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Cyber Security

Can Quantum Computers Be Hacked? New Research Identifies Top Threats

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The study was presented during the cyber festival Positive Hack Days 2 taking place on May 23–26 at the Luzhniki sports complex in Moscow

Reporting from Moscow, Russia: Gartner predicts nearly half of large enterprises will be exploring it by 2025, and investment is surging (reaching a record $2.35 billion in 2023 according to McKinsey). But this exciting field isn’t just attracting legitimate players. A new study by Positive Technologies, QBoard, QApp, and the Russian Quantum Center highlights the top cybersecurity threats to quantum technologies. Information theft, software vulnerabilities, and attacks targeting the quantum internet are the most concerning areas.

The study identifies five key vulnerabilities, with the first four targeting quantum computers specifically and the final one impacting quantum communication channels:

  1. Physical threats related to the instability and sensitivity of qubits (quantum bits). Experts believe that attackers can carry out denial-of-service (DoS) attacks: for example, by heating up quantum computers and causing interference to corrupt data. At present, such attacks are possible because the equipment is highly sensitive to the external environment, which may allow attackers to cause equipment malfunction.
  2. Theft of confidential information. Experts predict that the stolen results of quantum computing will be highly valued by attackers, as the quantum systems and the calculations based on them are very expensive.
  3. Vulnerabilities in software designed for quantum computing will also pose a serious threat. They have already been found in some underlying solutions. For example, two high-severity vulnerabilities have been discovered in the NVIDIA cuQuantum Appliance: CVE-2023-36632 and CVE-2018-20225. Another high-severity vulnerability was found in the Quantum Development Kit library for Visual Studio Code: CVE-2021-27082. In the future, the exploitation of quantum software vulnerabilities could lead to leakage of sensitive information, hijacking of hardware resources, and disabling equipment.
  4. Threat to cloud computing. The development of cloud-based quantum solutions is likely to encourage attackers to actively search for vulnerabilities in solutions of various vendors and attack IT companies that provide quantum-based services. Typical cyber threats here include improper configuration of cloud services, vulnerabilities in cloud services, insecure data storage, insecure data processing by service providers, and denial-of-service attacks. These issues also pose a threat to Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) infrastructures.
  5. Attacks against the quantum internet. Attacks against the quantum internet pursue goals similar to those of attacks on conventional networks: stealing information, disrupting the integrity or availability of quantum nodes or quantum networks, and hijacking quantum connections or computational resources.

“The emergence of a truly powerful quantum computer, capable of solving mathematical problems that are unsolvable today, will take the race between the tech giants to a new level. Computation results will become more valuable to competitors and hackers alike. And safeguarding the results of quantum computing will be a major function of cybersecurity,” comments Ekaterina Snegireva, Senior Analyst at Positive Technologies. “The usual race between cyberattackers and defenders will also move to a new level with the advent of quantum computers.”

According to the experts, the threats to post-quantum cryptography are no less significant. As noted in the study, the “store now, decrypt later” tactic will allow attackers to decrypt the stolen data in the future, using a more powerful quantum computer. As a result, a lot of sensitive data is already at risk. To protect themselves, some companies are starting to implement the so-called post-quantum cryptography methods.

“Quantum technologies will enter a phase of complex development efforts in 2025–2030 and beyond. New high-tech products and services will be created by combining quantum technology with adjacent and complementary technologies such as biomedical engineering, new materials, artificial intelligence, and more. These products and services are expected to be implemented in the high-priority sectors of the economy,” says Yaroslav Borisov, Head of New Projects at Kvant Joint Venture, LLC. “As a result, a new high-tech industry will emerge, offering market-driven solutions, products, and services for various needs, including cybersecurity.”

“Due to the rapid development of quantum technologies and the emergence of the quantum industry, we must start thinking about their possible implications as soon as possible,” mentions Aleksey Fedorov, Head of the Science Team at the Russian Quantum Center. “Along with obvious advantages, quantum computers create a threat to information infrastructures which are based on conventional cryptographic algorithms. Now is the time to embrace quantum-resistant solutions. In addition, quantum computing services themselves may be targeted, given their importance for various tasks. To fully integrate quantum computing into business processes, we need to anticipate possible attack scenarios and eliminate weaknesses that would enable such attacks.”

