How to foil targeted attacks

There are two types of targeted attacks aimed at organizations and companies: server-side and client-side.

Server-side attacks consist of attacks on the organizations’ websites or external applications (e.g. the Sony and Citi Bank attacks), while client-side attacks are aimed at workstations inside the organization (e.g. the RSA and Oak Ridge Labs attacks), and the difference between the two types is crucial for understanding the type of technology that is used to prevent them.

In this podcast recorded at RSA Conference Europe 2011, Bradley Anstis, VP of Technical Strategy at M86 Security, talks about how most technologies used so far to prevent targeted attacks are beginning to falter and about the need for proactive defensive technologies.

“If attackers are targeting a specific organization, they can certainly find ways to get in,” he says, and adds that the single most important question to be asked when a company is under any type of cyber attack is: Are they targeting us because they want to or because it’s convenient?

He points out that defensive technologies must be proactive instead of reactive, i.e. be able to detect and block an attack even if they have never witnessed a similar one. This, he feels, is particularly important when it comes to targeted attacks, because no two organizations – or individuals – are alike and an attack against them is bound to be the first (and sometimes the only) of its kind.

Listen to the podcast here.

Bradley Anstis is responsible for Technical Strategy at M86 Security, evaluating new technologies and products that could enhance the core M86 product line. Anstis is a regular speaker at global industry and security conferences talking about new malware threats and the evolution of cybercrime and is frequently featured in security publications.

Anstis is a 20 year veteran of the IT industry and a leading authority on the topic of Internet threats and cybercrime. Prior to his current role, Anstis was VP of Products at Marshal and also held various technical management positions with Protocom Development Systems and Citrix in Asia Pacific.

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