Was ist das eigentlich? Cyberrisiken verständlich erklärt

Es wird viel über Cyberrisiken gesprochen. Oftmals fehlt aber das grundsätzliche Verständnis, was Cyberrisiken überhaupt sind. Ohne diese zu verstehen, lässt sich aber auch kein Versicherungsschutz gestalten.

Beinahe alle Aktivitäten des täglichen Lebens können heute über das Internet abgewickelt werden. Online-Shopping und Online-Banking sind im Alltag angekommen. Diese Entwicklung trifft längst nicht nur auf Privatleute, sondern auch auf Firmen zu. Das Schlagwort Industrie 4.0 verheißt bereits eine zunehmende Vernetzung diverser geschäftlicher Vorgänge über das Internet.

Anbieter von Cyberversicherungen für kleinere und mittelständische Unternehmen (KMU) haben Versicherungen die Erfahrung gemacht, dass trotz dieser eindeutigen Entwicklung Cyberrisiken immer noch unterschätzt werden, da sie als etwas Abstraktes wahrgenommen werden. Für KMU kann dies ein gefährlicher Trugschluss sein, da gerade hier Cyberattacken existenzbedrohende Ausmaße annehmen können. So wird noch häufig gefragt, was Cyberrisiken eigentlich sind. Diese Frage ist mehr als verständlich, denn ohne (Cyber-)Risiken bestünde auch kein Bedarf für eine (Cyber-)Versicherung.

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Tourists supply Themselves Away by Looking Up. So Do Most Network Intruders.

In large metropolitan areas, tourists are often easy to spot because they’re far more inclined than locals to gaze upward at the surrounding skyscrapers. Security experts say this same tourist dynamic is a dead giveaway in virtually all computer intrusions that lead to devastating attacks like data theft and ransomware, and that more organizations should set simple virtual tripwires that sound the alarm when authorized users and devices are spotted exhibiting this behavior.

In a blog post published last month, Cisco Talos said it was seeing a worrisome “increase in the rate of high-sophistication attacks on network infrastructure.” Cisco’s warning comes amid a flurry of successful data ransom and state-sponsored cyber espionage attacks targeting some of the most well-defended networks on the planet.

But despite their increasing complexity, a great many initial intrusions that lead to data theft could be nipped in the bud if more organizations started looking for the telltale signs of newly-arrived cybercriminals behaving like network tourists, Cisco says.

“One of the most important things to talk about here is that in each of the cases we’ve seen, the threat actors are taking the type of ‘first steps’ that someone who wants to understand (and control) your environment would take,” Cisco’s Hazel Burton wrote. “Examples they have observed include threat actors performing a ‘show config,’ ‘show interface,’ ‘show route,’ ‘show arp table’ and a ‘show CDP neighbor.’ All these actions supply the attackers a picture of a router’s perspective of the network, and an understanding of what foothold they have.”

Cisco’s alert concerned espionage attacks from China and Russia that abused vulnerabilities in aging, end-of-life network routers. But at a very important level, it doesn’t matter how or why the attackers got that initial foothold on your network.

It might be zero-day vulnerabilities in your network firewall or file-transfer appliance. Your more immediate and primary concern has to be: How quickly can you detect and detach that initial foothold?

The same tourist behavior that Cisco described attackers exhibiting vis-a-vis older routers is also incredibly common early on in ransomware and data ransom attacks — which often unfurl in secret over days or weeks as attackers methodically identify and compromise a victim’s key network assets.

These virtual hostage situations usually begin with the intruders purchasing access to the target’s network from dark web brokers who resell access to stolen credentials and compromised computers. As a result, when those stolen resources first get used by would-be data thieves, almost invariably the attackers will run a series of basic commands asking the local system to confirm exactly who and where they are on the victim’s network.

