Digital risks are an inevitable by-product of an expanding ecosystem, and an expanding ecosystem is essential to societies' progression into the fourth industrial revolution.
This unsettling conundrum has given rise to a novel field of cybersecurity known as Digital RIsk Protection (DRP). But like all novel solutions, it can be difficult to identify the capable minority from the majority still finding their feet.
In this post, we discuss the key features that identify a premium Digital Risk Protection Service.
What is Digital Risk Protection (DRP)?
Digital Risk Protection (DRP) is the practice of protecting internal resources from external threats during digital transformation.
A DRP empowers organizations to confidently achieve their objectives while scaling their digital landscape. DRP efforts protect all external-facing assets such as social media channels, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and even third-party vendors.
The DRP framework mirrors the design of popular cybersecurity risk management strategies, like Third-Party Risk Management.
The four primary tenants of DRP are:
- Map - The process of mapping your attack surface and assessing its potential threats - an effort that overlaps with many of the objectives in Attack Surface Management.
- Monitor - DRP solutions gather cyber threat intelligence from multiple sources, including social media accounts, supply chain attack threat data, hacker posts on dark web forum, etc, to form a profile of potential cybercrime activity.
- Mitigation - Based on monitoring data, mitigation efforts are scaled across departments using automation technology, prioritizing the most critical risks.
- Management - DRP workflows are managed to ensure all intelligence service and threat data flows are accounted for.
What is Digital Risk Protection Service (DRPS)?
DPRS is a managed service offering of Digital Risk Protection. This service was birthed from a demand to scale digital risk protection efforts more efficiently.
A DRPS augments external cybersecurity teams with advanced threat detection technology. By leveraging these services in a DPRS, the need to establish costly internal security teams is removed, allowing businesses to scale their digital risk protection efforts rapidly and cost-effectively.
A Digital Risk Protection Service aims to:
- Facilitate the achievement of business outcomes
- Protect all external-facing boundaries of a business's ecosystem
- Facilitate unmitigated access to all digital technology
Difference Between Threat Intelligence and DRPS
A DRPS compliments the efforts of threat intelligence solutions.
Threat Intelligence (TI) solutions focus on risk prevention and planning. This is achieved through tools capable of attack surface monitoring, remediation management, and third-party security ratings.
A DPRS appends dynamic cyber defense technique to the predominantly static methods of TI solutions
Digital Risk Protection solutions focus on detecting, preventing, and responding to cyber threats by monitoring for:
- Data leaks
- Brand compromise
- Account takeovers (account impersonations)
- Fraud campaigns
- Reputational damage
- Sensitive data breaches
Both Threat Intelligence and DPRS solutions intersect at social media channel monitoring. This is because social media is where the interface between internal systems and the outside world begins. Threat actors are always trying to exploit social channels to inject malware and ransomware.
Beyond the boundary of social media channels, both solutions have independent responsibilities.
Important Features of a Digital Risk Protection Service (DPRS)
A Digital Risk Protection Service should go beyond merely detecting threats across primary exploit channels such as social media and the dark web.
An effective DPRS with such a multidimensional approach to security is supported by a four-quadrant backbone:
- Digital footprint mapping
- Threat monitoring
- Risk mitigation
- Maintaining protection
To address all of these quadrants, a DPRS cannot be solely comprised of a digital solution. The support of expert cybersecurity analysts is mandatory to correctly interpret digital threats and their required remediation responses.
Digital Footprint Mapping
Before vulnerable digital assets can be protected, they need to be identified. A DPRS should have the ability to create a digital footprint of your ecosystem to identify all exposed digital assets.
These could include:
This will expose all of the different ways your organization could be attacked. Cyber attack methods could include account takeovers, credential theft, phishing (email scams), and open port compromise.
A digital footprint is a map of your entire attack surface. This could include:
- All Shadow IT devices
- All endpoint devices
- Privileged access accounts
- All cloud-based service providers.
Vendors are the most difficult to identify and often get buried in the mists of the ever-expanding cloud ecosystem.
This is where the digital solution arm of DPRS is of invaluable assistance. Attack surface monitoring platforms can instantly identify all third-party and even fourth-party cloud assets.
For an overview of how Attack Surface Management supports digital footprint mapping, watch this video.
Digital Threat Monitoring
Digital asset protection is a two-thronged approach - asset defenses are continuously strengthened while encroaching external threats are monitored.
All asset vulnerabilities can be detected using an attack surface monitoring solution where they can then be prioritized by level of risk.
The expert analyst support included in a DPRS should assist with the correct interpretation of all surfaced exploits and their required remediation responses.
Some popular use cases for threat monitoring with a DPRS include:
- Brand protection - typosquatting, cybersquatting.
- Account compromise - Privileged access abuse, credential theft.
- Extortion campaigns - Phishing attacks, credit card theft.
- Data leak detection - Any unsolicited exposure of private data.
To meet such a broad range of use cases, all three primary topographical layers of the online landscape need to be monitored.
- Surface web - This is the general internal database that's indexed by Google or any other search engine. This should also include all mobile app stores since they are a commonly abused (and overlooked) attack vector.
- Deep web - All web pages of the general internet that are not indexed. This should include Google Docs, login pages, chat rooms, forums, and social media channels.
- Dark web - The dark web is only accessible via specialized browsers. The expert cybersecurity analysts that support a DPRS can assist with accessing and correctly monitoring the dark web for data leaks and all other DPRS use cases.
A premium DPRS provider leverages Threat intelligence monitoring capabilities to protect commonly overlooked regions of the threat landscape such as:
- Cloud solutions
- Operational Technology (OT)
- Social media channels
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
A DPRS should assist with the remediation efforts of all detected threats. This service should be offered by the human component of the hybrid human-technology model of a DPRS.
Such managed services are likely to become a standard offering amongst cybersecurity solutions since they encourage highly efficient security scaling.
A DPRS should be capable of generating detailed executive reports for all threat mitigation campaigns to keep stakeholders informed of actionable intelligence.
A key differentiator amongst DPRS providers is the additional offering of threat takedown services. This will ensure all threats are isolated and addressed at speed, minimizing the impact on sensitive resources.
A threat takedown service, in addition to a managed remediation service, makes it possible for even less sophisticated organizations to embrace advanced cybersecurity.
To keep all exposed assets protected from cybercriminals, a DPRS should be committed to continual security posture improvement, both internally and throughout the vendor network.
Risk assessments will expose the security efforts of all vendors, and the progress of all required remediation efforts can be tracked through real-time security ratings..
Expanding Digital Risk Protection Service Across an Organization
Digital risk management efforts should involve all departments so that every region of the attack landscape can be monitored and protected.
A DPRS should be capable of molding its protection efforts to the unique risks faced by each department. The roles and responsibilities of all users should also be easily managed through a DPRS platform so that multiple departments can access the solution.
Here are some DPRS use cases across 4 common departments:
- Brand protection
- Account takeover monitoring
- Account takeover threats
- Third-party exposure assessments
- Internal assessment exposures (Mergers and Acquisitions)
- Data leakage monitoring
- Social media channel monitoring
- Monitoring of all communication channels
- Monitoring of all collaboration platforms
- Brand protection
- Account takeover monitoring
- Account takeover threats
UpGuard and Digital Risk Protection
UpGuard combines a powerful risk management platform with premium DPRS data leak features to create a solution that concurrently detects, prevents, and remediates cyber threats.
Watch this video for an overview of UpGuard's data leak detection features.