May 12, 2023

Protecting critical infrastructure against file-based cybersecurity threats

The recent cybersecurity alert issued by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has once again warned about the threat posed to critical national infrastructure (CNI) organizations by state-aligned groups, particularly those sympathetic to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the bulletin, these groups intend to launch “destructive and disruptive attacks with less predictable consequences than those of traditional cybercriminals”. In response, the NCSC has called on CNI organizations to strengthen their defenses by following its heightened threat guidance.

The context to this alert is that over the past 18 months, state-aligned groups have become more active and unpredictable, targeting a broader range of victims than traditional cybercrime actors. Part of the challenge this presents is that “their actions are not driven by financial gain or controlled by the state, making it even more challenging to predict and defend against their attacks.”

While initial attacks from these groups are likely to involve distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, website defacements, or misinformation campaigns, the alert says, some have expressed a desire to inflict more significant damage to Western infrastructure.

In addition, according to media reports, the UK government is planning to set cyber resilience targets for all CNI sectors, including businesses in the supply chain, which must be achieved by 2025.

Strengthen Security with Glasswall’s Zero-Trust File Protection

In common with organizations in every sector, many critical infrastructure security strategies still rely on detection-based solutions, such as antivirus software and sandboxes, to protect their networks against file-based threats. However, a security infrastructure built on detection falls short, and no matter how complex a security solution may be, it can still only protect against what it has seen or observed before.

Zero-trust file protection by Glasswall is different. Instead of looking for malicious content, our patented CDR process treats all files as untrusted — validating, rebuilding and cleaning each file to a safe and compliant standard — automatically removing potential threats.

Security teams can embed our cloud-native CDR engine across their infrastructure, utilizing either an out-of-the-box CDR platform, which comes ready to implement with its own UI and reporting dashboards. Alternatively, for organizations that want to build Glasswall CDR into their existing systems, our embedded SDK enables teams to implement zero-trust file protection into their software applications and network deployments.

More specifically, Glasswall CDR has been designed to address a number of CNI use cases, including:

  • CDS Deployments: Critical infrastructure organizations need no longer accept the risks associated with traditional antivirus solutions when importing and exporting files to and from secure networks. Glasswall integrates with new and existing CDS deployments to enable compliance with frameworks such as the UK’s NCSC pattern for Safely Importing Data & the Raise The Bar strategy for cross-domain solutions from the NSA. In addition, our zero-trust philosophy removes security teams’ reliance on detection – replacing it with a zero-trust file protection solution that raises the bar on CDS protection.
  • Secure file uploads against file-based threats: There is no longer the need for organizations to rely on detection-based solutions to provide protection against malicious content uploaded to their internal networks via websites or upload portals. Glasswall CDR can be implemented at various points within the upload process – ensuring that all uploaded files are secured by our unrivaled zero-trust CDR file protection capabilities.
  • Delivering data protection compliance: Glasswall CDR boasts patented capabilities such as Word Search and Redact and Metadata removal that aid financial organizations across the globe in complying with data protection legislation and other industry guidelines, including, but not limited to, GDPR, PCI, PII, CSS and KYC. Our policy management tools also give security teams complete control over what information is removed from files and documents.

The NCSC’s alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving and increasingly unpredictable cyber threat landscape. Organizations must remain vigilant and adapt their security measures to counter these emerging risks. Implementing Glasswall CDR technology offers a robust and proactive solution for safeguarding organizations against unpredictable file-based threats.

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