internet of Things” BotNet that it is believed has infected over half a million devices that will be leveraged to stage an attack ahead of the Champions League soccer final. Below is an excerpt from a US-CERT advisory….
“NCCIC is aware of a sophisticated modular malware system known as VPNFilter. Devices known to be affected by VPNFilter include Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, and TP-Link networking equipment, as well as QNAP network-attached storage (NAS) devices. Devices compromised by VPNFilter may be vulnerable to the collection of network traffic (including website credentials), as well as the monitoring of Modbus supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) protocols.
VPNFilter has a destructive capability that can make the affected device unusable. Because the malware can be triggered to affect devices individually or multiple devices at once, VPNFilter has the potential to cut off internet access for hundreds of thousands of users.”
An important lesson for business owners, is to ensure that your company cannot be used in such an attack. The devices attacked include many consumer grade devices typically available via retailers that service home usage. Devices such as Linksys, NetGear, TP-Link, and others. These devices do not belong in the business networking environment as they do not provide an adequate method of monitoring and management. As made obvious by this infection and attack, we have to monitor and secure all devices attached to our networks, not just servers and workstations or laptops. The switching, routers, firewalls, appliances, smartphones, smartwatches, and anything else that attaches must be monitored, managed, and secured to avoid these issues.
It is more important than ever before that we realize there is Strength In Numbers, and that there is Power In Knowledge. By partnering with a managed services provider or managed security services provider such as Axxys Technologies, Inc., you have the ability to leverage our vast network of professionals. Not just the certified and experience professionals of Axxys, but our partner network and peer network as well. It is this vast network that allows you to leverage the knowledge of others, and ensure that we are able to proactively address the challenges and threats.
Axxys Technologies, Inc. leverages tools to inventory all devices on the network to ensure that they are inventoried, monitored, managed, and secured against these types of threats. We subscribe to threat intelligence made available from our partners such as US-CERT, Microsoft, VMWare, Cisco, Watchguard, MSSPAlert, NIST, and many others to stay ahead of the risks and threats that are being identified by communities of cybersecurity professionals. We want to help you secure your family, business, clients, and data from cyber threats. Contact us today to begin the process of evaluating your systems and network to ensure you are not at risk from threats like VPNFIlter.