SingleStore is proud to count our customers as many of the world’s most innovative cyber security companies. Here’s a roundup of some of these industry leaders’ latest news and developments. We’ve also included highlights from our recent webinar with cyber solutions providers Twingo and Armis Security.
The war in Ukraine brings heightened cyber risk
Akamai recently released its findings on how geopolitical tensions increase the risk of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and other damaging intrusions. It noted that, days after the Russian invasion, “Ukraine has been bombarded with DDoS assaults aimed at taking down government sites, communication providers, and financial institutions.”
Akamai noted a specific surge in European DDoS activity as tensions escalated, as reflected in its data since fall 2021. Total attacks in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are up 220% over the average of the previous four years. The cybersecurity provider even had to execute an emergency DDoS protection for a new customer in Eastern Europe, impacted by increased DDoS attacker activity across the region.
This isn’t the first time Akamai has observed heavy DDoS activity in the region. The blog notes “[t]his type of activity is reminiscent of previous DDoS attacks associated with prior Russian disputes and military activities (Estonia 2007, Georgia 2008, Crimea 2014). It is notable that this is not the first time Ukrainian websites have been targeted with alleged Russian DDoS attacks.”
Palo Alto Networks reminded its customers of best practices to protect against Russia-Ukraine cyber activity. In particular, the company noted “[i]t’s very common that newsworthy events are leveraged by threat actors as topics and lures in phishing and spear-phishing attacks. Leading up to the military action commencing in Ukraine, Unit 42 [Palo Alto Networks’ threat intelligence group] saw spear-phishing attacks against Ukraine organizations to deliver malware.”
For example, on February 1, 2022, Unit 42 observed an attack targeting an energy organization in Ukraine. CERT-UA publicly attributed the attack to a threat group they track as UAC-0056. The targeted attack involved a spear phishing email sent to an employee of the organization, which used a social engineering theme that suggested the individual had committed a crime.
You can check out Palo Alto Networks’ blog to learn more about cyber best practices that are particularly relevant today.
How Armis Security prevented points of vulnerability in smart devices
Armis Security zeroed in on vulnerabilities related to smart manufacturing and digital operational technology (OT) transformation, calling for customers to update their security practices. Armis says that digital OT and smart equipment are common targets for cyber attacks by organized criminals and state-sponsored attackers, who are well-aware that smart devices can often act as points of vulnerability to compromise.
For example, in 2020 Armis uncovered 11 zero-day vulnerabilities in the VxWorks real-time operating system that left devices open to remote code execution, data leaks, denial of service and firewall bypass for access to the wider network. VxWorks steward WindRiver released an October 2020 update to patch these vulnerabilities, but as of December 2020, 97% of the affected devices remained unpatched.
Clearly, geopolitical unrest heightens cybersecurity risk manufacturers of all kinds. You can read more about the Armis deviceless and passive cyber security monitoring platform, and best practices for digital OT and industrial internet of things (IioT) on the Armis Security blog.
SingleStoreDB Self-Managed powers more cyber security leaders
Nucleus Security puts SingleStoreDB Self-Managed at the heart of its vulnerability management (VM) solution, an all-in-one data aggregation and process automation platform for network, cloud and application security. The company needed an underlying database that was truly fast and scalable to power their platform — and as they expanded into the private sector, their existing database became a bottleneck in supporting real-time security needs.
Today, Nucleus automates VM processes and workflows, enabling organizations to mitigate vulnerabilities 20 times faster than existing methods.
Twingo and Armis: Streamlining cybersecurity solutions through database consolidation
SingleStore recently hosted a webinar with two Israeli firms, Twingo, a Big Data consultancy, and Armis Security. Leaders from these firms discussed how SingleStoreDB Self-Managed has enabled them to deliver superior cyber security solutions through database consolidation.
Here are some highlights from our conversation with Ilya Gulman, Twingo’s chief technology officer. Ilya’s comments below are translated from Hebrew.
In the beginning
“Twenty years ago, all we had was two types of major databases: Oracle and SQL. In the twenty years since then, many different database technologies popped up. The database world became overpopulated — each database handles specific solutions.”
“Hiring a database person today is complicated since the person must know a lot. The most important part of our job is requirements. Each database has its own specialty. Another issue is how many times and places we need to save data, and we will get there shortly. A key approach would be to know how to approach the data. Are we going to approach it as a document store or just text search? And if it is a combination of all, then we need a Swiss Army knife approach. Is the data updatable? Quite important since quite a few databases are not updatable.”
The problem with modern architectures
“I used Amazon’s [architecture]. I would like to do a guided read. We have events occurring in the database on the DB, and write them to Kafka. This is a very important step in the process. There are islands of information within the process. The more islands you have, the more complex the situation becomes.”
Ilya describes four problems with the architecture. “The first problem is hiring people well-versed in multiple technologies. The main pitfalls we see with the multiple technologies is if people don’t have the expertise, we’ll run into problems.”
“The second issue is the fact that we have multiple datastores, and there is always some sort of discrepancy between data stores — or rather, inconsistencies. When those systems work for years and years, they tend to lose information.”
“The third problem is the lack of ‘self healing.’ This is something most databases have on their own, and there’s a feature built in that allows it to return to ‘base.’ For example if it loses partitioning, it will attempt to find the partitioning. While these databases (like Redshift and Athena) have this feature, when you connect the databases together, the architecture doesn’t have self-healing out of the box.”
“You can overcome this by ignoring self-healing and working with what you have. Or, some organizations build their own self-healing protocol — which is an incredible amount of work since you have to identify what breaks, and should be fixed.”
“The last problem we encounter with this architecture is because there are so many connectors, we run into needing to join data stores. You might have a use case (Elastic) that needs a text search, followed by analytical joins (which are done in Amazon Redshift). And we want to take both and connect — do both A & B. But this really isn’t easy. If you want to do this online, it’s nearly impossible.”
Can we simplify?
“If you look at the architecture, our goal is switching out what we currently have (Elastic, Redshift, Redis), and in its place swap one database that did everything the others did. It can do analytics, text search, key-value store, and on and on and on.”
“And because it’s all in one place, you don’t need to worry about multiple joins, you don’t need different skills, and ultimately the system has a self-healing process and will eliminate inconsistencies.”
“If your use case supports it, the alternative to [several databases] is to do a consolidation. I’d like to say two things regarding SingleStore:
“Ultimately, there are two ways you can go. The first is specialization. While specialized systems are good in their specific ways and solving specific problems, you’ll run into the pitfalls described earlier. There are also a lot of database combinations that have to happen together.”
“The second way is consolidation. This is much easier, but it’s important to note the special, niche functionalities could be missing (Ilya uses a text search example).
To learn more about how SingleStoreDB Self-Managed powerstoday’s cyber security leaders, watch the webinar (in Hebrew). Follow @SingleStoreDB on Twitter to keep up with all of our latest news.
And try SingleStoreDB Self-Managed free.