Delivering secure and mission-critical IT in uncertain times

By Phillip Cockrell

Polyverse partners with SUSE to protect against zero-day attacks

The COVID-19 pandemic has left us all dealing with an unprecedented set of circumstances and has created the perfect storm of uncertainty, vulnerability, and risk.

That’s certainly true from an IT perspective. There’s little doubt that malicious hackers are taking advantage of the current emergency to wreak a little extra havoc. According to a report released this week, they are becoming increasingly successful. The volume of sensitive information exposed by data breaches is dramatically climbing and the severity of attacks is also on the rise.

So, how do you deliver secure and mission-critical IT in these uncertain times?

Linux is at the heart of mission-critical systems everywhere

First, what exactly do we mean by mission-critical?

We’re essentially talking about non-stop IT. Robust systems where there’s no margin for error, zero-downtime, and no room for excuses. Linux is the de-facto standard operating system for building these environments. It is also now the go-to OS for all kinds of innovative solutions involving cloud-based applications, AI, Big Data analytics, HPC, edge computing, IoT solutions, and a whole lot more.

Linux is by far the world’s most important and successful open source project.  But its meteoric rise in popularity inevitably comes with at a price. Linux has increasingly become a target for hackers and cybercriminals.

What are zero-day attacks and why do they matter?

“Zero-day” is the point in time when a flaw is discovered being actively exploited in the wild. A zero-day attack is when a hacker manages to exploit the vulnerability before software developers know about it and can find a fix to the weakness. The #1 most dangerous software weakness identified by MITRE 2020 is CWE-119, memory or buffer overflow weakness. As per MITRE, they are dangerous because they will use your own code against you by frequently allow adversaries to completely take over execution of software, steal data, or prevent the software from working. This is the kind that gave us the Spectre vulnerability and breached Equifax.

This issue is compounded by the time it takes companies to test and apply the patch – on average 97 days. Hackers can exploit a vulnerability in as little as 20 minutes. More detail can be found in our whitepaper ‘identifying the true software patch gap’.

Polyverse and SUSE: enterprise protection against zero-day attacks

SUSE is famous for having released the very first enterprise Linux distribution 20 years ago. Since then, they have built a rock-solid reputation for delivering mission-critical Linux for the most demanding applications and workloads. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is built for non-stop IT environments where business continuity is the top priority. As a modular Linux distribution, it is equally suited to use-cases ranging from embedded systems to massively scalable cloud-native workloads, and everything in between.

Polyverse Polymorphing for Linux is a ground-breaking technology used by the Department of Defense to protect some of the most critical military infrastructure. It works by running the Linux source code through an advanced polymorphic compiler. This produces a uniquely randomized binary structure and resource mapping which means attacks that use memory or buffer overflow vulnerabilities simply don’t work. This means that whether the vulnerability has been detected or not, or whether the system has been patched or not, your system is protected against zero-day memory-based attacks.

Polymorphing also has no impact on performance or functionality or requires no change to processes.

The combination of Polyverse Polymorphing and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server therefore makes perfect sense.

To find out more, read the press release now

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