cyberAdmin, Author at USX Cyber

USX Cyber Helps SBD Elevate Security Posture and
Implement Cybersecurity Before They Needed It

“USX Cyber fortified our business in ways we thought were only available to large businesses. The USX Cyber Managed Extended Detection and Response (Managed XDR) services immediately elevated our security posture. The pandemic completely turned our business model upside down and we had to have a way to ensure adequate controls and protection were in placer for our highly distributed workforce. After seeing everything we are thwarting with USX Cyber’s GuardientTM platform, it’s amazing we didn’t take a major direct hit from would-be attackers previously. We quickly came to appreciate how we have now implemented cybersecurity before it was too little, too late.”

Michael Ewell, Vice President

Solutions By Design II LLC (SBD) is a thriving technology services provider to the U.S. Government, with over 225 staff working across 10 states nationwide. With annualized double digit growth rates, SBD has rapidly ascended from its small business roots to a mature midsize company. Despite being an expert in delivering cyber security services to their Government clients, SBD found itself struggling to keep pace with the rapidly growing number and sophistication of threats. With a lack of internal cyber expertise and limited budget, SBD knew it could not afford to wait any longer to proactively fortify the business against cyber threats. Recognizing that it’s no longer a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ – with risks ranging from non-compliance to loss of productivity to reputational damage … or worse.

Why They Hired Us

Rapidly escalating volume and complexity of cyber attacks. Increased vulnerability to corporate and customer information, amplified by pandemic-driven shift to highly distributed workforce with broad work-from-home adoption. Elevated compliance requirements from Government, including emphasis on protecting supply chain. Scarcity of cybersecurity talent. Increased awareness of business risks, liabilities and understanding of potential adverse impacts on core business via exposure to cyber attacks. These were just the most glaring challenges facing SBD. SBD simply could no longer keep pace with the burgeoning cybersecurity demands upon its management, budget and IT infrastructure. As a midsize business, SBD thought it would have to cut corners and accept uncomfortably high levels of risk in its pursuit of identifying adequate cyber defenses to protect the business.

It’s Not Just for the Big Companies

Upon learning the depth and breadth of cybersecurity capabilities available from USX Cyber, SBD was pleasantly surprised to learn that it too could afford the same level of cyber protections as the big guys. With USX Cyber, SBD gets leading-edge cybersecurity, scaled precisely to meet its needs.

Managed XDR Services Delivered with Concierge Touch

USX Cyber partnered with SBD to understand their requirements and responded with a tailored approach to provide Managed XDR services. USX Cyber offered right-sized services via the X3 Managed level of service, with transparent pricing. Services were onboarded seamlessly within 1 week, including deployment of agents, and custom integration with SBD firewalls and cloud workloads. 24×7 immediately identified tens of thousands of potential threats, resulting in automated active response that stopped dozens of live attacks dead in their tracks. USX Cyber established a baseline assessment of SBD’s security posture and implemented a road map for continuous improvement.

Right Protection, Right People, and Business Results

USX Cyber’s Managed XDR detects, analyzes, and responds to bad actors that have infiltrated SBD. The combination of cutting edge technology via the GuardientTM XDR platform and the watchful eyes of USX Cyber analysts provides SBD with “human-led” technology solutions that provide the right protection for SBD. SBD always has access to the elite skill set of USX Cyber analysts including threat hunting, eyes-on-glass intelligence, and active response.

SBD has full visibility into its cyber operations through the GuardientTM Client Portal’s Dynamic Defense Dashboard. Here, SBD can quickly see what is happening in the business, and what, if any, information they need to be aware of and/or any actions they need to take. And of course, USX Cyber’s concierge service provides high-touch service to ensure all cyber needs are addressed as quickly as possible.

USX Cyber services go beyond the day to day protecting of SBD’s business. USX Cyber established a road map to continuously improve SBD’s security posture. Having baselined SBD’s security posture stance upon activation of service, USX Cyber has since implemented several key process improvements with SBD. Specific improvements include implementing a data loss prevention (DLP) program to improve information security by protecting business information from data breaches; an asset management program enabling SBD to make sure they have tailored protection for each specific device throughout its entire lifecycle with the company; and account separation of duties in accordance with Federal compliance requirements.

Align Cybersecurity with Your Business Goals

Increased profitability. Reduced overhead expenses. Geographical expansion. Better coffee.

