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Ransomware attacks are significantly declining despite an increase in cyberattacks generally, according to the global IT association ISACA.
In its State of Cybersecurity 2018 research study just released, ISACA reveals that last year, 62% of respondents experienced a ransomware attack, compared to 45% this year — a 17-point drop.
According to ISACA, the drop in ransomware attacks is likely because organisations are significantly better prepared after last year’s WannaCry and NotPetya attacks, with 82% of respondents saying that their enterprises now have ransomware strategies in place. In addition, 78% said they have a formal process in place— up 25-points from last year.
“While these findings are positive, the data show that ransomware attacks may have been displaced by cryptocurrency mining, which is becoming more frequent,” said ISACA.
“Cryptocurrency mining malware can operate without direct access to the file system, making them harder to detect—and as the prices of cryptocurrencies increase, the economics of cryptocurrency mining malware becomes better for the attacker.
“Additionally, the three most common attack vectors remain unchanged from last year – phishing, malware and social engineering.”
The research also shows that 50% of the 2,366 security leaders surveyed have seen an increase in cyberattack volumes relative to last year and, in addition, 80% of respondents said they are likely, or very likely, to be attacked this year — a statistic that ISACA says remains unchanged from last year’s study.
According to ISACA, active defence strategies are highly effective, but underutilised.
The research also found that nearly 4 out of 10 respondents (39%) are not at all familiar or only slightly familiar with active defence strategies (e.g., honeypots and sinkholes), and of those who are familiar with active defence strategies, just over half are actually using them.
“This is a missed opportunity for security leaders and their organisations,” said Frank Downs, director of cybersecurity at ISACA.
“ISACA’s research indicates that active defence strategies are one of the most effective countermeasures to cyberattacks. A full 87% of those who use them indicate that they were successful.”
The ISACA report suggests enterprises must be better prepared with focused attention on several areas, and makes several recommendations, including:
- Investing in talent—With attacks still on the rise, enterprises must continue to invest in finding, retaining and training skilled cyber security professionals
- Exploring further automation benefits—Enterprises should consider automation-driven strategies and tools for detection and to support recovery and response efforts
- Ensuring appropriate investment in security controls—With attack vectors (phishing, malware and social engineering) minimally changing, existing control types are still valid and useful. Enterprise investment and attention to security controls should increase in line with the frequency of these attack vectors.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — SnoopWall, Inc, the global leader in Breach Prevention, today announced receiving the coveted Cybersecurity Excellence Award for its tiny, powerful, cost-efffective NetSHIELD Nano breach prevention appliance.
“We’re humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award from our peers in the cyber and information security space,” said Gary S. Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall, Inc. “When small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are looking for a cost effective way to prevent breaches on their intranet networks, they look towards SnoopWall. Our NetSHIELD Nano is an incredibly tiny, powerful and cost-effective breach prevention solution that any SME can afford.”
The Cybersecurity Excellence Award is a prestigious award that honors individuals, products and companies that demonstrate excellence, innovation and leadership in information security. This independent awards program is produced in cooperation with the Information Security Community on LinkedIn, tapping into the experience of more than 300,000+ cybersecurity professionals to recognize the world’s best cybersecurity products, individuals and organizations.
“Congratulations to SnoopWall for winning the 2017 Cybersecurity Excellence Award for Network Access Control (NAC) hardware with their tiny breach prevention Nano appliances,” said Holger Schulze, founder of the 350,000-member Information Security Community on LinkedIn which organizes the awards program. “With over 450 entries, the 2017 awards are highly competitive. All winners and finalists reflect the very best in leadership, excellence and innovation in today’s cybersecurity industry.”
