Tag Archives: australia

Heeding the call to support Australia’s most at-risk entities

Post Syndicated from Carly Ramsey original https://blog.cloudflare.com/heeding-the-call-to-support-australias-most-at-risk-entities


When Australia unveiled its 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy in November 2023, we enthusiastically announced Cloudflare’s support, especially for the call for the private sector to work together to protect Australia’s smaller, at-risk entities. Today, we are extremely pleased to announce that Cloudflare and the Critical Infrastructure – Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (CI-ISAC), a member-driven organization helping to defend Australia’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks, are teaming up to protect some of Australia’s most at-risk organizations – General Practitioner (GP) clinics.

Cloudflare helps a broad range of organizations -– from multinational organizations, to entrepreneurs and small businesses, to nonprofits, humanitarian groups, and governments across the globe — to secure their employees, applications and networks. We support a multitude of organizations in Australia, including some of Australia’s largest banks and digital natives, with our world-leading security products and services.

When it comes to protecting entities at high risk of cyber attack who might not have significant resources, we at Cloudflare believe we have a lot to offer. Our mission is to help build a better Internet. A key part of that mission is democratizing cybersecurity – making a range of tools readily available for all, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), non-profits, and individuals. We also offer our cyber protection products and services at no cost to certain at-risk organizations. One example of this is Australia’s Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a participant in Cloudflare’s Project Galileo. Through Project Galileo, they have access to our advanced cybersecurity tools and support, freeing them to focus on their mission.

CI-ISAC Australia is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help build the collective defenses of Australia’s critical infrastructure to protect them from crippling cyberattacks. CI-ISAC facilitates sharing, aggregates sources, and analyzes cyber threat intelligence across multiple sectors, including healthcare.

Project Secure Health – protecting Australia’s General Practitioner (GP) clinics

Globally, the healthcare sector consistently reports the highest financial costs from cyber attacks. Sensitive patient data is a prime target for cybercriminals. Not surprisingly, Australia’s big and small healthcare organizations alike are facing crippling cyberattacks. GP clinics serve as the backbone of Australia’s community healthcare, but these small-but-essential entities typically face resource constraints that make it difficult for them to implement fundamental but costly cybersecurity measures, leaving Australian patient data exposed to cybercriminals.

The 2023-2030 Australia Cybersecurity Strategy is clear about the threat to smaller at-risk organizations and the vital role of the private sector in supporting these entities. We couldn’t agree more. Heeding their call to help make Australia more secure for all, we are extremely pleased to introduce Project Secure Health: Cloudflare and CI-ISAC’s combined cyber security support for Australia’s GP clinics. This program will enable Australia’s GP Clinics to counter a range of challenging cyber threats: data breaches, ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and insider threats.

CI-ISAC will provide GP clinics with membership in its organization for free and with no time limit, which will enable member GP clinics to proactively understand and respond to healthcare-specific cyber threats. Clinics will have access to CI-ISAC’s tailored threat intelligence products and services, informed by observations across Australia’s critical infrastructure sectors.

As members of CI-ISAC, GP clinics will also receive key Cloudflare services, for free and with no time limit: Cloudflare Gateway, and Cloudflare Access, our Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) service. Cloudflare Gateway helps protect GP clinics against Internet threats by preventing staff from accessing harmful and inappropriate Internet content, like ransomware or phishing sites. With Cloudflare Access, GP clinics can simply and effectively manage user access to sensitive patient data, thereby minimizing the risk of unauthorized users gaining access.

Cloudflare and CI-ISAC are ready to support

For GP Clinics interested in participating in Project Secure Health, please contact CI-ISAC at [email protected]. To be eligible for free CI-ISAC membership and Cloudflare ZTNA services, GP Clinics must have fewer than 50 staff members.

Australia’s cybersecurity strategy is here and Cloudflare is all in

Post Syndicated from Carly Ramsey http://blog.cloudflare.com/author/carly/ original https://blog.cloudflare.com/australia-cybersecurity-strategy-is-here-and-cloudflare-is-all-in


We are thrilled about Australia’s strategic direction to build a world-leading cyber nation by 2030. As a world-leading cybersecurity company whose mission is to help build a better Internet, we think we can help.

Cloudflare empowers organizations to make their employees, applications and networks faster and more secure everywhere, while reducing complexity and cost. Cloudflare is trusted by millions of organizations – from the largest brands to entrepreneurs and small businesses to nonprofits, humanitarian groups, and governments across the globe.

Cloudflare first established a footprint in Australia in 2012 when we launched our 15th data center in Sydney (our network has since grown to span over 310 cities in 120 countries/regions). We support a multitude of customers in Australia and New Zealand, including some of Australia’s largest banks and digital natives, with our world-leading security products and services. For example, Australia’s leading tech company Canva, whose service is used by over 35 million people worldwide each month, uses a broad array of Cloudflare’s products — spanning use cases as diverse as remote application access, to serverless development, and even bot management to help Canva protect its network from attacks.

In support of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2023-2030 (The Strategy), released on November 22, 2023, we want to share how we can help empower Australian organizations and individuals to become more secure. The Strategy is clear about the value of cooperation and the vital role of the private sector. We couldn’t agree more, and we look forward to collaborating with individuals, industry, non-profits, and the government to help ensure that Australia’s society and economy is protected from malicious cyber threats.

The Strategy outlines six shields – six layers of defense against cyber attacks, with Australian businesses and individuals in the center (where they should be). Here’s where we think Cloudflare can play a role in each of the shields:

Shield 1: Strong businesses and citizens

The Strategy rightly focuses on helping those individuals and organizations that typically do not have the capability or resources to employ basic cybersecurity tools. We agree that supporting the most vulnerable is a crucial goal as these groups are often powerless to protect themselves against relentless attacks. A 2023 survey by the Australian Cyber Security Center shows that 62% of surveyed Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were victims of a cyber attack. Cloudflare’s recent survey of nearly 4000 security leaders across Asia Pacific shows that 81% of medium and 77% of small-sized organizations suffered a cybersecurity incident over the previous 12 months.

