Post-SolarWinds Action Plan For Enterprise IT

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s new 4-day rule and its recent indictment against SolarWinds and its CISO usher in a new reality for enterprise IT and cyber security teams.  Inside this new reality, enterprise organizations must harden their mobile applications against malware and other attacks, and prepare their enterprise apps to detect and respond when hacking, malware, and threats emerge in their mobile workforce. 

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The SolarWinds attack came from malware installed on an unmanaged mobile device connected to a VPN.

As detailed in the SEC complaint, the attack against SolarWinds came from malware installed on an unmanaged mobile device connected to a VPN. Via this malware, the attackers launched a series of escalating attacks against the SolarWinds corporate servers without being detected.  

Action Plan #1 – Add malware detection features and harden mobile applications against malware exploits.

CISOs, as well as Enterprise IT and Cybersecurity teams should add malware detection to enterprise mobile apps to prevent corporate VPN and other applications from operating when malware is present on enterprise devices.

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Cybersecurity pledges apply to all parts of the enterprise infrastructure, including mobile apps.

The SEC made it very clear that customers, investors and others should hold organizations, and their enterprise IT and cybersecurity teams, responsible for meeting the standards set out in public cybersecurity pledges and other statements. Enterprise IT teams should adopt technology and platforms that allow continuous compliance with these standards in the workplace apps used by employees and others.  

Action Plan #2 – Adopt technology that allows enterprise IT to meet public cyber security standards, without any dependency on internal or external engineering resources.

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The SEC also made it clear that SolarWind’s cybersecurity posture left it blind to the source, scale and impact of the attack. To this end, they claimed SolarWinds was “reckless” or “negligent” in knowing. Enterprise organizations should ensure they can monitor and respond to threats as they arise in mobile apps and devices (without any dependency on UEM, MAM as most users are not enrolled in these systems).   

Action Plan #3 – Add RASP and other defenses into enterprise and workplace apps so that they can detect and respond to malware attacks autonomously, i.e., without relying on UEM or MAM enforcement.

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