Threat & Vulnerability Management

Threat & Vulnerability Management
What in today’s tech environment makes below the operating system vulnerabilities a risk worth worrying about?

Top Answer : The surface area for below the operating system vulnerabilities just continues to proliferate more and more and more. From an education standpoint that would be fascinating research, but it also depends on who's issuing grants, because if no one wants to study that or pay someone to study that, then it's never going to get done.

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Do you think vulnerabilities below the operating system (in firmware, BIOS, drivers, etc.) should be a concern in your industry?

Top Answer : I used to do threat intelligence at Intel. So that was obviously an area of focus for us. At the CEA it's definitely a different beast. Really we provide earthquake insurance to anyone who owns property in California. We do have sensitive data and we do have things that we definitely have to protect, like data that can't go between private insurers that we work with. But from what I've been keeping an eye on, I think a lot of it is nation state, and honestly we're just not that big of a target. I mean if they want our actuarial tables, I don't think they need to go through the work to steal that from us. But it is definitely something I'm keeping an eye on and I'm kind of just waiting, just looking at it from a risk-based approach of like, "Okay, when does it hit that tipping point to where we really need to start doing things and taking it seriously?" And honestly, I'm doing that by gut. I mean, I have some experience there, but it's not something I could define as like what the tipping point is and when we'd need to start jumping in pretty heavily on it. So that's where we are at the CEA.

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WannaCry (ransomware)WannaCry (ransomware)

This survey was created to help IT Executives understand the effect of WannaCry ransomware on companies.

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How has GDPR and CCPA changed your use or procurement cybersecurity tools?

Top Answer : Not much directly but in some situations avoiding an agent, a plugin, or something that requires a cookie will mitigate privacy risks.  Many security technologies in how they are architected, deployed, and how the vendor gathers and shares information actually is generating a substantial amount of privacy risk

If these companies were affected then the foundation of computing could be at risk. If you could manipulate at the hardware layer via the firmware, BIOS, ect then a threat actor could weaponize well below the operating system which brings in to question the integrity of the entire computing stack and everything above it.  The firmware and bios are like the rebar and concrete for a building. If that foundation is weak then the entire structure and anything dependent on it is at risk. We cannot underestimate the potential or the severity of these companies being potentially affected by the SolarWinds hack and what that means for the foundational computing hardware they provide to the world.  What do others think ?  How could this impact your organization ?   Big tech companies including Intel, Nvidia, and Cisco were all infected during the SolarWinds hack - The Verge

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