Preparing for the Shifting Threat Landscape

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    Analysis of Cyber Black Market Reveals Unprecedented Global Maturity

    Do you think your anti-virus software is doing an adequate job in detecting malware and keeping your computers and network safe?

    Unfortunately, you may need to re-think your attitudes toward AV software. According to a new report from Solutionary and the NTT Group, AV fails to spot 54 percent of new malware that is collected by honeypots. Also, 71 percent of new malware collected from sandboxes was undetected by over 40 different AV solutions.

    The report also found that even a minor SQL injection could result in financial losses upwards of $200,000 – the kind of dollar amount that could cripple a small business.

    The 2014 Global Threat Intelligence Report shows how the threat landscape is shifting. That’s not surprising. We don’t use our computers the same way we did even five years ago. We access networks differently, using multiple devices. We store more data than ever, and we’re storing it in different ways. As the report stated:

    Protecting data is no longer confined to the hard outer shell of the organization but into a complex fluid environment which goes beyond geographic and organizational borders.

    For that reason, what we once thought was a “good enough” approach to security is no longer enough. What was once considered basic security now has to be approached as the foundation for more advanced tactics that address the new perimeter.

    The report pointed out two areas in addressing the shift in the threat landscape. Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows I’m a proponent of employee education, so I heartily agree with the report’s recommendation to improve employee engagement. If employees aren’t on board with security (and if they don’t understand the importance of security), then they aren’t going to take steps to secure their personally owned devices that are connecting to the company network.

    The second recommendation involves rethinking how security is applied – it should be built into applications. Better architected and developed software is more agile in maintaining risk reductions.

    Those are just two recommendations in building an improved security foundation. I think there are other small steps that businesses of any size can take, as well, such as taking a closer look at the browsers being used to connect to the Internet. Are they secure enough? Are you following regulations properly? One thing the report found was that companies that perform quarterly external PCI Authorized Scanning Vendor assessments are more secure and more capable of remediating problems when they occur.

    The threat landscape is going to continue to change. Protection methods once considered best or most optimal will become outdated or be a smaller piece of the security puzzle. The question you have to ask yourself is not whether or not your AV software is protecting your computers and network, but what else do you have in place to supplement AV against malware and other threats?

    Sue Poremba
    Sue Poremba
    Sue Poremba is freelance writer based on Central PA. She's been writing about cybersecurity and technology trends since 2008.

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