Category: Cybersecurity

Benefits and Challenges of the Zero Trust Security Model

benefits and challenges of the zero trust security model


Benefits and Challenges of the Zero Trust Security Model

benefits of security ModelThe Cybersecurity threat landscape has evolved so rapidly that it has become difficult to trust anyone in your network infrastructure. Whom can you trust inside your IT infrastructure? In a Zero Trust paradigm, the answer is no one. This trust model is based on network access control. It means that access to a network or device should only be granted after users’ verification and to the extent required to perform a task.

This article will explore the benefits and risks of the zero-trust security model. Let’s get started.

What is Zero Trust Model?

Zero Trust is a security model granting access to only verified and authenticated users. It provides an ultra-safe defense against potential threats by the user, devices, and network access control. Unlike traditional security models, it does not assume that people within an organization are safe. Instead, it requires every user to be authorized before granting any access.

The zero-trust security model is generally based on a three-step process.

  • Verify a user’s identity via authentication
  • Implement device and network access control
  • Limit privileged access.

This model promotes that organizations must not trust individuals/entities outside their network perimeters.

Zero Trust Use Cases

The Zero Trust model has increasingly been formalized as a response to secure digital transformation and a variety of complex, devastating threats seen in past years. Organizations can benefit from the Zero Trust security model.

You are required to secure an infrastructure deployment model, including

  • Hybrid, multi-cloud multi-identity
  • Legacy systems
  • Unmanaged devices
  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications

It is required to address critical threats use cases, including:

  • Supply chain attacks_ generally involve privileged users working remotely and on unmanaged devices.
  • Ransomware_ a two-part problem, including identity compromise and code execution.
  • Insider Threats_ extremely challenging while users are working remotely.

Here are some considerations an organization have

  • User experience impact considerations, especially while using multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • SOC/analyst expertise challenges.
  • Industry or compliance requirements

Each organization has unique challenges because of its business, current security strategy, and digital transformation maturity. If appropriately implemented, zero trust can adjust to meet specific requirements and ensure a return on investment (ROI) on your security strategy.

Benefits of Zero Trust Security Model

disaster recovery

Let’s outline the main benefits of the Zero Trust security model.

  • This approach requires you to regulate and classify all network resources. It lets organizations visualize who accesses resources for which reasons and understand what measures need to be implemented to secure help.
  • Implementing a Zero Trust security model is associated with deploying solutions for continuous monitoring and logging off user activity and asset states. It allows organizations to detect potential threats efficiently and respond to them promptly.
  • This model helps expand security protection across multiple containerized and computing environments, independent of the underlying infrastructure.
  • It prevents data breaches and has lateral movements using application micro-segmentation.
  • A zero trust model ensures organizational security while providing a consistent user experience.

Common Technical Challenges

Here are the most common technical challenges faced by users/organizations while implementing a Zero Trust security model.

1. Network Trust and Malware

Organizations need to ensure that each device and user can safely connect to the internet regardless of the location, without the complexity associated with the legacy techniques. Moreover, they need to proactively detect, block, and reduce the targeted threats, such as phishing, malware, ransomware, advanced zero-day attacks, and DNS data exfiltration. The Zero Trust security model can improve your organization’s security posture while reducing the risk of cyberattacks.

2. IT Resources and Complexity

Security and enterprise access are complex and change continuously. Traditional enterprise technologies are complex, and making changes often take time to use valuable resources. A Zero Trust security model can reduce the time and architectural complexity.

3. Secure data and application access

Conventional access tools and technologies like VPN rely on trust principles resulting in compromised user credentials that lead to data breaches. Organizations need to reconsider their access model and technologies to ensure their business is secure while enabling fast and straightforward access for all users. The zero-trust security model reduces the complexity and risk while providing a consistent and efficient user experience.

Final words

In this article, we have discussed some of the benefits and challenges of the Zero Trust model. The benefits of implementing this framework go far beyond security. But there are still some risks and challenges associated with this approach. Changes in the threat landscape might encourage organizations to invest in a Zero Trust security model for network access control and identity management. These organizations should be aware of all the challenges and risks of this security model.

Zero trust can be provided as a service, as Protected Harbor proposes in its zero-trust network access technique. Before introducing zero trust, you can take a phased approach, starting with your most critical assets or a test case of non-critical assets. Whatever your starting point, a best-in-class zero-trust solution will help you reduce risk and manage security right away. Protected Harbor uses various features, like remote monitoring 24 hours a day, 99.99 percent uptime, malware protection, and more, to provide an unrivaled experience and satisfaction. To learn more about how we do it, go here.

A complete guide to managed cyber security services

a complete guide to managed cybersecurity services

A Complete Guide to Managed Cybersecurity Services

The cyber-world is changing faster than ever, and it leaves organizations, individuals, and small businesses vulnerable to cybercrimes. They need to adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity plan to protect themselves against risks and threats. Implementing and testing controls, and regularly maintaining and monitoring the security management programs using reliable and trustworthy managed cybersecurity services can help mitigate risks and potential cyber-attacks.

Has your business ever dealt with malware, virus infection, or cyberattacks? Cyber attacks’ damage to companies ranges from unauthorized access through a relatively simple attack to a large-scale breach of critical data that can result in prolonged downtime. It damages your company’s reputation and the confidence of your investors and customers. Do not let a cyber incident destroy your organization. Managed services from a cybersecurity company can help you optimize your organization’s security posture.

Managed cybersecurity services are a crucial component of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. This article will discuss managed cybersecurity services, why it is essential for organizations, and how an excellent cybersecurity company benefits you. So, let’s get started.

What are Managed Cybersecurity Services?

Third-party providers give managed cybersecurity services to administer an organization’s security processes. These small business cyber security services implement, monitor, maintain and enhance an enterprise’s cybersecurity posture. Managed cybersecurity service providers (MSSP) provide security services ranging from setting up infrastructure via security management or incident response. Some services providers specialize in specific areas, while others give complete outsourcing of an organization’s information security program.

As security threats and cyber incidents are becoming increasingly common, many businesses are partnering with managed cybersecurity service providers in addition to their existing small business cybersecurity programs. They provide expert monitoring and management, protecting data and hardware from potential cyber-attacks. MSSP manages and implements security programs for organizations. These include

  • Managed firewalls
  • Intrusion detectioncyber security
  • Blocking viruses and spam
  • Implementing upgrades or system changes
  • Setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Security and compliance audits
  • Security assessment and reporting
  • System monitoring
  • Penetration testing
  • Security analytics

Moreover, a good cybersecurity company helps you monitor the security devices and systems in a workspace. Most MSSPs provide a wide range of cybersecurity small business services, such as

  • Log monitoring and management
  • Device management
  • Vulnerability management
  • Consultancy services

Managed cybersecurity service providers generally offer a whole suite of managed IT services. They typically provide cyber security to help organizations with their basic security needs.

cyber attackWhy are Managed Cybersecurity Services Necessary?

Organizations need to consider the importance of managed security services to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. MSSPs can be a valuable resource for companies that want to maximize their security but do not have the resources to manage an in-house cybersecurity team. These services provide strategies and designs to give a robust security posture.

