Creating a Secure Cyber Security Supply Chain

We all know the importance of maintaining a solid cyber security capability and maintaining a secure cyber posture. We all know the stats about malware, ransomware, cyber IP Theft, data breach fines, and compliance mandates. I don’t think there’s anyone left that does not understand that they need to be cyber secure.

One of the big questions that remains is simply this: “Who do I trust?” And this extends into the supply chain for your service providers and vendors of both software and hardware.

“All organisations should consider cyber supply chain risk management”. – The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)

The National Cyber Security Centre in the UK (NCSC) documents the type of attacks that could occur through a third party software provider, including compromise of industrial control systems on critical infrastructure.

In the US, the Federal Government has introduced the Cyber Security Maturity Model (CMMC) to mandate minimum security posture for all suppliers to government to assess and enhance the cybersecurity posture of the Defense Industrial base. The CMMC is intended to serve as a verification mechanism to ensure appropriate levels of cybersecurity practices and processes are in place to ensure basic cyber hygiene as well as protect controlled unclassified information (CUI) that resides on the Department’s industry partners’ networks.

Outside of government, there are still very few companies that set business standards for their suppliers or truly understand the security implications of the vendors that they might choose – especially if they are choosing  based on price. Choosing an open source product written by unknown contractors in Eastern Europe or Asia may not be the best answer.

It’s a topic to take seriously and to consider in great detail when choosing who to trust to assist your organisation maintain a secure environment.

So how do I choose?

Obviously, a reasonable start is some form of certification. This could mean an ISO27001 certification, certification of compliance with the CMMC (when that becomes more available) as well as certification of the actual product.

The team at Prophecy are deep into an ISO27001 project that will see us certified to this international standard as well as preparing for CMMC certification to enable us to continue to supply the Defense sector in the United States. We have also had our software verified by a third party company that specialises in vulnerability assessment. We have used Veracode and have had both Snare Enterprise Agent and our Agent Manager attain “Verified“ level. (Read here for more information on Prophecy’s Verified status)

Linked to this is risk from open source software – particularly in relation to the tracking use of open source components as new versions become available and older components might have vulnerabilities that remain unpatched. You only need to look to the Equifax breach to see how this can be a significant challenge to manage and one that can have massive consequences. Other issues include projects that might have value now but decrease as active involvement decreases and/or a lack of visibility into who is contributing to open source projects and where they might be coming from.

Why is sovereign capability important?

In a global market with players from almost every country, it is critically important to look at capability from home as well as from those countries that have a level of integration and acceptance when it comes to cyber maturity, cooperation around defense and intelligence, as well as protections for IP and trademarks. Obviously, local companies usually have created the IP that you will be deploying in your environment and have local support in your time zone and in your language an understand the local regulatory and legal environment in which you operate. They will be there is you need them and in your legal jurisdiction if something really goes wrong.

In addition to this, sovereign capability will drive the growth of jobs and the economy – which is very important after the disruptions to the global economy due to COVID)and potentially also drive exports. Snare software, for instance, is developed in Australia with Australian resources and we generate nearly 80% of our revenue outside Australia.

To expand this our slightly further you could then also look to those geographies that have formal alliances. Like the Five Eyes countries as an example.

The Five Eyes

The Five Eyes is an intelligence sharing alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The UK and the US.  This is a formal agreement on intelligence sharing at an intergovernmental level and is a factor that could be considered in choosing a vendor if they are based in one of these geographies and are used by government or defense agencies in those countries.

This also shows the importance of secure supply chains as any supplier to these agencies could potentially introduce vulnerabilities that could possibly allow access into other agencies in other geographies.

If you are a trusted supplier to any of these agencies then that’s a good recommendation for the commercial world too.

Snare was developed by defense personnel for defense purposes and we have many military and defense agencies and defense suppliers using our software around the globe as Snare has been trusted for Centralised Log Management for decades.

So what do you do if you aren’t sure where your providers are headquartered or need to take steps to ensure your supply chain is trustworthy?

There’s a lot to take in here but in essence its all about trust.

