A Reality More Frightful Than Halloween … Fighting Today’s Cyber Threat Landscape [Blog Post]

While October is the month when most people celebrate Halloween, it’s also a time to recognize something far scarier than the Day of the Dead: business-halting data breaches.

The cyber threat landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The stakes are incredibly high for any organization that conducts business online. Every organization is vulnerable ― unless you take the proper precautions to safeguard accordingly.

This is why National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), which took place in October, is vital. Coordinated and led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, the month-long event promotes the theme of “Our Shared Responsibility,” and encourages individuals, businesses, and government to collaborate on cybercrime prevention.

In honor of NCSAM, Andreas Baumhof, Chief Technology Officer of ThreatMetrix, recently offered five “lessons learned” by the cybersecurity industry in this Baltimore Business Journal article. However, we decided to take these “lessons” and offer a fun Halloween twist.

  1. Fraudsters Are Not Zombies: Cyber security providers constantly develop advanced strategies to fight off cybercriminals, but at the end of the day, fraudsters continue to be successful. Why? Cyber criminals are far from being brainless zombies, and are constantly getting smarter.
  1. Fraudsters Are Sophisticated Like Dracula: The existing tactics that fraudsters use work well enough to make them comfortable – much like Dracula when he is resting in Bran Castle in Transylvania. As a result, attacks are growing in sophistication every day.
  1. Fraudster Use Digital Identities to Haunt Networks: Fraudsters either replay stolen identities using proxies, device, and location spoofing to cloak their true digital identities, or piggyback a user’s session with malware attacks. In other words, it’s like having a ghost haunting your networks, which nobody wants.
  1. Data Breaches Are Multiplying Like Leftover Halloween Candy: Do you ever feel as if you can’t get rid of all the candy received from trick-or-treating? Data breach incidents continue to increase at a rate equivalent to this phenomenon. Time to stop storing too much information — which is a sweet enticement for cyber criminals — in vulnerable locations.
  1. Time to Gear Up In Your Superhero Costume and Fight Evil Together: Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and we all need to band together to fight any evil forces that lurk within the darkest places of the Internet.

In addition to keeping your eyes out for ghosts and zombies this Halloween, we recommend facing something even scarier, which is the prospect of a business- and reputation-damaging data breach.

As we have highlighted before, it will take a “Coalition of Many” to help fight cybercrime. Fortunately, NCSAM’s theme of “Our Shared Responsibility” fits perfectly into this premise. Now is the time for all of us to work together as superheroes and counter any emerging threat from Dracula, zombies, ghouls, or other scary villains that haunt us.

Is your company fully prepared to defend against – or respond to – a cyber attack? If you would like to enhance cybersecurity within your organization, please contact Jeff Bathurst, Leader of IT Advisory Services at SC&H Group, here.