MSSPs shield organizations against cyber threats and strengthen their cyber defense. They use a multilayered defense strategy to protect your organization from different angles. It means they do not only safeguard you from external threats, such as network intrusions or malware, but also security from the security breaches caused by employees accidentally or deliberately.

Opting for managed cybersecurity services provide

  • Information security assessment_ Examine the maturity of your company’s information security programs, identify their weaknesses and gaps, and provide opportunities for improvement. Choose a good cybersecurity company and identify the risks to your business.
  • Data governance_ These services help you handle a large volume of data and enhance your cybersecurity posture through efficient data management.
  • Advanced security solutions_ These include anti-malware software, managed firewalls, web filtering, intrusion detection, multi-factor authentication, access management, and patch management.
  • Dedicated security analysts_ MSSPs provide specialists who detect critical flaws in your IT infrastructure and recommend security measures to mitigate the risk of a security breach.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM)_ tracks security-related incidents in your IT environment, such as suspicious downloads or failed logins. It then examines the incident and creates comprehensive security reports.
  • Incident investigation and response_ If a security breach occurs, security experts immediately remediate the threat, assess the damage, and find the attack’s origin.
  • Threat hunting_ Security experts proactively identify and isolate evasive threats for existing security solutions.
  • Risk and compliance_ They align your GRC operations to business performance drivers using frameworks such as PCI/DSS, GDPR, NIST, NYDFS, ISO, and others with IT security service programs.
  • Penetration testing and phishing_ Effective security comes with a clear understanding of your IT infrastructure’s critical flaws and vulnerabilities. Phishing assessment and penetration testing protect your organization against security threats.
  • Security awareness training_ Educate your organization’s employees about your security posture’s strengths and weaknesses, and empower them against hackers. Good managed cybersecurity service providers ensure your employees stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Why is it Important to Choose an Excellent Cybersecurity Company?

A robust cybersecurity system is crucial for any organization in today’s digital landscape. Excellent cybersecurity for small business companies can help protect sensitive information and assets from potential cyber threats, prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks, maintain privacy and comply with regulations, minimize business downtime and financial losses, and enhance the organization’s overall security posture, reducing the risk of cyber incidents. In short, it helps to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information and systems.

There is a wide range of managed cybersecurity service providers today. Identifying your organization’s security needs and engaging a good cybersecurity company to address them is essential. Before partnering with a provider dealing with cybersecurity for small business, security and IT teams need to plan carefully around which operations need to be outsourced. Once you have mapped out your requirements, it is necessary to research the best service providers and shortlist a few of them. Meet them and check customer feedback before hiring them. Because a good cybersecurity company is one that

  • Optimize controls
  • Improve governance
  • Reduce the TCO of the risk
  • Optimize security posture
  • Strengthen security processes
  • Reduce legal risks
  • Increase profitability
  • Provides scalability

Why Choose Protected Harbor for Managed Cybersecurity Services?

Protected Harbor provides managed cybersecurity services and cyber resilience regardless of the size of your organization. Our cybersecurity services provide organizations with the most effective tools, solutions, services, processes, policies, and practices to protect their intellectual properties, security posture, and financial assets. We provide cybersecurity assessments that help you understand your security posture, detect vulnerabilities in them, and set the baseline for improvement.

Moreover, our managed services include multi-factor authentication, endpoint protection, next-generation firewall, device encryption, and email security. We provide a robust solution to defend against cyber-attacks and let you drastically reduce implementation efforts, cost, and maintenance requirements. With our team of highly skilled experts, we allow our clients to build cyber resilience, innovate safely, and grow with confidence. Contact us today for an IT audit.

Why Every CEO Should Understand the Basics of Cybersecurity

why every ceo should understand the basics of cybersecurity


Why Every CEO Should Understand the Basics of Cybersecurity


cyber securityWith the growing advancement in technology, their risks are also increasing. Online frauds, money laundering, and data leaks are becoming significant problems in the digital world and online businesses. Cybersecurity is becoming critical for smaller and larger corporations alike. Security threats and cyberattacks negatively impact businesses, and according to cybersecurity statistics, the majority of the CEOs are not taking appropriate actions against cybersecurity issues and risks associated with them. Security breaches and data loss cause damage to a company’s reputation and can increase the risk of cyberattacks.

It has become crucial for business owners to take steps to secure their organizations. No matter which industry, every CEO should know these five things about cybersecurity and its threats:

Cyber Risk Management

In the advanced world, every company relies on technology, which means there are more chances of cyberattacks.  For CEOs, it is necessary to know all the risks and damage that cybercriminals can cause to their business. It would be wrong to say that the larger companies are entirely safe from cyber-attacks and smaller companies are not the target value for anyone. According to cybersecurity statistics, hackers have attacked half of the small businesses in the United States in the last 12 months. So CEOs should take precautions to improve cyber risk management depending on the nature of their business.  They need to come up with appropriate contingency plans and correct preventive measures to protect their company from potential threats from cybercriminals.

Implement Data protection and System Protection in a Better Way

For a CEO, it’s his responsibility to keep in touch with the data and IT team to understand better what’s going on in the company and how. It’s unnecessary to have all the technical details, but one should be aware of the type of data they store, where and how it is stored, and at which level the data is encapsulated and secure.

There is a need to protect the system from malware to secure the data. Keep your IT team always prepared to take measures against cyber-attacks and update the systems whenever required because a security threat can enter your plan anytime.

Aware your Employees of Cybersecurity

Train your employees about security threats and breaches, and then put them in a situation and see how they respond to these kinds of attacks. CEOs should train them to keep the company’s information private. According to cybersecurity statistics, 60% of data breaches occur due to former or current employees. For data safety, try to limit employees’ access to it and secure the information. It’s also recommended to change passwords regularly and make separate accounts for each employee.

Avoid Reputational Damage

Cybersecurity threats are becoming significant challenges for CEO and business owners. Cybercriminals are attacking corporations in a sophisticated way, but data loss and breaches cause a tremendous impact on a company’s reputation. Security threats and cybercrime are increasing so fast that it is not only the responsibility of the IT team to handle such incidents, but these are the leaders who should understand the risk and be with the team to plan a quick and effective recovery from cyber-attacks.

Stay in touch with the cybersecurity issues.

Lastly, a CEO must be aware of the latest issues related to cybersecurity because hackers are constantly discovering new ways to attack the systems and get control over them. So the business owner should stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the cyber world.  They should take recommendations from the professionals or hire an expert in the cybersecurity domain for their organization. CEOs should form a strategy with experts and IT Teams according to the latest trends and plan to stand against cybercriminals.


In Today’s world, most of the business is done online, and the cybersecurity threat has become an issue that needs to be sorted out. Most CEOs are not aware of the cybersecurity threats and risks their company faces every day, and many are aware of them but do not take action or do what needs to be done. Although there’s not any single and optimized solution for this problem, these are some steps that CEOs need to follow and ensure that their organizations are fully prepared to deal with such threats and challenges.

It’s challenging for small to medium-sized companies to build their own IT infrastructure and have a dedicated IT team focusing on cybersecurity. What business can partner with an IT service provider who will manage your infrastructure for you, which will also save you costs. Protected Harbor is among the top IT and cybersecurity providers in the US. We guarantee customer satisfaction with a dedicated tech team that is available 24×7, 99.99% uptime, remote monitoring, remote desktops, and modern cybersecurity solutions. We’ve been helping several CEOs in their day-to-day operations because we understand their business and what they want. Take control of your future, be cyber secured, contact us today!

