Steve McWhirter, VP of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Check Point Software Technologies
Singapore-based Steve McWhirter recently came on board Check Point Software Technologies five months ago as the security company's new vice president of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
In this interview, McWhirter discussed some findings of the company's latest 2014 Security Report, pointing out key security trends taking place in the corporate world today. Besides that, he also addressed how security professionals can solidify security measures within the company, and effectively defend themselves against such threats.
What are some key security threat trends impacting organisations across the world, and how would you advise them to deal with these issues?
According to Check Point's latest 2014 Security Report, malware activity grew dramatically year on year. For example, out of the 84 percent of organisations under analysis, malware was downloaded at an average rate of one every 10 minutes. In 2012, 14 percent of organisations experienced a user downloading malware every two hours or less. This shows how fast malware has grown, and how users remain vulnerable to malicious incoming content.
At the same time, more and more unknown malware infiltrated organisations. From our report, of all the infected files, 35 percent were PDFs, which can be very dangerous because PDFs are commonly accepted documents worldwide. Hackers are now using obfuscation tools known as "crypters" to disguise many malware to bypass traditional antivirus software.
Another big emerging threat is bots, which can turn networks and computers worldwide into points of data leakage or attack hosts. With the emergence of social media and file sharing apps, administrators have more headaches than ever before in securing networks and perimeters, with users installing various apps or using proxies that can poke holes into a network. This is where the holistic defense that Check Point advocates come into play. With technologies such as ThreatCloud, coupled with Check Point's field-proven Security Blades, Gateways and Appliances, large and small organisations can now readily and confidently defend their networks from external and even internal threats.
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