Businesses and organizations of all sizes have steadily begun to recognize the importance of cybersecurity to their success. As spending and awareness of the importance of cybersecurity increases, so does the demand for intelligence about how best to spend those funds and what security leaders can expect in today’s constantly evolving attack surfaces.
To help give business leaders insight into the threat landscape to better mitigate risk, Optiv Security has published its 2019 Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate (CTIE) report, which evaluates the latest cyber threats, explores statistics from various vertical industries, and offers insights into best cybersecurity practices.
“CEOs, corporate board members, CISOs, and other executives have to make cybersecurity ‘C-suite business’ in order to ensure their companies secure what they have,” said General David Petraeus, retired general for the U.S. Army and Optiv Board Member.
“Keeping pace requires up-to-date threat intelligence — and the purpose of Optiv’s 2019 Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate (CTIE) is to help business leaders understand the ever-evolving threat ecosystem and employ that knowledge to inform security decisions and investments, continually refining their cybersecurity and risk management programs.”
Findings of the report include:
- Retail, healthcare, government, and financial institutions continue to be among the most targeted verticals of cybersecurity attacks or attempts among the 10 categories of Optiv clients.
- Attackers are growing more and more sophisticated and traditional classifications (nation-states, “hacktivists,” or cybercriminals) are becoming somewhat outdated. So called “hybrid threat actors” – who masquerade as a different classification in order to mask their identity – are on the rise.
- Botnets, DDoS, phishing, and malware continue to be persistent threats or threat delivery methods, but more modern attack methods and malware delivery systems, such as cryptojacking and ransomware, are increasing in popularity.
“We feel it is vital to gather the latest threat intelligence that is actionable and relevant for digestible presentation to for our clients,” said Anthony Diaz, vice president and general manager, cyber operations, Optiv.
“Business and security leaders can learn from this report and use it to strengthen their security programs. Cybersecurity can be an existential threat for organizations, but that only highlights the importance for guidance.”
The report lists several best practice recommendations moving forward, including:
- Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to cybersecurity programs, as bad actors exploit the fact that many organizations only respond to cyber threats instead of actively watching for them.
- Map data access, ideally from an outside perspective in order to better identify possible weaknesses.
- Conduct regular audits of all vendors and other third-party assets and phase out ones that are no longer in use.
“Cyberspace has become more hostile. Hackers are more organized and sophisticated in 2019, and we’re seeing malicious attackers increase their counter measures to avoid detection,” said Tom Kellermann, Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Carbon Black.
“According to our research, no vertical is immune, but the financial industry continues to stand out as a key target for advanced attacks. We hope cybersecurity leaders and teams will use this data as a clarion call to improve their cybersecurity postures.”