Today’s cyber threats are not only increasingly advanced and damaging, they are widely dispersed, ever-evolving, and challenging to stop. According to Forcepoint’s 2016 Global Threat Report, these threats include everything from ransomware to insiders to a new botnet, dubbed “Jaku,” targeting Asia.
The report analyzed more than three billion data points per day in 155 countries around the world. The data was collected and evaluated using the Threatseeker Intelligence Cloud, and the Forcepoint team—which included researchers and engineers in Europe, the Middle East, and North America—provided expert interpretation.
“The rapid evolution of the cyber threat environment has consequences that are much broader than just technical, operational, and financial – they can impact every piece of a business,” said Forcepoint Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Ford. “With this Threat Report, we want to demystify these threats and help enable businesses with tools, recommendations and, quite simply, knowledge, so they can continue to move forward without fear.”
The key findings of the report include:
- Malicious content in email increased 250 percent compared to 2014, driven largely by malware and ransomware
- The United States hosts more phishing websites than all others countries combined
- Ransomware focus is sharpening, targeting countries, economies and industries where a high ransom is more likely to be paid
- “Insiders” – malicious and accidental – represent the biggest threat to company security and the one for which businesses feel least prepared
- Advanced evasion techniques are gaining in popularity and are combining multiple evasion methods, such as IP fragmentation and TCP segmentation, to create new ways to bypass access controls, attack watering holes and disguise traffic
In the face of the rapidly evolving cyber threats facing organizations and government agencies, security professionals must enhance their cybersecurity defense strategy.
Bob Hansmann, Director of Security Analysis & Strategy for Forcepoint, told Homeland Security Today that industry leaders must take these threats seriously, and be proactive in investigating them. He explained, “Organizations are still focusing budgets on inbound security rather than on identifying potential breaches, even as publicly reported breaches become an almost weekly occurrence.”
Hansmann added, “We are talking about more than system downtime. Jobs, businesses, and even lives are at stake in the current cyber war.”
To build a better and more secure information network for communication and storage, Forcepoint suggests making progressive changes. The report revealed that the company advocates a new, holistic approach to cybersecurity, which gives enterprises a 360-degree view of the threat landscape, as well as real-time analysis and meaningful alerts that can help customers act quickly to defeat even the most advanced adversaries.
Putting in place important organizational changes is critical in safeguarding an organization from attack. Educating personnel on what changes have been made to internal systems, and directing them on how they can promote a safe and secure cyber environment is vital.
Additionally, supervising network connections for theft or abnormal activity, installing data theft prevention tools, and enhancing email and Internet connections and transfer policies can also prove beneficial.
“It’s not a matter of ‘if’ I get breached, or even preparing for ‘when’ I will be breached. The question is: ‘Am I currently breached,’” said Hansmann.