As cyber crime continues to evolve, we see increased innovation in the hacking tools and techniques used to evade security mechanisms. The past few years have seen more advanced, targeted incidents, where hackers spent ample time investigating the target and tailoring the threat to increase impact.
Keeping up with new attack techniques, and effectively defending against advanced threats, is one of the biggest challenge facing security teams today. It is now a crucial aspect of business to keep firmly up to date with the advancements in cybersecurity, in order to ‘know the enemy’ and take steps to prevent or limit an attack. In fact, many businesses have now taken this a step further, with 54% reporting that they have a CISO in charge of their security programme and 49%, a CSO (PwC survey 2016).
It is now an inevitable fact that the only constant in a world of increasing cyber threats is change, and working with a solution that dynamically adapts to this constant change is crucial.
We can group cyber attacks into two types:
- Targeted attacks—Aimed at specific groups or organisations within any given industry. They often target particular individuals or systems with known vulnerabilities, and deploy exploits or malware that leave those systems defenseless. It is vital that infected components are quickly detected, and defenses are customised and distributed across the infrastructure (i.e. other devices and network segments), to contain the incident.
- Opportunistic attacks—Where an attacker casts a wide net hoping to infect as many victims as possible. Opportunistic attacks are less customized but can be just as dangerous as targeted attacks - viruses and bots are typically used to propagate the infection widely and rapidly, compromising thousands of devices across many organisations. Knowing when and how other organisations were attacked can provide valuable intelligence that may help you to determine if your organisation has been infected with the same threat and prevent you from becoming a victim in future.
The rate at which attacks are changing dictates that what protected your network against attacks this morning may not be effective against attacks being launched in the next few minutes.
Keeping the prevention capabilities of your security technology as current as possible helps to minimise risk of infection and restricts attackers to threats containing pristine, control domains. This seriously increases the cost of carrying out attacks, and severely limits the opportunity for them to be successful.
So what is the solution?
While a dedicated threat research team is important, it is rarely enough. Attackers are increasingly using automated threats, and therefore, your data-to-protection process must also be automated if you want to stay ahead. To do this, your cybersecurity solution must be able to:
- Compile threat data quickly from new attacks into intelligence
- Produce protections against those threats as soon as attackers operationalize them. This includes attacks on your network and other organisations around the world.
Consider investing in tools that:
- Analyse threats seen around the globe
- Generate new signatures for future protection that prevent at each attack stage automatically
- Deliver those protections to all policy enforcement within your network, proactively preventing threats seen by other organisations from infecting your network.
Generated protections should be smart with an individual signature protecting against multiple variations of the originally analysed threat to ensure maximum coverage.
Additionally, technologies that provide automated detection and prevention capabilities should also provide you with tools to help mitigate any current network infection.
The key is to keep aware and up to date
One of the easiest ways to leave your business open to a breach is to not keep up to date. Whilst many now recognise the importance of security, it is crucial to understand that simply having a solution is no longer enough. You need to make sure that it is effective at dealing with the latest threats quickly and reduces the chance of letting them slip through undetected to cause chaos for your business and productivity.