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Interview: Evolving threats

Zafar Anjum | June 14, 2013
How has the threat landscape changed over the years and what are the most active threats in the Asia Pacific region? Sam Harris, Director, Enterprise Risk Management at Teradata, provides some answers.

Sam Harris

How has the threat landscape changed over the years and what are the most active threats in the Asia Pacific region? Sam Harris, Director, Enterprise Risk Management at Teradata, provides some answers.  

How is risk management different from data protection or malware attacks?

Risk Management covers a broad spectrum of disciplines and practices.  For example, market risk and credit risk in financial services.  All companies have operational risk to manage.  Operational risks include, but are not limited to, information security and cyber data analytics.

Most large organisations take steps to secure their assets and already have deployed some form of protection from malware and security threats. Is that enough? Or you cannot be secure enough?

Information Security and Cyber Analytics are evolving practices.  The volume and sophistication of the threats is increasing dramatically.  The impacts of the threats are also escalating.  For example, hackers used to hack for bragging rights, and then hackers went after individuals to steal credit card, other financial information and then data to implement identity theft.  The progression continued to include theft of intellectual property.  Now, a new level has been reached with apparent attempts to destroy property.

How does Teradata help in reducing risk for its customers?

Risk management is essentially a data-driven problem.  Teradata helps customers create a single, comprehensive and authoritative environment for risk data, analytics and reporting.  The environment enables risk professionals to have all the data and analytical tools they require, in the form they require and at the time they require to benefit from insights that are simply not possible from analysis of data in disparate systems.  This allows our customers to respond more quickly to all types of risk management issues, including shortening time to remediation for cyber attacks.

How has the threat landscape changed over the years?

See evolution response in Question 2 above.  The volume and sophistication of the threats is increasing dramatically.  The impacts of the threats are also escalating.  For example, hackers used to hack for bragging rights, and then hackers went after individuals to steal credit card, other financial information and then data to implement identity theft.  The progression continued to include theft of intellectual property.  Now, a new level has been reached with apparent attempts to destroy property.

What are the threats uppermost in the minds of professionals?  The most worrisome threats are described as "Advanced  Persistent Threats" - essentially malware that  is installed in your network and lays dormant until activated by the hacker's remote command and control server.  Once activated that hacker begins to acquire and exfiltrate valuable data using techniques that are incredibly difficult to detect.  When finished, they remove much of the malware which make the entire event difficult to detect.  Many times, firms do not even know they have been hacked, much less that sensitive data has left their control.

 

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