“Middleware and end-user software based on post-quantum algorithms can improve the cybersecurity of a wide range of solutions, including those leveraging quantum technologies. Technology synergies with quantum communications solutions have been identified and are being tested, and work is underway in other areas,” comments Anton Guglya, CEO of QApp.

However, due to the high variability of emerging quantum tech-based products, there are currently no comprehensive cybersecurity tools for quantum technology in the market. Some vendors, including Positive Technologies, see the launch of new bug bounty programs to find vulnerabilities in quantum systems as a promising option. Another important step for the future of cybersecurity is quantum key distribution. Many research centres are now working on this concept, with the expectation of creating more secure communication channels.

Cyber Security

Netskope Joins Google Workspace Security Alliance

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Netskope has joined the Google Workspace Security Alliance to extend security and data protection for Workspace users. The Netskope One Platform provides a number of advanced security capabilities that protect data, defend against threats, and ensure users have fast and secure access to Google Workspace productivity and collaboration tools, including Gemini for Workspace.

As organizations increasingly adopt cloud technologies to drive innovation and efficiency, they are also challenged to secure sensitive data from a range of cyber risks, including:

  • Ongoing increases in the number of users uploading sensitive data to personal instances of cloud applications
  • New and evolving threat techniques such as abuse of certain applications for critical data access, back doors, and financial gain; compromise of credentials to access critical business data; insider threats; and more
  • Data exposure from the insecure use of both managed and unmanaged AI-based productivity tools

Netskope and Google Workspace empower organizations to embrace modern collaboration and productivity by enabling the secure use of AI-based productivity tools. Netskope provides advanced data loss prevention (DLP) techniques, delivering real-time visibility and control over users, data, and corporate vs. personal cloud instances. In addition, Netskope’s comprehensive threat protection through both API and inline controls detects threats in Google applications and monitors data movement and threat propagation between Google Workspace apps and third-party ecosystem applications.

“Netskope is proud to expand its partnership with Google Workspace by joining the Workspace Security Alliance. There are already thousands of customers using Netskope to safeguard their Google Workspace applications, and this new partnership further enhances the secure usage capabilities for application specific data protection policies,” said Andy Horwitz, VP, Global Partner Ecosystems, Netskope. “Together, Netskope and Google Workspace can help customers modernize their productivity stack. We look forward to helping customers safely optimize their employees’ daily productivity.”

The Netskope and Google Workspace partnership enables organizations to embrace collaboration and productivity while safeguarding critical data. Joint customers can now more effectively:

  1. Support best practice use of Gemini for Google Workspace: Leverage real-time user coaching to help enforce best practices in application usage. Organizations can gain visibility into data movement to minimize sensitive information sharing while achieving data compliance objectives.
  2. Protect sensitive data: Detect and manage access to sensitive data within Google Workspace applications, enforcing policies to prevent unauthorized data movement across platforms, including third-party services like Microsoft OneDrive, Box and Dropbox.
  3. Stop insider threats like data exfiltration: Prevent the download of sensitive data from Google Workspace business instances and then the upload to personal instances, which is one of today’s top reasons for data loss. Additionally, apply this control to unmanaged devices: allow unmanaged or personal device access to a specific cloud app for collaboration, however, do not allow downloading of sensitive data.
  4. Detect and stop elusive threats and malware: Protect against malware and phishing delivered from the cloud. Netskope’s multi-layered advanced threat protection (ATP) enhances security within Google Workspace and across cloud applications.
  5. Maintain compliance in Google Workspace: Ensure that organizations can adhere to regulations and meet compliance needs by enforcing security policies within Google Workspace.

“By partnering with Netskope, a leading SASE vendor, customers can confidently expand their Google Workspace adoption leveraging their existing IT infrastructure investments,” said Nikhil Sinha, Group Product Manager, Google Workspace. “Netskope instance awareness enables fine grained data governance policy differences to both corporate and personal Google Workspace accounts. We are excited to partner with Netskope to provide these advanced security capabilities to our customers.”

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Channel Talk

AmiViz and BitSight Join Forces to Elevate Middle East Risk Management

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AmiViz has partnered with Bitsight, a leading provider of cyber risk management solutions. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in bolstering cybersecurity capabilities across the region and facilitating Bitsight’s expansion efforts in the Middle East.

