The forgotten first-party risks of third-party platforms

The forgotten first-party risks of third-party platforms

Modern businesses have embraced cloud adoption as it offers a convenient and efficient way to scale and implement features that were once time-consuming and expensive. However, the reliance on third-party providers and platforms introduces an additional layer of often overlooked risks.

These platforms, such as ecommerce providers, hosted website services, content management systems, helpdesk systems, and documentation portals, can be exploited by malicious actors to target businesses and their users in unexpected ways.

Common Issues

Subdomain Takeover

Many third-party platforms allow businesses to use a subdomain name to access their services by creating a DNS record that points to the third-party domain. However, when these services are misconfigured or no longer in use, the DNS records may still point to the third party, presenting an opportunity for attackers to perform a subdomain takeover.

The consequences of a subdomain takeover can range from minor inconveniences to devastating breaches. Malicious actors can exploit the "stolen" subdomain to conduct phishing attacks, distribute malware, perform account takeovers through cookie theft, and more.

Vulnerable Technology and JavaScript

Third-party platforms often provide JavaScript resources for additional functionality. Unfortunately, these scripts may contain client-side vulnerabilities that put users at risk. Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, a common type of client-side vulnerability, enable malicious actors to target users by providing them with a link that, when clicked, executes JavaScript in their browser. These attacks can lead to account takeover and the exposure of personal information.

Sensitive Data Exposure

Some third-party platforms not only offer a service but also store sensitive internal information and credentials related to your company. This includes integrations into your DevOps pipeline, source code repositories, and helpdesk services. Such assets become high-value targets for attackers as they provide immediate leverage for gaining unauthorized access.

Common Challenges

Scanning Limitations

Traditional vulnerability scanning technologies may not effectively scan many types of third-party infrastructure, leaving potential blind spots in your security.

Identifying Third-Party Technology

Keeping track of all third-party technologies used by various teams can be challenging, leading to the risk of forgotten or abandoned assets.

How Halo Security can help

At Halo Security, we take a holistic view of the modern attack surface, which includes assets beyond your direct control used in day-to-day operations.

  1. Discovery of Known and Unknown Assets
    We employ advanced discovery techniques, similar to those used by attackers, to uncover forgotten and abandoned IPs and subdomains associated with your company.
  2. Continuous Monitoring
    Our system continuously monitors your attack surface, providing real-time alerts about any changes that may introduce vulnerabilities or unintended risks. This monitoring extends to every aspect of your attack surface, including scripts, certificates, whois records, DNS records, and third-party technology and software versions utilized.
  3. Agentless Vulnerability Discovery
    We proactively detect vulnerabilities across your entire attack surface, identifying third-party platforms linked to your sites that may be vulnerable to subdomain takeover or other threats. We offer non-invasive scanning options that can be used on nearly any platform.

While third-party platforms offer convenient ways to expand infrastructure and resources, they also introduce significant security risks. Understanding and mitigating these risks are paramount to safeguarding your business and protecting your users.  

By leveraging comprehensive monitoring and vulnerability discovery techniques, you can stay one step ahead of potential threats and fortify your security posture in an ever-evolving digital landscape.