What is Supply Chain Attack? How to Prevent Them?

what is supply chain attack how to prevent them


What is Supply Chain Attack? How to Prevent Them?


supply chain attackIn this rapidly evolving threat landscape, cybersecurity has become essential. It has been described in simple terms of the trust, do not hand over credentials to fraudulent websites, and beware of email attachments or links from unknown sources. But sophisticated hackers undermine this basic sense of trust and find more robust ways to attack the supply chain. What if legitimate software or hardware making up your network has been compromised at the source?

This subtle and increasingly common form of hacking is called a supply chain attack. In recent years, most of the high-profile and damaging cybersecurity incidents have been supplying chain attacks. This article will dive deep into the supply chain attack, how it works, and what you can do to prevent it.

1. What is Supply Chain Attack?

A supply chain attack, commonly referred to as a value-chain of a third-party attack, occurs when an attacker accesses an organization’s networking by infiltrating a supplier or business partner that comes in contact with its data. Hackers generally tamper with the manufacturing process by installing hardware-based spying components or a rootkit. This attack aims to damage an organization’s reputation by targeting less secure elements in the supply chain network.

Supply chain attacks are designed to manipulate relationships between a company and external parties. These relationships may include vendor relationships, partnerships, or third-party software. Cybercriminals compromise an organization and then move up the supply chain to take advantage of trusted relationships and gain access to other organizations’ environments.

2. How does a supply chain attack work?

A Supply chain attack works by delivering malicious code or software through a supplier or vendor. These attacks use legitimate processes to get uninhibited access into an organization’s ecosystem. It starts with infiltrating a vendor’s security measures. This technique is much more straightforward than attacking a target directly due to many vendors’ unfortunate shortsighted security measures.

Penetration could occur through attack vectors. The malicious code requires embedding itself into a digitally signed process of its host once it is injected into a vendor’s ecosystem. A digital signature validates that a piece of software is authentic to the manufacturer permitting the transmission of software to all networked parties.

Compromised networks unknowingly distribute malicious code to the entire client network. The software patches facilitating the malicious payload contain a backdoor interacting with all third-party servers. It is the distribution point of the malicious software or code. A service provider could infect thousands of organizations with a single update that helps attackers achieve a higher magnitude of impact with less effort.

2.1. Example

Supply chain attacks allow attackers to infect multiple targets without deploying malicious code on each target’s machine. This increased efficiency boosts the prevalence of this attack technique. Here are some most common examples of supply chain attacks.

U.S government supply chain attack

This event is a pervasive example of supply chain attacks. In March 2020, nation-state criminals penetrated internal U.S government communication via a compromised update from a third-party vendor, SolarWinds. This attack infected up to 18,000 customers, including six U.S government departments.

Equifax supply chain attack

Equifax, one of the biggest credit card reporting agencies, faced a data breach through an application vulnerability on their website. This attack impacted over 147 million customers. The stolen data included driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, and addresses of users.

Target supply chain attack

Target USA faced a significant data breach after hackers accessed the retailer’s critical data using a third-party HVAC vendor. Cybercriminals accessed financial information and Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that impacts 40 million debit and credit cards and 70 million customers. Hackers breached the HVAC third-party vendor using an email phishing attack.

Panama papers supply chain attack

Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca exposed over 2.6 terabytes of clients’ sensitive data in a breach. The attack leaked the devious tax evasion tactics of over 214,000 organizations and high-risk politicians. Law firms should be the most desirable target due to the treasure of sensitive and valuable customer data they store in their servers.

1. Impact of supply chain attacks

Any breach can be devastating, but a supply chain attack can be exponentially worse because the attacker usually has a high level of access to the network, which is hard to detect. This combination of factors highly increases the risk of a supply chain attack. The longer an attacker stays inside the target’s network, the more damage they can cause through ransomware, data theft, or other malware disruptions.

Supply chain attacks provide a criminal with another method of attacking an organization’s defenses. These attacks are commonly used to perform data breaches. Cybercriminals often manipulate supply chain vulnerabilities to deliver malicious code to a target organization.

2. How to Prevent Supply Chain Attacks?

Here are the tips to reduce the impact and risks of supply chain attacks.

  • Determine who has access to critical data_ To manage complex footprints, organizations should map their third parties to data they handle for prioritizing risk management activities.
  • Identify the assets at more significant risk_ Understanding assets more likely to be targeted, such as customers’ sensitive information or intellectual property, is crucial to preventing supply chain attacks. Security teams should monitor these assets using third-party risk management platforms, providing constant and fast visibility into threats within complex supply chains.
  • Apply vendor access controls_ Cybercriminals look to access data using a path of least resistance to infiltrate an organization’s network through one of its suppliers. Apart from understanding the rights to access digital assets, organizations need to apply string perimeter controls for vendor access, such as network segmentation and multi-factor authentication. Service providers should only have access to the necessary information they require to provide services.
  • Identify insider threats_ Whether due to lack of training, carelessness, or malicious intent, employees represent a considerable insider threat to information security. Targeting business partners or employees with phishing or social engineering campaigns is one of the standards and most accessible ways for cybercriminals to infiltrate a network. However, it is difficult to know when and how an attacker has compromised privileged access; a monitoring technology that can automatically alert security teams when a system gets compromised can help prevent supply chain attacks.


Protected Harbor enables businesses to take full control of their third-party security by constantly monitoring for vulnerabilities and data leakage that could be exported as part of a supply chain attack. Protected Harbor also helps organizations comply with a variety of security regulations, including the new supply chain criteria outlined in Vice President Biden’s Cybersecurity Executive Order.
Partner with Protected Harbor today to have access to more cutting-edge business and cyber security insights.

Microsoft Vulnerabilities and Solutions

microsoft vulnerabilities and solutions


Microsoft Vulnerabilities and Solutions


critical-Microsoft-vulnerabilitiesTechnological advancement in the current digital era has increased vulnerabilities in businesses using Microsoft products. It has affected most managed service providers (MSPs) as they have become primary targets of cyber attackers. Small businesses are also exposed to severe dangers as cybercriminals target them to exploit their systems and paralyze operations.

Microsoft vulnerabilities are the stuff that nightmares are made of for many companies. There are so many vulnerabilities in Microsoft systems that might leave you wondering why you even use Microsoft products. Well, the answer is simple — Microsoft products are fantastic. And, because it is so popular, it’s no wonder that there are so many vulnerabilities. The truth is that despite having so many vulnerabilities, Microsoft has come a long way in fixing them with their monthly updates. Here, we break down all critical Microsoft vulnerabilities and provide solutions to protect against them.

Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerability

What Happened?  

Microsoft exchange server vulnerability is a serious threat that has affected Microsoft recently. In March 2021, the company had to conduct an emergency patching after discovering four types of vulnerabilities known as ProxyLogon in its products. After Hafnium, a Chinese-based threat team invaded thousands of corporations, this incident occurred. The heightened security concerns and attacks forced the court to command the FBI to instantly eliminate Web shells that the intruders utilized to launch their invasions of companies. In September 2021, Proxy Token, another flaw in the Exchange Server, emerged, giving attackers a channel to copy or forward targeted emails to an account that an assailant controls.