Here we believe we have a lot to offer. Our mission is to help build a more secure, more private and more reliable Internet. A key part of that mission is democratizing cybersecurity – making cyber tools readily available for all, including SMEs, non-profits, and individuals. For example, our free plan makes available our world-leading DDoS and WAF protection for millions of websites, apps, and APIs all around the world, including in Australia. We provide our suite of Zero Trust Tools for free to organizations with up to 50 users (more on Zero Trust below).

We also offer our world-leading, Enterprise-level cyber protection products and services at no cost to the most vulnerable populations, including human rights organizations, journalists and healthcare organizations. One example of this is Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a participant of Cloudflare’s Project Galileo. Through Project Galileo, they have access to our most advanced cybersecurity tools and support — freeing them to focus on their mission.

Shield 2: Safe technology

We agree with the Strategy’s push for Secure-by-Design and Secure-by-Default technology – these are in fact our core principles when developing our products and services in order to improve security for our end users automatically. We’ve taken this approach in deploying Web Application Firewall (WAF) protections for all of our users, such as the steps we took to protect our customers (including our free plan customers) against the log4j vulnerability, and in creating a machine-learning computed WAF attack score that enables customers to block likely attacks, even when they don’t match existing attack signatures.

This shield also notes both the opportunities and challenges brought by critical emerging technologies, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence (AI). Cloudflare is getting ready for the quantum future – in order to protect against possible attacks from quantum computers, we believe that post-quantum cryptography tools should be readily available. In late 2022, we announced that by default, all websites and APIs served through Cloudflare, including those on our free plan, support post-quantum hybrid key agreement.

We also provide tools that help ensure that AI can be used securely. Given the incredible growth in this space, it’s critical that businesses can ensure that they are able to leverage AI innovation and growth — and doing so both securely and safely.

Shield 3: World-class threat sharing and blocking

We applaud the government’s efforts to strengthen threat sharing and threat blocking. For threat intelligence to be effective across sectors and industries, there needs to be a flow of information not only between government and industry, but also between industry peers. The support in the strategy for developing Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) will help create a threat sharing culture within industry and support Australia to build a more mature cybersecurity ecosystem.

Cloudflare has supported ISACs to understand the impact of emerging vulnerabilities. One recent example concerned the HTTP/2 Rapid Reset Vulnerability, which resulted in record-breaking DDoS attacks. By working with our peers and sharing the latest insights we were able to help member organizations proactively protect themselves and their users.

Shield 4: Protected critical infrastructure

This shield focuses on critical infrastructure (CI) – those institutions vital to the nation’s functioning. Cloudflare understands the crucial importance of protecting CI: many of our customers are CI in their respective jurisdictions, including in Australia. Our tools help keep them, and those that rely on them, secure. For example, we mitigated threats to our customers when Anonymous Sudan and Killnet attacked and issued threats to Australian universities, airports, and hospitals in March 2023.

Equally concerning are the smaller critical infrastructure organizations that are the foundation of our communities: the neighborhood hospital, regional water treatment facility, and local energy provider that meet our basic needs like keeping the lights on and clean water running. Also vital, and noted in the Strategy – the small-yet-crucially-important companies that form the supply chains of our nationwide critical systems. These smaller organizations frequently lack the know-how and financial resources to deploy basic cyber security, let alone best-in-class cybersecurity tools and services. We felt that we could step up to help meet this crucial gap, so at the end of 2022, we launched Project Safekeeping in Australia and other global markets, providing no-cost and no-time limit Enterprise-level cybersecurity products for these critical entities.

Finally, we applaud the Strategy’s goal to strengthen the overall cyber posture of the Australian Commonwealth government, in particular by developing a Zero Trust culture. Zero Trust is generally considered a best practice in cybersecurity – the belief that organizations should not trust based on relationship to a perimeter (such as if someone is in the office), but instead must verify everything and everyone trying to connect to its systems before granting access. Zero Trust principles are being implemented successfully across the private sector and governments, and a Zero Trust strategy will certainly help uplift the security maturity and posture of Australia and its government.

Cloudflare is already providing our world-leading Zero Trust tools and services to government departments across Australia, both state and federal. For example, Australia’s National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS) utilizes Cloudflare’s suite of security products to protect their environment and provide secure access into their application ecosystem.

Shield 5: Sovereign capabilities

This shield focuses on the essentials for having a diverse and professional cyber workforce in order to foster a vibrant Australian cyber ecosystem. Cloudflare also strives for a diverse workforce in order to have better business outcomes. To improve diversity across departments and roles, we rely on inclusive recruiting practices to help ensure a fair process, and we train employees on mitigating unconscious bias. In Australia, we actively foster diversity in cyber through internal associate programs designed to promote diverse groups into cyber engineering roles. We also run a series of external workshops and sessions aimed at the broader Australian women in cyber community, in order to foster greater learning and networking opportunities in this traditionally male-dominated sector.

Shield 6: Resilient region and global leadership

As a global company whose mission is to help build a better Internet, we believe it is vitally important for the international community to defend a free and open Internet. We were thrilled to see the Strategy acknowledge this as a key pillar of Australia’s cyber diplomacy. A free and open Internet is, in fact, both safer – as global knowledge is necessary to stop attacks that could come from anywhere in the world; and more resilient, as the Internet needs multiple global connection points to ensure that cyber attacks do not impact Internet access.

In addition, we fully agree with the Strategy that global technology markets should be competitive, reflecting a diverse pool of technology vendors. We strongly believe in the importance of having a vibrant security ecosystem, where different security providers can help mitigate the risk of services being compromised, helping to avoid security events.

