Each passing year, the threats posed by cybercriminals evolve into smarter and dangerous forms that enterprises struggle to keep pace with it. 2016 year has been no different, as the severity, size and complexity of cyber threats have taken an exceptionally creative angle. In fact, according to IBM report, the cost of data breaches has hit over $4 million dollar mark this year. Financial gain has always been the motivation behind most of the attacks but it is by no means the only reason. Attackers are now looking to inflict damages while other attacks are attached to political interests.
Who is the Most Vulnerable?
Stats show that healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, government agencies and transportation industries are the most targeted. Still, this shows that no one is safe in the cyberspace. 2016 year has clearly shown us that whether you are new or old enterprise, you are not out of radar when it comes to cyber-attacks! Here are some of the most interesting cyber security trends of 2016:
- A drop in Java Exploits:
Well, attackers were known to fancy java exploits in the past but that is no longer the case. This is largely attributed to the security measures implemented by most browsers pertaining the way java applets are executed. This means that security teams around the world can focus on mitigating higher risks as java users keep installing security patches in a bid to prevent future attacks.
- An increase in Trojan Levels:
2016 year has seen an increase in the Trojan related social engineering exploits by a whopping 57 percent! In simple words, a Trojan will claim to be a tool that tricks users into a given action. Trojan is actually a favorite among social engineering experts thus finding solutions to this will help protect your organization better. One way to do so is to educate employees about common tactics Trojans deploy. Talk of things like spicy web headlines and spoofed emails. Also, try to encourage your employees to use personal devices when accessing social networks instead of using devices connected to your corporate network.
- Increased Enterprise Protection:
Today, it is common to find enterprises implementing top-notch security measures like firewalls to prevent malware attacks. The result is an increase in the number of attacks targeting consumer computers-at a rate of about 2.2 times the number of attacks aimed at enterprise computers. Do not be fooled, though. Consumer computers and enterprise computers experience roughly the same number of exploits. The best way to secure a company from such exploits is to first familiarize yourself with the threat landscape before formulating a strategy to secure the perimeter of the enterprise. This includes aspects like security and access credentials etc. why not take advantage of machine learning, multi-factor authentication and other analytics techniques to defend against such attacks?
- Increased Inside Attacks:
Most of us tend to think that people who work for us are the good people. The truth is that this is usually not the case! Research has shown that insiders execute around 60 percent of cyber-attacks. An insider, in this case, is anybody with physical and remote access to a company’s assets. In most cases, these insiders are inadvertent actors or rather, well-meaning employees who mistakenly allow an attacker to access your company’s data.
- New Application Vulnerabilities:
While many security teams have invested most of their time in fighting known vulnerabilities (in operating systems and web browsers), attackers are now targeting applications. The main vulnerabilities in 2016 have been found in applications meaning that security teams now have to expand their patches to applications in a bid to reduce the loopholes.
- Shellshock attacks:
A previously reported vulnerability known as shellshock has contributed to lots of cyber-attacks over the past year-particularly the surge of unauthorized access. Shellshock is a flaw in the bash shell that is extensively deployed among Mac, Linux and Solaris systems. In principle, attackers exploit this flaw to inject command codes into software or to bombard a system with random passwords.
- A rise in Exploit Kits:
The rise of exploit kits has, led to the number of lower skilled attackers who can perform sophisticated attacks. In case you are lost then exploit kits are simply an assembly of exploits purchased as commercial software in hacker forums. Typically, the kits have a collection of web pages that have vulnerabilities in common web browsers. The attackers will then install the exploit kits on a comprised server meaning that any visitor lacking proper security can have their computers compromised.
How to Control Cyber Threats?
As far as cyber security is concerned, it is all about having a proper strategy in place. Gone are the days when all companies had to ensure compliance requirements or do annual penetration tests. The following steps will help you create a complete cyber security program.
- Order your business ideas while also setting risk tolerance levels. In other words, try to find the balance between protecting data assets and providing a proper working environment for your employees.
- Have a proactive security plan – Understand the threat scenery then get down to creating and implementing proper policies. You should also adopt the right technology for every kind of threat.
- Always be prepared with a response for a threat- This can be made possible through a coordinated incident response plan.
- Create a culture of security awareness- It is always advisable to ensure that security professionals work together with other employees in protecting critical data. This way, you will create a culture of cyber security awareness in the organization.
Trends in the cyber world are bound to change as attacks mutate, thus cyber threat intelligence is more of a necessity than a choice these days in any enterprise. Keep in mind that protection, detection and response are the three pillars of cyber security but still intelligence is driving force behind a successful program.