Every business has its list of strategic goals and objectives, and hopefully a shared understanding of what they mean and how they impact organizational success. And while these targets are typically defined and driven by the leadership team, they affect everyone, regardless of role or department. It’s easy to see how goals like growth, customer satisfaction, and even internal culture initiatives can benefit the overall success of the business and illicit company-wide support, but there is one area that is often viewed as the sole responsibility of a single department or individual that can actually be the biggest vulnerability within the entire company: cybersecurity.

It may not be easy to see the link cybersecurity has to the success of a business, compared to the more ubiquitous goals and objectives around finances or customer retention, however, spending just a few minutes looking at the many jarring statistics around hackers and the catastrophic outcomes caused by attacks will quickly demonstrate why business leaders should be hyper-focused on this exact topic.

Culture. Trust. Holistic. Cybersecurity Goes Way Beyond ‘Check a Box’.

Enlisting the right approach to cybersecurity requires both a holistic view of a company’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses, as well as overall awareness among employees. It must be a company-wide initiative and every team member should know the risks and best practices. Building a culture that understands the importance of cybersecurity as it relates to the overarching business goals will make implementing these efforts easier and more effective.

Here are some of the benefits of instilling a shared culture and proactive approach to cybersecurity, and how to get started.

  1. Your data needs a dynamic defense. Warding off hackers is a 27/4 job, and making sure that you have the right tools and skilled people backing your team is key to staying vigilant. USX Cyber’s Managed XDR platform and expert analysts offer a mix of proactive and reactive solutions to keep your IP safe and your data secure. You’ll see what attacks were attempted, and feel safe knowing that there’s a solid plan to deter active threats.
  2. Your customers demand trust. COVID forced us to move to a world that is predominantly digital, and with that shift came an expectation of privacy and security. Many customers expect their vendors and partners to take the necessary precautions to ensure their customers are safe as a result of their cybersecurity initiatives. Actively communicating that security is a priority of the business is a great way to continually reinforce the trust companies work so hard to build and maintain.
  3. Your workforce can remain focused. When systems are impacted by ransomware and other forms of cyber attacks, productivity can come to a halt. Technology is impacted of course, but employee focus is also forced to stray from daily activities that keep the business running to thwarting off threats. These unnecessary distractions can cost you in downtime, as well as mismanaged resources.

Laying the Foundation to Continuously Evolve Your Cybersecurity Posture

USX Cyber doesn’t just say we can help – we work with you from the get-go to develop a clear path towards your cybersecurity objectives. Tied directly to your business objectives and ensuring mission performance. Our proven approach addresses both your tactical and strategic needs – giving you cyber-operational support to protect you now, while working with you on continuous improvement activities to set you up for long-term success.

The USX Cyber Road Map provides you with a customized blueprint for how we’ll take your cybersecurity to the next level – and the one after that. On Day 1 we work with you to define where you need to be in the next 12 and 24 months, laying the foundation for an actionable roadmap to continuously evolve and improve your cybersecurity posture.

One of the best ways to measure how your current business goals align with your cybersecurity needs is through an Active Defense Cybersecurity Assessment. Understanding what’s at risk, where your vulnerabilities lie, and formulating a plan of action can feel daunting, but USX Cyber is here to help.

Talk to a USX Cyber expert today to schedule a demo or get your free Active Defense Cybersecurity Analysis.

USX Cyber Security Bulletin – WhisperGate

Dynamic Defense Alert:           

WhisperGate Ransomware Threat


August 5, 2022


CISA (AA22-057A)

Executive Summary

It was recently discovered that a new malware dubbed WhisperGate was reported against Ukrainian targets. The software was reported to contain three individual components deployed by the same threat actor. This attack is known to contain malicious bootloaders that corrupt detected local disks, a Discord based downloader, and a file wiper. Following the attack users impacted usually receive an email or pop-up message that contains a message requesting bitcoin payment for your information.


The installer components for the bootloader are identified by the SHA256 hash:


The display ransom note:

Your hard drive has been corrupted.
In case you want to recover all hard drives of your organization,
You should pay us $10k via bitcoin wallet
With your organization name. 
We will contact you to give further instructions.

The bootloader accesses the disk via BIOS interrupt 13h in logical block addressing (LBA) mode and overwrites every 199th sector until the end of the disk is reached. After a disk is corrupted, the malware overwrites the next in the detected disk list. The bootloader installer does not initiate a reboot of the infected system, as has been observed in past intrusions. Reboot will also cause additional WhipserGate software to run.


Implement capabilities to search for indicators that will alert to software matching indicators of compromise (IOCs) related to the malicious software. The USX Cyber Team has deployed new Wazuh Rules within the GuardientTM XDR platform to identify the IOCs. USX Cyber continues to monitor and remediate any and all related alerts.

