Are Vendors and Other Third Parties Putting Your Data at Risk?

Some of the worst data breaches happen at companies that invest millions in cybersecurity and tick all the “best practice” boxes internally. That’s because the weak point isn’t necessarily internal; it can be a vendor or outsourcing partner whose lax security puts data at risk. Regardless of where hackers initially gain access, your company could be on the line if sensitive information is compromised. That means taking care of your company’s internal security is no longer enough. You also have to address the risk posture of third parties and vendors, and traditional cybersecurity solutions aren’t up to the task.

Employees browsing third-party sites are a common avenue that hackers use. For example, an employee may go to a third-party website to purchase office supplies and fall victim to a watering hole attack. After the purchase, the employee may receive a PDF invoice from the company that looks legitimate, but it is, in fact, a weaponized file that delivers malware when opened. Or hackers may use a fileless malware attack, a strategy that is becoming more frequent since people are wary of opening files.

The truth is that you can’t trust vendors and other third parties to protect your data, so you need to take a “zero-trust” approach to mitigate risk at the endpoint, where you can control it. The phrase “zero-trust” has become something of a buzzword in cybersecurity circles, but AppGuard products are unique in that they’re built on a zero-trust framework that incorporates “inheritance” technology.

This technology approaches all actions as “suspicious” (that’s the zero-trust component) and, in real-time, identifies each process triggered by the action as “good” or “bad,” allowing only the “good” processes to execute. This strategy is made possible by a policy-based, zero-trust framework that enables AppGuard to efficiently and effectively:

  • Reduce the launch of unnecessary utilities and capabilities
  • Deny launch of untrustworthy executables
  • Contain unacceptable action from high-risk applications
  • Isolate access and/or alteration to part of the endpoint
  • Demote suspicious applications from doing any harm
  • Unlock to allow legitimate use of high-risk capabilities

For an example of how this works, think back to the employee who purchased office supplies from a compromised website. The weaponized PDF disguised as an invoice arrives to deliver the malware. The employee clicks and the browser launches Acrobat Reader to view the PDF. But with AppGuard in place, the weaponized PDF can’t launch the JIT memory malware process — it’s blocked.

Data breaches are on the rise, and even if your internal cybersecurity products and processes are robust, all it takes is one vendor or a third party with inadequate security to trigger a loss of sensitive information. That’s why a proactive approach to risk containment is the smart strategy. You can’t control every third party’s risk and security posture, but with AppGuard’s unique zero-trust framework and inheritance technology, you can stay safe even if others are compromised.


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