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확장된 Amazon VPC 트래픽 미러링이 Darktrace의 자체 학습 클라우드 보안을 향상시키는 방법

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09
Mar 2021
09
Mar 2021
This blog explains how AWS’s extension of VPC Traffic Mirroring to non-Nitro instances supports Darktrace’s real-time visibility and adaptive, autonomous defense for AWS cloud environments.

Darktrace's Cyber AI brings real-time visibility and adaptive, autonomous defense to your AWS cloud security strategy.

The platform continuously learns what normal behavior looks like for every user, device, and workload in your AWS environment. With this deep understanding of usual ‘patterns of life,’ Darktrace  can recognize the subtle deviations that point to a threat, from account takeovers to critical misconfigurations.

This bespoke, real-time knowledge of usual activity allows Darktrace to spot the unknown and unpredictable threats that get through policy-based defenses – all without relying on any rules, signatures, or prior assumptions.

With Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) Traffic Mirroring, Darktrace’s self-learning AI can seamlessly access granular packet data in AWS cloud environments, helping the platform build a rich understanding of context. AWS’s recent announcement of the extension of VPC Traffic Mirroring to non-Nitro instance types now allows our customers to gain agentless Cyber AI defense across these instances as well.

Expanding VPC traffic mirroring to non-Nitro instances

Amazon VPC Traffic Mirroring replicates the network traffic from EC2 instances within VPCs and allows customers to leverage this traffic for Darktrace’s AI-driven threat detection and investigation. Darktrace’s Cyber AI learns ‘on the job’ what normal activity looks like in customer AWS environments, in part using the real-time visibility provided by VPC Traffic Mirroring. The platform continuously adapts as each customer’s business evolves, a critical feature given the speed and scale of development in the cloud.

Previously, customers could only enable VPC Traffic Mirroring on their Nitro-based EC2 instances. Now, AWS has announced that this seamless access to hundreds of features from network traffic is extended to select non-Nitro instance types, supporting Darktrace’s ability to easily learn the bespoke behavioral patterns of our customers’ Amazon VPCs.

Customers can now enable VPC Traffic Mirroring on additional instances types such as C4, D2, G3, G3s, H1, I3, M4, P2, P3, R4, X1 and X1e that use the Xen-based hypervisor.* This feature is available in all 20 regions where VPC Traffic Mirroring is currently supported.

VPC Traffic Mirroring supports many of Darktrace’s extensive use cases across AWS, which include:

  • Data exfiltration and destruction: Detects anomalous device connections and user access, as well as unusual resource deletion, modification, and movement;
  • Critical misconfigurations: Catches open S3 buckets, anomalous permission changes, and unusual activity around compliance-related data and devices;
  • Compromised credentials: Spots unusual logins, including brute force attempts and unusual login source/time, as well as unusual user behavior, from rule changes to password resets;
  • Insider threat and admin abuse: Identifies the subtle signs of malicious insiders – including sensitive file access, resource modification, role changes, and adding/deleting users.

Figure 1: Darktrace illuminates activity in AWS

Autonomous investigation and response for AWS cloud environments

The Darktrace Security Module for AWS provides additional visibility across AWS environments via interaction with AWS CloudTrail, allowing for AI-powered monitoring of management and administration activity. With this deep knowledge of how your business operates in the cloud, Darktrace delivers total coverage across all your AWS services, including:

  • EC2
  • IAM
  • S3
  • VPC
  • Lambda
  • Athena
  • DynamoDB
  • Route 53
  • ACM
  • RDS

The recently announced Version 5 of the Darktrace, which focuses on protecting the cloud and the remote workforce, further augments Darktrace’s coverage of AWS environments. Among many other exciting new features, Version 5 extends the reach of Cyber AI Analyst and Darktrace RESPOND to cloud environments like AWS VPCs.

Cyber AI Analyst augments the work of security teams by autonomously reporting on the full scope of security incidents and reduces triage time by up to 92%. Cyber AI Analyst can now also conduct on-demand investigations into users and devices of interest, ingest third-party alerts to trigger new investigations, and automatically feed AI-generated Incident Reports to any SIEM, SOAR, or downstream ticketing system.

