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September 7, 2017

Ransomware, DDoS and insider threats prove top data security dangers

Organisations have mere months to shore up their cyber defences for data protection, with GDPR arriving in May 2018.

By Tom Ball

At a time when data security is critical and regulation is arriving to enforce its importance, a number of threats including ransomware are causing organisations a great deal of concern.

Ransomware, insider threats and DDoS attacks as the threats feared most by organisations, with 78 per cent having faced at least two of these in the last year alone.

This information has been presented by the SANS Institute alongside actionable network intelligence provider Infoblox. Also revealed in the report is the concerning statistic that a huge 59 per cent of organisations employ manual processes to ascertain which assets are vulnerable.

Organisations using manual processes for security purposes are at increased risk of falling victim due to the massive volume of attacks, many of which are delivered via automation. Potentially enhancing this vulnerability, 58 per cent of the respondents do not actively protect DNS.

Sean Tierney, Director of Threat Intelligence at Infoblox, said: “This shows how highly attackers prize access data… It’s proving more desirable to them than sensitive data being targeted for financial gain or destruction because it opens the door to significantly more exploitation opportunities.”

Ransomware, DDoS and insider threats prove top data security dangersExfiltration of data caused by hackers using encrypted channels is also a widely experienced problem, with a significant 43 per cent of respondents effected by the process.

“Those still relying solely on manual processes are doing themselves a disservice by opening up their networks and customer data to highly automated, targeted attacks. In order to counter the chances of compromise, they must know how data should flow and design an in-depth defense strategy to secure assets like user IDs, credentials, roles and directories. Automating network processes helps uncover sensitive data in previously unknown areas of the network. It frees up time for IT admins to perform more important, high-level tasks,” Tierney said.

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With malicious cyber adversaries becoming increasingly sophisticated and formidable, it is essential that cybersecurity professionals defending organisations and their sensitive data also work to harness new technologies.

Cybersecurity is an area that is perhaps in direst need of automation technology, as threats simply cannot be efficiently identified manually, with the analysts attempting to do so having their expertise wasted in the process.

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