Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a global player in Internet security, has revealed that one of the problems facing businesses in the modern world is that they seem to have new adversaries lining up every day to launch attacks, disrupt operations and stealthily siphon confidential data using a bewildering array of malware; all of which makes ‘knowing the enemy’ a huge task.
Managing Director, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., United Kingdom, Terry Greer-King said Cybercrime has become big business and just like any other business sector, criminals are looking to boost their revenues and grow their market share. This means targeting hundreds, even thousands of companies with their attacks to increase the likelihood of success.
According to him, the attack technique most commonly used is stealthy malware which is designed to be hard to detect and operate below the radar of IT teams. “To give a sense of how this works on an industrial scale, in 2012 an average of 70,000 to 100,000 new malware samples were created and distributed every day; this is over 10 times more per day than in 2011 and over 100 times more than 2006. It’s impossible for conventional anti-malware approaches to keep pace with this massive growth. Check Point’s 2013 Security Report found that 63 per cent of organisations were infected with bots, and more than half were being infected with new malware at least once a day.”
He continued: “The code for a majority of these new infections is concealed in common file types that we all use for business – emails, Word documents, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets and so on. Hacker toolkits exist that can obscure these executable scripts, to disguise their malicious actions – which may mean changing the registry on a user’s computer, or downloading an executable file which can then infect the network. With the growing volumes of traffic on corporate networks, and the volume of new malware being introduced and hiding in plain sight in innocuous-looking files, organisations are vulnerable to zero-day attacks. And even though layered defenses using IPS and IDS can help to block some malware actions, these still do not stop infections reaching the network and spreading across it.”
Greer-King maintained that the sheer number and complexity of new attacks means, “we cannot hope to know everything about our enemies. However, we can at least understand our enemies’ intent, and the methods of attack they are likely to use. This can reveal vital intelligence that can be used to identify and nullify new risks.”
The IT Expert noted that just as a country’s border control will use a range of techniques to observe the people entering and identify those who pose a threat, new security techniques have made it possible to scrutinise emails, files and data entering a network, and isolate malicious files at the network edge so that infection does not occur.
Source : Independent