How Dangerous Microsoft Exchange Server Vulnerability Is For Small Businesses 

Microsoft exchange server vulnerability is a serious threat to small businesses. It contributes to organization data theft, leading to unauthorized access to company records. It also enables attackers to create malicious codes that give them remote administrative rights to access the company network. These practices can lead to the leaking of confidential customer information, which would later destroy the business image.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue

Small businesses have a variety of solutions to embrace to avoid Microsoft exchange server vulnerability. One of them entails configuring their Exchange framework to define change requests and validating any newly created files. Enterprises should also practice continuous patching of software to reduce the risk exposure.

Microsoft Patches Six Zero-Day Security Vulnerabilities

What Happened?  

In December 2021, Microsoft released patches for 67 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) in its products, 60 of which were essential and seven extremely critical, including six zero-day susceptibilities ( These susceptibilities included CVE-2021-43890, which attackers utilized to distribute malware like BazarLoader, TrickBot, and Emotet. CVE-2021-43240 affected Windows NTFS by setting short names, which elevated privilege vulnerability. CVE-2021-41333 impacted Windows Print Spooler elements, while CVE-2021-43880 invaded Windows Mobile management appliances. CVE-2021-43893 interfered with windows file encryption systems, while CVE-2021-43883 interrupted the Windows installer.

How Dangerous Microsoft Patches Six Zero-Day Security Vulnerabilities Are For Small Businesses 

Microsoft patches six zero-day security vulnerabilities that are severe threats to small businesses. For example, they enable unsuspecting computer users to open infected files and documents. Attackers use this avenue to execute malicious malware codes. They also exploit susceptibilities via malicious programs like Bazaloader, Trickbot, and Emotet. Such elements contribute to the destruction of data backups and security infrastructure besides disclosing company critical information to intruders. Businesses that experience these factors make intensive capital and customers losses that affect their financial bases.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue.

Small industries have numerous solutions to Microsoft patches six zero-day security vulnerabilities. One of them includes using Microsoft-provided updates and installing them in their systems. Patching all Microsoft programs and software is also an important initiative for enterprises.

Windows Print Spooler Vulnerability

What Happened? 

Windows Print Spooler vulnerability is a severe threat in Microsoft systems. In 2021 July, Microsoft discovered another type of the above susceptibility known as CVE-2021-36958. This component gave local attackers a means of gaining access to SYSTEM privileges on their machines. This vulnerability misused Print features, Print drivers, and Windows print spooler settings configurations. Cyber attackers in this scenario connected to a remote printer server, and as a result, they could view, delete, change, and form new accounts with exclusive user rights.

How Dangerous Windows Print Spooler Vulnerability Is For Small Businesses  

Windows Print Spooler vulnerability is a risky sensation in small businesses that adversely affect their operations. When attackers access a compromised computer, they assign system and admin-level rights, making it hard for the users to detect the susceptibility quickly. Such characters can steal sensitive information and use it for malicious activities in the long run. The remote code execution in this kind of susceptibility destroys records and applications, generating significant losses to small businesses.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue

Enterprises have multiple ways to eliminate the Windows Print Spooler susceptibility. One of them entails applying CVE-2021-34527 security updates to secure their systems and configuring some registry settings to zero, including HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers\PointAndPrint, NoWarningNoElevationOnInstall, and UpdatePromptSettings. Another viable solution is disabling the sprinter spooler on susceptible workstations and servers.

Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover Vulnerability

What Happened?

Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover vulnerability is a severe system threat that has affected most businesses in 2021. This aspect led to the leaking of around 100,000 passwords and login names of users of the Windows domain all over the world ( Researchers identified that the primary cause of this problem was the wrong execution of Autodiscover protocol. As a result, the system sent personal details to third parties and untrusted sites.

How Dangerous Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover Vulnerability Is For Small Businesses 

Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover vulnerability exposes an entire organization to severe dangers. Attackers use this mechanism to get genuine credentials to access user accounts and disseminate ransomware. As a result, they infect company records and steal sensitive information such as customer and financial details, which they can later use to execute malicious activities. Such issues can tarnish the enterprise’s reputation, thus negatively affecting its revenue generation methods as clients shifts to other providers.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue

Businesses have multiple ways of mitigating Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover susceptibility. One of them includes blocking all the Autodiscover. [tld] domains in their DNS servers or firewall. This initiative ensures that their devices do not connect with such parts. Disabling Basic authentication is another effective mechanism that prevents the dissemination of credentials in explicit texts.

Microsoft Azure Customers’ Data Leak by WIZ Researchers

What Happened?  

A data breach is a serious threat to businesses and a prevalent issue in the current digital society. For instance, the Microsoft Azure customers’ data disclosure occurred in February 2021, where WIZ researchers obtained databases and accounts of thousands of Microsoft Azure customers, including Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil, in the Fortune 500 companies’ category. Information technology specialists discovered that the primary cause of this catastrophe was clients’ misconfiguration of Microsoft Azure. After Wiz examiners from Israel informed Microsoft about the issue, the company resolved it instantly.

How Dangerous Microsoft Azure Customers’ Data Leak Is For Small Businesses 

Data leakage can be a bad experience in a company if the leaked information lands in the hands of malicious individuals. If businesses encounter the scenario mentioned above, cyber attackers illegally access enterprise data, including customer particulars, and can later use it for ill purposes such as money theft.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue.

Small businesses experiencing Microsoft Azure customers’ data leak security problems can employ techniques such as requesting their clients to modify their login particulars as a precautionary measure. They can also ensure consistent updates of Azure containers used to patch known vulnerabilities. Such enterprises should also encourage their customers to utilize security software that quickly detects malicious attacks to ensure that they instantly respond to them once they occur.


What Happened?  

In September 2021, Microsoft revealed the prevalence of a remote code execution (RCE) susceptibility in MSHTML, also called Trident. The threat allowed hackers to launch arbitrary programs on a victim’s computer through ActiveX control, which they sent through spear-phishing. Using the CVE-2021-40444 vulnerability, the intruder crafts malicious ActiveX using the Microsoft Office document hosting the browser. This individual then convinces users to open the harmful document, and the hazardous program executes on opening it. Cyber attackers, in this case, target Office 365 on diverse versions of the Windows operating systems.

How Dangerous Microsoft MSHTML Vulnerability Is For Small Businesses

Microsoft MSHTML vulnerability enables attackers to execute harmful codes from the logged-in user, which in the long run compromises the network and computer systems. This phenomenon gives ways for the attackers to steal essential records and sensitive data as they have total control of the system. Data theft can adversely affect the business’s reputation and lead to the loss of customers. In severe cases, enterprises become challenging to operate, leading to their closure.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue Microsoft MSHTML Vulnerability

Small business should train their employees to avoid opening documents from individuals they do not know to hinder Microsoft MSHTML vulnerability. System users should also shun disabling Microsoft protected view option in the office suite to allow the read-only capability of files and thwart the introduction of malicious contents. Enterprises should also disable ActiveX control through modification of the appropriate registry keys. They should also enable Application Guard, a security container that separates an individuals’ data from unknown records.

