By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver
For US businesses the occurrence of a significant cyber attack and substantial data leak is looking more like “when” instead of “if”, because of the brand-new dangers that are presenting themselves with fragmented endpoint strategies, cloud computing and data intensive applications. All too often companies are overlooking or improperly resolving vulnerabilities that are known to them, and with aging IT assets that are not appropriately secured the cyber bad guys start to take notice.
The variety of data breaches that are occurring is really disturbing. In a report from the Verizon Risk Team there were 855 significant breaches which led to 174 million records being lost back in 2011. The stakes are very high for businesses that handle personally identifiable information (PII), because if workers are not informed on compliance and inadequate endpoint data protection measures remain in place then expensive legal action is most likely to happen.
” The probability of a data breach or personal privacy problem taking place in any company has ended up being a virtual certainty,” Jeffrey Vagle, legal expert writing for Mondaq mentioned. He recommended that record keepers have to reassess their approach to network and device security, employee data access controls and the administration of PII information. The increase in the use of cloud services can make the prevention of data breaches more challenging, as these services make it possible for the massive exchange of info every time. It would only take one occurrence and countless files could be lost.
Known Vulnerabilities Require Focus
A lot of IT departments worry continually about zero day attacks that will trigger a data breach and catch them off guard. As an example of this, Dirk Smith of Network World wrote about an Adobe Acrobat exploit that provided access for hackers to perform advanced monitoring. A lot of IT vulnerabilities can come when software is not patched up to date, and a great deal of zero day dangers can take place from weak points in legacy code that includes a bug in Windows which targeted functions that were first presented 20 years back.
Security expert, Jim Kennedy wrote in a Continuity Central post “one thing that I have found is that a lot of the breaches and intrusions which were successful did so by attacking known vulnerabilities that had been determined and had been around for many years: not from some advanced ‘zero-day’ attack which was unidentified and unknown up until just the other day by the security community at large.” “And, even more disturbing, social engineering continues to be a most effective method to start and/precipitate an attack.”
Now the cyber criminal fraternity has access to an extensive series of pre packaged malware. These tools have the ability to carry out network and computer analytics that are complex in nature and then recommend the ideal attack method. Another threat is a human one, where workers are not trained correctly to screen out calls or messages from individuals who lie about being a member of the technical support team of an external security service provider.
It is definitely crucial to proactively prevent zero day attacks with robust endpoint protection software, however also companies have to combine efficient training and processes with the hardware and software solutions. While many organizations will have a variety of security policies in place there is normally an issue with enforcing them. This can result in risky fluctuations in the movement of data and network traffic that must be examined by security staff being overlooked and not being resolved.