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Cisco predicts rapid evolution of a new kid of threat in which the potential “destruction of service” (DeOS) attacks could eliminate organizations’ backups and safety nets.
The networking giant in its latest report named “The Cisco 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report (MCR)” uncovers the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), key industries are bringing more operations online, increasing attack surfaces and the potential scale and impact of these threats.
The report cites that the Internet of Things continues to invite cybercriminals and blames its security weaknesses easy to exploitation. Recent cyber incidents such as WannaCry and Nyetya show the rapid spread and wide impact of attacks that look like traditional ransomware, but are much more destructive the report notes.
Recent IoT botnet activity already suggests that some attackers may be laying the foundation for a wide-reaching, high-impact cyber-threat event that could potentially disrupt the Internet itself.
Cisco in its report claims to track progress in reducing “time to detection” (TTD), the window of time between a compromise and the detection of a threat. Faster time to detection is critical to constrain attackers’ operational space and minimize damage from intrusions.
Threat Landscape: What’s Hot and What’s Not
Cisco security researchers watched the evolution of malware during the first half of 2017 and identified shifts in how adversaries are tailoring their delivery, obfuscation and evasion techniques. Specifically, Cisco saw they increasingly require victims to activate threats by clicking on links or opening files. They are developing fileless malware that lives in memory and is harder to detect or investigate as it is wiped out when a device restarts. Finally adversaries are relying on anonymized and decentralized infrastructure, such as a Tor proxy service, to obscure command and control activities.
While Cisco has seen a striking decline in exploit kits, other traditional attacks are seeing resurgence:
Unique Industries Face Common Challenges
As criminals continue to increase the sophistication and intensity of attacks, businesses across industries are challenged to keep up with even foundational cybersecurity requirements. As Information Technology and Operational Technology converge in the Internet of Things, organizations struggle with visibility and complexity. As part of its Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, Cisco surveyed close to 3,000 security leaders across 13 countries and found that across industries, security teams are increasingly overwhelmed by the volume of attacks. This leads many to become more reactive in their protection efforts.
Important findings per industry include:
Cisco Security advises:
“As recent incidents like WannaCry and Nyetya illustrate, our adversaries are becoming more and more creative in how they architect their attacks. While the majority of organizations took steps to improve security following a breach, businesses across industries are in a constant race against the attackers. Security effectiveness starts with closing the obvious gaps and making security a business priority,” said Steve Martino, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Cisco.
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