Manageengine Adselfservice plus Vulnerabilities

What Happened

In its application programming interface, the ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus vulnerability was initially discovered on 8th September 2021. ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus allowed users to reset and update passwords details on the directory. Research by the U.S. cyber security personnel showed that this susceptibility targeted U.S. companies. The threat allowed hackers to execute arbitrary codes on user systems, thus enabling them to take control of the computer system and install malware programs.

How Dangerous ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus Vulnerabilities Is For Small Businesses 

ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus vulnerabilities cause devastating results in small enterprises, including loss of sensitive company and customer records. Another drawback of the threat mentioned above in corporations entails intensive disruption of operations and subversion of company focus. Such issues can severely affect a firm and even lead to its discontinuation.

Ways Small Businesses Can Fix This Issue

Small businesses should practice frequent updating of internet interfaces of the ADSelfService Plus to enhance protection against ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus vulnerabilities. It is also always advisable for enterprises to frequently review their system security recommendations and make the necessary changes.

Wrapping it up

It’s essential to update your Microsoft software to protect yourself and because your customers should have the best experience possible with your products.

The fact that you’re reading this means you care about computer security. That’s great! Because we do too. As Microsoft continues to find new and exciting ways to keep your data secure, we will continue to bring you the latest news and advice on staying protected in a fast-paced digital world.

Protected Harbor is your one-stop solution for all IT needs, including data center real-time monitoring, 99.99% uptime, safety, and security. We are not just your regular MSP; we treat clients as partners and build a solution from scratch according to your business needs and requirements. We want to know how we deliver an unmatched experience; our expert IT team is dedicated to satisfying your needs. That’s not it; learn more here; contact us now.

FBI: Russian hackers spy on, scour energy sector of the US; 5 companies targeted

FBI Russian hackers spy on, scour energy sector of the US 5 companies targeted

FBI: Russian hackers spy on, scour energy sector of the US; 5 companies targeted

According to a March 18 FBI advice to US businesses received by CNN, hackers affiliated with Russian internet addresses have been examining the networks of five US energy corporations as a possible preliminary to hacking operations.
As the Russian military suffers significant casualties in Ukraine and Western sanctions on the Kremlin begin to bite, the FBI alert only days before President Joe Biden openly warned that Russian-linked hackers could target US companies.

Key Highlights:

  • According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at least five U.S. energy businesses and 18 others in critical infrastructure sectors have seen “abnormal scanning” from Russian-linked IP addresses, according to a Friday bulletin first published by CBS News on March 22.
  • The behavior “certainly suggests early phases of reconnaissance, searching networks for vulnerabilities for use in potential future attacks.”
  • In a statement, Dennis Hackney, senior director of industrial cybersecurity services development at ABS Group, stated, “It is not surprising that Russia would activate its most effective war-fighting tools online.” “State-sponsored cyberattacks are difficult to attribute definitively,” he added.
  • On Monday, Biden warned business executives, “The enormity of Russia’s cyber capability is fairly consequential, and it’s coming.” Read more here.
  • Although no breaches have been established due to the scanning, the FBI advises the latest in a series of warnings from US officials to critical infrastructure operators about the possibility of Russian hacking. Biden’s public notice was broad and aimed to raise awareness of the problem, whereas the FBI advice was intended for a private, technical audience to help firms defend their networks.

An overview of the situation

In an address to the Detroit Economic Club, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that federal law enforcement is “working closely” with cyber personnel in the private sector and abroad to assess potential threats.

“With the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, we’re focusing especially on the catastrophic cyber threat posed by Russian intelligence services and the cybercriminal groups they defend and promote,” Wray added. “We have cyber personnel collaborating closely with Ukrainians and other allies overseas, corporate sector, and local partners.”

Wray’s remarks come four days after the FBI warned that vital infrastructure providers were under attack, particularly the energy sector.

According to CBS News, the FBI warning instructed: “US Energy Sector companies to analyze current network traffic for these IP addresses and initiate follow-up investigations if discovered.”

However, the FBI advisory does not specify if the “scanning” is a new threat.
“I’m not sure what this announcement is supposed to mean,” independent security consultant Tom Alrich said in an email. “Probably every large utility in the country is scanned thousands of times an hour, 24 hours a day, by bad actors, so I’m not sure what this announcement means.”

An attack on crucial infrastructure, according to experts, might be interpreted as a war crime, giving a nation-state actor pause. The most adept attackers, on the other hand, maybe able to conceal their origins, according to Hackney.

“He explained that the higher the sum of money, the better the cybercriminals’ capacity to hide who they are and how they are funded. “Because state-sponsored threat actors might have large funds, they are usually adept at concealing their true ties. As a result, assigning blame is impossible.”

President Joe Biden has warned Russia that “we are prepared to retaliate” if it “pursues cyberattacks against our industries, our key infrastructure.” For months, the federal government has been striving to improve the protection of 16 critical industries, including energy, communications, finance, and agriculture. On Monday, President Trump released a statement reinforcing previous warnings that Russia could use harmful cyber activity to retaliate for economic penalties imposed by the US and other countries.

Utilities in the United States have stated that they are “closely monitoring” the situation in Ukraine and that they are collaborating with their peers and the federal government.

“Russia has the capability to launch cyberattacks in the United States that have localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructures, such as temporarily shutting down an electrical distribution network.,” according to the assessment by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Safety Tips from Protected Harbor

Protected Harbor’s security team has been following the matter for a long time and continues to emphasize cybersecurity. Some tips from our experts on how you can protect your business from cyberattacks:

  • Install firewalls and other advanced protections at workstations and network equipment such as routers and switches to detect unauthorized activity by hackers who might try compromising your system remotely through internet connections.
  • Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan- Always back up data before it is lost in case of an attack. Ensure that all devices are constantly updated with the latest antivirus software available. Password protection should be enabled not just on computers but also on any mobile device or tablet someone may have access to.
  • Know your organization’s pain points and consider how to protect them. Understand that cybersecurity is not just about protecting data but also ensuring resiliency so services can continue when attacked or compromised
  • Consider security from end-to-end; it’s essential to have a sound strategy for both physical and digital assets on-site and remote access via mobile devices.
  • Be aware of what you share online: make sure all social media posts are set appropriately (e.g., don’t post sensitive information like passwords); be cautious with attachments in emails; choose strong passwords that are different than those used elsewhere because they may get stolen by cybercriminals.
  • Logging tools such as Palo Alto Network’s next-generation firewalls should be used to monitor for odd activities (NGFW) continuously. The records should subsequently be examined daily to detect any irregularities.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all websites, accounts, systems, and network logins, particularly emails. A user’s mobile device is loaded with an application that generates a series of random codes during the login procedure. The code, as well as the password, must be entered by the user.
  • Patch any vulnerabilities and software, including older versions. If you merely patch against known attacks, you risk being caught due to an unknown exposure. Patch your computers, networks, webpages, mobile apps, and anything else connected to the Internet.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently issued a notice listing 13 known vulnerabilities that Russian state-sponsored hackers have used to attack networks. Criminals use gaps to penetrate systems. Therefore network cybersecurity and network protection are critical for a company’s safety.

