Cisco has released its latest 2Q11 Global Threat Report today revealing some interesting statistics on the current threat landscape. The rate of unique instances of malware more than doubled in the second quarter. Average encounter rates per enterprise peaked in March and April.
Data breaches dominated security news during the first half of 2011 and companies across all industry sectors were equally impacted. Many of these breaches resulted from advanced persistent threats; others resulted from SQL injection and other brute force intrusions. In all cases, customer data and corporate intellectual property were at risk.
As well as the rising levels of malware, businesses are also now facing another challenge – targeted attacks. Cisco released a security report in June this year showing that cybercriminals have made a fundamental shift in strategy, abandoning traditional mass spam attacks in favor of personalized attacks with a great financial impact on targeted organizations. The report revealed that the overall cost of targeted attacks to organizations worldwide is $1.29 billion annually.
Like almost all types of cybercrime exploits, the success of targeted attacks relies on technical holes and the all-too-human tendency to misplace trust. Targeted attacks are the most elusive threat to protect against and have the potential to deliver the most potent negative impact. Very low in volume, they focus on a specific individual or group under a cover of anonymity provided by specialized botnet distribution channels. Typically, they rely on malware or APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) to harvest desired data over a period of time.
In the Cisco 2Q11 Global Threat Report, Cisco CSIRT Manager Gavin Reid discusses the unique challenges of APTs and network intrusions. Gavin offers real world practical advice from a frontline perspective, offering valuable pointers for tweaking and using the tools you probably already have in place.
Early discovery of network intrusions and APTs is key to protecting your corporate assets.
Download a copy of the Cisco 2Q11 Global Threat Report.