In the highly competitive global economy, nation states have increasingly turned to cyberattacks as a strategic method to steal intellectual property, technology, and trade secrets. When users travel or work in high-risk locations, organizations need to know that their devices remain safe and haven’t been tampered with.
Organizations that are at risk of such attacks can take preventative measures—providing loaner laptops, and wiping devices after travel—but these measures are inadequate to deal with firmware and hardware level attacks that can compromise laptops in minutes, and persist undetected after reimaging. Some enterprises treat this threat so seriously, that they scrap their laptops after travel to high-risk countries.
But now there’s a better approach. With Eclypsium’s enterprise firmware protection platform, cybersecurity teams can ensure the integrity of laptop computers before, during and after travel.
Cybersecurity Threats to Travelers Target Firmware
Firmware implants and backdoors have been one of the favorite cyberattack tools of nation states for years. By implanting malicious code in firmware, the threat is able to sit below the level of the operating system, enabling the threat to easily subvert traditional security controls and gain near omnipotent power and visibility over the infected system.
Beware the Evil Maid
Given access to a laptop, attackers can install implants on a device in as little as 4 minutes. This can happen anytime a device is out of a user’s possession such as during a flight, during a customs interview, or simply when a laptop is left in a hotel room.
Traveler laptops are also vulnerable to remote attacks, with groups like DarkHotel using compromised hotel Wi-Fi networks and forged digital certificates to attack business executives.
Firmware attacks are dangerous because they are:
Encrypting the laptop’s hard drive won’t protect users from a physical attack at the hardware level
Once installed, the threat would be invisible to the end-user or traditional security solutions.
Firmware implants persist even if the machine is completely re-imaged and the operating system reinstalled.
The Eclypsium Solution for Travel Laptop Security
Eclypsium brings security to the firmware layer of laptops and allows organizations to ensure the integrity of their devices and to verify they have not been tampered with during travel.
Be alerted to changes during travel—Get real-time alerts on critical events such as a failed integrity check or a threat that has been detected.
Ensure the integrity of firmware after travel—After travel ensure that the firmware of both the system and its components have not been modified.
Detect known implants—Reveal the presence of any known implants based Eclypsium research and intelligence.
Detect unknown implants—Ongoing monitoring of the device and firmware behavior to identify malicious code that has never been seen before.
By using Eclypsium, organizations can ensure better security while simultaneously reducing their operational overhead and costs. With Eclypsium organizations are able to:
Ensure hardware and firmware integrity
Easily verify that devices haven’t been modified during travel and identify any threats that would persist across traditional re-imaging processes.
Save IT time during device reclamation
Eclypsium automates the painstaking work of firmware analysis, and gives staff fast, reliable insight into the integrity of the device.
Reduce hardware costs
Instead of simply disposing of devices after a trip, organizations can now ensure that the device is clean and confidently return it to active use.
Which Travelers are at Risk for Cybersecurity Attacks?
While virtually any organization can be a target for espionage, some sectors and individuals are more at risk than others. Any company or government employee with access to sensitive information or valuable data is a target of an attack during travel including business executives, IT staff, researchers and engineers. Proprietary or emerging technologies, competitive trade secrets, access to critical systems, and even personal information are all key assets for these attackers.