Start by asking if your suppliers have the following:

  • Speak my language, reside in my time zone, have developers I know and a legal framework I can work with and use?
  • Are they trusted by government in my country or in countries that have a level of engagement and cooperation with my own?
  • If they are an international company do they have a team in my country that is bound by our laws?
  • Is the IP protected by law and do I have protections in the license to use the software?
  • Can I be comfortable that I am not introducing risk by choosing a vendor when I am trying to reduce risk?

If you have questions about your supply chain or want to speak with our expert team about implementing Snare’s suite of services as a part of your trusted supply chain, reach out. We are trusted by over 4,000 companies across the globe for log management and can help you create a stronger cyber security infrastructure during a time when it is more important than ever to trust your vendors and your partners.

Creating the Ideal Cybersecurity Plan

When it comes to creating your company’s cybersecurity plan, the focus tends to be on perimeter security products. These will generally include unified threat management systems and email gateways, endpoint detection and protection products, identity access and privilege access products, and security awareness training systems. These security products are easy to evaluate and demonstrate when it comes down to proving a quantifiable return on investment.

These products and solutions are essential in creating a solid infrastructure, but there are some critical components missing when only focusing on the perimeter.

Is log management in your cybersecurity blueprint?

If we use an analogy of a house, these traditional cybersecurity products are like your kitchen, your bathroom, or bedrooms. They are easy to see and easy to attach a value to, but it’s what you can’t see on the surface that really impacts the value, safety, and longevity of a home. If your foundation, wiring, plumbing, and electrical systems are compromised, you will have BIG (and very expensive) problems. What happens if every time you plug an appliance into the wall, it blows a fuse? Or if any time you turn on your air conditioning, your entire electrical system and power is shut down. Each of these events has the potential to compromise the safety of your home, damage the infrastructure, or lead to very costly fixes.

Those events – like plugging in a cord or turning on an appliance – are what putting in a USB, clicking on a file, or logging into a device are in cybersecurity. One event can turn into a costly compliance fine or even invite intruders into your system; and in both analogies, letting in strangers is a worst-case scenario.

Event data is your foundation.

So how do you protect your house?

Imagine if one of those events in your home led to shutting off the power. The easiest way to fix the problem is to narrow down where the problem originated and then to head over to your circuit breaker to fix the problem…

(back to cybersecurity)

That central tool to collect all of your logging events and manage the data is a centralized log management system – we call ours Snare Central.

A centralized event logging tool does not “prevent” a cybersecurity breach or attack. It can, however provide several key features that ensure that your security posture is robust.

A SIEM or ELM is essential and required technology for any organization that must comply with many regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, NERC/FERC and ISO 27001. It is also necessary for any organization to have a centralized logging tool to bolster their security.

Collecting all event data from all devices within your organization, as well as some of the security applications like mobile devices, endpoint management, and firewalls will enable an organization to baseline normal activity. The Snare Central dashboard (see below) provides a visual representation of activity, so if a spike occurs, you can drill down into the action to spot nefarious activity or spot holes in the foundation of their organization.

In the event of a breach, one of the first things that will be required to review in-depth all the log files to pinpoint when and where the initial breach took place – did an end-user open an email and launch malware or attach a USB stick to their desktop and copy data? If you are only collecting from servers and security devices, you may miss an important event in your discovery.

Also, retaining this information is essential.

Going back to the home analogy, if you ever want to sell your home, most buyers will want to know what repairs were done to critical aspects of your home – wiring updated, plumbing repairs, and yes patching to the foundation of your house.

For the security team having the ability to review historical data can address any potential problems going forward.

Centralized event logging is not new, it is not sexy, but it should be part of the foundation of your security framework when it comes to your organization.


Talk to our team about adding or upgrading your log management solution

Want to learn more about how Snare’s suite of log management and collection solutions can help your company? Reach out to us here.


Cyber security risks: What do you tell the board?

Cyber security is a risk that needs to be managed like every other risk. So how does the executive team inform the board on the risks and how they are being managed? What actions does the board need to take to be responsible for cyber risk?

