By Source Defense

Cyber security is about risk mitigation. With headlines about ransomware attacks dominating media headlines over the past couple of years – and over the past few days – it makes sense that a majority of our recent focus as an industry has been on protecting against those attacks. That said, we all know that there are a myriad of different ways our adversaries can hurt our organizations, and we can’t lose sight of the broader need to shore up our defenses just because the headlines sway one direction.

Client-side attacks like digital skimming, formjacking, Magecart, etc. were dominating headlines before the ransomware scourge. These attacks haven’t gone away despite the lack of media focus, and are actually on the rise. These attacks lead to customer data loss, damaged business reputation, and compliance and regulatory nightmares for those companies that fail to recognize that the web attack surface has moved beyond the server to the client-side (the browser). 

For as long as I can remember, we’ve focused on shoring up protections for data in transit and at rest. We’ve made significant advancements, and as a result, cybercriminals have evolved their tactics, techniques, and procedures to exploit massive vulnerabilities at the data point of entry — the web browser. The good news is that addressing client-side risk – protecting data at the point of entry – is perhaps one of the easiest things you’ll do in your career.

Adopting a client-side security solution from Source Defense is a rapid, simple, and beyond cost effective proposition in comparison to the material risk reduction for the organization. It adds no additional strain on already strained teams – and it actually delivers benefits for each of the major business units involved. Digital/Marketing/e-commerce teams benefit, Security teams benefit, and Governance Risk and Compliance teams benefit.    

Win 1: Support the Business

To succeed in today’s business environment, web developers must be capable of moving at the speed of the market and their customers. To help drive revenue, the business owners of the website need to make real-time decisions about what third-party partners to allow into their website and where (especially for those organizations that manage multiple brand properties). However, many organizations find this to be a daunting task, thanks to cumbersome security and compliance reviews. And there are good reasons for those reviews.

The way websites are developed and operate today makes them a supply chain security disaster waiting to happen. Source code is rarely developed entirely in-house. Instead, sites pull in code for advertising, shopping carts, contact forms, analytics, and a wide range of other capabilities. What this means is that when somebody pulls up your company’s website on their computer, they are being fed code from your server and the servers of potentially dozens of third-party partner organizations that make up your digital supply chain.

Making matters worse, because so many companies use the same shopping carts, form providers, advertising brokers, and analytics plugins, cybercriminals don’t have to develop unique methods to compromise your website. In fact, it can become a relatively trivial task for criminals to leverage vulnerable Javascript to conduct keylogging, data scraping, formjacking, ad injections, and clickjacking.

Source Defense is a business enabling solution. We put the digital/marketing/e-commerce teams in the driver’s seat while at the same time providing the visibility, assurance and control that Security and GRC teams must demand. With Source Defense you gain the ability to:

  • Protect brand reputation and profit margin
  • Gain complete control over when and what 3rd party tools go on the site
  • Enhance user experience without concern for security breaches or compliance violations
  • Eliminate the risk of client-side attacks at a similar cost to your existing digital solutions

Win 2: Mitigate 3rd Party Digital Supply Chain Risk 

Securing your digital supply chain starts with understanding what is running on your website. It is critical that you maintain an inventory of every script running on the site that belongs to you and your third- or fourth-party suppliers, as well as ensure that each script is authorized.

Assuring the integrity of third-party scripts is amassive challenge for most security teams. It is not uncommon for scripts to dynamically change based on user experience or for thousands of changes to be made to third-party scripts each year, making the process of code review and vetting nearly impossible without an automated solution. 

It is absolutely necessary for organizations to be able to automatically defeat client-side attacks and thwart data leakage. Security teams are stretched to the limit, with most dealing with workforce shortages, lack of expertise, and information overload in the form of dozens of separate security tools generating unmanageable amounts of alerts. Therefore, client-side security protections should be delivered as a few lines of code, with no additional screens for your Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts to monitor and no additional alerts to triage. 

With client-side attacks becoming the most favored attack vector for cybercriminals, why would any security team open their digital infrastructure to third parties without visibility into their code? Securing your digital supply chain requires a “trust but verify” approach to vetting, support for least privilege access and comprehensive monitoring, and a technology solution that adds no additional work to your already overworked security team.

Win 3: Get in the Driver’s Seat on Compliance

It should be clear at this point that client-side security is a critical component of third-party digital supply chain risk management. As such, it is fundamental to ensure compliance with PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and other data privacy mandates.

Risk management starts with visibility — the type of visibility that enables you to know who your partners are, verify their purpose, and control their actions. To do this effectively requires a technology solution that enables you to implement policy controls out-of-the-box that can be customized to your individual business needs.

Staying ahead of compliance pitfalls also requires a technology solution that streamlines the assessment and review process, demonstrates adequate security controls, and logs and quantifies thwarted policy violations.

Final Thoughts

Adopting client-side security from Source Defense isn’t the same proposition you’re used to – it doesn’t require a lengthy proof of concept, major disruption for installation and tuning, a team full of new resources to manage it – it is easy, effective and immediately beneficial to uniting the business, security, and GRC units under a single risk management umbrella that protects the organization from harm.

Source Defense already secures more than $20bn in annual revenues and prevents nearly two billion compliance policy violations per month for some of the world’s largest companies. The Source Defense Platform offers the most comprehensive solution to detect website skimming, formjacking, and supply chain attacks and stop them before they affect your website or your customers.

Get a demo of the Source Defense Platform to protect your organization from client-side risk.

PCI DSS 4.0 makes client-side security a priority.

Source Defense delivers a solution for 6.4.3 and 11.6.1 without adding a burden to your security teams.