Recent cyber-attacks on government websites were carried out with simple tools. The website crashed due to multiple users accessing it at the same time. As shown in this piece, cyberwar threatens Western governments and agencies. To increase their security, businesses must take proactive actions.

Protected Harbor assists businesses in defending themselves and their IT operations against known and unknown threats, such as malware, ransomware, viruses, and phishing. We help organizations back up their data and prevent data loss due to ransomware attacks or other security issues. Learn more about Protected Harbor and request a free IT audit to learn how we can assist you in defending against the Russian Cyber Invasion.

Biden Warns of Russia Cyberattack on US Businesses & Economy

Biden warns of russia cyberattack on us businesses & economy

Biden Warns of Russia Cyberattack on US Businesses & Economy

russia cybertattackThe United States Government has warned privately-held American firms about the growing threat of cyberattacks from Russian hackers.

President Biden warned on Monday that Russia is considering launching cyberattacks on the US businesses in revenge for the economic sanctions placed on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

The President advised private sector organizations in the United States to tighten their cybersecurity against a potential Russian breach in a statement released days before he travels to Brussels for a NATO summit.

“It’s part of Russia’s playbook,” President Biden said in the statement. “Today, my administration is renewing those concerns, based on increasing data indicating the Russian government is considering hacking possibilities.”

According to Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor for cyber and new technology, the administration has no evidence of a specific, significant potential cyberattack against the United States but rather “preparatory activities” targeting critical infrastructure.

Key Findings:

  • The US government has been more cautious about Russian hackers’ activities, even as it accuses Moscow of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
  • The private warnings respond to mounting concerns from companies such as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) that hackers are targeting in Russia and other countries.
  • The private, non-public warnings, first reported by Bloomberg, also signal the growing concern among US officials, who have been reluctant to publicly discuss alleged Russian hacking activities.
  • The private warnings also come as President Joe Biden’s administration reviews options to retaliate against Russia for its alleged hacking activities.

As the crisis in Ukraine rages, the US has previously warned that Russia may attempt to attack US corporations. According to Ms. Neuberger, the Biden administration’s warning on Monday was an attempt to raise awareness of Russia’s ability to launch a digital attack on American infrastructure.

Ms. Neuberger stated that the administration had lately noticed “preparatory behavior” for future hacking of American infrastructure and had shared that knowledge with businesses in a secret briefing last week. Scanning websites for flaws is one example of this type of action. Ms. Neuberger stated unequivocally that Russian hacking of essential infrastructures, such as oil and energy firms and hospital systems, continues to be a serious concern.

“There’s so much more we need to do to the confidence that we’ve shut our digital doors, especially for Americans’ important services,” Ms. Neuberger said, noting that the private sector manages most of America’s critical infrastructure. “Those owners and operators have the power and obligation to harden the systems and networks we all rely on.”

Last week, the White House briefed more than 100 US corporations on the best ways to guard against a cyberattack. On Monday, the Trump administration issued a directive to businesses to “quickly reinforce your cyber defenses,” recommending actions such as enabling multifactor authentication, ensuring data backups offline, and teaching personnel on hacking techniques.

In the statement, Mr. Biden added, “You have the authority, the capacity, and the obligation to increase the cybersecurity and resilience of the key services and technology Americans rely on.”

Protected Harbor’s Take On The Issue

As one of the top cybersecurity firms in the US, Protected Harbor has been following the matter for a long time. Last week Richard Luna, CEO of Protected Harbor, had a session with SCMagazine about how U.S. businesses can protect themselves from Russian cybersecurity attacks.

He gave the following tips on how to protect from Russian cyber-attacks.

  • A solid and robust firewall is a must that can be backed up by effective anti-virus software running on all devices in your network.
  • Install network segmentation or ‘air gapping,’ which prevents data transfer between networks without proper authorization. This process also limits potential damage if one part of your system gets hacked as it will not spread across the whole company’s systems afterward, potentially destroying them all at once.
  • Continuous monitoring for the unusual activity should be done through logging tools like Palo Alto Network’s next-generation firewalls (NGFW). The logs should then be analysed daily, so any anomalies are immediately noticed.
  • Enable MFA for all websites, accounts, systems, and network logins, especially emails. A typical method is that an application is loaded on the users’ mobile device generating a series of random codes during the login process. The user is requested to enter the code along with the password.
  • Patch for all vulnerabilities and software, even the old ones. Do not take shortcuts because if you only patch against known attacks, you may get caught due to an unknown vulnerability. Patch your systems, networks, websites, mobile applications, and everything on the Internet.

US Businesses need to quickly identify vulnerabilities, exposure, and misconfigurations that can give opportunities to hackers for gaining a foothold in their IT infrastructure and then implement relevant patches. Russian operators are well known for exploiting edge systems.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has put an alert recently that lists 13 known vulnerabilities used by Russian state-sponsored criminals to compromise networks. Network cybersecurity and network protection are essential for a company’s safety, as criminals detect the loopholes to infiltrate the system.

The recent attacks on government sites were carried out using trivial tools. Multiple users accessed the website at the same time causing a crash. Western governments and agencies are also at risk of cyberwar, as we have discussed in this article. Businesses need to take proactive measures to strengthen their security.

Protected Harbor can help organizations protect themselves and their IT operations from known and unknown attacks, including all forms of malware, ransomware, viruses, and phishing. We help businesses back up their data and prevent ransomware attacks or other security issues resulting in data loss. Learn more about Protected Harbor and reach out for a free IT Audit to see how we can help against the Russian Cyber Invasion.

What is Cybersecurity Mesh?

what is cyber security mesh


What is Cybersecurity Mesh?


Have you come across the term “cybersecurity mesh”? Some consider it one of the most important trends in cloud security and other cyber concerns today.

One of the newest cybersecurity buzzwords is cybersecurity mesh, one of Gartner’s top strategic technology trends for 2022 and beyond. Cybersecurity mesh, as a concept, is a new approach to a security architecture that allows scattered companies to deploy and expand protection where it’s most needed, allowing for higher scalability, flexibility, and reliable cybersecurity control. The growing number of cybersecurity threats inspires new security solutions, such as cybersecurity mesh, which is one such modern innovation. The security mesh enables fundamental distributed policy enforcement and provides easy-to-use composable tools that may be plugged into the mesh from any location.

  • Organizations that use a cybersecurity mesh architecture will see a 90 percent reduction in the cost impact of security incidents by 2024, according to Gartner.

Understanding Cybersecurity Mesh

Cybersecurity mesh is a cyber defense approach that uses firewalls and network protection solutions to secure each device with its boundary. Many security approaches guarantee a whole IT environment with a single perimeter, while a cybersecurity mesh takes a more holistic approach.

“Location independence” and “Anywhere operations” will be a crucial trend in the aftermath of the Covid-19 epidemic. This trend will continue as more and more organizations realize that remote working is more viable and cost-effective. Because firms’ assets are outside the traditional security perimeter, their security strategies must develop to meet modern requirements. The notion of cybersecurity mesh is based on a distributed approach to network and infrastructure security that allows the security perimeter to be defined around the identities of people and machines on the web. This security design creates smaller and more individual circumferences around each access point.

