Year 2020: Security Threats in the Coming Year


Moving into a new year, we can expect the trends in information security from the last several years to continue to evolve and affect the methods criminals will use in exploits and the industry’s defenses against them. A few of these, such as the continued migration to the cloud, mobile technologies, and the use of machine learning affect the methods employed by both sides. With a shortage of skilled professionals in cybersecurity and the rapid advance of software development, we can expect serious competition for our data and information security. Here we will take a look at what experts in the field are saying lies ahead in the coming years.

Ransomware

A major method of attack in 2019 was ransomware. While previously online “gangs” would target institutions such as banks in massive multi-million dollar attacks using banking trojans, moving forward it is expected that the focus will shift to smaller attacks on small to medium sized businesses. This is due to it being easier to anonymize smaller attacks, with the profits easier to launder because of less interaction and sharing with physical street gangs in the laundering process.

Phishing 

Phishing will remain an important method in initiating attack, with mobile increasingly becoming the primary vector for phishing attacks aimed at stealing credentials. While conventional secure email gateways are adequate in blocking phishing emails and dangerous URLs, these methods often neglect to defend  mobile attack vectors from account takeover attacks. Personal email, social network accounts, and SMS/MMS messaging can be vulnerable to these attacks.

The Cloud

With business infrastructure increasingly making the move to the cloud, the focus of attackers will follow. This comes with the expected consequence of making attacks more difficult, requiring more sophistication and frequency of attacks which will increasingly rely on luck rather than careful planning and execution. A benefit to corporations using cloud infrastructure is redundancy for data storage and a greater assurance of server up-time. This migration to the cloud should improve security for most, although what attackers will be able to do with machine learning attacks on the cloud remains to be seen.


Having been talked about for several years now, 5G mobile technology will begin to be adopted across major metro areas in late 2020. This increased bandwidth and speed will give rise to a number of new IoT devices and create an uptick in edge computing. With IPv6 adding so many new devices, each one posing a potential risk as an attack vector, companies will need to reevaluate and rethink their threat models. The traditional infosec issues of authentication, confidentiality, authorization, availability and data security will be magnified with the huge build-out of 5G and must be accounted for with an updated risk paradigm.


As for authentication methods, we can expect a move from two-factor (2FA) to multi-factor (MFA), to include biometrics. Implementation of one-time authorization codes (OTAC) will help to provide 2FA circumvention of phishing attacks. Organization are expected to adopt these practices to address credential theft and maintain regulatory compliance, especially those holding highly sensitive data. They will have to contend with more specific phishing attacks leveraging machine learning to optimize attack campaigns. Once done by hand, phishing lures of the 2020s will be tested by AI algorithms in order to improve conversion rates. Phishing domains will even be generated and registered by algorithms independent of human intervention.

Social Engineering and OS Issues

As has always been the case, often the weakest link in the security chain is the human element. We can expect to see an increase of insider attacks in 2020. These occur when an attacker either offers to money or extorts sensitive information from someone working for an organization. This can be achieved through compromising social media accounts and using social engineering methods. This is a low-tech way of breaking security, but often one of the most effective. Some attackers may offer considerable sums of money or cryptocurrency to insiders depending on the target’s position in the company.


One final thing to consider is that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 in the middle of this January. Any businesses and other end-users still using the OS will face the issue of no longer receiving patches and updates, even in the event that a security vulnerability is found. It is expected that at least one significant attack will leverage a Windows 7 end of life vulnerability in the same way that attackers did when Windows XP support came to an end.


These themes will shape the security landscape of the next few years. The interplay between the security professionals and infrastructure meant to protect organizations and those who seek to steal their data will continue to evolve, shaped by emerging technologies. Those organizations best able to defend themselves will be those who anticipate and prepare to resist new and enhanced methods of attack.

STST Inc. is South Texas’ source for professionally designed and integrated security and access control systems.

To set up an appointment to get a quote on your project,

Call us at 210-446-6306

or send an email through our website:

www.securitytechnologyofsouthtexas.com/contact-us/

SALTO XS4 GEO Cylinder and The JustIN  Mobile Interface

SALTO’s range of compact electronic cylinder locks are designed for doors where fitting a full-sized conventional handle and lock is not possible or needed. These cylinder locks, like the other SALTO products, are totally free of wires and are networked through the SALTO Virtual Network and SALTO Wireless network.

 

Several models are available including half cylinder, cylinder with thumb turn, double cylinder, padlock, and with a wide variety of profiles, e.g., Euro profile, UK oval, Swiss Round, Australian oval, Scandinavian profiles, ANSI profiles.

