3 Trends in Understanding the Evolving Cybersecurity Landscape – IT News Africa

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With the global disruption over the past year, it’s hardly surprising that malware has increased by 358% and ransomware by 435% compared to 2019.

The rapid advance towards digitization and the introduction of home office solutions meant that companies not only had to accelerate data migration projects to the cloud, but also know how to best protect employees’ end devices while minimizing the impact on productivity.

What makes fighting malware and ransomware so difficult is that successful attacks on corporate networks and end devices can remain hidden for months, giving hackers access to a real treasure trove of information.

Attackers can encrypt this compromised data at any time, which can cause considerable damage to the company. And since a security breach can extend over a long period of time, some of the benefits of backups are negated, as the restored data can become infected as well.

Here are 3 trends that will help understand the evolving cybersecurity landscape:

Essentially, ransomware focuses on maximizing as much as possible the financial benefits obtained from blackmailing businesses (and even individuals). There are different types of threat actors in this environment.

You get the script kiddies who are just starting to hack and want to experiment; There are sophisticated groups of hackers trying to sell corporate data on the dark web, and there are nation-state threats that target high-level business people and government officials to compromise a country’s infrastructure.

Other hackers could be research professionals trying to steal patents and other competitive information, or those who exploit social networks, create fake profiles, and befriend people in order to commit identity theft.

Combined with today’s work from anywhere in the operating environment, you have significant potential for cybersecurity breaches in even the most diligent of organizations.

Organizations must weigh the cost of a data breach against the measures needed to keep the data as secure as possible without making it difficult for employees to access the systems and processes they need to do their jobs.

More recently, South African organizations and individuals have been grappling with an influx of phishing attacks centered around the Personal Data Protection Act (PoPIA).

For example, a person may receive an official-looking email from a bank asking them to update their personal information by clicking a compromised link.

It’s also incredibly risky to use publicly available hotspot networks to log into online banking, conduct e-commerce, or just access corporate back-end data.

Hackers use “sniffing” tools over these networks or forge the networks themselves with their own LTE devices in order to obtain personal information from unsuspecting users.

  • The cybersecurity environment is evolving rapidly

The fact is, IT teams must constantly adapt to cybersecurity threats. Antivirus and firewall solutions are no longer enough.

Things like email security tools that evaluate content and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions, designed with artificial intelligence to study application behavior, have become increasingly important.

Cyber ​​security is now all about adding more layers of defense as the threat landscape evolves.

Polymorphic viruses, for example, bypass traditional, signature-based anti-virus solutions. And then next-generation firewalls offer more effective protection against older, rule-based firewalls.

It’s about fighting the proverbial fire with fire. As hackers gain access to more sophisticated tools to carry out attacks, organizations must also use more advanced techniques to protect their data, systems, and infrastructure.

One of the most significant benefits of this multi-faceted approach is that organizations receive proactive warnings of potential tradeoffs.

Thanks to automation and machine learning that detects anomalies, ransomware and other malware can be stopped before it even gets through the proverbial door to the corporate network.

Given that the bulk of the attacks in South Africa are targeting the relatively low hanging fruits of small and medium-sized businesses, these companies will do well to review their cybersecurity footprint.

While the financial and reputational damage to a company can be significant in the event of a security breach, an SMB is unlikely to survive a successful attack.


By Richard Frost, Product Manager: Network and Endpoint Security, Vox.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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