This fundamental reality about modern cyberattacks — that cybercriminals almost always orient themselves by “looking up” who and where they are upon entering a foreign network for the first time — forms the business model of an innovative security company called Thinkst, which gives away easy-to-use tripwires or “canaries” that can fire off an alert whenever all sorts of suspicious activity is witnessed.

“Many people have pointed out that there are a handful of commands that are overwhelmingly run by attackers on compromised hosts (and seldom ever by regular users/usage),” the Thinkst website explains. “Reliably alerting when a user on your code-sign server runs whoami.exe can mean the difference between catching a compromise in week-1 (before the attackers dig in) and learning about the attack on CNN.”

These canaries — or “canary tokens” — are meant to be embedded inside regular files, acting much like a web beacon or web bug that tracks when someone opens an email.

The Canary Tokens website from Thinkst Canary lists nearly two-dozen free customizable canaries.

“Imagine doing that, but for file reads, database queries, process executions or patterns in log files,” the Canary Tokens documentation explains. “Canarytokens does all this and more, letting you implant traps in your production systems rather than setting up separate honeypots.”

Thinkst operates alongside a burgeoning industry offering so-called “deception” or “honeypot” services — those designed to confuse, disrupt and entangle network intruders. But in an interview with KrebsOnSecurity, Thinkst founder and CEO Haroon Meer said most deception techniques involve some degree of hubris.

“Meaning, you’ll have deception teams in your network playing spy versus spy with people trying to break in, and it becomes this whole counterintelligence thing,” Meer said. “Nobody really has time for that. Instead, they are saying literally the opposite: That you’ve probably got all these [security improvement] projects that are going to take forever. But while you’re doing all that, just drop these 10 canaries, because everything else is going to take a long time to do.”

The idea here is to lay traps in sensitive areas of your network or web applications where few authorized users should ever trod. Importantly, the canary tokens themselves are useless to an attacker. For example, that AWS canary token sure looks like the digital keys to your cloud, but the token itself offers no access. It’s just a lure for the bad guys, and you get an alert when and if it is ever touched.

One nice thing about canary tokens is that Thinkst gives them away for free. Head over to canarytokens.org, and choose from a drop-down menu of available tokens, including:

-a web bug / URL token, designed to alert when a particular URL is visited;-a DNS token, which alerts when a hostname is requested;-an AWS token, which alerts when a specific Amazon Web Services key is used;-a “custom exe” token, to alert when a specific Windows executable file or DLL is run;-a “sensitive command” token, to alert when a suspicious Windows command is run.-a Microsoft Excel/Word token, which alerts when a specific Excel or Word file is accessed.

Much like a “wet paint” sign often encourages people to touch a freshly painted surface anyway, attackers often can’t help themselves when they enter a foreign network and stumble upon what appear to be key digital assets, Meer says.

“If an attacker lands on your server and finds a key to your cloud environment, it’s really hard for them not to try it once,” Meer said. “Also, when these sorts of actors do land in a network, they have to orient themselves, and while doing that they are going to trip canaries.”

Meer says canary tokens are as likely to trip up attackers as they are “red teams,” security experts hired or employed by companies seeking to continuously probe their own computer systems and networks for security weaknesses.

“The concept and use of canary tokens has made me very hesitant to use credentials gained during an engagement, versus finding alternative means to an end goal,” wrote Shubham Shah, a penetration tester and co-founder of the security firm Assetnote. “If the aim is to increase the time taken for attackers, canary tokens work well.”

Thinkst makes money by selling Canary Tools, which are honeypots that emulate full blown systems like Windows servers or IBM mainframes. They deploy in minutes and include a personalized, private Canarytoken server.

“If you’ve got a sophisticated defense team, you can start putting these things in really interesting places,” Meer said. “Everyone says their stuff is simple, but they obsess over it. It’s really got to be so simple that people can’t mess it up. And if it works, it’s the best bang for your security buck you’re going to get.”