Finally, this shield recognizes that international cyber standards must be harmonized. As a cybersecurity technology provider that adheres to multiple cybersecurity standards all around the world, we couldn’t agree more. Overlapping and redundant standards are a massive operational burden that do not equate to greater levels of security. However, onerous compliance regimes do prevent governments from having the best security technology available, given that many companies, particularly SMEs, simply can’t afford the high costs associated with numerous cybersecurity certifications.

We are thrilled to support Australia’s mission to be a world cyber leader by 2030. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Australian government and industry in order to help ensure that everyone – from critical infrastructure, government, SMEs, nonprofits, to Australian citizens – can be more secure.

Updated Essential Eight guidance for Australian customers

Post Syndicated from James Kingsmill original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/updated-essential-eight-guidance-for-australian-customers/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is excited to announce the release of AWS Prescriptive Guidance on Reaching Essential Eight Maturity on AWS. We designed this guidance to help customers streamline and accelerate their security compliance obligations under the Essential Eight framework of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

What is the Essential Eight?

The Essential Eight is a security framework that the ACSC designed to help organizations protect themselves against various cyber threats. The Essential Eight covers the following eight strategies:

  • Application control
  • Patch applications
  • Configure Microsoft Office macro settings
  • User application hardening
  • Restrict administrative privileges
  • Patch operating systems
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Regular backups

The Department of Home Affairs’ Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) mandates that Australian Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities (NCCEs) reach Essential Eight maturity. The Essential Eight is also one of the compliance frameworks available to owners of critical infrastructure (CI) assets under the Critical Infrastructure Risk Management Program (CIRMP) requirements of the Security of Critical Infrastructure (SOCI) Act.

In the Essential Eight Explained, the ACSC acknowledges some translation is required when applying the principles of the Essential Eight to cloud-based environments:

“The Essential Eight has been designed to protect Microsoft Windows-based internet-connected networks. While the principles behind the Essential Eight may be applied to cloud services and enterprise mobility, or other operating systems, it was not primarily designed for such purposes and alternative mitigation strategies may be more appropriate to mitigate unique cyber threats to these environments.”

The newly released guidance walks customers step-by-step through the process of reaching Essential Eight maturity in a cloud native way, making best use of the security, performance, innovation, elasticity, scalability, and resiliency benefits of the AWS Cloud. It includes a compliance matrix that maps Essential Eight strategies and controls to specific guidance and AWS resources.

It also features an example of a customer with different workloads—a serverless data lake, a containerized webservice, and an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) workload running commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software.

For more information, see Reaching Essential Eight Maturity on AWS on the AWS Prescriptive Guidance page. You can also reach out to your account team or engage AWS Professional Services, our global team of experts that can help customers realize their desired security and business outcomes on AWS.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

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James Kingsmill

James Kingsmill

James is a Senior Solutions Architect on the Australian public sector team. As a member of the enterprise federal team, he has a longstanding interest in helping public sector customers achieve their transformation, automation, and security goals.

Manuwai Korber

Manuwai Korber

Manuwai is a Solutions Architect based in Sydney who specializes in the field of machine learning. He is dedicated to helping Australian public sector organizations build reliable systems that improve the experience of citizens.

2023 H1 IRAP report is now available on AWS Artifact for Australian customers

Post Syndicated from Patrick Chang original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/2023-h1-irap-report-is-now-available-on-aws-artifact-for-australian-customers/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is excited to announce that a new Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) report (2023 H1) is now available through AWS Artifact. An independent Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) certified IRAP assessor completed the IRAP assessment of AWS in August 2023.

The new IRAP report includes an additional six AWS services, as well as the new AWS Local Zone in Perth, that are now assessed at the PROTECTED level under IRAP. This brings the total number of services assessed at the PROTECTED level to 145.

The following are the six newly assessed services:

For the full list of services, see the IRAP tab on the AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program page.

AWS has developed an IRAP documentation pack to assist Australian government agencies and their partners to plan, architect, and assess risk for their workloads when they use AWS Cloud services.

We developed this pack in accordance with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Cloud Security Guidance and Cloud Assessment and Authorisation framework, which addresses guidance within the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), the Department of Home Affairs’ Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), and the Digital Transformation Agency Secure Cloud Strategy.

The IRAP pack on AWS Artifact also includes newly updated versions of the AWS Consumer Guide and the whitepaper Reference Architectures for ISM PROTECTED Workloads in the AWS Cloud.

Reach out to your AWS representatives to let us know which additional services you would like to see in scope for upcoming IRAP assessments. We strive to bring more services into scope at the PROTECTED level under IRAP to support your requirements.

 
If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

Want more AWS Security news? Follow us on Twitter.

Patrick Chang

Patrick Chang

Patrick is the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) Audit Lead at AWS. He leads security audits, certifications, and compliance programs across the APJ region. Patrick is a technology risk and audit professional with over a decade of experience. He is passionate about delivering assurance programs that build trust with customers and provide them assurance on cloud security.

Celebrating Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week 2023

Post Syndicated from Emily Hancock original http://blog.cloudflare.com/celebrating-australia-privacy-awareness-week-2023/

Celebrating Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week 2023

Celebrating Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week 2023

When a country throws a privacy party, Cloudflare is there! We are proud to be an official sponsor of the Australian Privacy Awareness Week 2023, and we think this year’s theme of “Privacy 101: Back to Basics” is more important now than ever. In recent months, Australians have been hit with the news of massive personal data privacy breaches where millions of Australian citizens' private and sensitive data was compromised, seemingly easily. Meanwhile, the Australian Attorney General released its Privacy Act Review Report 2022 earlier this year, calling for a number of changes to Australia’s privacy regulations.

