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Why you need to rethink the risk of cyber threats


19 July 2016

Mark Hughes

Blogs by author: Mark Hughes, President, BT Security


We all know that cyber security is a serious issue, but do you truly know the full scale of the threats you face?

Build the battlements of the future.

If you want to learn how to deal with the ever-changing nature of cyber attacks on your organisation, you could do worse than to visit a castle. It might sound strange, but medieval warfare can teach you a lot about the threats you face in the digital world.

The first castles were made of wood. But this offered little protection against fire, so lords and barons began to build their walls from stone. However, invading armies got round this by bringing siege towers to break their way in. So the next castles had moats to stop anyone even getting near the walls. And so on…

In this way, castle defences evolved to tackle new threats created by attackers — and that’s exactly what your cyber security needs to do too.

Never underestimate the threat to your business.

Building your own cyber castle is no easy task. Cyber crime currently costs the world roughly $400 billion every year, with criminal entrepreneurs breaching defences to reach roughly 169 million personal records last year alone.

This shows that organisations still struggle to keep criminal entrepreneurs off their networks, which comes as no surprise to us. Your company really is up against it. To prevent a security breach, you have to succeed in repelling 100 per cent of the attacks made against you. Cyber criminals, however, need only one chance to get their big payday.

You’re not as safe as you think you are.

Your battle against cyber crime becomes even harder when you add the evolving nature of attacks to the equation. Much like the war machines of old, as soon as you protect your organisation from a threat, malware authors upgrade their software — demanding a new response from your security team.

Take Gameover Zeus, for example. Cyber criminals initially used this trojan to steal usernames and passwords. But, since its discovery in 2011, cyber criminals have upgraded it to include denial-of-service — while making it harder to detect as well.

Rethink the risk to repel cyber attackers.

Ultimately, the evolution of cyber crime means you’re only as safe as your last upgrade. And the way to make sure you stay one step ahead of the criminal entrepreneurs is to know what threats are out there.

You’ll never out last a siege if you can’t match your foes. To truly tackle cyber crime, you have to rethink the risk and stay up-to-date with exactly what you’re up against.

Turn your digital castle into an impregnable fortress — read our new report ‘Taking the Offensive — Disrupting Cyber Crime’, produced in partnership with KPMG, to discover how to defeat the criminal entrepreneurs.

In our next blog, we’ll look at steps you can take to rethink the risk and prevent a security breach in your organisation.