emt Distribution Signs bluedog Security Monitoring to Bring Affordable Cybersecurity Services to SMBs in ANZ and APAC

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bluedog disrupts security monitoring market, putting enterprise-level services within reach of all organisations, including small and medium businesses

Adelaide, Australia & Singapore – 13 October 2020: Cybersecurity specialist, emt Distribution, today announced that UK-based bluedog Security Monitoring – which aims to make monitoring services accessible to businesses of all sizes – has expanded its reach to include Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific with a new distribution agreement.

 

emt Distribution, a leading value-added distributor, offers cybersecurity solutions that address the Australian Signals Directorate’s top four mitigation strategies – dubbed Catch, Patch and Match – as well as the broader strategies in the Australian Government’s Information Security Manual (ISM).

 

bluedog, which is headquartered in London with a security operations centre in Manila, is disrupting the market for security monitoring. The company provides a level of network protection typically only afforded by large corporations, putting it within reach of all organisations. This includes offering high quality technology, support and service to small and medium businesses (SMBs), helping protect them from cyber threats.

 

emt’s Adelaide and Singapore offices now offer the full range of bluedog’s solutions to channel partners, MSPs and MSSPs. They include the popular bluedog Microsoft® Office 365™ Monitoring, a low cost work-from-home solution that allows organisations with remote workers to protect their data – the only one of its type backed by a live security team.

 

Meanwhile, the bluedog virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) service provides access to an experienced security professional to assess risk and ensure compliance with standards; while the managed detection and response (MDR) service allows even small organisations to have the reassurance of 24-hour monitoring.

 

“Fixing incidents after they have happened is notoriously difficult and expensive, and can be massively disruptive to organisations with limited cybersecurity resources,” said Shane Mahney, General Manager of emt Distribution. “Organisations need a collaborative range of systems and support services to fight cyber attackers effectively. bluedog provides a robust stack of preventive solutions to fill the gaps many organisations have.”

 

The new partnership with emt Distribution further extends bluedog’s distribution network which already covers Europe, the Middle East, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.

 

“Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific are key markets for bluedog,” said Paul Lomax, CEO of bluedog. “emt Distribution has a highly experienced team with a thorough understanding of the needs of users in the region. This new partnership is an important step in building our worldwide network.”

 

“emt Distribution is delighted to add bluedog’s advanced network security solutions to our cybersecurity portfolio,” said Richard Rundle, CEO of emt Distribution. “bluedog’s entry into the region gives our channel partners and their customers access to a new level of cybersecurity protection with enterprise-grade sophistication at an accessible price point.”

 

About bluedog Security Monitoring

Privately held and headquartered in London UK, bluedog Security Monitoring provides essential cybersecurity technology that helps businesses to monitor, protect and secure their business systems. Our people deliver insight and provide solutions to security issues across business networks, safeguarding the employees, customers and reputation of any business. For further information see www.bluedog-security.com.

 

About emt Distribution

emt Distribution is an Adelaide-based value added distributor and vendor representative with a presence in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, UAE and South Africa. It also works closely with like-minded distributors in the UK, Netherlands and Germany. emt offers cyber security solutions that address the top four mitigation strategies to prevent cyber security incidents, the broader strategies in the Australian Government’s Information Security Manual (ISM) and solutions to address Cyber Threat Management.

 

emt Distribution assists channel partners, MSPs and MSSPs to deliver cyber security solutions their customers need. emt offers pre and post-sales support, channel development, engaged sales processes and marketing assistance for both vendors and channel partners. See: www.emtdist.com

 

Media Contact

Chris Bowes

Bowes Communications

+61 (0)2 9387 2332

[email protected]

AusCert 2019

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We are excited to be exhibiting at the AusCert Conference 2019 at the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Swing by booth 37 to say hello to the team and booth vendors – Flashpoint, ThreatConnect and VMRay.

Exhibiting at the conference is also our other vendors – Thycotic and Airlock 

AusCert 2019 is a great opportunity to learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology and interact with top security leaders and pioneers in ANZ community.

