How Autonomous Penetration Testing Can Reduce Ransomware Risk by 26%

 

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, attackers continuously refine their methods to exploit vulnerabilities in a variety of systems. One of the most effective ways they achieve this is through the use of automated tools and databases, which allow for rapid identification and exploitation of newly discovered vulnerabilities. This blog delves into the methodologies attackers use, the critical importance of rapid remediation, and how implementing an efficient vulnerability management system can significantly reduce the risk of ransomware attacks by up to 26%.

 

 

Here is the verbatim discussion:

uh task for them okay and in fact actually what attackers do nowadays is that they maintain this database uh you know pre-indexed they keep on crawling and can maintain this database and in some you know raw big data tables uh Big Data you know Solutions so that you know whenever a one liberty comes up uh they can go and just do a search on this and put find a potential Target right so first step is internet wide scan and index it into the database so that you can search later then the next step is to do use a deep crawler now this what this crawler does actually is for for different products it goes and crawl and do a fingerprinting of the service the reason and then detect you know technology its versions Etc the reason for this is it makes easy to map a cve to a tech technology to a Target right for example if again esxi server if I take uh I can you go and you know scan the IPS I can grab the banners I can do finger printing that this specific you know technology which is VMware uh a specific version I can write you know parer to extract the versions and the technology on it and I can keep it indexed actually or even we can use it as on demand in fact whenever One Liberty comes we can you know go and scan the internet scan the IPS so once this crawling is done the next step is CV identification which means um that once the one Li is detect one Li is published you know it's it's matter of within you know maybe a few minutes to find out of maybe an hour to find out what versions are really impacted which technology is really impacted and once it is identified we can make a query into this database to find out which all Targets are potentially vulnerable right and once this one liberity identification is done on these potential targets uh the next step is to try out the exploits uh and generally this exploits once run the you know as I said you know the vulnerabilities are those space specific vulnerabilities which can give remote code execution most of the time to to the attacker and these are the V liabilities which are being targeted by R somewes so this is the uh you know the flow that automation that has allowed attackers to you know automate this whole Mass scale you know uh scanning and attacking uh within few days in fact and which which actually the point that I was referring to that the meantime to remediate a vulnerability has reduced to even few days now in summary now mitigating external critical cves could reduce ransomwares by 26% I think right as for the stats as for the you know the research by various reports right but the catch is that your mttr has to be few days uh if it is not done if the vulnerability is left open more than few days then there is increasing chance that it can be potential Target of an attacker and it is just luck that it is not being exploited but then you know if it is done correctly and there is a practice that continuously you know uh have these vulnerabilities and and mitigate them on a within few days then yes we can actually reduce the ransomware risk by 26% now the question is how now before you know going to details on how uh I just want to talk about fire Compass uh so fire Compass research team and I want to just give a background of about ourselves uh fire Compass research team by the way track uh you know brand new latest cves on continuous basis like whenever a new oneit is added to the NV database we go and track it we go and analyze it um and then we help our customers to identify exposure to these CVS within a day so that customers can take action and mitigate risk of these CBS using appropriate security measures now we have prioritized the upcoming you know we will talk about certain cves and then we have send in alerts exposure alerts to our customers that reduce the risk run somewhere at least by 25 26% assuming you have already fixed critical uh historical other critical CVS so assuming that you know other CVS which are already being fixed the new CVS that we will discuss right now if those are fixed then uh your your chance of you know risk of ransomware will be reduced by 26%.

 

Highlights:

Automated Internet-wide Scanning and Indexing:

Attackers perform extensive scans of the internet to index and store data about various systems and technologies. This pre-indexing process allows them to quickly identify potential targets when new vulnerabilities are discovered.

Deep Crawling and Fingerprinting:

A deep crawler performs detailed fingerprinting of services and technologies. By identifying the specific technologies and their versions, attackers can efficiently map vulnerabilities (CVEs) to potential targets.

CVEs Identification and Mapping:

Once a new vulnerability is published, attackers rapidly determine which versions and technologies are affected. They query their pre-indexed databases to find targets that match these criteria.

Exploitation of Vulnerabilities:

With identified targets, attackers deploy exploits to take advantage of the vulnerabilities. These exploits often enable remote code execution, which is a critical vector for ransomware attacks.

Importance of Rapid Remediation:

The mean time to remediate (MTTR) vulnerabilities has become a crucial metric. Reducing MTTR to a few days can significantly lower the risk of exploitation. If vulnerabilities are left unaddressed for longer periods, the likelihood of an attack increases substantially.

Impact on Ransomware Risk:

According to research, mitigating external critical CVEs promptly can reduce ransomware risk by 26%. This reduction assumes that historical critical CVEs have already been addressed, highlighting the need for continuous and proactive vulnerability management.

Role of Fire Compass:

Fire Compass continuously tracks new CVEs and analyzes their potential impact. By providing customers with timely exposure alerts and analysis, Fire Compass helps organizations mitigate risks effectively. This proactive approach ensures that customers can address vulnerabilities within a day, significantly reducing their ransomware risk.

 

Automated vulnerability management is an essential component of modern cybersecurity strategies. By understanding and replicating the methods used by attackers, organizations can develop robust defenses against potential threats. Rapid identification, analysis, and remediation of vulnerabilities are critical to reducing the risk of ransomware and other cyber-attacks. Implementing a solution like Fire Compass can help organizations stay ahead of threats and ensure their systems are secure against the latest vulnerabilities. Proactive vulnerability management not only enhances security but also significantly reduces the potential impact of ransomware, protecting both data and operational integrity.

 

Speaker:

Jitendra Chauhan has over 16+ years of experience in the Information Security Industry in key areas such as Building and Managing Highly Scalable Platforms, Red Teaming, Penetration Testing, and SIEM. He holds multiple patents in Information Security. He loves to visualize problems, solutions and ideas. He is very strong with modelling and inductive learning (he can mentally make math models based on a few examples). He is very passionate about machine learning and its applications, Cyber Security and Micro Services.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jitendrachauhan/
https://x.com/jitendrachauhan

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