Cyber Criminals Wage War

  Solitary, introvert individuals, sitting in a dimly lit basement, quickly typing away while the bright light of their multiple screens reflects each key stroke onto the lens of their glasses. ...
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Cyber Criminals Wage War

by News_Editor on June 3rd, 2015 in Industry and Security News.

Solitary, introvert individuals, sitting in a dimly lit basement, quickly typing away while the bright light of their multiple screens reflects each key stroke onto the lens of their glasses.

This might be the visual that comes to mind when we hear of a hacker who’s effortlessly breached company databases and made it away with millions of dollars in digital currency. But the reality of this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.

the truth is a massive shift has taken place within the cyber criminal landscape over the last several years. Long gone are the days of the subtle and ad hoc hacker. The last few years have ushered in extremely well organized and very well financed groups of cyber criminals often associated with more customary crime syndicates like mafias, terrorists, cartels and foreign intelligence gathering departments. In fact, a mind-blowing study conducted by Juniper Networks found that international cybercrime has yielded greater profits than that of the global illegal drug trade.

2014 in particular saw some of the worst cyber attacks in history. A wild year filled with high profile security breaches resulting in millions of dollars worth of stolen information along with immeasurable reputational damage for the likes of Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, Staples and JP Morgan. In one instance, USA security firm RSA exposed a malware-based fraud attack targeting Brazil’s second largest payment method - Boleto Bancário. It’s estimated hackers stole up to 3.75 billion (USD$) over a 2-year span. Even if the thieves managed to only obtain half that amount, it would still top the charts as the largest electronic theft ever recorded.

As the level of sophistication increases between each cyber attack, we approach a pivotal moment where we might be able to tip the balance of security in our favor. No matter what the present security situation is for a company, a more collaborative approach across all sectors will produce immediate benefits. Employing additional security staff and improving communication between security professionals in all industries will undoubtedly advance the way sensitive information is concealed, encrypted and stored. It might not be foolproof but these actions will definitely ensure diminishing returns for the criminal enterprises behind these digital attacks and the frequency at which they occur.

Remaining tight-lipped for fear of revealing vulnerabilities and encouraging reprisals has never been an effective strategy, it just further isolates the victims of cybercrime. Security professionals don’t have to stay hopelessly outgunned and alone against external threats. Just as hackers can easily tap into a network of criminals and work together to take a target down, a network of security professionals can share a detailed catalogue of past intrusions and quickly identify the correct way to mitigate the breach and prevent an attack from happening again.

Leveraging the aftermath of an attack can pave the way to dialogue and cooperation between the organizations bolstering our knowledge of cyber criminal methodologies and technology. A change of course is greatly needed or the impact it may have on our economy in the next few years will be catastrophic.

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