Further reading:

Dark Reading: Credential Canaries Create Minefield for AttackersNCC Group: Extending a Thinkst Canary to Become an Interactive HoneypotCruise Automation’s experience deploying canary tokens

Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers Market Expands Rapidly

  • August 16, 2023
  • ARC Advisory Group
  • News
  • Summary

    According to new ARC Advisory Group research, the Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers landscape is evolving as edge technologies refine, potential use cases expand and pilot projects begin to scale.

    Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers Market Expands Rapidly Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers Market Expands Rapidly

    Aug. 16, 2023 - According to new ARC Advisory Group research, the Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers landscape is evolving as edge technologies refine, potential use cases expand and pilot projects begin to scale. Intensive edge compute applications such as AI as well as growing connectivity and security standards are renewing the emphasis on hardware capability. The continued buildout of 5G and private wireless networks will contribute to the diversity of edge networking devices, along with an increased demand for remote access and autonomous networking solutions. The widespread adoption of container environments will make deploying and managing edge applications simpler and more scalable. "Industrial IoT gateways and routers are critical enablers of digital transformation, empowering industries to leverage the potential of edge computing, software innovation and advanced connectivity for increased efficiency, productivity, and operational excellence. Intensive edge compute applications such as AI powered by dedicated graphics processors are renewing the emphasis on hardware capability," according to Chantal Polsonetti, vice president of Research and key author of ARC's Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers Market Research. 

    Industrial IoT gateways and routers market trends

    In addition to providing detailed competitive market share data, the research also addresses key market trends as follows:

  • Variety of edge-to-cloud strategies are emerging 
  • The spectrum of IoT edge applications is widening
  • Suppliers are adopting different strategies to avoid hardware commoditization 
  • Role of the cloud is evolving in the context of burgeoning Edge technology 
  • Relevance of hardware rising for computationally intensive applications 
  • Increased modularity for protocols, edge-cloud connectors, cellular connectivity
  • Increased interest in alternative business models, such as bundles and “as-a-service” offerings 
  • Edge applications are increasingly executed in containers
  • Cellular will continue to penetrate traditional wired applications
  • Leading suppliers to the Industrial IoT gateways and routers market identified

    In addition to providing specific market data and industry trends, this ARC market research also identifies and positions the leading suppliers to this market and provides and summarizes their relevant offerings. An alphabetical list of key suppliers covered in this analysis includes: Advantech, Cisco, Moxa, Siemens, Sierra Wireless. 

    About the Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers Research

    The Industrial IoT Gateways and Routers research explores the current and future market performance and related technology and business trends and identifies leading technology suppliers. This new research is based on ARC’s industry-leading market research database, extensive primary and secondary research, and proprietary economic modelling techniques. The research includes competitive analysis, five-year market forecasts, and 5 years of historical analysis. The report segmentation includes Revenue Category, Sales Channel, World Region, Industry, Customer Type, Installation Type, Hardware by Network Type, Hardware by CPU Type, Hardware by Operating System, Hardware by Edge Computing Use, Hardware by Form Factor, Hardware by Environmental Rating, Overall Scope, Hardware by Execution Environment, Hardware by IEC 61850-3, Hardware by EN 50155, Hardware by Class 1 Division 2, Hardware by ATEX. This new research is available in a variety of formats to meet the specific research and budgetary requirements of a wide variety of organizations. These include:

  • MIRA Service:  An annual subscription service that provides a unique online environment to each customer, together with all the necessary user interface apps and datasets. MIRA unlocks the full benefits of ARC’s time-tested market intelligence by leveraging the latest analytical tools and technologies to allow you to make more actionable, real-time business decisions.   Interactive access to ARC’s qualitative analysis is displayed in context with up-to-date market data, allowing clients to develop customized views of the market to best suit their needs.
  • Concise Market Analysis Report (PDF):  This wide-screen presentation format provides executives, business unit managers, and other users with immediate access to in-depth market analysis, including analysis associated with every market data chart and figure. Included is an executive-level summary of the current market dynamics, five-year market forecast, and competitive analysis, plus an overview of strategic issues. The PDF is available with a comprehensive set of charts with associated analysis.
  • Market Intelligence Workbook (Excel Power Pivot, sold with Market Analysis Report PDF):  A standard Excel Workbook, including base year market data and a five-year market forecast. This workbook enables licensed users to freely manipulate data, making it easier to analyze the latest data for business intelligence and generate custom reports, including up to five years of historical analysis.
  • For more information on this and other available ARC market research, please visit their Market Analysis Services.