Fitting within the palm of your hands, the patented NetSHIELD Nano is the world’s smallest network access control (NAC) and breach prevention intranet security appliance. This is a tiny, powerful, plug-in-and-protect solution that detects and blocks zero-day malware (0day), ransomware, remote access Trojans (RATs). In addition, in milliseconds it blocks rogue devices, manages the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) dilemma and, with pinpoint accuracy, finds all vulnerabilities in trusted network assets/devices including on wired and wireless networks and all internet of things (IoT) devices. It has a complete standalone secure web-management interface, as well as support for all major switches, hubs, wireless devices and can send threat feeds to all SIEMs and SIMs over Syslog or SNMP traps plus email alerts. In addition, for larger organizations and MSSPs it can be completely managed remotely through the Command Center of the NetSHIELD Enterprise appliances.
About SnoopWall, Inc.
SnoopWall is the world’s first breach prevention security company delivering a suite of network, mobile and app security products as well as cloud-based services protecting all computing devices from prying eyes and new threats through patented counterveillance cloaking technology. SnoopWall secures mission critical and highly valuable confidential information behind firewalls with our award winning patented NetSHIELD appliances and with WinSHIELD on windows and MobileSHIELD on Google Android and Apple iOS mobile devices with next generation technology that detects and blocks all remote control, eavesdropping and spying. SnoopWall’s software products and hardware appliances are all proudly made in the U.S.A.
Everyone, from the small business owner, to senior executives in businesses of every shape and size are confronting a seemingly insurmountable problem: Constant and rising cyber security breaches. It seems no matter what we do, there is always someone that was hacked, a new vulnerability exploited, and millions of dollars lost.
In an effort to stem the tide people have tried everything: From throwing money at it by buying the latest and greatest tech gizmos promising security, to outsourcing cyber security management, to handing it over to the IT folks to deal with it. And, every time the result is money lost, productivity decreased, and the attacks continue.
Many business people complain that we’re not just losing a battle here and there. We’re losing the war. Is that true?
The truth is that those that keep losing their cyber battles and risk losing the war are making three critical mistakes:
1. They think cyber security is a technology problem.
2. They follow a cyber security check list once-and-done.
3. They don’t have a cyber security awareness training program in place.
First, cyber security is not a technology problem. Far from it. It is a business-critical problem, and more importantly: It’s a people problem, and we need to address it at that level.
Second, cyber security is a constantly evolving battlefield. The threats evolve, the attacks take new paths, the underlying technologies change. A static check list solves yesterday’s problems, not today’s, and certainly not tomorrow’s.
Finally, if people don’t understand the threat they will not even see the attack coming, much less be able to respond and protect themselves. Cyber security awareness training is the only way to prepare everyone for the new reality we live and work in.
Cyber security is not an IT problem either, according to Prosyn. It is a risk management problem. This is easier to understand in your work and in a regulated industry. Therefore, the concept, language, even governance of risk management is part of the daily lexicon. This is why it’s so important that you understand how to respond to risk as well as being aware of what the risks may be before they occur.
Not so with small and mid-market business less familiar with the risk management function. It doesn’t help that the very nature of the threat and the way the “payload” of the attack is delivered is via information technologies. It almost makes sense to have IT deal with cyber security. But the victims are not the computers. The victims are the businesses and their people.
More importantly: A company’s Information Technology generates Value. It does so through myriad different ways depending on the business you are in, from the actual delivery of goods to clients (e.g. software businesses, data businesses, media, and technology businesses, etc.) to complementing, enhancing, and realizing the mission and vision of the company (law firms, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, etc.) Owing to these security breach issues, many businesses tend to opt for services of reliable service providers like Privacera (https://privacera.com/products/centralized-access-control/) and similar others. By having centralized and secure access to all the data of the business, they are most likely to be not affected by cybercrimes.
Cyber security, like all risk management, is there to protect value. Therefore, you can never have cyber security (the value protector) report to IT (the value creator). That creates a conflict of interest. Just like IT reports directly to the CEO, so must cyber security. They are parallel tracks keeping the business train aligned and moving.
Once you have the reporting structure correctly in place, you need to empower it with executive buy-in and engagement. Cyber security needs your direction on company goals and risk appetite so they can develop the right strategy to protect the company’s assets. Cyber security professionals, working with the board and executives, including IT and business units, will develop the right defense-in-depth strategy that is right for the company.