 

These locks can be integrated into existing Brivo infrastructure, among other manufacturers. It is also common for SALTO secured facilities to include interior facing panic bars to equip emergency exit doors with the ability to trigger a panic alarm as soon as they are pushed open.

 

In order to bring smartphones into the access control environment, SALTO uses their JustIN technology to integrate smartphones with their locks. JustIN Mobile BLE permits doors to be opened via smartphone, turning the phone into an update terminal for credentials.

 

This is accomplished through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a standard for communicating between a smartphone and electronic locks. The mobile key is provided Over the Air (OTA) from proprietary management software to an installed JustIN Mobile app on a registered and verified smartphone. After this, the user will receive a message that a new key has been provided and information on which doors he now has the access rights to.

 

After this, the user only needs to present the smartphone to the lock in order to gain access. All data including the mobile key are encrypted and secured against cloning.

 

Because users can get these mobile keys at any time and any place, access control solutions are given greater flexibility when issuing and receiving rights without losing out on security.

 

This system can be used in conjunction with or as a replacement of RFID credentials.

 

Another SALTO protocol for phone based access control integration is JustIN mSVN.

 

JustIN mSVN (mobile SALTO Virtual Network), is technology for updating access rights for any credentials using mobile communications. It makes use of the mSVN app and the NFC interface of smartphones. Through this technology, the SVN can be expanded to spots with no online wall reader. Access rights are updated via direct communication between the phone and the credential instead.

 

Any new access rights or blacklist information are communicated to the user from a server to the mSVN app. The smartphone will then serve as the update point for any new credentials moving forward, taking the place of what an XS4 online reader would usually do. All data is encrypted and secured using Mifare DESFire EV1 technology.

 

Security Technology of South Texas is an authorized integrator for many surveillance and access control manufacturers and has designed systems with this kind of functionality.

 

Please contact us at  admin@gostst.com on our website

 

or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7

Salto Systems: XS4

From its beginning in 2001, SALTO has had one objective: to create an industry leading access control system that is both simple to use and highly efficient. SALTO systems gives users the ability to control their access needs and secure all points of entry without complex and costly wiring build-outs. Their solutions are simple to install, cost-effective, and designed to be future-proof. SALTO’s SVN platform was the result–the world’s first stand-alone, battery powered electronic locks for access control systems.
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Since then, SALTO has continued to introduce innovations with a major impact on electronic security. With both online and real-time technology, SALTO’s XS4 access control platform augments the security of any building environment through securing nearly any door and allowing the monitoring and control of every user. These systems are networked wirelessly to enable integration with existing systems without running a new backbone through the facility.
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The SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) is the back-end of wireless connection which allows and access control system to grow from just a small number of doors and users to beyond, seamlessly. Locks can read, receive and write through an encrypted data-on-card system through RFID. A smartcard is used for user authentication.
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When the card is presented even to an off-line door, access control is maintained and the door also writes data such as blacklist information and battery status onto the card. This smartcard can then transmit this information to a server through online wall readers which can receive information from these cards at any location on-site.
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Here is a breakdown of the access control chain when the smartcard interacts with the wall reader:
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-A user access event occurs, the card transmits to the system via wall reader.
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-Wall reader now transmits back to the card: This includes deleted card list, updated user access rights, and expiry date renovation.
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-Through the server the following functions can be performed: Users added or deleted remotely, User profiles updated, event audit trail created, device battery report initiated.
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In review, the benefit of a SALTO lock is in their ability to affordably and quickly be integrated into an access control environment with rapid ability to scale. The locks, wall readers, and smartcards can communicate wirelessly and securely, and there is no need to endure the costly and time-consuming process of drilling, running, and testing wires. These locks are used across all access control environments, from schools and hospitals to businesses and government sites.
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Security Technology of South Texas is an authorized integrator for many surveillance and access control manufacturers and has designed systems with this kind of functionality.

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Please contact us at

admin@gostst.com on our website


or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7

Intelligent Video Solutions: Why Not Go DIY For Your Security

In the same way that in order to keep our health, most recognize the value of seeing a medical practitioner regularly for checkups and necessary tests. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, many enterprises do not carry this philosophy with them and into their security environments. They might budget for product yet not budget for professional services and assess performance of those products to determine the risk of a breach.