You’re probably familiar with the old-school privacy basics of giving users notice and consent. But we think it’s time for some new “privacy basics”. Thanks to rapid developments in new technologies and new security threat vectors, notice and consent can only go so far to protect the privacy of your personal data. New challenges call for new solutions: security solutions and privacy enhancing technologies to keep personal data protected. Cloudflare is excited to play a role in building and using these technologies to help our customers keep their sensitive information private and enable individual consumers to protect themselves. Investing in and offering these technologies is part of our mission to help build a better Internet – one that is more private and more secure.

Cloudflare is fully committed to supporting Australian individuals and organizations in protecting their and their users’ privacy. We’ve been in Australia since Sydney became Cloudflare’s 15th data center in 2012, and we launched our Australian entity in 2019. We support more than 300 customers in Australia and New Zealand, including some of Australia’s largest banks and online digital natives with our world-leading privacy and security products and services.

For example, Australian tech darling Canva, whose online graphic design tool is used by over 35 million people worldwide each month, uses a number of our solutions that help Canva protect its network from attacks, which in turn ensures that the data of its millions of users is not breached. And we are proud to support Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a participant of Cloudflare’s Project Galileo. Through Project Galileo, we’ve helped them to secure their origin server from large bursts of traffic or malicious actors attempting to access the website.

This is why we’re proud to support Australia’s Privacy Awareness Week 2023, and we want to share our expertise on how to empower Australian organizations in securing and protecting the privacy of their users. So let’s look at a few key privacy basics and how we think about them at Cloudflare:

  • Minimize the data you collect, and then only use that data for the purpose for which it was collected.
  • Employ reasonable and appropriate security measures — with the bar for what this means going higher every day.
  • Create a culture of privacy by default.

Minimizing personal data in the clear

At Cloudflare, we believe in empowering individuals and entities of all sizes with technological tools to reduce the amount of personal data that gets funneled into the data ocean that is the Internet — regardless of whether someone lives in a country with laws protecting the privacy of their personal data. If we can build tools to help individuals share less personal data online, then that’s a win for privacy no matter what their country of residence.

In 2018, Cloudflare launched the 1.1.1.1 public DNS resolver — the Internet's fastest, privacy-first public DNS resolver. Our public resolver doesn’t retain any personal data about web requests. And because we baked anonymization best practices into the 1.1.1.1 resolver when we built it, we were able to demonstrate that we didn’t have any personal data to sell when we asked independent accountants to conduct a privacy examination of the 1.1.1.1 resolver. And when you combine our 1.1.1.1 public resolver with Warp, our VPN, then your Internet service provider can no longer see every site and app you use—even if they’re encrypted. Which means that even if they wanted to, the ISP can’t sell your data or use it to target you with ads.

We’ve also invested heavily in new technologies that aim to secure Internet traffic from bad actors; the prying eyes of ISPs or other man-in-the-middle machines that might find your Internet communications of interest for advertising purposes; or government entities that might want to crack down on individuals exercising their freedom of speech.

For example, DNS records are like the addresses on the outside of an envelope, and the website content you’re viewing is like the letter inside that envelope. In the snail mail world, courts have long recognized that the address on the outside of a letter doesn’t deserve as much privacy protection as the letter itself. But we’re not living in an age where the only thing someone can tell from the outside of the envelope are the “to” and “from” addresses and place of postage. The digital envelopes of DNS requests can contain much more information about a person than you might expect. Not only is there information about the sender and recipient addresses, but there is specific timestamp information about when requests were submitted, the domains and subdomains visited, and even how long someone stayed on a certain site. Since these digital envelopes contain so much personal information, we think it’s just as important to encrypt this information as to encrypt the contents of the digital letter inside. This is why we doubled down on DNS over HTTPS (DoH).

But we thought we could go further. We were an early supporter of Oblivious DoH (ODoH). ODoH is a proposed DNS standard — co-authored by engineers from Cloudflare, Apple, and Fastly — that separates IP addresses from queries, so that no single entity can see both at the same time. ODoH requires a proxy as a key part of the communication path between client and resolver, with encryption ensuring that the proxy does not know the contents of the DNS query (only where to send it), and the resolver knowing what the query is but not who originally requested it (only the proxy’s IP address). This means the identity of the requester and the content of the request are unlinkable. This technology has formed the basis of Apple’s iCloud Private Relay system, which ensures that no single party handling user data has complete information on both who the user is and what they are trying to access. Cloudflare is proud to serve as a second relay for Apple Private Relay.

But wait – there’s more! We’ve also invested heavily in Oblivious HTTP (OHTTP), an emerging IETF standard and is built upon standard hybrid public-key cryptography. Our Privacy Gateway service relays encrypted HTTP requests and responses between a client and application server. With Privacy Gateway, Cloudflare knows where the request is coming from, but not what it contains, and applications can see what the request contains, but not where it comes from. Neither Cloudflare nor the application server has the full picture, improving end-user privacy.

We recently deployed Privacy Gateway for Flo Health Inc., a leading female health app, for the launch of their Anonymous Mode. With Privacy Gateway in place, all request data for Anonymous Mode users is encrypted between the app user and Flo, which prevents Flo from seeing the IP addresses of those users and Cloudflare from seeing the contents of that request data.

And in the area of analytics, we’ve developed a privacy-first, free web analytics tool. Popular analytics vendors glean visitor and site data in return for web analytics. With business models driven by ad revenue, many analytics vendors track visitor behavior on websites and create buyer profiles to retarget website visitors with ads. But we wanted to give our customers a better option, so they wouldn’t have to sacrifice their visitors’ privacy to get essential and accurate metrics on website usage. Cloudflare Web Analytics works by adding a JavaScript snippet to a website instead of using client-side cookies or instead of fingerprinting individuals using their IP address.