Companies can use cybersecurity mesh to ensure that each access point’s security is handled correctly from a single point of authority, allowing for centralized security rules and dispersed enforcement. Such a strategy is ideal for businesses that operate from “anywhere.” This also means that cybersecurity mesh is a component of a Zero Trust security strategy. With tight identity verification and authorization, humans and machines may safely access devices, services, data, and applications anywhere.


What Are The Benefits of Cybersecurity Mesh

It is recommended that organizations handle decentralized identity, access management, IAM professional services, and identity proofing when addressing their most critical IT security and risk priorities. The following are some of the ways that cybersecurity mesh can be beneficial:

Cybersecurity mesh will support over 50 percent of IAM requests: Traditional security strategies are complicated because most digital assets, identities, and devices are outside the company today. Gartner expects that cybersecurity mesh will handle the bulk of IAM requests and provide a more precise, mobile, and adaptable unified access management paradigm for IAM demands. Compared to traditional security perimeter protection, the mesh architecture provides organizations with a more integrated, scalable, flexible, and dependable solution to digital asset access points and control.

Delivering IAM services will make managed security service providers (MSSPs) more prominent: MSSP organizations can provide businesses with the resources and skillsets to plan, develop, purchase, and deploy comprehensive IAM solutions. By 2023, MSSPs that focus on delivering best-of-breed solutions with an integrated strategy will drive 40% of IAM application convergence; this process will move the emphasis from product suppliers to service partners.

The workforce identity life cycle will include tools for identity verification: Because of the significant growth in distant interactions, which makes it harder to distinguish between attackers and legitimate users, more robust enrollment and recovery methods are urgently needed. According to Gartner, 30 percent of big companies will use new identity-proofing systems by 2024 to address typical flaws in worker identification life cycle processes.

Standards for decentralized identity emerge: Privacy, assurance, and pseudonymity are hampered by centralized ways to maintain identification data. According to the mesh model’s decentralized approach, blockchain technology protects anonymity and allows individuals to confirm information requests by providing the requestor with the least required information. Gartner estimates that by 2024, the market will have a genuinely global, portable, decentralized identity standard to address business, personal, social, societal, and identity-invisible use cases.

Demographic bias will be minimized in identity proofing: Document-centric approaches to identity proofing have piqued the interest of many businesses. The rise of remote work in 2020 highlighted how bias based on race, gender, and other traits could manifest themselves in online use cases. As a result, by 2022, 95% of businesses will demand that identity-proofing companies demonstrate that they minimize demographic bias.


How to Implement Cybersecurity Mesh

The future of cybersecurity mesh appears to be promising. For example, Gartner estimated in October 2021 that this design would help minimize the cost impact of security events by 90% on average over the next five years. By 2025, Gartner expects it to serve more than half of all identification and access requests.

Mesh can therefore make a difference. How can you make the most of it? One method is to develop a roadmap for integrating cloud security and other technologies. This single, integrated solution can maintain zero trust and other critical defensive measures. It will be easier to create and enforce policies if this is done. It will also be accessible for security personnel to keep track of their assets.
Furthermore, IT teams can enhance this work by ensuring that basic protections are in place. Besides multi-factor authentication, Protected Harbor recommended data loss prevention, identity administration and management, SIEM, and more.



In the following years, the concept of cybersecurity mesh will be a significant trend, and it will provide some critical security benefits that standard cybersecurity techniques do not. As more businesses begin to digitize their assets and migrate to cloud computing environments, they recognize the need to protect sensitive data. Beyond the existing physical limits, the cybersecurity mesh will provide better, more flexible, and scalable protection to secure their digital transformation investments.

Protect your critical data assets, talk to Protected Harbor’s cybersecurity specialists about the notion of cybersecurity mesh and other advanced security solutions like remote monitoring, geoblocking, protected data centers, and much more.

VoIP Monitoring Software’s Critical Security Flaws Discovered

Voip monitoring softwares critical security flaws discovered


VoIP Monitoring Software’s Critical Security Flaws Discovered

There’s no question that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is revolutionizing how businesses communicate, but there are growing pains like all new technologies. One of the significant issues with VoIP is that it can be challenging to detect and diagnose problems. That’s where VoIP monitoring comes in.

VoIP monitoring is the process of keeping track of voice traffic and identifying issues with call quality. VoIPmonitor is a popular monitoring software that allows users to listen to and record VoIP calls. It includes call analysis, quality measurement, and media analysis features. A PENETRATION-TESTING & vulnerability research firm, Kerbit, detected new vulnerabilities in VoIPmonitoring, and issued a warning about the flaws and how hackers could exploit the scenario.

What is VoIPmonitor?

VoIPmonitor is an open-source network packet sniffer for SIP RTP and RTCP VoIP protocols that runs on Linux and allows users to monitor and troubleshoot conversation quality and decode, play, and archive calls in a CDR database.

The software involves the measurement of jitter, latency, and packet loss, all of which impact the quality of a VoIP call. Simply described, it’s the monitoring of VoIP conversations’ quality of service (QoS), which includes both fault and performance management. Monitoring metrics from the source to the destination and vice versa and the mean opinion score (MOS) and round trip time (RTT) will ensure that everything is under control throughout the communication and connection.

What are the flaws identified by Kerbit?

Kerbit detected three vulnerabilities, which are listed below:

  • CVE-2022-24259 (CVSS score: 9.8) – An authentication bypass problem in the GUI’s “cdr.php” component allows an unauthenticated attacker to elevate privileges via an exceptionally crafted request.
  • CVE-2022-24260 (CVSS score: 9.8) – An SQL injection vulnerability exists in the GUI’s “api.php” and “utilities.php” components, allowing attackers to elevate privileges to administrator and retrieve sensitive data.
  • CVE-2022-24262 (CVSS score 7.8) – A remote command execution via the GUI’s configuration restore capabilities due to a missing check for archive file types, which allows a bad actor to execute arbitrary instructions via a forged file.

The vulnerability allows users to upload any file extension they want and can get them to run, essentially giving hackers admin privileges. The flaws could have been used to crash applications, but bulk-uploading extensions and overwhelming the network.

Unauthenticated attackers could elevate privileges to the administrator level and execute arbitrary commands if critical security vulnerabilities in VoIPmonitor software are successfully exploited.voip monitoring

Other Types of VOIP Attacks?

VoIP technology is just as reliable and secure as a traditional telephone, if not more so than a cellular connection. Every network must be appropriately set up and fortified to be completely hacker-proof.

Most VoIP cyber assaults are caused by administrators failing to implement adequate security measures, resulting in VoIP security attacks and, in particular, SIP hacking. SIP servers, after all, are at the heart of both internal IP telephony and commercial services, as seen in the diagram:

It’s vital to keep your SIP servers safe. The following are four types of SIP-based VoIP hacks that have gained popularity in the telecom business in recent years:

  1. SIP Amplification Attack – DDoS
    As this protocol has become widely employed in VoIP systems, SIP hacking remains one of the most prevalent security concerns in the telecom space. The following is a typical scenario for a SIP amplification attack:
    A hacker uses DDoS to launch a mass application layer attack on the SIP protocol to disrupt it. For example, an attacker might compromise SIP servers and send many (10+) faults to the victim, allowing them to send IP Spoofed packets and repeated Responses.
  2. SIP Trust Relationships Hack
    SIP gateways rely on SIP Trunks for call initiation and CDR/invoice management, making them easy targets for VoIP attacks. SIP trunks frequently lack passwords or employ IP-based filters for trunk authentication. Most SIP trunks also have Direct INVITE privilege without REGISTER, making them vulnerable to assaults.
  3. SIP Authentication Hack

SIP 2.0 uses the MD5 message-digest technique to hash the UAC password to offer extra security to VoIP networks.
The issue with such an authentication method is that it isn’t completely safe. When UAC requests authentication from a UAS, the latter generates and sends a digest challenge to the UAC. The most basic authentication challenge consists of the following:

  • a Realm – required to identify credentials within a SIP message.
  • a Nonce – a unique MD5 string produced by the UAC for each registration request; A Nonce has a timestamp and a secret, a non-reusable phrase that ensures it has a finite lifespan.

