Photo - Albert Chai, Country Manager, Cisco Malaysia.
Cisco Malaysia's Midyear Security report has revealed a critical need for organisations to reduce the time taken to detect threats.
Albert Chai, Cisco Malaysia country manager, said that despite recent advances in cyber security, criminals remain ahead with their constantly evolving approaches through newer malware and hacks.
Chai said that these threats are real and that every second counted whenever businesses were compromised.
"Security is indeed a boardroom concern today," he said. "With the average cost of a breach now reaching US$5.9 (RM25.3) million, security has become a major concern to an organisation's bottom-line. We are regularly told that business and security strategies are the top two issues for our customers."
Chai said the company's 2015 Midyear Security report, which analysed threat intelligence and cyber security trends, emphasised the need for organisations to reduce time to detection (TTD).
"Beyond that, trust and transparency is tightly linked to security and industry-leading technology only takes half the battle," said Chai.
"The other half of the battle lies in strong initiatives set in place by governments," he said. "We are in support of efforts to tie Asean nations together on this agenda, with CyberSecurity Malaysia spearheading regional specialist training programmes as an example already in motion."
"From this we hope to see greater participation from both local and regional organisations, investing in integrated solutions that give full visibility and control over threats at any point in the network, and therefore protecting valuable data and assets.," said Chai.
The study also showed the threat actors' growing ability to innovate rapidly and enhance their capacity to compromise systems and evade detection, he said.
Through tactics such as obfuscation, they can not only slip past network defences but also carry out their exploits long before they are detected, said Chai.
He said security vendors were responding with their own innovations. For example, researchers are adding support for the analysis of new file formats such as .cab and .chm as new attacks are detected using those formats. In addition, vendors are developing new detection engines and constantly evaluating and evolving heuristics.
Chai said that Cisco's overall findings underpin the need for businesses to use integrated solutions rather than point products, work with trusted vendors, and enlist security services providers for guidance and assessment.
Other findings include:
- Cyber-attacks are becoming costlier and harder to address - In 2014, the average cost of a breach has increased to US$5.9 (RM25.3) million. But more significantly, the average turn-over time to resolve a cyber-attack is now 45 days, which is almost 50 percent longer than a year ago.
- Organisations are unable to detect breaches in a timely manner - It can take more than two years for some organisations to discover a breach, while over half of the companies are unable to determine the exact point of intrusion.
- Web, network and email are the top 3 attack vectors - All three are ubiquitous nowadays, especially in Asia Pacific with its high mobile and internet penetration rates.
- Hacking is the top cause of a breach - This is followed closely by malware and social. The latter is cited by analysts as a major disruptor in today's highly connected world.
- At a staggering cost of US$245 (RM1053) million, the retail sector was hardest hit last year - Next in line is financial services at US$80 (RM344) million, then healthcare at US$4.5 (RM19.3) million
- Mobile malware is the new frontier for attackers - Meanwhile, 99 percent of these malicious software are targeting the Android operating system in 2013.
- Flash is back - Exploits of Adobe Flash vulnerabilities, which are integrated into Angler and Nuclear exploit kits, are on the rise.
- The evolution of Ransomware - Ransomware remains highly lucrative for hackers as they continue to release new variants.
- Dridex: Campaigns on the fly - The creators of these quickly mutating campaigns have a sophisticated understanding of evading security measures.
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