Investing in security to protect data privacy

A key “privacy basic” that is also a fundamental element of almost all data protection legislation globally is the requirement to adopt reasonable and appropriate security measures for the personal data that is being processed. And as was the case with the most recent data breaches in Australia, if personal data is accessed without authorization, poor or failed security measures are often to blame.

Cloudflare's security services enable our customers to screen for cybersecurity risks on Cloudflare's network before those risks can reach the customer's internal network. This helps protect our customers and our customers’ data from a range of cyber threats. By doing so, Cloudflare's services are essentially fulfilling a privacy-enhancing function in themselves. From the beginning, we have built our systems to ensure that data is kept private, even from us, and we have made public policy and contractual commitments about keeping that data private and secure.

But beyond securing our network for the benefit of our customers, Cloudflare is most well-known for its application layer security services – Web Application Firewall (WAF), bot management, DDoS protection, SSL/TLS, Page Shield, and more. We also embrace the critical importance of encryption in transit. In fact, we see encryption as so important that in 2014, Cloudflare introduced Universal SSL to support SSL (and now TLS) connections to every Cloudflare customer. And at the same time, we recognize that blindly passing along encrypted packets would undercut some of the very security that we’re trying to provide. Data privacy and security are a balance. If we let encrypted malicious code get to an end destination, then the malicious code may be used to access information that should otherwise have been protected. If data isn’t encrypted in transit, it’s at risk for interception. But by supporting encryption in transit and ensuring malicious code doesn’t get to its intended destination, we can protect private personal information even more effectively.

Let’s take an example – In June 2022, Atlassian released a Security Advisory relating to a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability affecting Confluence Server and Confluence Data Center products. Cloudflare responded immediately to roll out a new WAF rule for all of our customers. For customers without this WAF protection, all the trade secret and personal information on their instances of Confluence were potentially vulnerable to data breach. These types of security measures are critical to protecting personal data. And it wouldn’t have mattered if the personal data were stored on a server in Australia, Germany, the U.S., or India – the RCE vulnerability would have exposed data wherever it was stored. Instead, the data was protected because a global network was able to roll out a WAF rule immediately to protect all of its customers globally.

Some of the biggest data breaches in recent years have happened as a result of something pretty simple – an attacker uses a phishing email or social engineering to get an employee of a company to visit a site that infects the employee’s computer with malware or enter their credentials on a fake site that lets the bad actor capture the credentials and then use those to impersonate the employee and log into a company’s systems. Depending on the type of information compromised, these kinds of data breaches can have a huge impact on individuals’ privacy. For this reason, Cloudflare has invested in a number of technologies designed to protect corporate networks, and the personal data on those networks.

As we noted during our CIO week earlier this year, the FBI’s latest Internet Crime Report shows that business email compromise and email account compromise, a subset of malicious phishing campaigns, are the most costly – with U.S. businesses losing nearly $2.4 billion. Cloudflare has invested in a number of Zero Trust solutions to help fight this very problem:

  • Link Isolation means that when an employee clicks a link in an email, it will automatically be opened using Cloudflare’s Remote Browser Isolation technology that isolates potentially risky links, downloads, or other zero-day attacks from impacting that user’s computer and the wider corporate network.
  • With our Data Loss Prevention tools, businesses can identify and stop exfiltration of data.
  • Our Area 1 solution identifies phishing attempts, emails containing malicious code, and emails containing ransomware payloads and prevents them from landing in the inbox of unsuspecting employees.

These Zero Trust tools, combined with the use of hardware keys for multifactor authentication, were key in Cloudflare’s ability to prevent a breach by an SMS phishing attack that targeted more than 130 companies in July and August 2022. Many of these companies reported the disclosure of customer personal information as a result of employees falling victim to this SMS phishing effort.

And remember the Atlassian Confluence RCE vulnerability we mentioned earlier? Cloudflare remained protected not only due to our rapid update of our WAF rules, but also because we use our own Cloudflare Access solution (part of our Zero Trust suite) to ensure that only individuals with Cloudflare credentials are able to access our internal systems. Cloudflare Access verified every request made to a Confluence application to ensure it was coming from an authenticated user.

All of these Zero Trust solutions require sophisticated machine learning to detect patterns of malicious activity, and none of them require data to be stored in a specific location to keep the data safe. Thwarting these kinds of security threats aren’t only important for protecting organizations’ internal networks from intrusion – they are critical for keeping large scale data sets private for the benefit of millions of individuals.

How we do privacy at Cloudflare

All the technologies we build are public examples of how at Cloudflare we put our money where our mouth is when it comes to privacy. We also want to tell you about the ways — some public, some not — we infuse privacy principles at all levels at Cloudflare.

