Top ten points in the fight against cybercrime
by Paul Ayers - VP EMEA at Vormetric - Thursday, 6 February 2014.
Another area of focus must be on detection and system response capabilities; unfortunately with APT driven targeted attacks on the rise traditional defences are emerging as woefully inadequate. Indeed, according to the Mandiant report last year, the typical attacker went undetected for 243 days. It’s unsurprising then that another of the 10 steps on the GCHQ plan is the importance of ‘Monitoring’ in the fight against cybercrime. This point states that organisations need to establish a monitoring strategy and produce supporting policies. Equally, it advises that all ICT systems and networks should be constantly screened and activity logs analysed for any unusual or suspect activity that could indicate the onslaught of an attack.

The tools necessary to do this are known as ‘Security Intelligence and Event Management’ (SIEM) solutions, which provide an auditing capability that helps organisations to not only understand their security posture, but also crucially alert to improper data access by employees already on the network. By 'watching the watcher' and reporting on root and/or system administrator activities, these solutions help enterprises to understand unusual data access patterns before data breaches even occur.

As cybercriminals become increasingly skilled in their trade, much more will be needed to be done in order to protect IT systems and to safeguard the valuable assets they contain, whether that’s personal data, online services or intellectual property. While there may be initial challenges in identifying or implementing certain technologies, like encryption, that serve to control and dictate the parameters within which these users can access documents, the risk of not doing so far outweighs this.

Data has become one of the most valuable commodities for modern criminals, and Intellectual Property (IP) theft must be treated as one of the top concerns for organisations as the fight for competitive edge intensifies. Security must be seen as an enabler and data must be protected at all costs – after all, it cannot protect itself.

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