ExtraHop, the leader in cloud-native network detection and response, announced its top predictions for the cybersecurity and technology industries in 2020. Informed by insight from customers, partners and industry analysts and insiders, ExtraHop leaders predict a year of tool consolidation, headline-grabbing breaches and a shifting industry focus on what makes a successful tech start-up.

The Year of Deeper Scrutiny for Fast-Growth Companies: “2019 was a tough year for heavily hyped, fast-growth companies going public in Silicon Valley. Several companies that raised huge rounds ultimately failed to deliver expected results or even approach profitability after they went public, and Wall Street was not amused. In 2020, we expect the investment community to more deeply scrutinize companies' financials and business fundamentals, ultimately leading to the support of companies who deliver on their promises, are capital-efficient with sound vision and innovation, and have truly sustainable business results and models to back them up.” - Arif Kareem, CEO

File hashing has been the default mechanism for detecting malicious threat activity"

Antiquated Threat Detection Methods like File Hashing and Signature-Based IDS Waste Time: “Since the 1990s, file hashing has been the default mechanism for detecting malicious threat activity, despite the fact that it's ineffective against modern attacks that use polymorphic or fileless methods to go undetected. The same goes for signature-based IDS, which are extremely noisy while providing very little actual alert context. Security teams will continue to rely on these antiquated methods of detection because they are expected to, regardless of how well they work in today's threat landscape.” - Jesse Rothstein, CTO and co-founder

Accountability for the Ethical Use of Users’ Data: “Recent headlines tell of giant data corporations like Google and Facebook monetizing users' data and lacking sufficient transparency in these activities. There’s already been significant social backlash, but in 2020 we predict that users will demand companies not just follow the often-dated laws, but that they also do what’s right. Regulations like GDPR and CCPA are helping to bring more clarity around what’s appropriate, but 2020 will be the year that the industry is held accountable for the ethical, in addition to regulatory-compliant, use of personal data.” - Raja Mukerji, CCO and co-founder

A Slowing Economy Will Force Tool Consolidation: “In security programs, it's been very difficult to turn tools off. What gaps will I create? What unintended consequences will I see? As the economy has rolled along over the last decade, most security programs have had the necessary funding to add new tools and retain legacy tools under the guise of risk management. Economic slowdown is likely to change all of that, as investments in new technology will require cost savings elsewhere. A tighter economy will finally cause us to pull the plug on legacy security tools.” - Bill Ruckelshaus, CFO

A tighter economy will finally cause us to pull the plug on legacy security tools""Observability" Will Gain Ground as Both a Concept and a Vocabulary Term in Security and DevOps: “Observability is a term that several companies are using to describe the practice of capturing metrics, logs and wire telemetry, or sometimes other data sources, mostly in the DevOps space. The value of correlating insights from these data sources has gained enough ground that vendors need a word for it.

Observability, The SOC Visibility Triad, and other terms have been spotted in marketing materials and on big screens and main stages at security and analytics conferences. In 2020, we'll see heated competition to control the vocabulary and mental models that enterprises and vendors use to discuss and market security best practices regarding gathering multiple data sources and correlating insights between them.”- John Matthews, CIO

A Major Information Leak from a Cloud Provider is Coming: “In 2020, we are likely to see a major information leak from a cloud provider. While at the same time the cloud providers are providing many useful built-in tools, it's not clear that they are using their own tools to secure themselves. As a further prediction, the leak will not effectively diminish migration to the cloud. As we have noticed with other breaches, they do not significantly erode confidence in the services.” - Jeff Costlow, CISO

2020 may well be the year that a breach of a vendor’s environment exposes the data of one or more of their customers"

The Wave Begins Towards Security Tool Consolidation: “Organisations will take a strong look at the number of security vendors within their ecosystem in 2020 to determine overlap and begin a move towards consolidation of tools. The winners will include those that have proven their API superiority and ability to work together within an organisation’s ecosystem. The losers will be those who have not proven their ability to strengthen core security.” - Chris Lehman, SVP of Worldwide Sales

A Vendor Will Be Responsible for a Major Breach of Data Due to Phoning Home: “In 2019, ExtraHop issued a security advisory about the vendor practice of phoning data home and how this is happening without the knowledge of customers. The problem with this practice is that it expands the attack surface via which that data can be breached, exposing it to threats within the vendor’s environment. 2020 may well be the year that a breach of a vendor’s environment exposes the data of one or more of their customers. Regulations like GDPR have imagined exactly this type of scenario and laid out specific requirements for data controllers and data processors. But when such a breach occurs, it will have broad impact and implications.” - Matt Cauthorn, VP Security

The Big IoT Breach is Coming: “In 2017, major ransomware attacks crippled the networks, and operations, of major global organisations. While those attacks did billions in damage, for the most part, IoT devices were left unscathed. But sooner or later, and probably sooner, the big IoT breach is coming, and it could have global implications. Whether it happens in the US or abroad, in healthcare, shipping and logistics, or manufacturing, IoT devices around the globe are fertile hunting grounds for attackers. Taking down every connected device, from telemetry sensors to infusion pumps to mobile points-of-sale, could easily grind operations to a halt.” - Mike Campfield, VP of Global Security Programs

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Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security
Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security

At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. However, the attacker was only in the system for 3 to 5 minutes, and an operator corrected the concentration back to 100 parts per million soon after. It would have taken a day or more for contaminated water to enter the system. In the end, the city’s water supply was not affected. There were other safeguards in place that would have prevented contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply, which serves around 15,000 residents. The remote access used for the attack was disabled pending an investigation by the FBI, Secret Service and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. On Feb. 2, a compilation of breached usernames and passwords, known as COMB for “Compilation of Many Breaches,” was leaked online. COMB contains 3.2 billion unique email/password pairs. It was later discovered that the breach included the credentials for the Oldsmar water plant. Water plant attacks feared for years Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.”  “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul.  “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says.  Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.

Expert Roundup: Healthy Buildings, Blockchain, AI, Skilled Workers, And More
Expert Roundup: Healthy Buildings, Blockchain, AI, Skilled Workers, And More

Our Expert Panel Roundtable is an opinionated group. However, for a variety of reasons, we are sometimes guilty of not publishing their musings in a timely manner. At the end of 2020, we came across several interesting comments among those that were previously unpublished. Following is a catch-all collection of those responses, addressing some of the most current and important issues in the security marketplace in 2021.

Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?
Smart Offices: How Is Mobile ID Changing The Way We Access The Office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organizations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points, and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient, and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realizing the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organizations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.