  • Employee education and mindset: An understanding of privacy is core to a Cloudflare employee’s experience right from the start. Employees learn about the role privacy and security play in helping to build a better Internet in their first weeks at Cloudflare. During the comprehensive employee orientation, we stress the role each employee plays in keeping the company and our customers secure. All employees are required to take annual data protection training, and we do targeted training for individual teams, depending on their engagement with personal data, throughout the year.
  • Privacy in product development: Cloudflare employees take privacy-by-design seriously. We develop products and processes with the principles of data minimization, purpose limitation, and data security always front of mind. We have a product development lifecycle that includes performing privacy impact assessments when we may process personal data. We retain personal data we process for as short a time as necessary to provide our services to our customers. We do not track customers’ end users across sites. We don’t sell personal information. We don’t monetize DNS requests. We detect, deter, and deflect bad actors — we’re not in the business of looking at what any one person (or more specifically, browser) is doing when they browse the Internet. That’s not what we’re about.
  • Certifications: In addition to the extensive internal security mechanisms we have in place to protect our customers’ data, we also have become certified under industry standards to demonstrate our commitment to data security. We hold the following certifications: ISO 27001, ISO 27701, ISO 27018, AICPA SOC2 Type II, FedRamp Moderate, PCI DSS 3.2.1, WCAG 2.1 AA and Section 508, C5:2020, and, most recently, the EU Cloud Code of Conduct.
  • Privacy-focused response to government and third-party requests for information: Our respect for our customers' privacy applies with equal force to commercial requests and to government or law enforcement requests. Any law enforcement requests that we receive must strictly adhere to the due process of law and be subject to judicial oversight. We believe that U.S. law enforcement requests for the personal data of a non-U.S. person that conflict with the privacy laws of that person’s country of residence (such as Australia’s Privacy Act) should be legally challenged. We commit in our Data Processing Addendum that we will fight government data requests where such a conflict exists. In addition, it is our policy to notify our customers of a subpoena or other legal process requesting their customer or billing information before disclosure of that information, whether the legal process comes from the government or private parties involved in civil litigation, unless legally prohibited. We also publicly report on the types of requests we receive, as well as our responses, in our semi-annual Transparency Report. Finally, we publicly list certain types of actions that Cloudflare has never taken in response to government requests, and we commit that if Cloudflare were asked to do any of the things on this list, we would exhaust all legal remedies in order to protect our customers from what we believe are illegal or unconstitutional requests.

And there’s more to come…

Cloudflare is committed to fully support Australia’s privacy goals, and we are paying close attention to the current conversations around updating Australia’s privacy law and regulatory structure. And our 2023 roadmap includes focusing on the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System as a way to demonstrate our continued commitment to global privacy and paving the way for beneficial cross-border data transfers.

Happy Privacy Awareness Week 2023!

Killnet and AnonymousSudan DDoS attack Australian university websites, and threaten more attacks — here’s what to do about it

Post Syndicated from Patrick R. Donahue original https://blog.cloudflare.com/ddos-attacks-on-australian-universities/

Killnet and AnonymousSudan DDoS attack Australian university websites, and threaten more attacks — here’s what to do about it

Killnet and AnonymousSudan DDoS attack Australian university websites, and threaten more attacks — here’s what to do about it

Over the past 24 hours, Cloudflare has observed HTTP DDoS attacks targeting university websites in Australia. Universities were the first of several groups publicly targeted by the pro-Russian hacker group Killnet and their affiliate AnonymousSudan, as revealed in a recent Telegram post. The threat actors called for additional attacks against 8 universities, 10 airports, and 8 hospital websites in Australia beginning on Tuesday, March 28.

Killnet is a loosely formed group of individuals who collaborate via Telegram. Their Telegram channels provide a space for pro-Russian sympathizers to volunteer their expertise by participating in cyberattacks against western interests.

Killnet and AnonymousSudan DDoS attack Australian university websites, and threaten more attacks — here’s what to do about it
Figure: % of traffic constituting DDoS attacks for organizations in Australia

This is not the first time Cloudflare has reported on Killnet activity. On February 2,  2023 we noted in a blog that a pro-Russian hacktivist group — claiming to be part of Killnet — was targeting multiple healthcare organizations in the US. In October 2022, Killnet called to attack US airport websites, and attacked the US Treasury the following month.

As seen with past attacks from this group, these most recent attacks do not seem to be originating from a single botnet, and the attack methods and sources seem to vary, suggesting the involvement of multiple individual threat actors with varying degrees of skill.

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks often make headlines due to their ability to disrupt critical services. Cloudflare recently announced that it had blocked the largest attack to date, which peaked at 71 million requests per second (rps) and was 54% higher than the previous record attack from June 2022.

DDoS attacks are designed to overwhelm networks with massive amounts of malicious traffic, and when executed correctly, can disrupt service or take networks offline. The size, sophistication, and frequency of attacks have been increasing over the past months.

What is Killnet and AnonymousSudan?

Killnet is not a traditional hacking group: it does not have membership, it does not have tools or infrastructure, and it does not operate for financial gain. Instead, Killnet is a space for pro-Russian “hacktivist” sympathizers to volunteer their expertise by participating in cyberattacks against western interests. This collaboration happens entirely in the open via Telegram, where anyone is welcome to join.

Killnet was formed shortly after (and likely in response to) the IT Army of Ukraine, and it emulates their tactics. Most days, administrators of the Killnet telegram channel will put out a call for volunteers to attack some particular target. Participants share many different tools and techniques for launching successful attacks, and inexperienced individuals are often coached on how to launch cyber attacks by those who are more experienced.

AnonymousSudan is another nontraditional hacking group similar to Killnet who is ostensibly composed of Sudanese “hacktivists”. The two groups have recently begun collaborating to attack various western interests.

Attackers, including from these groups, are becoming more audacious in  the size and scale of the organizations they are targeting. What this means for businesses, especially those with limited cyber resources, is an increasing threat level against vulnerable networks.

Organizations of all sizes need to be prepared for the eventuality of a significant DDoS attack against their networks. Detection and mitigation of attacks should ideally be automated as much as possible, because relying solely on humans to mitigate in real time puts attackers in the driver’s seat.

How should I protect my organization against DDoS?

Cloudflare customers are protected against DDoS attacks; our systems have been automatically detecting and mitigating the attack. Our team continues to monitor the situation and will deploy countermeasures as needed.

As an additional step of precaution, customers in the Education, Travel, and Healthcare industries are advised to follow the below recommendations.

  1. Ensure all other DDoS Managed Rules are set to default settings (High sensitivity level and mitigation actions).
  2. Enterprise customers with Advanced DDoS should consider enabling Adaptive DDoS Protection.
  3. Deploy firewall rules and rate-limiting rules to enforce a combined positive and negative security model. Reduce the traffic allowed to your website based on your known usage.
  4. Turn on Bot Fight Mode or the equivalent level (SBFM, Enterprise Bot Management) available to you.
  5. Ensure your origin is not exposed to the public Internet, i.e., only enable access to Cloudflare IP addresses.
  6. Enable caching as much as possible to reduce the strain on your origin servers, and when using Workers, avoid overwhelming your origin server with more subrequests than necessary
  7. Enable DDoS alerting.

