High-profile attacks reveal that malicious hackers target third-party vendors and supply chain partners as a backdoor into their primary target, according to security specialist firm CyberArk.
At present, organisations in every industry provide network access to third-party vendors, which range from services companies and suppliers to external consultants.
But in the worlds of the cyber experts, attackers target less secure partners to compromise remote access points, steal and exploit privileged credentials, and gain access to targeted networks.
From here, attackers can elevate privileges, move laterally through the network, and execute their attack goals while completely circumventing the targeted company’s defences.
“It’s no secret that attackers target the weakest links in IT security, which are often found in accounts provisioned to third-parties for network access,” says John Worrall, Chief Marketing Officer, CyberArk.
“Often, these smaller third-party organisations have less sophisticated security policies and controls than the target companies, providing an open backdoor for attackers.
“With the proper privileged account security controls in place, organisations can provide the network access required for business efficiency while maintaining consistent security across all types of accounts – internal and external.”
According to recent research, attackers are increasingly targeting this soft spot in cyber security with 60 percent of organisations allowing third-party vendors remote access to internal networks.
Top U.S. banks and credit companies average nearly 20,000 third-party suppliers with most leading institutions having 200-300 high-risk, third-party relationships.
Meanwhile, third-party errors increase the cost of a data breach by as much as $43 per record in the U.S. alone, while 100 percent of advanced attacks exploit privileged credentials, 63 percent of data breaches are caused by security vulnerabilities introduced by third parties and finally, 58 percent of organisations have no confidence that their third-party vendors are securing and monitoring privileged access to their network.
As a result, CyberArk, which is distributed across New Zealand by Connecter Systems, has released a new security brief to protect organisations against cyber attacks through third-party remote access points.
The brief, ‘Securing Remote Vendor Access with Privileged Account Security’, provides organisations with guidance on how to address remote vendor access as a privileged access point that requires tight security controls.
Topics covered include: approaches for managing and securing third-party credentials, how to isolate and monitor external sessions, and the importance of threat detection capabilities in security solutions for third-party access.