Cyber security doesn’t happen in isolation. It is not a set check list. It is dynamic, adjusting strategy to risk, asset value, and controls. As market conditions change, as company goals change, and as technology changes, so will the cyber security strategy.
Neither structure nor strategy will help if you ignore the most important element in cyber security: People. In 2016 ISACA published the top three cybersecurity threats facing organizations in that year. They were, in order: 52% Social Engineering; 40% Insider Threats; 39% Advanced Persistent Threats.
Excluding the advanced persistent threats typically targeted against large multinationals, governments, military, infrastructure and the like, the other two have one common element: People.
It is people that become the victims of cyber-attacks, and by extension, the businesses they work in or do business with. Be it through social engineering, extortion, or any of the many vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit, it is people that get compromised first. They are the ones that have to pick up the pieces when all the data is gone or when their identity is stolen.
The good news is that cyber security awareness training is one of the most effective controls against hackers. Training and sensitizing people to the threats, the methods used, vulnerabilities, even their own personal privacy risks, has been proven time and again as the one thing that makes a real difference in early detection, quick response and recovery during a cyber-attack. Having a quarterly lunch-and-learn will go a long way in developing a culture of cyber awareness, saving both your business and your employees from cyber-harm.
Avoiding these three mistakes in cyber security won’t help win every single battle. But it will guarantee you win the war.
A NetSHIELD Cyber Threat and Vulnerability Assessment can help you to understand: Baseline Security–who and what is really on your network. Build a trust list and identifying unknown and unwanted assets
Threat Prevention – identify zero-hour malware not detected with AV. Capture, in real time, successful phishing attacks with no false positives. Ensure IT and employee productivity and create tangible, teachable moments for reinforcing employee cyber-awareness.
Vulnerability Assessment and Compliance Report – discover and prioritize vulnerabilities that exist on your network and run compliance assessments for PCI, HIPAA, SOX, etc.
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To protect sensitive data, businesses must take the time to refocus on best practices
In the past five years, businesses of all sizes have realized just how vulnerable they are to cyber attacks.
The astonishing increase in the number of attacks each year troubles corporate leaders, IT professionals and chief information security officers, who see their security efforts foiled by hackers.
The number of large corporations targeted since 2015 is proof that everyone is vulnerable. Wherever you look, there is an Ashley Madison, Home Depot or JP Morgan Chase breach that makes you realize just how precarious security structures are.
In sports, teams regroup at halftime and get back to work in the second half with a refocused goal of finishing the game strong. The same holds true for security practices. To help businesses beef up security in the second half of 2016, here are some ideas to keep data safe:
1. Be aware of stored data
It is astonishing how many big firms do not know they have huge chunks of data in their systems. Technologies such as the Internet of Things contribute a lot to this, but company data should be handled better overall. Knowing what is stored in their systems would provide companies with information about which data needs to be protected most against threats.
2. Focus on protecting data
The biggest cases of 2015 related to data breaches of global services and corporations. Business owners think that beefing up firewalls and security perimeters is the answer, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Protecting their data should be the priority. Secure encryption is vital to prevent data from being compromised easily should the corporate network be breached.
3. Address the mobile threat
Many corporations allow employees to use their personal devices in the workplace. It’s safe to assume that most employees do not take the necessary security measures for their mobile devices. This puts corporate data on such devices at great risk. IT administrators need to have better—not more—control over such devices.
4. Spread awareness
It’s always good to make employees companywide aware of the threats they face. Talking with employees regularly about new and emerging threats and sharing ideas about improving security is good practice.
5. Take insider threats seriously
You could shell out millions of dollars trying to protect your network from outside threats only to be undone by an employee who clicks on a nefarious link and compromises sensitive data. Hackers regularly send malicious emails to many employees in a firm in hopes that one of them falls for it—and someone frequently does. Encourage employees to be more vigilant since such emails often can easily be spotted.
Reprinted from ThirdCertainty Guest Essay by Oscar Marque