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In our previous post, we discussed the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, and some of the key trends we saw at that event. However, this time we’d like to talk about Defcon – the older, dressed-down brother of Black Hat that’s now in its 25th year, and really draws out a lot of the hardcore hacking (in the good sense of the term) community.
This week marked the annual descent of thousands of security professionals, hackers, security product vendors and journalists into 100-degree-plus weather in Las Vegas for the venerable Black Hat conference. This week in Vegas always includes three significant security events: the community-minded B-Sides security conference early in the week, the deeply technical DefCon conference later in the week, and the most mainstream event – Black Hat – wedged in the middle. All three events provide a forum for those involved in the security industry to get together and share exotic vulnerabilities and attack vectors, talk about the politics related to security (such as privacy and government monitoring), and in the case of Black Hat, see what tools and technologies vendors are coming up with to improve the security posture of organizations.
The technology world was rocked late last week with the arrival of the “WannaCry” malware payload. “WannaCry” is ransomware: it encrypts files with strong encryption, and then notifies the victim that they can “recover” their files for a payment using Bitcoin (which is an extremely difficult-to-track blockchain-based payment system). While the New York Times has reported that victims in nearly 100 countries have been affected so far by this fast-moving malware, the most significant impact so far has been identified within the U.K.’s National Health Services (NHS), which was forced to reallocate patients to unaffected facilities due to the “WannaCry” outbreak.
Recently, management consulting firm Deloitte identified that cybersecurity insurance, while currently only a small fraction of the overall market of insurance underwriting, is poised to dramatically increase over the next few years, potentially even tripling by 2020. This is backed up by insurance giant Allianz, which has predicted that cybersecurity insurance will increase from its current $1.5-$3 billion in annual premiums to over $20 billion just a few years after that, in 2025.
For those of you who have been reading the EiQ Networks blog on a regular basis, you know that one of the most fundamental and unyielding tenets of the security world that we frequently point out is this: functionality and performance always – and we mean always – trump security. For developers of new software products, hardware technologies and the emerging world of IoT, the ability to get to market as quickly as possible is the most important thing a company can do, because it gets them a market position that turns into revenue. Because security isn’t generally perceived by companies that make commercial software and hardware as something on which people make buying decisions, it’s usually relegated to a last-minute “bolt-on”, or simply addressed after vulnerabilities are discovered by users and security analysts after the product is released. Even after disclosure of vulnerabilities, many companies either ignore these findings or back-burner patches and fixes until the next major release of their product. One of the “dirty little secrets” of the industry is that certain, specific vendors (we won’t name names here… but they know who they are) have had gaping holes in their products for months and sometimes even years. Sadly, this behavior among many companies is not likely to change.
Just a few weeks ago, security researcher and journalist Brian Krebs reported on the arrest of two men who were suspected of running “vDOS,” one of the most pervasive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) paid service networks in the world. DDoS as a subscription service is nothing new; vDOS was in existence for well over four years, and along with other services such as “PoodleStresser” were part of the nascent but rapidly-growing distributed denial of service-as-a-service market (“DDoSaaS” – how’s that for an acronym?)
Cybercriminals and IT security shouldn't be taken lightly. One breach can cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you're not sure whether your company needs to upgrade or completely revamp its cybersecurity practices, here are three warning signs that indicate it should:
"One breach can cost your company hundreds or thousands of dollars."
1. You Don't Understand the Target
IBM executive security advisor Diana Kelley, who co-authored the IBM study "Securing the C-suite," has over two decades of cybersecurity experience. Her company has 7,000 IT professionals protecting the organization from outside threats. But even Kelley recognizes that numerous executives, even at the most influential computer institutions such as IBM, don't take IT security as seriously as they should.
There are many types of cybercriminals, and the type of data they're searching for can vary. For example, the Congressional Research Service categorizes hackers into criminals, nation-state warriors, terrorists and "hacktivists," and each has their own objectives when performing cyber attacks.
As a business owner, manager or industry professional, it's critical to understand the common challenges that exist when trying to defend against these cybercriminals.