Security Roundup: 'Undercover' Industries, Recorded Future, Check Point

Undercover industries provide an ample opportunity to educate and service new website security clients.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 24, 2019

8 Min Read
Security Roundup

Industries such as government, health care and education are at higher risk of cyberattacks, and have a lot to lose from a data breach, but not all organizations in these industries understand the risk.

While health-care companies and federal agencies understand the governance, risk management and compliance issues plaguing their organizations, equally vulnerable organizations like school systems, local governments and private health-care practices often lack that understanding.

These “undercover” high-risk industries also tend to have low website-security sophistication as they don’t know what valuable data they have on hand.

This presents a golden opportunity for MSSPs and MSPs. Undercover industries provide an ample opportunity to educate and service new website security clients.


SiteLock’s David Mason

We spoke with David Mason, SiteLock‘s manager of channel account management, about how smaller players in high-risk industries should be a priority for the channel in 2019. The company provides cloud-based website security offerings for businesses of all sizes.

While MSSPs and MSPs currently service these high-risk industries, the opportunity to educate and expand their services beyond endpoint security within these industries is being overlooked, he said.

“Websites are the one digital asset that MSPs’ clients want publicly accessible, meaning it’s imperative that they are properly secured,” Mason said. “However, website security beyond a secure socket layer (SSL) is not typically brought up during a MSP security audit and is largely underserved by some hosting providers. Due to their pre-established relationships with these high-risk industries, MSPs are in the best position to become a trusted security adviser and provide a one-stop shop for holistic security packages.”

Most hospitals and schools understand the necessity of securing their data; however, the front-facing website itself is usually a missed vulnerability that can potentially be exploited by cybercriminals, he said.

“That said, it’s a common misconception that bad actors have very specific targets or segments in mind for an attack,” Mason said. “In many cases, it is actually specific vulnerabilities that are targeted by bots, and any website, regardless of sector, is a potential target. Today’s MSP has a unique opportunity to partner with these industries to provide both education and comprehensive security.”

MSSPs already face the challenge of getting organizations to better invest in security, especially for smaller, more budget-conscious players, he said. In fact, it’s all too common for clients, regardless of size or industry, to assume they aren’t at risk and therefore end up taking a reactive approach to a breach or attack, he said.

“One of the keys to communication with these specific high-risk industries is leveraging an initial security assessment to help the client understand their vulnerabilities, why security is important, and how different types of security (endpoint vs. website) fit together,” Mason said. “MSPs should also be proactive in evaluating the vendors they partner with and ensure they have providers that offer a wide range of security products and top-tier services at various price points. This will allow the MSP (and MSSP) to better match a solution set to the client’s needs and help overcome budget issues.”

Given the scope and size of these industries, the opportunity for MSSPs and MSPs to really establish themselves and grow out the sector is especially attractive, he said. This allows providers with a way to …

… ensure diversification in their portfolios, protecting against potential downturns within business sectors. In addition, it creates new revenue streams.

“The first way the channel can help is through greater education,” Mason said. “I cannot stress how important education is when it comes to cybersecurity across all sectors. Security is a complicated concept and one that clients may struggle to understand. Creating a clear picture of what and why they need the different security components goes a long way in building trust and growing that relationship.”

Another way is by offering complete security solution sets. MSPs need to offer more than just endpoint security and SSL, and truly become a one-stop solution by providing a holistic security solution that delivers comprehensive protection.

“Finally, MSPs should continue reviewing and assessing with each client on a consistent basis,” Mason said. “As they grow, their security needs might change, and this provides a unique opportunity for MSPs to grow with them as their security expert.”

Recorded Future Debuts Third-Party Risk Intelligence

Threat intelligence company Recorded Future this week unveiled Third-Party Risk, a new offering that will expand the scope of its threat-intelligence capabilities to help organizations expose, contextualize and rate the potential threat environment so they can mitigate third-party risk.

With Third-Party Risk, threat-intelligence teams can integrate vendor analysis into their overall business risk assessment and security strategy within a single platform, staying apprised of changes to their risk profile, regardless of origin. It also provides full transparency into the reasoning and threats contributing to overall risk scores in real time so that security teams can make determinations about how to engage with third parties in accordance with their unique requirements and profiles.


Recorded Future’s Ashleigh Serrano Erturk

Ashleigh Serrano Erturk, Recorded Future‘s director of partner marketing, tells us Third-Party Risk is an “exciting offering for our partner community.”

“Third-Party Risk is tremendously beneficial for MSSPs looking to increase their capabilities,” she said. “The offering is unique in that it combines insights from Recorded Future’s standard threat-intelligence services with live data and security ratings on threat activity targeting third parties. The module monitors for an organization’s dark web footprint, IT policy violations, unpatched or vulnerable technology that third parties are using, as well as instances of domain abuse (domain squatting, for example). Each of these serve as crucial indicators of indirect risk, and we expect the ability to provide such comprehensive security services should be a boon for our partner MSSPs.”

Data transparency is a noteworthy differentiator as it allows customers to …

… have a clear-cut understanding of what risks are most prevalent in their environment and determinant in the security ratings, Serrano Erturk said.

“Simply put, Third-Party Risk provides our partners with an opportunity to present their clients with a more holistic view of their risk,” she said.

Cybersecurity Investment Skyrockets

According to a blog by Strategic Cyber Ventures, 2018 was a big year for cybersecurity investing, with record highs in dollars invested and average deal size, the continued rise of investment outside of the United States, “vibrant and robust” M&A, and an open and mostly healthy IPO market.

In 2018, capital venture funding totaled $5.3 billion, nearly double that of 2016; however, this rate of investment is not sustainable, according to the firm.

While total funding increased substantially, the total number of deals remained relatively the same as 2017, it said. This means the average deal size is now $15.8 million, a “heavy right-skew” driven by “mega” cyber deals of more than $100 million over the past several years. Many companies like Tanium and Crowdstrike have received multiple rounds of investment.

Asia and Europe together now account for almost 23 percent of global investment in cybersecurity companies, double that of 2014 and led by investment in U.K., Chinese and Israeli companies.

Last year marked the second consecutive year of four cybersecurity IPOs, according to the firm. CrowdStrike, DarkTrace, Pindrop, Tanium and Illumio are rumored to be on deck for 2019, it said.

“Looking forward, we expect significant investment (both equity financings and M&A) in cybersecurity companies to continue in 2019, but at or just below the levels we saw in 2018,” it said.

Check Point Debuts Maestro

Check Point Software Technologies this week introduced Check Point Maestro, a new architecture designed to secure networks both large and small by orchestrating multiple security gateways, which prevent unsecured traffic from entering an organization’s internal network, into one unified security system.


Check Point’s Michael Greenberg

With Maestro, organizations can scale up their existing Check Point security gateways on demand, in the same way as spinning up new servers and compute resources in public clouds. This scalability allows organizations to support 5G networks’ high data rates and ultra-low latency.

Michael Greenberg, Check Point’s product marketing manager of security platforms, tells us Maestro enables partners to encourage and guide customers to “seamlessly increase their security solutions, on the fly with security of hyperscale — allowing organizations to secure the largest, most resource-hungry environments including hyperscale data centers, telcos and mobile networks.”

Check Point also unveiled its new 6000 series Security Gateways.

“The new 6000 series gateways reinvent the midrange security appliance, giving best-in-class protection against the most advanced threats, and almost infinite scalability,” said Itai Greenberg, Check Point’s vice president of product management. “They consolidate threat prevention, emulation and extraction into a single high-performance platform that will meet customers’ needs both now and into the future.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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