The partnership between AmiViz and Bitsight will enhance the cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East by introducing state-of-the-art solutions designed to tackle the evolving cyber threats confronting regional organizations. With both companies committed to improving cybersecurity awareness and resilience, they are set to pave the way for a safer and more secure digital environment in the region.

Commenting on the partnership with Bitsight, Ilyas Mohammed, COO at AmiViz said, “Our decision to onboard Bitsight demonstrates our commitment towards the evolution of the cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East. As organizations grapple with increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, the partnership between these two industry leaders promises to deliver enhanced value by equipping organizations with the tools and insights needed to effectively manage cyber risks and safeguard their digital assets in an ever-evolving threat landscape.”

Bitsight’s solutions can proactively assess and manage their cyber risk exposure and provide organizations with actionable intelligence to optimize their security investments, streamline vendor risk management processes, and enhance cyber resilience. With a focus on continuous monitoring and data-driven insights, Bitsight empowers organizations to make informed decisions and stay ahead of emerging cyber threats.

The Middle East has often been an attractive target for cyber-attacks, and this partnership will empower companies to address vulnerabilities and protect their digital assets proactively. By combining AmiViz’s deep understanding of the regional market dynamics with Bitsight’s cutting-edge technology and global expertise, the partnership will offer next-generation cybersecurity solutions tailored to the unique challenges and requirements of Middle Eastern organizations.

“We are proud to partner with AmiViz to transform the cyber risk management landscape in the Middle East,” said Xavier Artiguebieille, Senior Vice President, EMEA Sales at Bitsight. “Our combined efforts will equip organizations with the critical tools and intelligence needed to navigate and mitigate the complexities of modern cyber threats, enhancing their overall security and resilience.”

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Artificial Intelligence

ESET’s New AI Assistant Streamlines Threat Detection and Response

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ESET has introduced ESET AI Advisor, an innovative generative AI-based cybersecurity assistant that transforms incident response and interactive risk analysis. First showcased at RSA Conference 2024, the new solution is now available as part of the ESET PROTECT MDR Ultimate subscription tier and ESET Threat Intelligence.

Unlike other vendor offerings and typical generative AI assistants that focus on soft features like administration or device management, ESET AI Advisor seamlessly integrates into the day-to-day operations of security analysts, conducting in-depth analysis. Building on over two decades of ESET’s expertise in AI-driven endpoint protection, the offering provides detailed incident data and SOC team-level advisory. This is a game-changer for companies with limited IT resources who want to utilize the advantages of advanced Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions and threat intelligence feeds.

“As cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated, ESET remains committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that address these challenges. The ESET AI Advisor module represents a significant leap forward in our mission to close the cybersecurity skills gap and empower organizations to safeguard their digital assets effectively,” said Juraj Malcho, Chief Technology Officer at ESET.

One of the primary benefits of this new solution is closing the cybersecurity skills gap. Security analysts of all skill levels can use ESET AI Advisor to conduct interactive risk identification, analysis, and response capabilities, which are provided in an easily understandable format. The user-friendly interface makes sophisticated threat data actionable even for less experienced IT and security professionals.

The ESET AI Advisor also excels in facilitating faster decision-making for critical incidents. Security analysts can simply consult the ESET AI Advisor to understand the specific threats their environment faces. Leveraging extensive XDR collected data, the ESET AI Advisor identifies and analyzes potential malware threats, providing intuitive insights into their behaviour and impact. It assists in recognizing phishing attempts and advising users on how to avoid falling victim to fraudulent emails or websites. By monitoring network traffic, the ESET AI Advisor can flag unusual or suspicious behaviour, helping security teams take appropriate action. Its ability to automate repetitive tasks is an additional advantage. Managing routine processes such as data collection, extraction, and basic threat detection, allows security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

In ESET Threat Intelligence, the new module will help researchers analyze vast quantities of unique APT reports and understand latest developments in world of cyber threats. With its conversational prompts and interactive dialogue, ESET AI Advisor empowers organizations to analyze and mitigate threats effortlessly and fortify their cybersecurity posture.

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