Story image

The security perimeter in organisations is dissolving

18 May 2015

As users reconnect their devices, Monday mornings see a massive increase in malware detection, according to research published in the annual NTT 2015 Global Threat Intelligence Report.

The findings show that the security perimeter in organisations is dissolving, due to end users increasingly using their own devices both inside and outside of the corporate security perimeter.

The report claims IT and security management can no longer count on well-defined network security perimeters to protect their organisations.

The Global Threat Intelligence Report contains analysis of over six billion security events worldwide gathered during 2014 by NTT Group companies including Dimension Data, Solutionary, NTT Com Security, NTT R&D, and NTT Innovation Institute (NTTi3).

Matthew Gyde, Dimension Data’s group executive - Security, says threats targeting end users are higher than ever. In addition, security vulnerabilities are mostly related to end-user systems and not servers.

“It appears that successful exploits occur over the weekend when end users - and their devices - are outside the security controls of the corporate network,” Gyde says. “This indicates that traditional security controls are effective at protecting the corporate network, however assets that transition between corporate and external access points are at greater risk.”

Gyde says controls that address this trend must focus on the user and their devices, regardless of location, and points out that seven of the top 10 vulnerabilities identified were on end-user systems. End users become a liability and that’s because their devices often have many unpatched vulnerabilities.

According to Gyde, the malware industry is maturing, with malware becoming commoditised and available through dark net marketplaces. This means the barrier to entry for cybercriminals is a minimal financial investment, but for a potentially large return.

“And this trend is not about to disappear,” he states. “As users become more accustomed to always-on, real-time access to corporate data, they also become the targets of criminals wanting those same data sources. 

“In summary, users and their devices become the criminal’s entry point.”

Other highlights of the Global Threat Intelligence Report include:

·         Finance continues to represent the number one targeted sector with 18% of all detected attacks.

·         Across the world, 56% of attacks against the NTT global client base originated from IP addresses within the United States. This does not necessarily mean that the attackers reside in the US.

·         76% of identified vulnerabilities throughout all systems in the enterprise were more than two years old, and almost 9% of them were over 10 years old.

·         Of the vulnerabilities discovered across enterprises worldwide, 7 of the top 10 exposed vulnerabilities resided within user systems and not on servers.

·         Threats against the end user are higher than ever, attacks show a clear and continuing shift towards success in compromising the end point.

·         Attacks against Business & Professional Services increased from 9% to 15%.

Interview: Culture and cloud - the battle for cybersecurity
ESET CTO Juraj Malcho talks about the importance of culture in a cybersecurity strategy and the challenges and benefits of a world in the cloud.
Enterprise cloud deployments being exploited by cybercriminals
A new report has revealed a concerning number of enterprises still believe security is the responsibility of the cloud service provider.
Ping Identity Platform updated with new CX and IT automation
The new versions improve the user and administrative experience, while also aiming to meet enterprise needs to operate quickly and purposefully.
Venafi and nCipher Security partner on machine identity protection
Cryptographic keys serve as machine identities and are the foundation of enterprise information technology systems.
Machine learning is a tool and the bad guys are using it
KPMG NZ’s CIO and ESET’s CTO spoke at a recent cybersecurity conference about how machine learning and data analytics are not to be feared, but used.
Seagate: Data trends, opportunities, and challenges at the edge
The development of edge technology and the rise of big data have brought many opportunities for data infrastructure companies to the fore.
Popular Android apps track users and violate Google's policies
Google has reportedly taken action against some of the violators.
How blockchain could help stop video piracy in its tracks
An Australian video tech firm has successfully tested a blockchain trial that could end up being a welcome relief for video creators and the fight against video piracy.