Unstructured Data Shield (UDS)

In the face of ever-growing threats from cyber-attacks, UDS is the single solution that addresses all aspects of protecting unstructured data to meet business needs and regulatory obligations while reducing legal liabilities and financial losses. UDS is the first ever data file protection solution that covers the entire environment and is designed to withstand the most sophisticated attacks like Solarwinds supply chain attack with the one of toughest encryption scheme engineered. Its protection stands even after the breach.

To better understand UDS, think of it as the opposite of the “ransomware”, when bad guys break through a business’s cybersecurity line and encrypt all their files so that the business cannot operate. Utilizing UDS, companies can beat hackers to the punch, encrypting either all or their most important files, so when bad guys break through the security and try to access the data will they find that those files are completely inaccessible to them.

UDS is a data-centric enterprise solution with a core principle: data belongs to the organization, and user’s access to the data is not a right but a privilege that can be removed at the discretion of the organization, e.g. after an employee leaves the organization. The UDS patented technology limits access of data to only those who have an absolute need to use those files, and the cloud design allows it to scale up to accommodate all businesses and their future growth.

In the case of a data protection, the sum of the parts does not make it whole – there are three unique features that make data files the perfect targets of cyber criminals:

  1. The vast number of files just keeps growing. More than 80 percent of enterprise data are stored in files. Every time a file gets shared, moved, or backed up, a new copy is created, often on different devices.
  2. Files are subject only to local access control. When a data file is stored on a device, it is subject only to the local user’s access privileges, meaning an admin of any device can access every file stored on that This provides an often-overlooked opportunity for cyber criminals to attempt to escalate privileged access on remote devices.
  3. Data files exist everywhere and there are no easy ways to enumerate them. Each time a file’s access is shared through the cloud, a network, or by email, a few copies of the same files are created and stored on various devices, including storage, backup, servers and end devices, and at different Each copy of the same file is subject to different access control depending on who has access to those servers. More importantly, the file will exist until it is permanently deleted, which can be a very long time.

Over time, many solutions and products have been created to deal with a small part of a larger problem:

  1. Cloud encryption at rest for the files stored on the cloud
  2. Utilizing SharePoint and Box to manage access to files in cloud storage
  3. Loss prevention solutions on the end devices to monitor user’s actions
  4. VPN to encrypt files in transit
  5. Encryption at rest on selected local devices
  6. Key management solutions to enable on-premise encryption

Unfortunately, the sum of the parts does not equal the whole and the result is an ever-increasing number of data breaches; concurrently, organizational cyber security budgets increase every year. Files are stolen from the end devices, from the servers, from the cloud storage and from the email servers, simply because the files are not protected at rest on all devices and are not subject to a universal access management. UDS was created to solve this previously unsolvable problem. It ensures that files are always encrypted, at rest and in transit, and are subject to the same access management everywhere for everyone.

With UDS, businesses can consolidate all their data file protection within a single solution, no matter how many copies of the files exist and where they are. With UDS, privilege escalation no longer permits access to the files; impersonation can only attack a small number of files before being caught; and stealing files no longer means data access.

UDS provides excellent ROI:      

  1. Reduce the cost of other solutions that are no longer needed, or reduce to smaller scales
  2. Reduce financial loss due to data breaches
  3. Reduce or stabilize cyber insurance costs
  4. Reduce costs to stay compliant with data protection laws and regulations

Embedded Shield: protecting the critical infrastructure

Security for embedded systems has been lacking for many reasons. One obvious reason is that attacks on embedded systems are rare. Those systems are highly specialized, so normal cyber criminals do not have the knowledge, nor the economic interest, in developing viruses like “Stuxnet”. But it becomes a different story when considering a possible state sponsored attack. Attacks on embedded systems always come with the intent of strategic disruption and often lead to catastrophic consequences…  virus that target embedded systems are categorized as “cyber warfare” for good reasons.

Called by some as “cyber-missile” a decade ago, the “Stuxnet” virus changed how the world views cyber security forever. By modifying the firmware of the system’s logic controller, the virus destroyed nearly a thousand of Iran’s otherwise impenetrable gas centrifuges used to make weapons-grade uranium, and put Iran’s nuclear ambitions at least temporarily on hold.

There are two known pathways to attack an embedded system:

  1. Gaining access to the system’s user interface through remote access software like TeamViewer and Remote Desktop. In February 2021, a Florida water treatment plant control system was accessed by hackers through the remote access software TeamViewer. The hacker then increased the purification chemicals added to the water to poisonous levels using the control software’s user interface. Fortunately, the movement on the screen was caught by a user who happened to be monitoring the system at the time. He reversed the changes and averted the potential disaster. This type of attack is rare since most control units don’t provide remote The damage is often limited since most systems limit changes that can be achieved through user interfaces to avoid accidental damage caused by human error; it is also easy to spot and correct. But this could open the door for viruses and lead to more sophisticated attacks.
  2. Gaining access to the system, escalating access privileges and making stealthy changes without being caught. Once the virus obtains the root privilege, it replaces or modifies the binary code and/or configuration files to hijack the communication between the control unit and embedded systems, injecting malicious commands which eventually leads to the damage. This was the pathway taken by the “Stuxnet” virus.

A security system that guards the entrance to a government building could be compromised to let bad guys in and lock the good guys out; a hacked monitoring system could fail to alert of an active attack or even worse, sends the wrong signal; a breached surveillance system could be stopped during a crime or history files could be altered. Fearing possible attacks on the national or regional grids, some have even suggested bringing back analog controls like physical buttons and dials as a “failsafe”.

Currently, protecting embedded systems has relied solely on protecting the command and control units, which often run on well-known operating systems and have the same vulnerability to cyber-attacks, which potentially may open the exact route taken by “Stuxnet” and those follows.

The Embedded Shield takes a new approach, however, creating a completely independent protection for the firmware and other critical data files that will remain unbreakable even after virus has affected the control unit. This protection is designed to establish a two-layered defense system that is unique to the UDS embedded system.

First, the Embedded Shield encrypts firmware and configuration-related data files. This prevents the information from being stolen. Because each embedded system is different, having a thorough understanding of the firmware, configuration and schematics is often the first step to a cyber-attack. Without intimate knowledge of the schematics and the ability to create a mirrored system, it is nearly impossible to develop a virus to attack the system.

The second layer of protection plays a critical role after the command unit is infected by a virus. The UDS-protected firmware and configuration cannot be changed or modified by a virus, and that is usually the most effective pathway for a virus to launch an attack. “Stuxnet” initiated its attack by replacing one of the runtime library files to give itself the ability to monitor and modify the communication between the control unit and the embedded board so it could inject the false commands. The Embedded Shield blocks this sort of action and therefore stops an attack.

We should have no illusions that cyber-attacks on our critical infrastructure will stop and our current cyber defense is sufficient. The Embedded Shield is designed to prevent the attacks as the second line of defense and protect an embedded system after all other measures have failed so the critical infrastructures can continue function.

Contact us to see how you can protect the critical infrastructure with Embedded Shield