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Sep 05, 2023

BLACK HAT USA 2023: Key Insights and Takeaways

Looking back at  Black Hat USA 2023, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts and insight into the latest trends, threats, and innovations discussed at this year’s event. The cybersecurity landscape is continuously evolving and ever changing, and as the technology in this sphere develops at a rapid speed it’s critical for organizations, and individuals alike to stay informed and be ahead of the curve.

  1. The Rise of Generative AI in Cybersecurity

It should come as no surprise to anyone that AI was a dominant topic at Black Hat this year. Since Open AI & Chat GPT hit the airwaves  in 2020 & then November 2022 it’s been clear that we are on the brink of a technology shift that will impact the world in which we currently live. This free and easy access use of Open AI technology has enabled everyone, everywhere to access the world of AI but it has brought a level of threat the likes of which we haven’t recently seen. The integration of generative AI presents a double-edged sword, with both defenders and hackers being able to leverage its capabilities. As AI technology continues to advance, it spawns new attack vectors that malicious actors can, and most likely will, attempt to exploit. In fact generative AI is already being exploited today through the creation of sophisticated phishing attacks. At the simplest level, attackers are able to utilize generative AI to create highly personalized and contextually relevant phishing emails, and this is just the beginning. Simultaneously, defenders are harnessing AI to fortify their security measures. Not to mention what will come with AI generated voice and video content (deep fakes) and the potential havoc they will unfold on security and IDV systems.

Organizations can feel encouraged that generative AI offers the ability to shore up cyberdefense. It accelerates threat detection and response times, offering a more accurate identification of potential vulnerabilities. However, its implementation mandates a dynamic approach to cybersecurity, necessitating a constant evolution of defensive strategies to counteract evolving threats, but this should not be seen as a negative – it’s merely a reinforcement of best practice cyber hygiene rules.

  1. Fortifying Cyber Resilience in an Evolving Landscape

In alignment with AI concerns, ‘cyber resilience’ also emerged as a paramount focus during the conference. With the proliferation of managed and unmanaged connected assets, the cyber landscape is continually ever-expanding, and this demands a shift in the way enterprises and governments approach cybersecurity. There is a critical need to establish robust and resilient programs that can withstand and recover from cyberattacks.  During the speaking sessions at Black Hat, experts emphasized that cyber resilience transcends mere prevention—it embodies the ability to adapt, respond, and recover from cyber incidents swiftly. This holistic approach aligns with the dynamic nature of modern cyber threats, underscoring the importance of proactive planning and the integration of advanced technologies.

  1. The XDR Alliance: A Collaborative Approach

As you’ll know if you read my recent blog on Armis’ North Star, Vision and Growth, Collaboration is a buzz word at Armis. It’s a cornerstone of our company culture and a key driver of our success. At Black Hat 2023, the XDR (Extended Detection and Response) Alliance, championed the importance of collaboration. Cybersecurity vendors need to collaborate effectively if we are to combat the evolving threat landscape. The alliance fosters the exchange of expertise, insights, and best practices to create a more fortified defense against cyber criminals.

Members of the XDR alliance, including Armis, stressed that unified efforts are vital in confronting the sophisticated tactics employed by malicious actors. The alliance’s emphasis on collective strength is aimed at fortifying the cybersecurity industry and safeguarding organizations from the relentless onslaught of cyberattacks, thus introducing new open-source API specifications, enabling top cybersecurity vendors to collaborate and integrate their advanced solutions. This approach is extremely beneficial for global customer organizations streamlining their cybersecurity tools and enhancing threat detection, investigation, and response capabilities.

  1. Addressing Critical Vulnerabilities: A Call to Action

Sharing unique and proprietary insights is a core remit here at Armis and this year we presented our proprietary vulnerability research findings, namely Crit.IX.

In May 2022, Armis and Honeywell jointly uncovered vulnerabilities discovered in Honeywell’s Experion® Platforms for Distributed Control Systems (DCS). We found 13 code issues within the Experion C300 controller and server, resulting in the identification of 9 new vulnerabilities, 7 of which were deemed critical.  We united our efforts to investigate and understand the underlying issues, and provide patches.

We encourage all affected parties to promptly apply patches to safeguard their systems from potential exploitation. If you missed the discussion at Black Hat then you can find out more information about the Crit.IX vulnerabilties and if your organization is affected.

Conclusion:

Black Hat USA 2023 provided valuable insights into the rapidly evolving world of cybersecurity. The advent of generative AI, cyber resilience, the power of collaboration through the XDR Alliance, and the call to action against critical vulnerabilities all emphasized the need for vigilance, adaptability, and collective effort in safeguarding digital landscapes. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and proactive remains paramount.

The battle against cyber threats is ongoing, but with Armis, you’ll always be one step ahead; The Armis Platform can help your organisation gain unparalleled visibility and control over your connected devices. With a comprehensive solution that extends across IT, IoT, and OT environments, Armis empowers you to stay ahead of threats and maintain the integrity of your operations.

If you missed us at Black Hat USA 2023 take a look at our recent webinar or request a demo to learn more about Armis, the asset intelligence cybersecurity company.

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