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3 Techniques to Help You Protect Against the Changing Hacking Threat in 2017

3 Techniques to Help You Protect Against the Changing Hacking Threat in 2017

Whether you’re a small business or a government agency, data breaches present an almost daily threat. While we’re trying to get better at defending our networks, the bad guys are not sitting on their hands … so just how are hackers likely to evolve, and what will be the associated risks for the coming year?

In a recent article for Computing Magazine Dr. Konstantin Malkov, CTO of 5nine Software, looks at what tomorrow’s hacker will be capable of and how companies can take measures to avert their ever-evolving methods.

Dr. Malkov believes we will see a new trend in 2017 as hackers become increasingly sophisticated, and that there will be a significant rise in distributed or multi-channel attacks. This, he explains, will manifest in “cohesive hacking campaigns against organizations that target a range of different components of their IT infrastructure using different techniques.”

Although the perceived value of the targeted company’s data will always influence the level of resources that hackers employ to breach their defenses, it won’t just be larger enterprises that are exposed to this kind of threat. Dr. Malkov explains that the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the use of Cloud Technologies is going to dramatically change the threat landscape. Both these things will see even smaller companies finding their attack surfaces growing at a “worrying speed.”

This, Dr. Malkov says, means IT departments will need to “be prepared to fight multi-layered attacks that will go after every component of their infrastructure in order to achieve the hackers ends.”

It’s not just the changes in internal technologies and a wider spread of threats that will be keeping Infosec professionals up at night. They will also have to focus on an increasing level of sophistication. “Technologies filtering down from nation-state sponsored hackers and cybercrime-as-a-service groups will continue to move forward quickly in the threat landscape,” says Malkov. He predicts that in the coming years even technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will start to be used to help hackers become aware of how an organization functions, and to help them direct and execute attacks.

So how can we mitigate these threats? “Ironically,” explains Dr. Malkov, “these same technologies are also likely to be the cornerstone of our defense against a more advanced cyber threat.” He highlights three key techniques that IT teams will need to master quickly if they are to continue to keep their networks safe:

  • Behavior analytics and machine-learning techniques in order to continuously analyze data for earlier identification of exploits and breaches (both outside and inside threats).
  • Multiple advanced pattern analysis and machine learning-based malware prevention will need to be used as an addition or alternative to signatures for malware identification and blocking.
  • User and entity behavioral analytics (UEBA) to enable broad-scope security analytics.

In another recent 5nine blog – 3 Ways 5nine Software Aligns with Gartner’s 2016 List of Top Information Security Technologies – we explain how 5nine Cloud Security leverages these techniques to protect cloud environments on different levels, and in different functional areas.

The reality is that more intricate infrastructures mean broader attack surfaces for organizations of all sizes. While we have upped the ante in terms of our defenses, we cannot stop moving forward in the battle against cyber crime. In 2017 we will need to be more alert than ever.

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