Cyber Attacks – Businesses Held for Ransom
Really nice crisp clear morning here in Galway, bit chilly though. Before I dropped my 14 year old son to school, I tuned into an Irish station, NewsTalk and caught most of a very interesting conversation between a member of a large Irish law firm, William Fry and the presenter.
They were discussing the increasing threat of cyber-attack for Irish businesses. They spoke about the importance of detection as 43% of business are not even aware that they are being attacked and the hackers can have access for weeks/months before they are detected.
They also indicated that 4 out of 5 businesses have been impacted, hard to believe but if this also includes recent Ransomware attacks for example, based on feedback from NetFort customers I would believe it. Maybe also as large enterprise are spending more on security and have ‘tightened up’ the hacker has moved on, redefined the ‘low hanging fruit’, it is now the small to medium enterprise (SME)?
It reminds me of a discussion I had last year with a network admin of a college in Chicago. ‘John, we are entering an era where continuous monitoring, visibility is becoming more and more critical because there is no way all the inline active systems can protect us internally and externally these days’.
I am biased but I think he is absolutely correct. Visibility, actionable intelligence, data normal users can read and interpret and act on is critical.
Visibility not just at the edge though, also at the core, the internal network because it is critical to be able to see and detect suspicious activity or network misuse here also. It is also important to track this, to keep a record of it to help troubleshoot, to provide proof for management, auditors and even users.
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I was discussing some recent LANGuardian use cases with an adviser in the US this week and mentioned that we are hearing the term ‘network misuse’ a lot more these days and I was not sure why. Maybe organizations are becoming more concerned about data theft?
His explanation makes sense, it was all about the attack surface for him, if users are misusing the network, accessing sites and applications that are non-critical or inappropriate and infected, it is increasing the attack surface, the security risk and will result in pain for everybody.
In defence of Irish business though, a lot of the systems out there in this space are only suitable for large enterprises, too expensive and complex to manage, tune and get real actionable intelligence. The SMEs all over the world, not just Ireland cannot afford them in terms of time, people and money.