As easy as it has become for the attackers to launch DDoS attacks, we want to make sure that it is even easier – and free – for defenders of organizations of all sizes to protect themselves against DDoS attacks of all types. We’ve been providing unmetered and unlimited DDoS protection for free to all of our customers since 2017. Cloudflare’s mission is to help build a better Internet. A better Internet is one that is more secure, faster, and reliable for everyone – even in the face of DDoS attacks.

If you’d like to learn more about key DDoS trends, download the Cloudflare DDoS Threat Report for quarterly insights.

2022 H2 IRAP report is now available on AWS Artifact for Australian customers

Post Syndicated from Patrick Chang original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/2022-h2-irap-report-is-now-available-on-aws-artifact-for-australian-customers/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is excited to announce that a new Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) report (2022 H2) is now available through AWS Artifact. An independent Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) certified IRAP assessor completed the IRAP assessment of AWS in December 2022.

The new IRAP report includes an additional six AWS services, as well as the new AWS Melbourne Region, that are now assessed at the PROTECTED level under IRAP. This brings the total number of services assessed at the PROTECTED level to 139.

The following are the six newly assessed services:

For the full list of services, see the IRAP tab on the AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program page.

AWS has developed an IRAP documentation pack to assist Australian government agencies and their partners to plan, architect, and assess risk for their workloads when they use AWS Cloud services.

We developed this pack in accordance with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Cloud Security Guidance and Anatomy of a Cloud Assessment and Authorisation framework, which addresses guidance within the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), the Attorney-General’s Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), and the Digital Transformation Agency Secure Cloud Strategy.

The IRAP pack on AWS Artifact also includes newly updated versions of the AWS Consumer Guide and the whitepaper Reference Architectures for ISM PROTECTED Workloads in the AWS Cloud.

Reach out to your AWS representatives to let us know which additional services you would like to see in scope for upcoming IRAP assessments. We strive to bring more services into scope at the PROTECTED level under IRAP to support your requirements.

 
If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

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Patrick Chang

Patrick Chang

Patrick is the APJ Audit Lead based in Hong Kong. He leads security audits, certifications and compliance programs across the APJ region. He is a technology risk and audit professional with over a decade of experience. He is passionate about delivering assurance programs that build trust with customers and provide them assurance on cloud security.

Australia Increases Fines for Massive Data Breaches

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/10/australia-increases-fines-for-massive-data-breaches.html

After suffering two large, and embarrassing, data breaches in recent weeks, the Australian government increased the fine for serious data breaches from $2.2 million to a minimum of $50 million. (That’s $50 million AUD, or $32 million USD.)

This is a welcome change. The problem is one of incentives, and Australia has now increased the incentive for companies to secure the personal data or their users and customers.

2022 H1 IRAP report is now available on AWS Artifact

Post Syndicated from Matt Brunker original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/2022-h1-irap-report-is-now-available-on-aws-artifact/

We’re excited to announce that a new Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) report is now available on AWS Artifact. Amazon Web Services (AWS) successfully completed an IRAP assessment in May 2022 by an independent ASD (Australian Signals Directorate) certified IRAP assessor. The new IRAP report includes an additional nine AWS services that are now assessed at the PROTECTED classification under IRAP. This brings the total number of services assessed at PROTECTED to 132.

For a full list of these services, see the IRAP tab on the AWS Services in Scope page. The following services are the nine newly assessed services:

The IRAP documentation pack is developed in accordance with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Cloud Security Guidance and their Anatomy of a Cloud Assessment and Authorisation framework, which addresses guidance within the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), the Attorney-General’s Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), and the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) Secure Cloud Strategy.

The IRAP package on AWS Artifact also includes the AWS Consumer Guide and the whitepaper Reference Architectures for ISM PROTECTED Workloads in the AWS Cloud.

The IRAP documentation pack is developed to assist Australian government agencies and their partners to plan, architect, and assess risk for their workloads when they use AWS Cloud services. Reach out to your AWS representatives to let us know which additional services you would like to see in scope for upcoming IRAP assessments. We strive to bring more services into scope at the PROTECTED level to support your requirements.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Matt Brunker

Matt is the security program manager for the Australia and New Zealand region, leading multiple security certification programs. Matt is a passionate cybersecurity professional with a strong background in assisting organisations in the design, implementation, and monitoring of security controls.

New IRAP full assessment report is now available on AWS Artifact for Australian customers

Post Syndicated from Clara Lim original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/new-irap-full-assessment-report-is-now-available-on-aws-artifact-for-australian-customers/

We are excited to announce that a new Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) report is now available on AWS Artifact, after a successful full assessment completed in December 2021 by an independent ASD (Australian Signals Directorate) certified IRAP assessor.

The new IRAP report includes reassessment of the existing 111 services which are already in scope for IRAP, as well as the 14 additional services listed below, and the new Melbourne region. For the full list of in-scope services, see the AWS Services in Scope page on the IRAP tab. All services in scope are available in the Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region.

The IRAP assessment report is developed in accordance with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Cloud Security Guidance and their Anatomy of a Cloud Assessment and Authorisation framework, which addresses guidance within the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), the Attorney-General’s Department Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), and the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) Secure Cloud Strategy.

We have created the IRAP documentation pack on AWS Artifact, which includes the AWS Consumer Guide and the whitepaper Reference Architectures for ISM PROTECTED Workloads in the AWS Cloud, which was created to help Australian government agencies and their partners plan, architect, and risk assess workloads based on AWS Cloud services.