Meanwhile, Darktrace RESPOND brings Autonomous Response to the critical infrastructure which AWS VPCs provide. Darktrace's responses are surgically precise and intelligently maintain normal business operations while stopping emerging threats in real time.**

“Darktrace's innovations are outstanding and have really meshed with our current needs as a security team, from the flexibility of our new cloud-delivered deployment to the extended visibility of the Darktrace Client Sensors.”

– CISO, Real Estate

We have also launched a dedicated user interface for visualization and intuitive analysis of cloud-based threats identified across AWS via the Darktrace Security Module.

Self-Learning AI defense across the enterprise

Darktrace offers AI-driven defense of cloud infrastructure in AWS, as well as across SaaS applications, email, corporate networks, industrial systems, and remote endpoints. Taking a fundamentally unique approach, Darktrace provides the industry’s only self-learning platform that gives complete coverage and visibility across the organization.

This is a critical benefit, as businesses and workforces today are increasingly complex and dynamic. Darktrace can connect the dots between unusual behavior in disparate infrastructure areas and ensure cloud security is not siloed from the monitoring of the rest of the organization.

Darktrace’s adaptive and unified approach allows the solution to detect, investigate, and respond to the full range of threats facing the enterprise – even those unpredictable threats that move across dynamic and diverse environments.

Learn more about Darktrace and AWS

* VPC Traffic Mirroring is not supported on the T2, R3 and I2 instance types and previous generation instances.
** This product is only available in AWS for customers who leverage Darktrace osSensors.

INSIDE THE SOC
Darktrace cyber analysts are world-class experts in threat intelligence, threat hunting and incident response, and provide 24/7 SOC support to thousands of Darktrace customers around the globe. Inside the SOC is exclusively authored by these experts, providing analysis of cyber incidents and threat trends, based on real-world experience in the field.
AUTHOR
ABOUT ThE AUTHOR
앤드류 손초프
VP of Technology

Andrew is a technical expert on cyber security and advises Darktrace’s strategic customers on advanced threat defense, AI and autonomous response. He has a background in threat analysis and research, and holds a first-class degree in physics from Oxford University and a first-class degree in philosophy from King’s College London. His comments on cyber security and the threat to critical national infrastructure have been reported in international media, including CNBC and the BBC World.

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Customer Blog: Community Housing Limited Enhancing Incident Response

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04
Mar 2024

About Community Housing Limited

Community Housing Limited is a non-profit organization based in Australia that focuses on providing affordable, long-term housing and creating employment opportunities where possible. We give people the security of having a home so that they can focus on other essential pathways. As such, we are responsible for sensitive information on our clients.

As part of our commitment to strengthening our cyber security, we sought to simplify and unify our incident response plans and equip our engineers and desktop support teams with all the information we need at our fingertips.

Why Community Housing Limited chose Darktrace

Our team hoped to achieve a response procedure that allowed us to have oversight over any potential security risks, even cases that don’t overtly seem like a security risk. For example, an incident could start as a payroll issue and end up in the hands of HR, instead of surfacing as a security problem. In this case, our security team has no way of knowing the real number of events or how the threat had actually started and played out, making incident response and mitigation even more challenging.

We were already a customer of Darktrace’s autonomous threat detection, attack intervention, and attack surface management capabilities, and decided to add Darktrace for AI-assisted incident response and AI cyber-attack simulation.

AI-generated playbooks save time during incident response

I wanted to reduce the time and resources it took our security team to appropriately respond to a threat. Darktrace automates several steps of the recovery process to accelerate the rate of incident response by using AI that learns the granular details of the specific organization, building a dynamic understanding of the devices, connections, and user behaviors that make up the normal “pattern of life.”  

The AI then uses this understanding to create bespoke, AI-generated incident response playbooks that leverage an evolving understanding of our organization to determine recovery steps that are tailored not only to the specific incident but also to our unique environment.

For my security team, this means having access to all the information we need to respond to a threat. When running through an incident, rather than going to different places to synthesize relevant information, which takes up valuable resources and time, we can speed up its remediation with Darktrace.  

