Supply Chain Attacks

Non-human identities, such as service accounts that remain unnoticed, perform crucial tasks without human scrutiny. But when their credentials are misused, the effects can be disastrous. This highlights the necessity of protecting non-human identities to avoid supply chain attacks.

Now, let’s explore what supply chain attacks mean and why it’s crucial to secure each part of the supply chain.

What are supply chain attacks?

Attackers who target your organization might gain access to your data through third-party partners or providers because businesses don’t work in isolation. Starting from here, hackers can go on to target a specific point in the supply chain of your organization. They would use techniques like privilege escalation and lateral movement as they evade security radars and work their way upstream across the supply chain. 

Just in the United States, about 61% of businesses faced a threat through their supply chain in 2023. In September 2023, a breach took place through GitHub Dependabot. In this incident, Personal Access Tokens or PATs were stolen and used to make Git commits without permission. A similar incident occurred in December 2022 when an unauthorized commit was made from a machine account’s PAT that had been compromised. These instances highlight how crucial it is to protect both machine accounts and any associated tokens.

The increasing use of external tools and services makes this indirect attack surface even more risky. Due to the complexity of these networks, it causes challenges in the management of non-human identities within the supply chain.

Biggest challenges in securing machine-to-machine access

Securing machine-to-machine access and connections is crucial, as companies are increasingly relying on automated systems and interconnectivity to enhance their operations. Here are some challenges that companies often face when they try to secure these connections:

1. Complexity of integration

In machine-to-machine connection, multiple non-human identities are commonly integrated and each system has its features and security protocols. The intricate nature of these integrations might result in security breaches if not handled correctly. 

2. Scalability

With an organization’s growth, the number of non-human identities and their interactions increases rapidly. One big problem is to make security measures scalable for this expansion without decreasing performance or creating new weaknesses.

3. Authentication and authorization

Every non-human identity needs to be capable of authenticating its communications and appropriate authorization protocols need to be set up for each interaction. Many non-human identities have weak credentials, and it is a logistical and technical difficulty to upgrade to better and secure systems.

Types of non-human identities to manage

Businesses depend increasingly on an intricate network of third-party services, cloud-based structures, and automated methods. As a result, non-human identities become vital entry points for attackers within these networks.

Non-human Identities, such as service accounts, API keys, and automation bots, frequently work with exceptionally high levels of access but without the stricter safety practices applied to human user accounts like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This exposes them to significant API security risks, making them accessible to attackers looking for ways into an organization’s network via less-secured pathways. 

In a supply chain attack, the adversary could target one of these machine identities. For example, if hackers acquire the login details for a service account that interacts with many parts of a system’s supply chain, they can access various important parts of the supply chain and data without permission. 

Securing non-human identities in the supply chain 

We can see that companies need a non-human identity management tool to reduce the supply chain attack surface and protect non-human identities. Entro offers a complete non-human identities security solution for organizations to defend themselves from supply chain attacks.

With Entro you can easily safeguard non-human identities, including service accounts, APIs, and automation tools. Don’t just monitor past data, but also predict possible breaches before they become serious issues. Leverage Entro’s contextual analytics combined with AI-powered threat detection to examine every non-human identity and guarantee everything is safe — from your internal systems to your external supply chain dependencies.

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