With the Internet’s pervasive reach into business, government, and private life, it is unsurprising that cybercrime and espionage not only continue to evolve, but that new techniques are quickly adopted.

Today the cyber threats are constantly changing and cybercriminals continue to develop new ways to monetize victims. The cross-border nature of threats makes it essential to focus on strong international cooperation, today it is necessary to effectively prepare but also respond to cyber-attacks.

Do we really have a harmonized definition of cyber security; the increasing sophistication and maliciousness of cyber security threats create unique challenges.

(Read more:  Top 5 Big Data Vulnerability Classes)

As society becomes more and more dependent on IT, the protection and availability of these critical assets are increasingly becoming a topic of national interest. Incidents causing disruption of critical infrastructures and IT services could cause major negative effects in the functioning of society and economy. As such, securing cyberspace has become one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. Thus, cyber security is increasingly regarded as a horizontal and strategic national issue affecting all levels of society.

Today Spam, phishing, and spyware, while once viewed as discrete consumer challenges, are being blended to create substantial threats to large enterprises.

Several entities and the private sector have begun initiatives directed toward addressing spam, phishing, spyware, Malware, APT attacks. These actions range from targeting cybercrime to educating the user and private-sector community on how to detect and protect systems and information from these threats. While the initiatives demonstrate an understanding of the importance of cybersecurity and emerging threats and represent the first steps in addressing the risks associated with emerging threats.

The risks that organizations face are significant. Spam consumes employee and technical resources and can be used as a delivery mechanism for malware and other cyberthreats. Organizations and their employees can be victims of phishing scams, and spyware puts the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of agency systems at serious risk. Other emerging threats include the increased sophistication of worms, viruses, and other malware, and the increased attack capabilities of blended threats and botnets.

(Read more:  5 Best Practices to secure your Big Data Implementation )

Costs of Defending against Cyber Attacks Remain High Mitigating the risk of cyber-attacks continues to be uncertain and costly, but gaining better visibility into threats and mitigating specific risks can help.

What organizations should do? (This is my personal opinion and may or may not be considered)

  • Chasing technology and creating multiple layers of static defenses has driven up security costs
  • Companies need to focus on gaining visibility into their networks and the external threats targeting their business.
  • Shifting focus from devices to data can simply defensive concepts and better cope with the Bring-Your –Own –Device BYOD tend, but usability continues to be a problem

Over past decade, organizations have moved from deploying a simple firewall, antivirus software, and patch deployment system to adopting a variety of other technologies: Security information and event management (SIEM), Data Loss Prevention, Identity and Access Management (IAM), applications firewalls, and more recently mobile device management (MDM).

Following the mantra of defense in depth, the more layers of technology placed in between attackers and the business the better.

Yet, a technology-oriented focus has driven the cost of security higher for companies. Despite slow economic growth, IT security budgets will climb five to ten percent higher in 2014.

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Reducing cost while protecting the business will require a more data-driven approach to security. Researchers and businesses that focus on gathering more information on their security state and their current threats can better protect their networks and data while holding down costs.

In addition, moving the focus of security from the device to a business’s data can simplify defenses. Finally, cyber insurance can act as a safety net for companies, although questions remain over the efficacy of policies and coverage.

Threat intelligence is necessary, but still in early stages

Finding information on attackers is not difficult: blacklists, open-source intelligence, logs from a variety of network devices, malware analysis, social networks and other sources can all give defenders some insight into attackers’ techniques, identities and motivations. However, making sense of that data and turning it into intelligence relevant to a specific company or target is difficult. In addition, unless the information can be delivered to the right people in a short amount of time, it may lose value quickly.

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Anubhav Bathla


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