The target of attacks has shifted from traditional infrastructure to mobile users and endpoint devices, according to a new report.
Research from SpiderLabs found that malicious tools became more customized, automated and persistent in 2010. This trend combined with the popularity of mobile devices and social media is providing the perfect recipe for cybercriminals looking to compromise business, customer and user private and sensitive information.
- Food and beverage regained its title as the most breached industry-representing 57% of the investigations.
- Third-party vendors continue to put companies at risk-88% of breaches resulting from insecure software code or lax security practices in the management of third-party technology.
- Cybercriminals got fresh in 2010-because in-transit credit card data is usually more recently created (more fresh) than stored data, 66% of investigations found the theft of data in transit.
- A single organized crime syndicate may be responsible for more than 30% of all 2010 data breaches.
Among the most interesting and surprising elements of the report is the rate and sophistication of attacks against mobile platforms and social networking sites. As the security of mobile networks has improved, mobile devices are increasingly the target of attacks, while social networking sites are quickly becoming cybercriminals’ platform of choice to expand and propagate destructive botnets. Drive-by infections and mobile phishing attacks were among the most popular client-side attacks in 2010.
Geolocation data is helping cybercriminals launch more sophisticated and targeted attacks against social networks. Mobile devices offer cybercriminals an open door to corporate authentication credentials, sensitive data and trade secrets.
Anti-virus software is losing the battle against malware – the new breed of malware is virtually undetectable by current scanning software.
Top strategic security initiatives for 2011
A key take-away from the report is that attacks are often successful in organizations that believed a comprehensive data security strategy was in place. For executives and managers who are tasked with ensuring their company does not suffer a security event, the report offers specific guidance for 2011.
- Assess, reduce and monitor client-side attack surface: Monitor and inventory applications to measure adherence to standards and evaluate risk.
- Embrace social networking, but educate staff: An established policy and education can help protect against attacks originating from social networking tools.
- Develop a mobile security program: Gaining control over configurations of mobile devices will help reduce risk.
- Enforce security upon third party relationships: Choose a platform and vendor with a solid security history, and require vendors to undergo third-party security testing.