Please reach out to your AWS representatives to let us know which additional services you would like to see in scope for coming IRAP assessments. We strive to bring more services into the scope of the IRAP PROTECTED level, based on your requirements.

 
If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Clara Lim

Clara is the APJ-Lead Strategist supporting the compliance programs for the Asia Pacific Region, leading multiple security certification programs. Clara is passionate about leveraging her decade-long experience to deliver compliance programs that provide assurance and build trust with customers.

Announcing the AWS Security and Privacy Knowledge Hub for Australia and New Zealand

Post Syndicated from Phil Rodrigues original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/announcing-the-aws-security-and-privacy-knowledge-hub-for-australia-and-new-zealand/

Cloud technology provides organizations across Australia and New Zealand with the flexibility to adapt quickly and scale their digital presences up or down in response to consumer demand. In 2021 and beyond, we expect to see cloud adoption continue to accelerate as organizations of all sizes realize the agility, operational, and financial benefits of moving to the cloud.

To fully harness the benefits of the digital economy it’s important that you remain vigilant about the security of your technology resources in order to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your systems and data. Security is our top priority at AWS, and more than ever we believe it’s critical for everyone to understand the best practices to use cloud technology securely. Organizations of all sizes can benefit by implementing automated guardrails that allow you to innovate while maintaining the highest security standards. We want to help you move fast and innovate quickly while staying secure.

This is why we are excited to announce the new AWS Security and Privacy Knowledge Hub for Australia and New Zealand.

The new website offers many resources specific to Australia and New Zealand, including:

  • The latest local security and privacy updates from AWS security experts in Australia and New Zealand.
  • How customers can use AWS to help meet the requirements of local privacy laws, government security standards, and banking security guidance.
  • Local customer stories about Australian and New Zealand companies and agencies that focus on security, privacy, and compliance.
  • Details about AWS infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand, including the upcoming AWS Region in Melbourne.
  • General FAQs on security and privacy in the cloud.

AWS maintains the highest security and privacy practices, which is one reason we are trusted by governments and organizations around the world to deliver services to millions of individuals. In Australia and New Zealand, we have hundreds of thousands of active customers using AWS each month, with many building mission critical applications for their business. For example, the National Bank of Australia (NAB) provides banking platforms like NAB Connect that offer services to businesses of all sizes, built on AWS. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offers the flexibility and speed for all Australians to lodge their tax returns electronically on the MyTax application, built on AWS. The University of Auckland runs critical teaching and learning applications relied on by their 18,000 students around the world, built on AWS. AWS Partner Versent helps businesses like Transurban and government agencies like Service NSW operate in the cloud securely, built on AWS.

Security is a shared responsibility between AWS and our customers. You should review the security features that we provide with our services, and be familiar with how to implement your security requirements within your AWS environment. To help you with your responsibility, we offer security services and partner solutions that you can utilize to implement automated and effective security in the cloud. This allows you to focus on your business while keeping your content and applications secure.

We’re inspired by the rapid rate of innovation as customers of all sizes use the cloud to create new business models and work to improve our communities, now and into the future. We look forward to seeing what you will build next on AWS – with security as your top priority.

The AWS Security and Privacy Knowledge Hub for Australia and New Zealand launched today.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Phil Rodrigues

Phil is the Head of the Security Team, Australia & New Zealand for AWS, based in Sydney. He and his team work with AWS’s largest customers to improve their security, risk and compliance in the cloud. Phil is a frequent speaker at AWS and cloud security events across Australia. Prior to AWS he worked for over 20 years in Information Security in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

New AWS Workbook for Australian energy sector customers now available

Post Syndicated from Julian Busic original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/new-aws-workbook-for-australian-energy-sector-customers-now-available/

I’m pleased to announce the Amazon Web Services (AWS) AESCSF 2019 Workbook, a resource designed to help energy sector customers align with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)’s Australian Energy Sector Cyber Security Framework (AESCSF) 2019.

The workbook helps energy sector customers to:

The AESCSF 2019 framework comprises 11 domains. Each domain contains one or more objectives, with each objective broken down into specific individual practices. Nine of the 11 domains also contain examples of anti-patterns or specific indicators of bad practice.

The AEMO describes the AESCSF 2019 framework as:

“focussed on cyber security maturity and […] therefore not prescriptive in relation to security controls. It describes what your organisation should strive to achieve, but not how they should achieve it.”

Although the framework is not prescriptive, the AEMO has provided a selection of Australian and global informative references mapped to each practice to support organizations seeking control suggestions or recommendations. These references include the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Essential Eight, specific controls from the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001:2013, and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). For further detail, see the AESCSF Framework overview.

It’s important to note that security and compliance is a shared responsibility between AWS and our customers. AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud (that is, the infrastructure that runs all of the services in the AWS Cloud) but customers are responsible for the security of the systems and applications they deploy in the cloud.

The AWS AESCSF 2019 Workbook helps customers align with the AESCSF 2019 framework by providing control mappings for:

The AWS AESCSF 2019 Workbook does not provide mappings to the anti-patterns, because these are specifically focused on helping customers identify bad practices within their organizations.

The downloadable workbook contains two embedded formats:

  • Microsoft Excel – Coverage includes AWS responsibility control statements and Well-Architected Framework best practices.
  • Dynamic HTML – Coverage is the same as in the Microsoft Excel format, with the added feature that the Well-Architected Framework best practices are mapped to AWS Config managed rules and Amazon GuardDuty findings, where available or applicable.

The workbook is available for download through AWS Artifact, accessible through your AWS account.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Author

Julian Busic

Julian is a Security Solutions Architect with a focus on regulatory engagement. He works with our customers, their regulators, and AWS teams to help customers raise the bar on secure cloud adoption and usage. Julian has over 15 years of experience working in risk and technology across the financial services industry in Australia and New Zealand.