Cyberattacks on major organizations highlight AI and supply chain vulnerabilities, says GlobalData

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According to GlobalData, a prominent data and analytics company, the cybersecurity landscape continues to develop as well-established organizations such as Boots, British Airways, and the BBC face the consequences of severe cyberattacks. As payroll data becomes compromised, the focus shifts towards the possibility of targeting vulnerabilities in AI systems. The battle against cyberattacks appears to have been lost, as the vulnerabilities in AI systems emerge as potential targets in the future.

David Bicknell, Principal Analyst, Thematic Intelligence at GlobalData, comments: “The ingenuity behind these attacks is beyond the capability of most enterprises to prevent occurring. They can only take steps to be as resilient as possible. These attacks are tried and tested perhaps more than many realize.”

According to Kroll’s analysis, the Clop ransomware group has been actively seeking opportunities to exploit a now-patched zero day vulnerability in the MOVEit Transfer managed file transfer (MFT) solution since 2021.

Bicknell adds: “The battle to prevent these sorts of attacks from occurring has already been lost. What is important now is for security specialists – companies, researchers, security vendors, and governments –to put their best efforts into limiting as far as possible the use of artificial intelligence (AI), including generative AI, by hackers for offensive purposes.

“Events this week demonstrated that security researchers can too easily break through so-called guardrails instituted in AI software and manipulate the software into ignoring safety restraints and then revealing private information. If they are not controlled, these vulnerabilities will lead to future AI-driven cyberattacks.”

Rajesh Muru, Principal Analyst, Global Enterprise Cybersecurity Lead at GlobalData, says: “This is a classic case of insufficient risk management posture across company supply chains. Risk management compliance guidelines like NIST go some way to address supply chain cybersecurity risks. However, both user and supplier initiatives around cybersecurity are just not sophisticated enough to drive visibility across the complete supply chain.

“This often leads to end-user enterprises not having visibility on the security posture across the complete supply chain and, more importantly, sufficient time to react.

“The irony of all of this is that Progress very much sells on the premise of secure transferability of sensitive data with MOVEit. The product itself has strong security features, covering cryptographic tamper-evident Logging, Regulatory/Compliance Support (PCI, HIPAA, SOC2, GDPR), and Gateway Reverse Proxy.

“Therefore, it just shows that, even now, with developments in AI and the sheer volume of use cases for it, the question is, is the world moving into a darker place with the potential for adversarial machine learning attacks through vulnerabilities?”

Amy DeCarlo, Principal Analyst, Global IT Hosted and Managed Services at GlobalData, notes: “Clop allegedly exploited a vulnerability in the file transfer software MOVEit to tap personal identifiable information (PII) including names, addresses and banking information.

“This doxware incident, in which instead of cybercriminals encrypting data and demanding ransom in exchange for a decryption key, they threaten to publish the information, is one of a steadily increasing stream of similar incidents.

“Prevention is critical. Organizations need to make sure they are running the most current anti-virus software. Another important defense is end-user education. Attackers often use phishing and other social engineering tactics to breach an enterprise.”

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