The number of cyber attacks is skyrocketing. Every day, there are 3,000 attempts to penetrate the German federal government’s network alone. And more threatening than the sheer volume of attacks is their increasing quality and complexity.
Firewalls and antivirus software typically recognize known malware; however, professional hackers frequently breach defenses while remaining under the radar. The intruder can then manipulate IT systems, and steal business-critical information. According to a study by Trend Micro, it takes on average nearly 230 days for an organization to discover this kind of intrusion, and to begin mustering a counter offense. With this in mind, enterprises need to invest more in early detection and prevention. In the future, defense methods and mechanisms will increasingly shift to backbone networks.
Identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities
Conventional defenses, including firewalls and antivirus software, remain an integral part of an organization’s security lineup. They block the majority of standard attacks by hackers on IT systems, and curb the spread of malware. Additionally, educating employees on cyber security and potential threats is a key aspect of any prevention strategy. This added layer of protection is vital, as professional criminals can often exploit the human factor to pinpoint vulnerabilities and obtain network access. Furthermore, it is important to deploy products and IT solutions that are secure by design. And enterprises should determine what data is truly missioncritical – and ensure that robust defenses are in place for these key assets.
Simulating and analyzing attack patterns
Dissecting the tactics employed by hackers can help hone defenses, making them more effective. Companies should implement intelligent security management that aggregates information from a variety of sources – and analyzes it in real time to shield systems from novel attack vectors. To combat these emerging threats, T-Systems has partnered with FireEye, which specializes in protecting systems from complex digital threats. The cyber security enterprise detects previously unknown, particularly dangerous vulnerabilities – frequently encountered in popular programs. Furthermore, major corporations should analyze attacks in dedicated cyber security centers, and share their findings with others.
Rapid response and robust recovery
There is no way to guarantee assets are 100 percent safe. Even when all available mechanisms are in place, criminals may still successfully infiltrate networks. Enterprises must be prepared for these scenarios – and have recovery plans ready, and cyber emergency response teams (CERTs) on standby. CERTs identify, verify and counter threats, detect and evaluate vulnerabilities, and manage security architectures.