‘Cyber Incident’ Leads to The Shutdown of Campus Services
May 10th, 2023 |
Chattanooga State has recently faced a cyber-attack that led to the shutdown of many campus services. The motive behind the attack is still unknown, and the identity of the threat actor is yet to be determined.
The incident was discovered on Saturday when the college’s IT department noticed a “cyber incident” that led to the shutdown of many campus services. IT officials are still assessing the impact of the breach to determine if and what data may have been compromised.
Most ransomware exists on systems for months before shutting systems down to collect sensitive data. This allows the attacker to have two bites at the apple. First, with the ransom to unlock the systems and sometime later with a second ransom to not publicly disclose or sell the sensitive data.
Many campus services are currently unavailable, including student IDs, parking passes, academic advising, financial aid, registration, payments, transcripts requests, testing, career services, and the Center for Access & Disability Services. This has led to the cancellation of all scheduled classes.
The extent of damages caused by the attack will take some time to quantify, and the college is currently working with law enforcement and a cyber forensics vendor to investigate the cyber incident.
Acreto can provide security measures to prevent a similar cyber-attack on the Chattanooga State campus by limiting the attack surface and using encrypted communication channels. This is done with Acreto’s ecosystem:
Ecosystems eliminate the internal and external attack surfaces of networks. By using micro-segmentation, an ecosystem can isolate individuals or groups of systems on a shared network, including hostile networks, or the entire network. Nano-segmentation, on the other hand, isolates an individual system, device, or application to limit access only to other authorized ecosystem members.
Isolated data flows can be defined between two ecosystem members to limit access to specified sources and destinations, network protocols and ports, application protocols, as well as application programs. Acreto also offers an encrypted secure scan that decrypts, scans, and re-encrypts communications inline and in real-time, preventing malicious content embedded in the encrypted payload from infiltrating the system.
Ecosystem Security Isolation
Ecosystems deliver a dedicated security infrastructure that can be deployed per application, use-case, project or third-party. An Ecosystem inherently limits access only to users, devices, systems and applications that need to interoperate together.
Ecosystems support any technology, on any network, anywhere in the world. These include computers, mobile devices, IoTs, Offices, Clouds, SaaS and Data Centers.
Ecosystems can be configured as:
Open → With inbound or outbound access from or to the Internet or a third-party
Closed → Fully contained with access limited to Ecosystem members
Hybrid → Where some systems have inbound or outbound Internet access while others operate fully contained.
Eliminate the Internet Attack Surface
Eliminates any and all access from the Internet while Ecosystem members can interoperate with authorized systems and applications.
Eliminate the Internal Attack Surface
Ecosystems can easily isolate individual or groups of systems on a shared network or entire networks, to limit access only to systems that need to interoperate together. This is done with
- Micro-Segmentation Segmenting groups of systems on any shared network, including hostile networks or the entire network.
Nano-Segmentation Isolating an individual system, device or application to limit access only to other authorized Ecosystem members.
Isolated Data Flows
Isolated data flows can be defined between two Ecosystem members to limit access to specified sources and destinations, network protocols and ports, application protocols as well as application programs.
Encrypted Secure Scan
Secure Scan addresses a key weakness in many security tools today. 90%+ of all communications is encrypted, yet only 10% of organizations have the means to secure these communications. Encrypted Secure Scan decrypts, scans, and re-encrypts communications inline and in real-time.
Any malicious content embedded in the encrypted payload is blocked, otherwise the clean and validated communication is delivered to its final destination.
Identity with MFA
- User Authorizes access to the Ecosystem by a user’s identity, including MFA, as authenticated by the organizations Directory Services such as Active Directory or LDAP, as well as third-party Identity Service Providers such as Okta, Ping, Duo, and CloudJump among others.
- Device Specifies a unique identity to each device to validate that a specified device that does not rely on a user to operate – such as an autonomous application or IoT, is allowed to join the Ecosystem.
Network Protocol / Port
Control the network protocol (TCP, UDP, ICMP) and Port (1-65535) any Ecosystem member can use to communicate with any other Ecosystem member or Internet resource by IP, user or device identity. Both inbound and outbound Internet flows are supported.
Control the application protocol (HTTP, DNS, SMTP, SMB, etc…) any Ecosystem member can use to communicate with any other Ecosystem members or Internet resource by IP, user or device identity. Both inbound and outbound Internet flows are supported.
Control the application program (MS-Exchange, Oracle, Facebook, GMail, etc…) any Ecosystem member can use to communicate with any other Ecosystem members or Internet resource by IP, user or device identity. Both inbound and outbound Internet flows are supported.
Control communication based on content categories such as Adult, Gambling, Politics, Malware sites among 90+ category options.
File Type Upload / Download Controls
Control upload / download of files by type such .EXE, PDF, XLS, DOC, SCR, and MSI among hundreds of options.
Data Leak Prevention
Prevent data leaks by identifying and mitigating the upload or download of sensitive data such as:
- Credit Cards Upload / Download Controls
Social Security Number Upload / Download Controls
RegEx Pattern Upload / Download Controls
After verification of network protocol, port, application protocol and application program, a deep inspection is performed on all communications. The effectiveness of this method is amplified by inline Encrypted Secure Scan. Threat prevention capabilities utilize two key methods:
Identifies and mitigates known bad exploits, malware, botnets and ransomware.
Zero-Day Behavioral Analysis
Looks for behavioral indication of threats based on how system functions react to the payload, immediately and over time.
Acreto Ecosystems are very easy to provision and deploy. There are no hardware dependencies or associated logistics.
Provisioning an Ecosystem takes 3-5 minutes. Simply provide a unique name to the Ecosystem then choose the bandwidth desired and within a few minutes your Ecosystem providing a dedicated security infrastructure is ready.
Depending on your connection options for Ecosystem members, deployment can take between 10 minutes to a few hours.
Acreto Ecosystems utilize a sustainable model without any dependency on products and their associated logistics. There are no more updates, upgrades or technology refreshes.
Different Ecosystems operate completely independently from one-another. Therefore, change management impacts only members of a specified Ecosystem, not the entire organization. This simplifies the traditionally complex change management process.
Policy management also benefits from Ecosystems. Because Ecosystems are specific to a customer scenario such as an application, use-case, project or third-party, all policies apply to the scenario. Moreover, when its time for policy cleanup, when an application or use-case is retired, disabling or deleting the Ecosystem automatically prunes the policies. This has traditionally been a complex task that is at best inaccurate.
Acreto delivers full-stack cybersecurity without products, logistics or significant security expertise. It creates and consolidates the best of cybersecurity into a single plug-and-play platform with automated updates to stay ahead of threats. Acreto activates enterprise-grade security instantly, so organizations can run safely, easily, and without interruption.