Jun 16, 2017

Disruptive technology ups cybersecurity threats: Study

BYPankaj Mishra

A study by software major Wipro has revealed that disruptive technology has led to a dramatic increase in cybersecurity threats all over the world.
“Number of records stolen the world over rose 53.6% in 2016 from 2015 due to disruptions in the cyber security domain,” said the company’s maiden study on ‘State of Cyber Security Report, 2017’ here.
Flagging the macro, micro and meso trends in cybersecurity and disruptions, the study noted that data breaches in public resulted in high peaking of negative sentiments on social media against the enterprise concerned, indicating the post facto Twitter sentiment analysis.
“A record 56% of breaches reported had user credentials (passwords) as part of the types of data stolen, implying that damage could be perpetrated using the stolen data,” asserted the report.
Another highlight of the report said that, at 33.3%, Angler, RIG and Nuclear were among the most observed exploit kits used by cyber criminals.
According to data analysis, 56% of malware attacks in 2016 were due to Trojans, while viruses and worms were 19-20%.
“Majority of the security products were vulnerable to exploitation and CISOs (chief information and security officers) have to track them 24×7,” noted the study.
Emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), like connected cameras, cars, health and industrial automation devices proves to be a launch pad for the “hacking for hire” industry.
“Cybersecurity is becoming a priority for businesses. It has become critical to identify risks near real-time and empower stakeholders to take actions and decisions based on priority,” said Wipro in a statement citing the study report.
IoT devices come with a low memory and processing footprint and have little security capabilities, including patching. Once “online” with an IP address, the devices are easy prey for hacking syndicates, who develop custom malware to take their control en masse and use them as a launchpad for cyberattacks.
Noting that responsibility for governance of data privacy was still centralised, lying with cyber officers for 71% of enterprises, the report said privileged access to data was ranked the highest amongst data security controls.
The report also highlighted key findings on attacks, vulnerabilities and cyber defence useful for teams across cybersecurity strategy, operations and risk management.
“The report brought a mix of research and analysis on attacks, vulnerabilities, and cyber weapons and contrasts their impact on defence mechanism,” said Sheetal Mehta, Wipro’s vice-president for cybersecurity and risk services, in the statement.
The study was conducted in 11 countries across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, West Asia and South Asia interviewing 139 organisations in diverse industry sectors.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.