Hands-on sessions, keynotes and informal gatherings allow attendees to tap into a smart, forward-thinking  community that inspires and empowers the cyber security community in Australia and New Zealand. Learn more about AusCert2019 here

What do ASD Essential Eight changes mean for your organisation’s security

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TRIAL Vipre Endpoint Security

 

By Alex Duffy, Security Solutions Architect, emt Distribution 

The recent (25/2/19) and unexpected update to the Australian Signals Directorate’s Essential Eight Maturity Model serves to keep the ASD’s guidelines relevant going forward and address the latest weak points in IT security. What stays the same though is the ASD’s guidance on practical updates on how to stay ahead.

 

While these guidelines are specifically relevant to federal government organisations’ critical infrastructure they are now being pushed indirectly to contractors or businesses who work with the federal government. But even though these guidelines may not be mandatory for private businesses, they are best practice. If they are good enough to safeguard our political, defence and economic interests as a nation, they should be appropriate to safeguard our businesses from the majority of possible cyber security attacks and incidents.

 

This recent update sees fewer restrictions around patching but a higher level of control on Application Whitelisting which has now been extended to all workstations for levels 1 and 2 of the maturity models. Multi Factor Authentication no longer permits the use of SMS, emails or voicemails for level 1 maturity and specifically states a requirement for passwords to be longer than six characters at all levels.

 

But what does this actually mean for today’s IT professionals?

 

These changes reflect the changing priorities required to address today’s threat landscape. With the loosening of controls around patching, the ASD acknowledges the balancing act that security personnel must perform in certain environments. There is definite acknowledgement of the dilemma faced where patching may break functionality vs maintaining a secure environment and strict adherence. A reduction in the burden on already overworked IT admins meeting requirements while allowing better automation is removing overhead while not reducing security.

 

The higher importance placed on Application Whitelisting definitely reflects what we see in the marketplace. With Application Whitelisting now available as a mature solution it is reasonable to expect organisations to use it across their entire environment. Increased visibility alone of endpoint applications makes life easier for security, helpdesk and management alike stopping more endpoint threats before they reach any part of the network.

 

Combined focus on patch automation and increased scope of Application Whitelisting we also see as acknowledgement of a more distributed workforce need for security and higher difficulty in controlling remote endpoints.

 

The more specific wording for Multi Factor Authentication also recognises how threat actors are now working around basic MFA and endeavours to close those weak spots.

 

There are now only three maturity levels instead of the original five: Partly (level 1), Mostly (level 2) and Fully (level 3) aligned. Level 0 is no longer listed as it doesn’t meet even the most minimal criteria and level 4 is only required on an ad hoc basis depending on advice from the ASD. These changes assume that organisations will now at least begin to adhere to these standards to a degree and give a clear path to full alignment at level 3.

 

The biggest takeaway from this update appears to be that it is no longer reasonable for a business entity to not address the Essential Eight, especially with the removal of level 0. If a business has not yet met the criteria for level 1 then its current security measures are faulty and need immediate remediation.

We welcome this specific update because it reflects what our customers have been demanding already. emt’s focus on security solutions addresses the Essential Eight and beyond to ensure our customers’ networks are ahead of requirements using the latest technologies. We already have solutions that address the Top 4 – Airlock Digital, Flexera, Stealthbits, and Thycotic.

 

Read more about our solutions for Top 4 mitigations at https://www.emtdist.com/solutions/australian-signals-directorate-top-4-mitigations/

 

 

Flashpoint Intelligence on APAC-ANZ Cyber Activity to Guide Upcoming Risk Decisions

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Author:  Aaron Shraberg, Flashpoint

 

Geopolitical and economic tensions between the United States, China, and North Korea figure to steer risk management decisions in the Asia-Pacific region for the coming months. Organisations, such as some recently targeted financial services institutions in Australia and New Zealand, should closely monitor cyber and political activity in the area.

The diverse geopolitical and economic interests of the states in the region play a significant role in driving and shaping cyber threat activity against entities operating in APAC. While most threat actors targeting organisations in the region are financially motivated, nation-state activity remains a potent threat against government and diplomatic entities, as well as financial organisations as nations such as North Korea continue to fund operations through hacking.

