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What’s Worse Than Stolen Data? Altered Data

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 02-03-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What’s Worse Than Stolen Data? Altered Data
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    What’s Worse Than Stolen Data? Altered Data

    Cyber-criminals are not only stealing data and accessing organizations’ data inappropriately—they’re altering it. Here’s a look at the 2016 security landscape.
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    When data is unknowingly manipulated, company decisions will be made based on false data. That can lead to devastating consequences because that can taint mixed compounds, control systems and manufacturing processes.
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    As organizations become more comfortable with the "as-a-service" model and aggregate valuable data on the cloud, that data will become a lucrative target for cyber-criminals and cyber-espionage. A deeper appreciation of third risk party is needed.
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    Hacktivism and the Attack Surface

    As cyber-attack tools and services become more commoditized, the cost of attacking an organization will drop dramatically. Result: more attacks whose primary focus is not financial gain.
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    Unsophisticated cyber-vigilantes have joined sophisticated collectives such as Anonymous. Financial gain is no longer their main goal, so enterprises must broaden their understanding to include what, why, where, and how they are being targeted.
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    Attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that control chemical, electrical, water and transport have increased 17-fold during the last three years. Automated sensors are exacerbating these issues. A critical breach of an ICS is extremely likely.
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    The high-tech industry has been awash in venture capital, and foolish investments have been made. As organizations' security programs mature, they will realize that claims of preventing advanced threats are fantasies.
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    Expect a shakeout in the security industry as organizations' understanding of advanced threats mature and increasingly drive their security investment decisions.
 

Attacks that previously were considered advanced threats are commodities today, with sophisticated malware and exploits available for the price of a movie ticket, according to Amit Yoran, president of RSA, the security division of EMC. And yet, important results due to this evolution seem to be misunderstood; the threats that matter most are attack campaigns that use multiple exploitation methods and backdoors to assure persistence. "Incomplete incident scoping has become a critical and consistent mistake made by security teams," Yoran said. This year was also characterized by security vendors claiming to be able to prevent advanced threat breaches when, in fact, they cannot, he said. Organizations recognized the need to monitor and defend their digital environments differently, but continued to center the security programs on the same technologies and approaches they have always used—hoping for a different outcome, but not acting differently. Here are some emerging trends Yoran advises you to prepare for this year.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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