Aqua Security, a renowned platform provider for securing cloud native applications and infrastructure, announced Aqua Dynamic Threat Analysis (DTA), a new product offering that protects container-based environments against sophisticated malware that can only be detected using dynamic analysis of a running container, and available as an option within Aqua’s Cloud Native Security Platform (CSP).

The company also announced enhancements to its CSPM SaaS platform (based on its acquisition of CloudSploit in 2019), which now includes Aqua DTA, image vulnerability scanning, and expanded support for cloud environments. Aqua DTA is currently available in preview, with general availability expected later.

Rising Threat of Image-Based Malware

Recently, the Aqua Security cyber research team has uncovered increasingly sophisticated attacks on containers that use obfuscation and evasion techniques to avoid detection by static scanners. Such attacks utilise novel, innocuous-looking images to embed their own code, which is often encrypted or deployed as polymorphic malware to avoid detection. The malicious behaviour of the image can only be observed when it runs as a container.

“We’ve been seeing organised attacks that aim for cryptocurrency mining, credential theft, data exfiltration, or using containers for DDoS attacks.” says Amir Jerbi, CTO and Co-Founder of Aqua.

Software supply chain

By identifying these behaviours before deploying images, Aqua DTA shifts left"

"To achieve these objectives, the container will exhibit a variety of suspicious behaviours, such as unpacking malicious payloads during runtime, opening reverse shell, executing malware from memory to avoid detection, connecting to known command and control servers, and more. By identifying these behaviours before deploying images, Aqua DTA ‘shifts left’ what used to be done only as a late response to incidents during runtime,” he added.

Aqua DTA addresses these risks by automatically running images in a secure sandboxed environment, then analysing, tracing, and classifying the detected behaviours. The sandbox prevents the malware from doing any harm to other workloads and resources on the host or network. Using Aqua DTA allows security and DevOps teams to improve the security of their software supply chain and reduce risk to runtime environments.

Software development life cycle

Aqua DTA is recommended to address the following needs:

  • Approving public images and their open source packages – as part of the security policies of the user's software development life cycle (SDLC).
  • Approving ISV’s third-party Images – scanning third-party images from independent software vendors before introducing them into the organisation.
  • Pre-production security gate – scanning release candidate images before they are promoted to production from CI/CD pipelines or registries, as an added layer of protection.
  • Analysis and forensics – quickly analysing image runtime behavior to understand anomalies or perform forensics after a suspected incident.

Within Aqua’s Cloud Native Security Platform, DTA can be configured to automatically scan only images within a specific scope, for example according to a label or within a named registry.

Seamless Cloud-Native Security

The vulnerability scanner included in the preview currently supports AWS environments

Aqua has also revamped its cloud security posture management (CSPM) solution, following its acquisition of CloudSploit in 2019. The new solution is now called Aqua CSPM, and includes Preview versions of both Aqua DTA, as well as integrated container image vulnerability scanning based on Aqua’s Trivy open source scanner. The vulnerability scanner included in the preview currently supports AWS environments, with additional registry support planned throughout the year.

Aqua is the first and only solution that extends CSPM into cloud native security with an integrated offering that discovers container image registries, scans images for vulnerabilities, and detect hidden malware threats in a single, seamless workflow. These capabilities go beyond securing the cloud infrastructure to secure the applications running on it, typically the function of Cloud Workload Protection Platforms (CWPP).

Enhancing security control

In a recent report, Gartner recommends that organisations “consider a comprehensive cloud-native application protection platform that combines the needs mentioned above, container scanning, serverless scanning, CWPP and CSPM, in a single platform.” The report names Aqua Security as one of three vendors that converge CWPP and CSPM.

Additional recent enhancements to Aqua CSPM include:

  • General Availability of its support for Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud environments
  • Scanning of Terraform templates in addition to the previously available AWS CloudFormation templates, enhancing security control over Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) tooling
  • Automated GDPR compliance reports, facilitating compliance with the European privacy requirements
Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems
COVID-19 worries boost prospects of touchless biometric systems

Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favour are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”

How to maximise your body temperature detection systems
How to maximise your body temperature detection systems

There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system.  The first thing you should ask is “does my firm have a certified thermographer?”. If not, the firm are at risk of getting a low quality system that is being resold to make quick cash. Businesses that are doing this do not know how to operate it properly. Asking the right questions Secondly, you should ask whether the system is NDAA compliant. NDAA compliance means that your temperature detection equipment is protected by U.S. law. Does your system have a HSRP device (blackbody)? HSRP (Heat Source Reference Point) is a device that will allow the camera to detect the correct temperature a distance. Even if the room temperature does change throughout the day, treat it as a reference point for the camera to know the temperature at that distance. Can your system scan mutliple people at once? Can your system scan mutliple people at once? This is a bad question but often asked since most systems will say yes. For ease, everyone wants to scan many people at once, but the best practice according to FDA and CDC guidelines is to run one person at a time for best accuracy. Why? The HSRP (blackbody) device tells the camera what the correct temperature is at a given distance away from the camera. Every foot you are away from the HSRP device will be off by 0.1 degrees roughly. If you are in a room full of people, let's say 6, in view of the camera, every person that is not next to the HSRP device (5) will be given an inaccurate reading. Hence why it is so important to run the system correctly with just one person at a time. You will also need to follow the 6 feet rule. If you take that into consideration, one at a time at 6 feet apart, the device should tell you how you need to run the system. Sensitivity of thermal imaging Is your system’s sensor accurate enough? The FDA recommends an error of ±0.5°C or better. When looking for a system, make sure it is better than what they recommend. I would recommend ±0.3°C or better. Do not purchase a system over ±-.5°C degrees as you are doing yourself and your customers or employees an injustice.  Another thing to look at is how many pixels it can determine the temperature from. Some cameras can only tell the temperature of 6 points on the screen, whilst others can take a temperature reading from each pixel. Take a 384x288 camera, for example, which would be over 110,000 points of temperature taking on a single image.      Thermal cameras are very sensitive, so there are a lot of do’s and don’ts. For example, the system cannot see through glasses or hats. On the below image you can see a person with the visual camera on the right, whilst on the left side is through a thermal camera.  Both are pointing at the same area. It is clear the person on the left side is “invisible” to the thermal imaging camera. Demonstrating the sensitivity of thermal imaging If you are a company who wants to detect the temperature of customers or employees though the front door, window or a car window, the answer would be no. You need a clear line of sight without any interference to scan for temperatures. Other things you need to look out for is wind and distance away from the HSRP (blackbody) device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate the more space between the device. Air and distance away from the HSRP device will make the system less and less accurate Thermal imaging and COVID-19 If you have a clear line of sight, is there anything I need to know? The answer is yes. Reflective materials such as metal can interfere with your temperature readings. Reflective materials are easily picked up from the thermal side so pointing at a medal, glass or anything reflective can cause inaccuracies within the system. In the age of COVID-19, temperature detection systems are more important than ever. Organisations must get a system in place to help scan for high temperatures in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?
What are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?

Protecting the oil and gas market is key to a thriving economy. The list of security challenges for oil and gas requires the best technology solutions our industry has to offer, from physical barriers to video systems to cybersecurity. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what are the security challenges of the oil and gas market?