Political and Economic Events to Watch

As 2019 progresses, the ongoing trade conflict between the U.S. and China could spur an uptick in cyber activity against the U.S. and its closest Five Eyes allies, further eroding the Xi-Obama agreement to cease China’s industrial espionage activity for economic gain.

Last year, a limited number of named APT outfits operating in the region were alleged to be behind high-profile compromises and thefts of data and/or funds from global financial institutions, attacks on various multinational firms via third-party providers, and campaigns against the cryptocurrency industry.

North Korea is likely to remain a stressor in the region. It is unlikely to unilaterally disarm its nuclear program, and will likely ramp up its cyberattacks against APAC, ANZ, and Western financial institutions, as well as cryptocurrency exchanges in order to finance the regime and its activities. Organisations should also monitor unresolved disputes over ownership and militarisation of parts of the South China Sea, debates over the integrity of Huawei and ZTE devices in Western networks, and other events in the region that could impact businesses in ANZ and APAC.

While some criminal organisations operating in ANZ and APAC are believed to be behind Eastern European outfits in terms of experience and capabilities, APT activity from China and North Korea is considered highly advanced. Organizations in the region should be aware of campaigns linked to criminal or nation-states in the area, and some of the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) employed by these groups.

Advanced TTPs Coming out of APAC-ANZ

Some TTPs include commonplace first-stage attacks such as phishing or spear-phishing emails and watering hole attacks. These groups also have at their disposal banking Trojans, malware that seeks out and steals credentials, and ransomware, among others. Many criminal groups are proficient in activity to facilitate carding and reshipment fraud, the theft and sale of personally identifiable information, as well as more technically involved operations, including the sale of compromised RDP hosts, developing proxy and anonymization tools (to circumvent law enforcement and censorship efforts), and other tactics to carry out fraud.

Some attackers are also making use of publicly available exploits for common vulnerabilities in Apache Struts, Oracle products, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Office and others. Most of these vulnerabilities have already been publicly disclosed and patches are available, meaning that threat actors are opportunistic in the region, capitalising on lax patching efforts, or under-resourced IT organizations to exploit these security flaws.

Already this year, financial institutions in Australia, Japan, and elsewhere have reported being targeted by a new spam campaign using the Hancitor dropper to infect machines with the Gozi information-stealing malware. Gozi, also known as Ursnif, packages up banking and other account credentials from an infected machine and exfiltrates them to an attacker-controlled server. Variants of the banking malware have been active since 2014 and frequently target Microsoft Office vulnerabilities to gain a foothold on unpatched machines.

Malware-based attacks aren’t the only means of profit for threat actors in the region. Late last year, several Chinese-language Deep & Dark Web forums contained posts advertising the availability of fraudulent identification cards from Australia, New Zealand, several locations in Europe, as well as North America. The fraudulent documents would allow, in some regions, the ability to travel without additional visas, vote in elections, or open bank accounts, for example. Another post also advertised processing of identifications and passports from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and Germany, opening the door to citizenship in some of those locations, in addition to the previously mentioned capabilities.

Assessment

Enterprises in Asia-Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand will have impending risk management decisions guided in some part by the fragile geopolitical and cyber climate in the region. As the U.S., China, and North Korea tug at each other’s shirttails in cyberspace and in the political arena, businesses will continue to be targeted by criminal and state-sponsored outfits operating in APAC and ANZ. Any erosion of these diplomatic or economic relationships will trickle down to businesses in the area, and threat activity targeting countries and companies in APAC-ANZ will be influenced accordingly.

 

About the Author

Aaron Shraberg is Senior Analyst on the Asia-Pacific intelligence team at Flashpoint. He speaks Mandarin and specialises in analysing key trends, threat actors, and campaigns emanating from the region, with an emphasis on China. Prior to Flashpoint, Aaron held roles in foreign policy and national security research for organisations including the Institute for International Economic Policy, DGI, and Kharon. He received a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in Asian studies from The George Washington University.

Flashpoint empowers organisations worldwide with meaningful intelligence and information that combats threats and adversaries. Headquartered in New York, Flashpoint has offices in Melbourne, Australia and is distributed in Oceania and South East Asia by emt Distribution.