I saw two interesting headlines today. The first one warned that businesses are increasingly under attack from cyber threats. The second one said that cyber attacks have declined slightly.
When I saw the two titles listed right next to each other in a Google alert I receive daily, I couldn't help but smile. With such conflicting messages, it's no wonder companies struggle with cyber security.
Symantec has come out with its 2011 State of Security report, which found that seven out of 10 businesses were hit with cyber attacks over the past 12 months, down from a 75 percent clip the year before. Also according to the report:
Top 10 Cyber Security Threats of 2011 and Beyond
The next decade portends new threats that surpass those of years past in both intensity and impact.
Ninety-two percent of respondents report losses from such incidents, down from 100 percent last year. The percentage who reported an increasing frequency of attacks fell from 29 percent in 2010 to 21 percent in 2011.
At first glance, those numbers look a little depressing - 70 percent of businesses surveyed suffered an attack, 92 percent reported losses - but compared to the previous years, they are definitely encouraging. I hope it is the beginning of a trend that shows companies are making progress when it comes to security efforts. And those efforts will especially come into play when considering the research from SonicWALL that found businesses are under increasing attack from cyber criminals.
SonicWALL found the cyber security problems facing the enterprise are coming from mobile devices and social media sites. In a release, Boris Yanovsky, SonicWALL vice president of software engineering, said:
Cyber-criminals are focusing their attention on penetrating corporate networks and data through mobile workflow and applications. Employees innocently surfing dating sites via a mobile device or PC, that are in fact fake sites, or clicking on offers on Facebook such as a free McDonald's meal that are click-jacking scams, can have a catastrophic impact on data security, business continuity and profitability.
Yanovsky called for new levels of firewall and network security in order to fight these new and increasingly sophisticated threats.
Bottom line as I see it: The bad guys are trying hard to come up with ways to worm their way into corporate data, but the enterprise is figuring out it can combat those efforts. It's always going to be a cat and mouse game, security vs. the bad guys, but I think the enterprise is starting to win a few battles.