Your company board performs quite a few different functions, but often the starting point is governance. The board and its members are constantly asking the question, “Are we doing all the things that we need to be doing to protect the business and the shareholders?” Their focus is on ensuring the RETURN of shareholder capital before the RETURNS on shareholder capital. Of course, this oversight is multifaceted, and often one of the areas of least expertise at board level is cyber security.

Under the Australian Corporations Act one of the board’s primary responsibilities is to act “in good faith in the best interests of the corporation (Section 181.1)” – ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the business.

As a result, the starting point for quite a few IT and cyber security questions from the board are based on compliance. “What compliance mandates am I required to address and how do I address them in the most efficient way?” We all know that ‘compliant with regulation’ does not necessarily mean secure any more than meeting a building code means quality construction techniques have been employed.

So what do you do to mitigate cyber security risks and protect shareholders?

Compliance, Regulatory Risk & Business Impact

Risks can be quantified in the following ways:

  • Fines for non compliance
  • Inability to trade while non-compliant
  • Reputation and brand damage due to breaches
  • Actual physical inability to access systems due to ransomware, etc – that means business comes to a halt
  • Payment of ransoms of gain access to encrypted systems (hopefully!)
  • Cost of restoring systems and databases that have been destroyed by malware
  • Loss of IP and trade secrets through corporate espionage or the actions of nation state backed cyber criminals

Compliance is not security – but it’s at least a good starting place for boards who do not yet fully understand the broad scope of cyber risks. Most compliance regulations mandate a number of technical security controls that are foundational to your cyber security posture. Even if you don’t really understand the controls, this is a sensible start in ensuring that at least basic controls are active, being monitored, and reported on to ensure visibility and accountability.

Data Security

To add complexity to this many compliance mandates (like GDPR) mean that you need to understand what data you are storing, where you are storing it, what’s important and who has access to it in an ongoing and real time manner. When the board has to ask “Who did it?” the executive will need IT to have access to forensic log data that proves who had access to the data , what they took or changed and how they gained access.

Malicious Attacks

How do we mitigate or defend from an attack that our perimeter security can’t detect or stop? How do we know if our important files have been deleted, edited or changed? How do we know if user accounts accessed data they should not have had access to or their access privileges were increased without approvals?

Monitoring of systems and system events is critical in detecting “zero day” attacks that perimeter defense (like anti-virus or firewalls) do not have a solution for yet. We have seen many companies turn to a security expert like an MSSP to help detect threats after an initial breach has hurt the business. As a board you must ensure that your service provider can complement your internal compliance and security teams.

Breach Notification & Financial Penalties

To make things even more complex, there are also a number of legislative requirements that mandate formal disclosure of data breaches. This means that you actually need to be monitoring the databases and the access to important data – all the while ensuring that only approved staff inside your business can see the underlying data while they are monitoring the systems.

There are many studies (like the Ponemon study for example) that quantify data breach costs, but on top of this there are often fines that apply directly for not maintaining compliance or for failing to notify of a breach. In Australia the fines for failure to notify is significant – up to $420,000 for individuals and up to $2.1M for corporations. These penalties apply to businesses with a turnover as low as $3M – that’s right down to SMB.

Bottom line – it’s just not big business that needs to have a plan!

Some organizations like the US Department of Health & Human Services even maintain a “Wall of Shame” for breach reports. Fines of up to $1.5M can apply for data breaches.

What happened? Is it bad? What do we do next?

And so we come to the question that the executive leaders will be asked by the board. What happened? Is it bad? What do we do next?

It’s at this point that a good executive will have all of the forensic data on hand to be able to inform the board (and any regulators) what data has been accessed, how and when it happened, and which accounts accessed the data.

This is critical in remediating the vulnerability and ensuring that any holes are plugged, and that additional controls are put in place.