Taking a “set and forget” attitude to security systems can cause a system of sub-optimally configured and deployed security tools. Not properly integrating, testing, and re-integrating is a part of why some of today’s enterprises find “themselves with massively complex, disparate and expensive-to-manage security infrastructures that, when all is said and done, are largely ineffective against modern adversaries.”

Some organizations assume that original equipment manufacturers (OEM) should be the best resource and point of contact for deploying, optimizing, and fine-tuning their security services and platforms. But OEMs are simply the manufacturers and not security systems integrators (SSIs).

This tends to limit their knowledge to only their particular suite of technology, and because it is typical for a mid-range and larger commercial project to require integration between the equipment of multiple manufacturers. This is the kind of work that we do here at STST and through our professional integrations services, we can “provide strategic guidance on infrastructure rationalization and optimization.”

Adopting a DIY approach or trying to have a tech-savvy employee handle it all internally is one of the quickest ways to fall prey to a data breach. Using existing, internal staff to deploy and integrate new tech can lead to problems from configuration issues, sub-optimal overall performance, to of course all out system failure. Some studies from OEMs suggest that as many as 95% of clients who experience a data breach set up and integrated their systems themselves.

Aside from all this, using an SSI to plan-out, source, design, implement, and test your access control and/or surveillance project is much more likely to save you money in the long or even short run.

Having a company of specialists such as STST always in your contacts gives you the peace of mind that the people who built your system, and therefore have a much more intimate knowledge of it, will be around to service your project moving into the future.

A poorly installed “DIY” system may not only waste money in that it may simply be of poor quality or poor design implementation, but also keeps your company at risk to the attacks and break ins you were trying to prevent in the first place.

From schools, offices, clinical facilities, HOA pools and much more, STST has the knowledge and experience to install or effectively upgrade existing infrastructure in a meaningful way that will hold together and ultimately, get results.

Even though huge volumes of video data are collected every day, most statistics indicate that only 10 percent of this data is ever used. The majority of data collected loses its value very quickly after being generated. The reason for this? Our primary focus tends to be delivering the correct information in a crisis or providing it as evidence after criminal activity has taken place. This causes much data to be “wasted” in the sense that we lose our on the opportunity to perform useful analytics.

Video analytics is an increasingly powerful tool. It helps to improve usability of these vast amounts of video information. Analytics software acts as the “brain” of a surveillance system and is built into IP cameras themselves or processed in separate computing infrastructure. This creates a smarter system that “knows” what it sees and alerts guards to potential threats as soon as an alarm rule or condition is met. Analytics gives operators the chance to act faster and more efficiently with better intel.

Video analytics is like an ever-vigilant system operator within the security system itself. It captures data like a panopticon, seeing all in every monitored scene around the clock. Content analysis information, a form of video metadata, is stored as well. As they reduce operating costs and increase efficiency, intelligent cameras deliver a solid return on investment which can be measured in tangible results to the business or other setting in which it operates.

Let’s take a look at what exactly is possible using intelligent video:

Smart IP cameras are able to classify the objects they see on their own. Objects entering or leaving the scene can be identified as a person, car, bike, truck, or other object. Because the camera can differentiate objects, it can be told to only alert in the case of a break-in, ignoring things like leaves in the wind or animals wondering through. New low-light cameras allow color-filtering even in scenes with very little ambient light. Even at night, color detection is possible in this way.

Alarm detection can be set to be even more specialized. Rules can be configured to look for specialized behavior patterns such as fighting, running, loitering, path following, abandoned luggage, entering an area, and more. The alarm engine in each camera coordinates with the others in a logical way to interpret this information and determine threat status. All this allows for a very robust alarm condition solution and prevents false and missed alarms.

What’s more, stored metadata enables forensic analysis at a later time. This means that retroactive searches for a specific car or person is possible even if it was not a determined item of interest until well after the event was recorded. Metadata is compact and only barely adds to the size of recordings. It is quick and easy to search through to find a specific event.

The logical next step is to continue to improve analytics for video metadata until we approach 100 percent practical use. Predictive analysis of human traffic patterns can predict shoplifting and identify potential events before they take place, and the more data that can be made useful the more accurate these types of predictions will be.

The same technology can monitor customer dwell time at different displays in a store and determine the effectiveness of in-store advertising and product locations. Analyzing customer engagement with these displays can help increase customer engagement with products and lead to increased sales and revenue. As the IoT expands, this type of technology will be more and more critical as there will be many more points of data to analyze. There is no way to fully anticipate the eventual effects this will have on our industry or the world at large.

 

Please contact us through email at admin@gostst.com

Through our website form

Or via phone at  210-446-4863   24/7