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Ensuring Privacy and Security in the Wake of the Iranian Cyber Threat

By Tom Badders •  January 15, 2020

The recent U.S. airstrike against Iranian interests immediately raised speculation that Iran would retaliate with physical and cyber attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Iran has historically pursued its national interests with asymmetric tactics, and its use of offensive cyber operations reflects that doctrine. Since the 2010 Stuxnet attack, which set its nuclear program back several years, Iran has developed increasingly sophisticated cyber capabilities, using them to suppress elements deemed a threat as well as to harm their regional and international rivals.

DHS issued a series of warnings in the wake of the U.S. operation and Iran’s responding missile strike, encouraging people and organizations to be on the alert for physical and cyber attacks from Iran. Some of the practical advice they offered for cyber protection included disabling all unnecessary ports and protocols, enhanced monitoring of network and email traffic, and patching externally facing equipment.

These are all good housekeeping measures for normal organizational operation over the internet. However, we can no longer afford to pursue our organizational missions as if these are normal times.  Iranian cyber threat actors have been continuously improving their offensive capabilities. Additionally, the country could use proxies such as North Korea and others with more advanced capabilities.

Eliminating the digital presence of your enterprise makes it virtually impossible for threat actors to find and exploit you.

Their targets likely include critical national infrastructure, financial institutions, education establishments, manufacturers and more. Enterprises in these areas of interest require protection beyond that of standard security measures.  Further measures are needed to isolate an organization’s digital assets and communications from internet-based attacks.

The good news is that technology is available today that enables organizations to eliminate digital attack surfaces.  Isolating an organization’s network pathways and resources from the public internet protects the privacy and confidentiality of critical information and infrastructure.

Capabilities such as network obfuscation, managed/non/mis-attribution, and cloaked services enable you to encrypt information, mask the identity and location of traffic source and destination through varied network pathways, and hide unified communication (voice/video/chat) as well as email and application servers and storage repositories for worldwide private networking.

Eliminating the digital presence of your enterprise makes it virtually impossible for threat actors to find and exploit you, allowing you to conduct even sensitive business operations with confidence.  In the face of current events, and with the ever-increasing capabilities of nation-state actors, organizations need to consider applying this new generation of network isolation measures to ensure privacy, security and confidentiality.

Tom Badders

Tom Badders

Tom Badders is a Senior Product Manager at Telos Corporation. See full bio...

The Empower and Protect Blog brings you cybersecurity and information technology insights from top industry experts at Telos.

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