    About ARC Advisory Group

    ARC Advisory Group is the leading market research and advisory firm for industry, infrastructure, and cities.  ARC analysts have the industry knowledge and firsthand experience to help clients find the best answers.

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    Warum sind Cyberrisiken so schwer greifbar?

    Als mehr oder weniger neuartiges Phänomen stellen Cyberrisiken Unternehmen und Versicherer vor besondere Herausforderungen. Nicht nur die neuen Schadenszenarien sind abstrakter oder noch nicht bekannt. Häufig sind immaterielle Werte durch Cyberrisiken in Gefahr. Diese wertvollen Vermögensgegenstände sind schwer bewertbar.

    Obwohl die Gefahr durchaus wahrgenommen wird, unterschätzen viele Firmen ihr eigenes Risiko. Dies liegt unter anderem auch an den Veröffentlichungen zu Cyberrisiken. In der Presse finden sich unzählige Berichte von Cyberattacken auf namhafte und große Unternehmen. Den Weg in die Presse finden eben nur die spektakulären Fälle. Die dort genannten Schadenszenarien werden dann für das eigene Unternehmen als unrealistisch eingestuft. Die für die KMU nicht minder gefährlichen Cyber­attacken werden nur selten publiziert.

    Aufgrund der fehlenden öffentlichen Meldungen von Sicherheitsvorfällen an Sicherheitsbehörden und wegen der fehlenden Presseberichte fällt es schwer, Fakten und Zahlen zur Risikolage zu erheben. Aber ohne diese Grundlage fällt es schwer, in entsprechende Sicherheitsmaßnahmen zu investieren.

    Erklärungsleitfaden anhand eines Ursache-Wirkungs-Modells

    Häufig nähert man sich dem Thema Cyberrisiko anlass- oder eventbezogen, also wenn sich neue Schaden­szenarien wie die weltweite WannaCry-Attacke entwickeln. Häufig wird auch akteursgebunden beleuchtet, wer Angreifer oder Opfer sein kann. Dadurch begrenzt man sich bei dem Thema häufig zu sehr nur auf die Cyberkriminalität. Um dem Thema Cyberrisiko jedoch gerecht zu werden, müssen auch weitere Ursachen hinzugezogen werden.

    Mit einer Kategorisierung kann das Thema ganzheitlich und nachvollziehbar strukturiert werden. Ebenso hilft eine solche Kategorisierung dabei, eine Abgrenzung vorzunehmen, für welche Gefahren Versicherungsschutz über eine etwaige Cyberversicherung besteht und für welche nicht.

    Die Ursachen sind dabei die Risiken, während finanzielle bzw. nicht finanzielle Verluste die Wirkungen sind. Cyberrisiken werden demnach in zwei Hauptursachen eingeteilt. Auf der einen Seite sind die nicht kriminellen Ursachen und auf der anderen Seite die kriminellen Ursachen zu nennen. Beide Ursachen können dabei in drei Untergruppen unterteilt werden.

    Nicht kriminelle Ursachen

    Höhere Gewalt

    Häufig hat man bei dem Thema Cyberrisiko nur die kriminellen Ursachen vor Augen. Aber auch höhere Gewalt kann zu einem empfindlichen Datenverlust führen oder zumindest die Verfügbarkeit von Daten einschränken, indem Rechenzentren durch Naturkatastrophen wie beispielsweise Überschwemmungen oder Erdbeben zerstört werden. Ebenso sind Stromausfälle denkbar.