The playbooks created by Darktrace help lower the technical skills required to respond to incidents by elevating the workload of the staff, tripling our capacity for incident response.

Realistic attack simulations upskill teams while saving resources

We have differing levels of experience on the team which means some members know exactly what to do during incident response while others are slower and need more guidance. Thus, we have to either outsource skilled security professionals or add a security solution that could lower the technical skills bar.

You don’t want to be second guessing and searching for the right move – it’s urgent – there should be certainty. Our goal with running attack simulations is to test and train our team's response capabilities in a “realistic” scenario. But this takes considerable time to plan and execute or can be expensive if outsourced, which can be a challenge for organizations short on resources. 

Darktrace provides AI-assisted incident response and cyber-attack simulation using AI that understands the organization to run simulations that effectively map onto the real digital environment and the assets within it, providing training for actual incidents.

It is one thing to sit together in a meeting and discuss various outcomes of a cyber-attack, talking through the best response strategies. It is a huge benefit being able to run attack simulations that emulate real-world scenarios.

Our team can now see how an incident would play out over several days to resemble a real-world scenario or it can play through the simulation quickly to ascertain outcomes immediately. It then uses these insights to strengthen its technology, processes, and training.

AI-Powered Incident Response

Darktrace helps my security team save resources and upskill staff using AI to generate bespoke playbooks and run realistic simulations. Its real-time understanding of our business ensures incident preparedness and incident response are tailored to not only the specific threat in question, but also to the contextual infrastructure of the organization.  

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Jamie Woodland
Head of Technology at Community Housing Limited

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Beyond DMARC: Navigating the Gaps in Email Security

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29
Feb 2024

Email threat landscape  

Email has consistently ranked among the most targeted attack vectors, given its ubiquity and criticality to business operations. From September to December 2023, 10.4 million phishing emails were detected across Darktrace’s customer fleet demonstrating the frequency of attempted email-based attacks.

Businesses are searching for ways to harden their email security posture alongside email providers who are aiming to reduce malicious emails traversing their infrastructure, affecting their clients. Domain-based Message Authentication (DMARC) is a useful industry-wide protocol organizations can leverage to move towards these goals.  

What is DMARC?

DMARC is an email authentication protocol designed to enhance the security of email communication.

Major email service providers Google and Yahoo recently made the protocol mandatory for bulk senders in an effort to make inboxes safer worldwide. The new requirements demonstrate an increasing need for a standardized solution as misconfigured or nonexistent authentication systems continue to allow threat actors to evade detection and leverage the legitimate reputation of third parties.  

DMARC is a powerful tool that allows email administrators to confidently identify and stop certain spoofed emails; however, more organizations must implement the standard for it to reach its full potential. The success and effectiveness of DMARC is dependent on broad adoption of the standard – by organizations of all sizes.  

How does DMARC work?

DMARC builds on two key authentication technologies, Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and helps to significantly improve their ability to prevent domain spoofing. SPF verifies that a sender’s IP address is authorized to send emails on behalf of a particular domain and DKIM ensures integrity of email content by providing a verifiable digital signature.  

DMARC adds to this by allowing domain owners to publish policies that set expectations for how SPF and DKIM verification checks relate to email addresses presented to users and whose authenticity the receiving mail server is looking to establish.  

These policies work in tandem to help authenticate email senders by verifying the emails are from the domain they say they are, working to prevent domain spoofing attacks. Key benefits of DMARC include:

  1. Phishing protection DMARC protects against direct domain spoofing in which a threat actor impersonates a legitimate domain, a common phishing technique threat actors use to trick employees to obtain sensitive information such as privileged credentials, bank information, etc.  
  2. Improving brand reputation: As DMARC helps to prevent impersonation of domains, it stands to maintain and increase an organization’s brand reputation. Additionally, as organizational reputation improves, so will the deliverability of emails.
  3. Increased visibility: DMARC provides enhanced visibility into email communication channels, including reports of all emails sent on behalf of your domain. This allows security teams to identify shadow-IT and any unauthorized parties using their domain.