Many vendor solutions will claim to be a panacea for all your cyber and compliance ills but realistically, you will need to evaluate potential solutions carefully. In our experience, one area of huge value is the ease that any monitoring solution can be set up and installed, and managed, without hiring additional, expensive cyber system administrators. Ideally, you need a simple installation, a security policy that can be applied easily across multiple devices (sometimes tens of thousands of devices) and network, automated reporting, and alerting to help eliminate “false positives”.

(Ask us how Snare can help with this)

Visibility and Accountability

In the end, the board needs to hold itself accountable for understanding the risks and ensuring they are managed.

This means a variety of actions:

  • Gain understanding of cyber risks and mitigating strategies
  • Understand your compliance requirements and monitor compliance over time – not just at a point intime like a security or compliance audit
  • Understand the security controls and monitoring that is in place and ensure regular reporting back to the board on potential issues and threats
  • Ensure end-to-end accountability for cyber risk both at the executive level and across the organization
  • Ensure communications plans are in place to manage the multiple stakeholders in an emergency including staff, customers, partners, shareholders, regulators and any other stakeholders.

Ultimately, the security risk must be balanced with the commercial risk and cost as no-one has unlimited funds to throw at these problems. Finding an efficient and affordable approach is also important.

Snare can help as we provide substantial monitoring and reporting for not only for many compliance regulations but also provides intelligent reporting and alerting to help detect potential compromise of systems.


Australian Data Breach regulations

IBM/Ponemon Cost of Data Breach study

AU Govt statement on Cyber Attacks

DHHS HIPAA Breach report (wall of shame)

Snare Solutions Announces Commitment to Global Efforts Supporting and Promoting Online Safety and Privacy for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This year’s initiative highlights the importance of empowering individuals and organizations to better protect their part of cyberspace in an increasingly connected world

October 1, 2020 — Snare Solutions today announced its commitment to Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October, by signing up as a Champion and joining a growing global effort to promote the awareness of online safety and privacy. The Cybersecurity Awareness Month Champions Program is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations and individuals committed to this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme of ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.’ The program aims to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.

The overarching message of this year’s theme, ‘If you Connect it, Protect it,’ dives into the importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influence. More than ever before, connected devices have been woven into society as an integral part of how people communicate and access services essential to their well being. Data collected from these devices can detail highly specific information about a person or business which can be exploited by bad actors for their personal gain. Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to shed light on these security vulnerabilities, while offering guidance surrounding simple security measures to limit the susceptibility of threats for commonly used devices.

This year, the Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s main weekly focus areas will revolve around:

  • Understanding and following general security hygiene for connected devices and home networks
  • The importance of connected devices security for remote workers
  • How connected devices play a pivotal role in the future of healthcare; and
  • The overall future of connected devices for consumers, professionals and the public domain

If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating vulnerable audiences or training employees – our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone.

Now in its 17th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact with the ultimate goal of providing everyone with the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. Snare Solutions is proud to support this far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Cybersecurity is important to the success of all businesses and organizations. NCSA is proud to have such a strong and active community helping to encourage proactive behavior and prioritize cybersecurity in their organizations,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, NCSA.


For more information about Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 and how to participate in a wide variety of activities, visit You can also follow and use the official hashtag #BeCyberSmart on social media throughout the month.




About Snare Solutions
Snare Solutions (a Prophecy International, LLC brand, ASX:PRO) is a centralized logging solution that pairs well with any SIEM or Security Analytics platform. Snare helps companies around the world improve their log collection, management and analysis with dependable tools that save timesave money & reduce risk. Learn more at

About Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public- and private-sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since the Presidential proclamation establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, the initiative has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer and more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit

About NCSA

NCSA is the Nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AIG; American Express; Bank of America; Cofense; Comcast Corporation; Eli Lilly and Company; ESET North America; Facebook; Intel Corporation; Lenovo; LogMeIn; Marriott International; Mastercard; MediaPro; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; KnowBe4; NortonLifeLock; Proofpoint; Raytheon; Trend Micro, Inc.; Uber: U.S. Bank; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28); STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness and education campaign co-founded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group with federal government leadership from the Department of Homeland Security; and CyberSecure My Business™, which offers webinars, web resources and workshops to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks. For more information on NCSA, please visit