    Menschliches Versagen/Fehlverhalten

    Als Cyberrisiken sind auch unbeabsichtigtes und menschliches Fehlverhalten denkbar. Hierunter könnte das versehentliche Veröffentlichen von sensiblen Informationen fallen. Möglich sind eine falsche Adressierung, Wahl einer falschen Faxnummer oder das Hochladen sensibler Daten auf einen öffentlichen Bereich der Homepage.

    Technisches Versagen

    Auch Hardwaredefekte können zu einem herben Datenverlust führen. Neben einem Überhitzen von Rechnern sind Kurzschlüsse in Systemtechnik oder sogenannte Headcrashes von Festplatten denkbare Szenarien.

    Kriminelle Ursachen


    Hackerangriffe oder Cyberattacken sind in der Regel die Szenarien, die die Presse dominieren. Häufig wird von spektakulären Datendiebstählen auf große Firmen oder von weltweiten Angriffen mit sogenannten Kryptotrojanern berichtet. Opfer kann am Ende aber jeder werden. Ziele, Methoden und auch das Interesse sind vielfältig. Neben dem finanziellen Interesse können Hackerangriffe auch zur Spionage oder Sabotage eingesetzt werden. Mögliche Hackermethoden sind unter anderem: Social Engineering, Trojaner, DoS-Attacken oder Viren.

    Physischer Angriff

    Die Zielsetzung eines physischen Angriffs ist ähnlich dem eines Hacker­angriffs. Dabei wird nicht auf die Tools eines Hackerangriffs zurückgegriffen, sondern durch das physische Eindringen in Unternehmensgebäude das Ziel erreicht. Häufig sind es Mitarbeiter, die vertrauliche Informationen stehlen, da sie bereits den notwendigen Zugang zu den Daten besitzen.


    Obwohl die Erpressung aufgrund der eingesetzten Methoden auch als Hacker­angriff gewertet werden könnte, ergibt eine Differenzierung Sinn. Erpressungsfälle durch Kryptotrojaner sind eines der häufigsten Schadenszenarien für kleinere und mittelständische Unternehmen. Außerdem sind auch Erpressungsfälle denkbar, bei denen sensible Daten gestohlen wurden und ein Lösegeld gefordert wird, damit sie nicht veröffentlicht oder weiterverkauft werden.

    Ihre Cyberversicherung sollte zumindet folgende Schäden abdecken:


    • Soforthilfe und Forensik-Kosten (Kosten der Ursachenermittlung, Benachrichtigungskosten und Callcenter-Leistung)
    • Krisenkommunikation / PR-Maßnahmen
    • Systemverbesserungen nach einer Cyber-Attacke
    • Aufwendungen vor Eintritt des Versicherungsfalls

    Cyber-Drittschäden (Haftpflicht):

    • Befriedigung oder Abwehr von Ansprüchen Dritter
    • Rechtswidrige elektronische Kommunikation
    • Ansprüche der E-Payment-Serviceprovider
    • Vertragsstrafe wegen der Verletzung von Geheimhaltungspflichten und Datenschutzvereinbarungen
    • Vertragliche Schadenersatzansprüche
    • Vertragliche Haftpflicht bei Datenverarbeitung durch Dritte
    • Rechtsverteidigungskosten


    • Betriebsunterbrechung
    • Betriebsunterbrechung durch Ausfall von Dienstleister (optional)
    • Mehrkosten
    • Wiederherstellung von Daten (auch Entfernen der Schadsoftware)
    • Cyber-Diebstahl: elektronischer Zahlungsverkehr, fehlerhafter Versand von Waren, Telefon-Mehrkosten/erhöhte Nutzungsentgelte
    • Cyber-Erpressung
    • Entschädigung mit Strafcharakter/Bußgeld
    • Ersatz-IT-Hardware
    • Cyber-Betrug