On the other hand, Hashed passwords are no longer sufficient to defend VoIP systems from sophisticated authentication assaults. With a Network Analyzer or a brute-force attack, hackers may now crack MD5 cash and gain access to a SIP authentication header.

  1. Creating a Fake Caller ID/ Spoofing

In SIP, caller ID isn’t adequately protected, and hackers have lots of tools for spoofing the SIP INVITE Request Message from the header. This is a prevalent method of voice fraud used to attack PBX systems. As a result, you must also protect that endpoint to avoid roaming fraud or call hijacking.

What can we do?

By including VoIP in your portfolio, you may improve your commercial offering by having IP-based voice features that bring value to both data and video. It also allows you to compete with over-the-top (OTT) service providers who cannot guarantee service quality (QoS). After all, quality and security are the fundamental differentials that customers are most likely to notice regarding voice service. Delivering faultless VoIP call quality involves real-time customer experience management, including total visibility of the traffic running through your IP network.

The VoIP monitoring market is heating up as businesses search for the right solution that fits their needs. Companies are always concerned about security when giving their staff or contractors unfettered access to internet and phone services in remote environments because of the inherent risk of not being in a secure network. However, many remote users still want access to secure phone and internet lines to stay connected without worrying about data costs.

Protected Phones by Protected Harbor is a cloud-based unified VoIP solution that provides businesses with the security and flexibility they need to enable remote work and 24×7 live support with a dedicated system. To learn more about our solution and how we can partner with you, please visit our website or contact us today.

What is an Incident Response Plan (IRP) Checklist?

incident response plan


What is an Incident Response Plan (IRP) Checklist?

An Incident Response Plan is your best bet for protecting your company from the consequences of a data breach. The time to plan and prepare for security crises is NOW, whatever they may be, long before they occur.

What is an Incident Response Plan?

A cybersecurity incident response plan (IR plan) is a set of guidelines designed to assist businesses in preparing for, detecting, responding to, and recovering from network security problems. Most IR strategies are tech-focused, addressing concerns like malware detection, data theft, and service disruptions. However, any sizeable cyber assault can have a wide-ranging impact on a firm; therefore, the plan should include finance, customer service, HR, employee communications, legal, and other outside entities.

Why is Incident Response Plan Important?

An Incident Response Plan is important because it defines how to reduce the length and severity of security incidents and identify stakeholders, streamline digital forensics, enhance recovery time, and prevent unfavorable publicity and customer attrition.

Small cybersecurity mishaps, such as malware infection, can quickly escalate into more significant issues, resulting in data breaches, data loss, and company interruption.

A good incident response procedure will help your company reduce damages, patch exploitable vulnerabilities, restore affected systems and processes, and close the attack vector.

Incident response is essential for preventing future occurrences and maintaining a company that handles sensitive data like PII, PHI, or biometrics.

IRP Audit

Before writing your Incident Response Plan, you should conduct a security audit of your company. This will help you identify weak areas. You should also identify who is responsible for the incident and determine who will handle the incident. In addition, you should define the parties involved and who will handle it.

Creating an IRP should include several key stakeholders, such as representatives from different company areas, including outside PR. In addition to the team members, it should also include the CEO, board members, and PR representatives. The process should be transparent and approved by key stakeholders easy to implement, but it should not be overly complex. It must be simple to understand, and it should be based on a multi-tiered approach.

How to create an Incident Response Plan & Checklist?

Create an Incident Response Plan

  • The first and most important step in incident response planning is preparation. It should include defining the roles of the IR team and creating an underlying security policy. The security policy should identify the locations and relative value of sensitive data, as well as how many IT resources your company needs to respond to an attack. Make sure that your executives are on board with the plan before it goes live.
  • The second step in creating an Incident Response Plan (IRP) is testing. It is critical to test the IRP to ensure that all components are working correctly. The purpose of testing is to determine whether the plan is effective and whether the team can handle the incident effectively. The IRP must be supported by upper management. The plan must be able to prevent or mitigate a security breach. It must be easy to implement, and it should be quick to execute.
  • The final step in creating an Incident Response Plan is to define the response, the incident, or the event that will trigger it. There are many types of incidents, and different responses must be developed for each. Your IRP should identify the kind of security incident likely to occur and identify responsible parties. In addition, you should include a comprehensive communication plan, including the methods and frequency of communication with the affected parties.

Creating an incident response plan checklist can help your staff cope with a significant incident. IR Plan checklist is made keeping in mind what should be done after an incident.

Post-Incident– The ultimate step of an incident response plan is to create a post-incident investigation checklist. This checklist should include various information, such as disk images, logs, and network traffic reports. It should also detail key elements, including entry point, root cause analysis, and organizational resources targeted in the aftermath of an incident. After the investigation is complete, the team should recommend changes to prevent the same occurrence from occurring again.

Recovery– A recovery phase focuses on bringing systems back to normal operation. The response team must notify affected parties of the nature and extent of the attack within a specified period, such as 72 hours for GDPR. Once the system has been returned to production, the team needs to perform necessary tests, validate that it is operating normally, and document the process. The entire process should take a minimum of a day, depending on the size of the IT network and the business operation.

The recovery phase involves bringing affected systems back to production and testing them regularly. A well-developed plan should include these processes. The more specific they are, the better your plan will be. The more thorough and comprehensive your plan is, the more effective it will be.


The purpose of our cyber incident response plan checklist is to assist your IT security team in developing a complete, coordinated, repeatable, and effective incident response strategy.

Please remember that creating a cybersecurity incident response plan is never a one-time task. Unfortunately, enterprises and their IT security teams may find themselves outmaneuvered by hackers who pivot in their attack strategies/TTP and malware choice if they do not engage in frequent incident response training and IR exercises, including real cyber assault scenarios.

This article should provide you with the information and resources you need to design and implement a successful incident response plan. Partner with Protected Harbor to add best-in-class behavioral analysis to all of your essential data repositories and infrastructure to ensure your data is safe.

At Protected Harbor, we work with individual customers on an Incident Response Plan (IRP) and help them perform an audit to determine where they are today within their IRP. We follow the Critical Controls and guide our customers that match their Incident Response Plan with the specific controls. This provides them with the ability to have a real improvement plan in place.

With that being said, don’t miss out on other crucial aspects of data protection that can be included in your checklist—things like protected data center, disaster recovery plan, backups, testing, and so on. Contact us to create an IRP which is best for you.