Build Your Business’ Cybersecurity Fortress with Managed XDR Services

There’s a reason why we don’t build castles anymore to keep us safe. Besides the fact that finding alligators to guard your moat is a pretty dicey proposition. It’s because the protection that towering walls provide vanishes once your defenses are breached. That’s the moment it all comes crashing down.

Unfortunately, this is how many small-and-medium businesses (SMBs) attempt to defend themselves against cyber attacks – relying solely on firewalls and off-the-shelf anti-virus software. The ugly truth of the matter is that businesses need more advanced security tools to be prepared for today’s growing cyber threats.

In fact, it’s estimated that there’s one ransomware attack every 11 seconds. And when SMBs get hit, the results are nothing short of disastrous — nearly 60% of these companies will go out of business within six months of the attack.

Stats like these – and there’s more where they came from – are exactly why USX Cyber has built a dynamic defense that includes Managed Extended Detection and Response (Managed XDR) cybersecurity paired with expert-level human intelligence.

The Right Protection

Simply put, when attackers threaten or get past your preventative tools, you need to deter and destroy them — quickly. Managed XDR detects, analyzes, and responds to bad actors that have infiltrated your system.

But it doesn’t do it with cutting-edge technology alone. It takes the watchful eye of human analysts to unlock the true protection potential of Managed XDR. At USX Cyber we call this “human-led” technology. And it’s the only way to stand up to today’s advanced cyber attacks.

No matter the sector your business is in. No matter your size. You still have to wrestle with the matters of budget constraints, staffing, and limited resources. That’s where Managed XDR can help small businesses protect their turf. It’s unrealistic to expect many IT departments to even have the necessary skills or expertise to stay up-to-date and be prepared for complex cyber threats. When you partner with USX Cyber, you free your staff up from the task of day-to-day security management.

The Right People

There’s no doubt, many of the cybersecurity tools that are available today are brilliantly designed. USX Cyber has enlisted the very best of them in our platform, Guardient, which allows us to keep businesses safe. But as powerful as security software is, it’s only as strong as the humans behind it. That’s because there’s no such thing as impenetrable cybersecurity. Even the best solutions can only be coded to respond to a set of pre-existing rules. So, that means when you rely on technology alone, there’s a good chance you’d never even know an attack happened if hackers were to slip past your system’s triggers.

That’s where knowing the right people truly makes all the difference. Humans are your last line of defense. And our humans (let’s just start calling them analysts) are ready and able to catch the threats that MDR software misses. It’s more than just a complementary approach, Managed XDR is a synergistic defense posture that closes the gaps found in technology and fortifies weak spots to provide enterprise-level protection to businesses that would otherwise find themselves vulnerable.

To run Managed XDR also takes the right training. USX Cyber analysts have decades of combined military, Department of Homeland Security, and FBI experience under their belts. Beyond that, they are experts in the field of cybersecurity and responsible for creating many of the solutions included in your security suite. And our analysts are based right here in the U.S. and available 24/7 to provide human-driven, technology-assisted threat detection. That means you’ll always have access to the elite skill set that our analysts have including threat hunting, eyes-on-glass intelligence, and active response.

The Right Size

You might consider yourself small, but you have a big target on your back. And doing nothing about it truly makes you, and the business you’ve worked tirelessly to grow, a sitting duck. While not being able to staff up your IT department, or having the budget needed to run a robust cybersecurity platform yourself are understandable reasons for bypassing strong security measures — they really aren’t excuses hackers care about.

USX Cyber understands the harsh realities of SMBs and that’s why our GuardientTM Managed XDR offerings were developed to provide a level of protection that is scalable for any budget. It’s also highly extendable to provide security wherever you do business — in the cloud, on your server, or in any environment.

GuardientTM  allows for customization to fit your needs with a tiered product offering that includes X1 Monitored, X2 Focused and X3 Managed levels of service. But no matter the level of protection you choose, you can rest easy in the knowledge that all are backed by our highly trained USX Cyber analysts.

Guard Against it All

It’s OK if you’re not an expert in cybersecurity — it’s a lot to take in. On top of that, you’re tasked with running a business, which means your focus is spread across many disciplines. But the threat of ransomware, phishing scams, data breaches, and denial of service attacks are very real and require your attention, too.

USX Cyber offers the right-sized protection your business needs to stay guarded in this new world of cyber vulnerability. By putting the right technology and the right people on your side, you can be confident you have a solution that works.

Or by all means, go with the gators.

Talk to a USX Cyber expert today to schedule a demo or get your free Active Defense Cybersecurity Analysis.