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Author: Terry Olaes

Comment on What Do You Think Of CISA Latest Alert Warning Exploitation Of Network Providers And Devices By Chinese-backed Threat Actors? by Terry Olaes

Threat actors are targeting known common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) of major telecommunications companies to harvest data and steal credentials. The NSA, CISA, and the FBI noted that upon gaining initial access to a telecommunications organization or network service provider, People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actors have successfully identified critical users and infrastructure, including systems critical to maintaining the security of authentication, authorization, and accounting. 

It is the latest urgent reminder that cybercriminals are increasingly targeting known vulnerabilities hiding in plain sight and turning them into backdoors to deploy complex attacks that are increasing at record rates. If organizations only rely on conventional approaches to vulnerability management, they may only move to patch the highest severity vulnerabilities first based on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). Cybercriminals know this is how many companies handle their cybersecurity, so they’ve learned to take advantage of vulnerabilities seen as less critical to carry out their attacks.
 
To stay ahead of cybercriminals, companies need to address vulnerability exposure risks before hackers attack them. That means taking a more proactive approach to vulnerability management by learning to identify and prioritize exposed vulnerabilities across the entire threat landscape. Organizations should ensure they have solutions in place capable of quantifying the business impact of cyber risks into economic impact. This will help them identify and prioritize the most critical threats based on the size of financial impact, among other risk analyses such as exposure-based risk scores. It’s essential for organizations to increase the maturity of their vulnerability management programs to ensure they can quickly discover if they are impacted by vulnerabilities and how urgent it is to remediate.