Understanding DMARC’s Limitations

DMARC is often positioned as a way for organizations to ‘solve’ their email security problems, however, 65% of the phishing emails observed by Darktrace successfully passed DMARC verification, indicating that a significant number of threat actors are capable of manipulating email security and authentication systems in their exploits. While DMARC is a valuable tool in the fight against email-based attacks, the evolving threat landscape demands a closer look at its limitations.  

As threat actors continue to innovate, improving their stealth and evasion tactics, the number of attacks with valid DMARC authentication will only continue to increase in volume and sophistication. These can include:

  1. Phishing attacks that leverage non-spoofed domains: DMARC allows an organization to protect the domains that they own, preventing threat actors from being able to send phishing emails from their domains. However, threat actors will often create and use ‘look-a-like’ domains that closely resemble an organization’s domain to dupe users. 3% of the phishing emails identified by Darktrace utilized newly created domains, demonstrating shifting tactics.  
  2. Email Account Takeovers: If a threat actor gains access to a user’s email account through other social engineering means such as credential stuffing, they can then send phishing emails from the legitimate domain to pursue further attacks. Even though these emails are malicious, DMARC would not identify them as such because they are coming from an authorized domain or sender.  

Organizations must also ensure their inbound analysis of emails is not skewed by successful DMARC authentication. Security teams cannot inherently trust emails that pass DMARC, because the source cannot always be legitimized, like in the event of an account takeover. If a threat actor gains access to an authenticated email account, emails sent by the threat actor from that account will pass DMARC – however the contents of that email may be malicious. Sender behavior must be continuously evaluated and vetted in real time as past communication history and validated DMARC cannot be solely relied upon amid an ever-changing threat landscape.  

Security teams should lean on other security measures, such as anomaly detection tools that can identify suspicious emails without relying on historical attack rules and static data. While DMARC is not a silver bullet for email security, it is nevertheless foundational in helping organizations protect their brand identity and must be viewed as an essential layer in an organization's overall cyber security strategy.  

Implementing DMARC

Despite the criticality of DMARC for preserving brand reputation and trust, adoption of the standard has been inconsistent. DMARC can be complex to implement with many organizations lacking the time required to understand and successfully implement the standard. Because of this, DMARC set-up is often outsourced, giving security and infrastructure teams little to no visibility into or control of the process.  

Implementation of DMARC is only the start of this process, as DMARC reports must be consistently monitored to ensure organizations have visibility into who is sending mail from their domain, the volume of mail being sent and whether the mail is passing authentication protocols. This process can be time consuming for security teams who are already faced with mounting responsibilities, tight budgets, and personnel shortages. These complexities unfortunately delay organizations from using DMARC – especially as many today still view it as a ‘nice to have’ rather than an essential.  

With the potential complexities of the DMARC implementation process, there are many ways security and infrastructure teams can still successfully roll out the standard. Initial implementation should start with monitoring, policy adjustment and then enforcement. As business changes over time, DMARC should be reviewed regularly to ensure ongoing protection and maintain domain reputation.

The Future of Email Security

As email-based attacks continue to rise, the industry must recognize the importance of driving adoption of foundational email authentication protocols. To do this, a new and innovative approach to DMARC is needed. DMARC products must evolve to better support organizations throughout the ongoing DMARC monitoring process, rather than just initial implementation. These products must also be able to share intelligence across an organization’s security stack, extending beyond email security tools. Integration across these products and tools will help organizations optimize their posture, ensuring deep understanding of their domain and increased visibility across the entire enterprise.

DMARC is critical in protecting brand identity and mitigating exact-domain based attacks. However, organizations must understand DMARC’s unique benefits and limitations to ensure their inboxes are fully protected. In today’s evolving threat landscape, organizations require a robust, multi-layered approach to stop email threats – in inbound mail and beyond. Email threats have evolved – its time security does too.

Join Darktrace on 9 April for a virtual event to explore the latest innovations needed to get ahead of the rapidly evolving threat landscape. Register today to hear more about our latest innovations coming to Darktrace’s offerings. For additional insights check out Darktrace’s 2023 End of Year Threat Report.

Credit to Carlos Gray and Stephen Pickman for their contribution to this blog

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Carlos Gray
Product Manager

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