Trustwave Rapid Response: CrowdStrike Falcon Outage Update. Learn More

Trustwave Rapid Response: CrowdStrike Falcon Outage Update. Learn More

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CDK Global Cyber Incident Shows the Need for Better Supply Chain Security

CDK Global, a company that provides software for thousands of auto dealers, was hit by back-to-back cyberattacks on June 19. These attacks led to an outage that continued to impact many of their sales operations on Friday, according to the Associated Press. CDK told multiple news outlets that it is "actively investigating a cyber incident," and the company shut down all of its systems out of an abundance of caution.

CDK Global claims to work with 15,000 dealerships, although the total number impacted was not released.

The attack highlights the danger organizations face when one of their third-party vendors is successfully attacked and the need for an enterprise to take all the steps possible to ensure their supply chain is as secure as possible. Although supply chains can be immensely complex, containing dozens, if not hundreds of separate entities, there are methods to investigate their security posture.


Assessing The Supply Chain

One option to assess your supply chain is to use the Trustwave Security Colony's Vendor Assessment, a free tool that can lead a security team through the process by having them simply input the supplier's primary domain, an email domain, if different, and an application domain, and it is checked against known issues.

We then "scan" – scanning is, in fact, a bit of colloquialism. Instead, Trustwave monitors and reports on publicly available information that is published by a client through its website and from third parties.

To do this, we use a variety of sources, such as Breachsense, Pastebin, GHOSTBIN, Shodan, server fingerprinting using JARM, and other tests we have developed to collect information published on the website we are reviewing.

This process entails assessing security misconfigurations and vulnerabilities related to server configuration, including:

  • Whether an organization has a strong process for correctly configuring all their encryption (SSL/TLS) certificates
  • Whether an organization has insecure (i.e., unencrypted) ports open to the Internet
  • DNS server configuration.

There is also an email component with our tool checking for security misconfigurations and vulnerabilities related to email system configuration, including:

  • Whether an organization uses strong email security technology (SPF and DMARC)
  • Whether employees of an organization have used their corporate email addresses on external accounts, and whether they have then been the subject of a data breach.

The final part covers evaluating security misconfigurations and vulnerabilities related to critical web applications.

Unlike other security checks, such as penetration testing, Security Colony’s Vendor Assessment does not require access to an organization's system. Instead, we can gather all we need from publicly available sources.


Taking Action

In addition to the vendor assessment, there are other methods available to help manage the supply chain's cyber risk.

1. Containing the Risk -Recommendations such as using trusted networks, information sharing, scenario planning, and quantification metrics have been broadly accepted by organizations. These actions may be helpful but don't fully solve the problem unless deployed by all stakeholders, meaning everyone in the supply chain – and that's a tall order. Improved risk management must start from within, remembering what's in your control first.

2. Relationship Building -Build a strong relationship between an organization's procurement department and security. Knowing that supplier lists are often incomplete and outdated, get a proactive grasp on changing vendor dynamics by building a relationship with your procurement team for cyber risk integration. Because procurement is often only involved with certain levels of vendor acquisition, you'll better identify gaps if they understand the risks associated with reduced visibility into supplier changes.

3. Triage and Assess Your Supplier List -Once you can more clearly see the full supplier ecosystem, rank your list by importance and create a process for evaluating the effectiveness of each supplier's security. Specialized support for an undertaking like this may help make this important component of your risk management strategy feel more feasible.

Remember, any assessment framework should cover a variety of cybersecurity standards and best practices, e.g., from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or CIS Critical Security Controls (formerly SANS). Questions range from the supplier's ability to encrypt data, whether it uses MFA, the supplier's password policies, patching program management, architecture and segmentation, cloud usage, and many more.

Security Colony


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