Information Security

How Runtime Has Become a Threat

When we think about cyber threats, we think of malware viruses, spyware, and most recently, ransomware. We generally think about potential attacks from the outside. Now, however, a new threat is plaguing the cyber world and infecting businesses from the inside, and it’s something businesses use every day without thinking: runtime.

How It Works

Every software program we use has runtime whether it’s through a company network, cloud-delivered services, or mobile apps. Threat actors have discovered how to use runtime against businesses, planting seemingly harmless pieces of data into application servers. They target email, productivity tools, mobile apps, social media, and IoT devices. When these programs are activated by a user, the pieces of data morph into malicious code during runtime. Because applications send information to RAM and the CPU’s shared memory, the malicious code triggers an application to send information to the wrong location within the shared memory. This allows threat actors to access and steal any type of data. Threat actors seek to escalate privileges and insert more malicious code to get their hands on anything and everything. Runtime manipulation is a sophisticated process, which has led many to believe that elite code developers are responsible.

The Bigger Picture

Runtime is a component of larger cyber-attacks, such as ransomware, and is used to pry the door open in order to gain a wider access to a business’ data. In October of 2017, England’s National Health Service (NHS) was attacked by ransomware because they didn’t take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. NHS Digital had conducted security assessments and found that 88 of the 236 trusts did not meet the required cyber security standards prior to the attack, but no changes were made.

In this case, the ransomware attack not only affected patients on a technical level but also on a health level. Because of the ransomware attack, almost 7,000 appointments were cancelled, which included operations and urgent referrals for about 140 patients who potentially had cancer.

The healthcare industry can't afford to remain vulnerable with all the confidential information they have in their databases. Healthcare establishments need to implement high-security standards if they want to ensure complete care and confidentiality of their patients. 

Prepare for the Attack

Runtime attacks are in the beginning stages, but technology advances at a rapid rate, which means your business could be the next target of a stronger version of runtime threats. Most of the time, businesses fall victim to cyber-attacks because they don’t do the bare minimum, such as updating software and applying patches. Why take the risk and wait for the attack? Upgrade your cybersecurity with our services.

Orenda Security is a team of professionals who specialize in DAST and application assessment. Our professionals could customize our penetration testing to optimize your system. We have the knowledge and expertise to protect your data and that of your customers from cyber threats. Let our managed DAST services empower your development team by contacting us today at Info@orendasecurity.com or request a quote!

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