“As security experts, we need to be leaders in understanding what the next-generation threats are,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “Technologies are more interconnected than ever before, and that has led to new types of security threats and data and privacy concerns. As new platforms gain traction and visibility at the attacker level, now is the time to examine these threats and inform organizations and individuals on how they can protect themselves.”
This edition of the Journal, “Security beyond the Desktop,” is based on articles compiled by international experts who issue an urgent “call to arms” to the security industry. No longer is a defensive posture sufficient to protect the ubiquitous devices and data of today’s digital world. Instead of defensive methods being installed on computers, in networks, and in the cloud, there is an urgent need to “step back,” to take a broader look at security, and to take preemptive measures. The report’s authors say now is the time to avoid enemy attacks altogether by taking a more inclusive stance, looking both inside and outside the network.
The report details the following highlights on the evolution of cyberthreats and the need for a more inclusive security strategy:
The human link: There is an ever-widening disparity between the sophistication of a network and the people who use them. Cybercriminals often use social engineering toolkits to exploit unsuspecting employees when direct attacks on an organization’s defenses fail. Educating employees on secure practices is not enough; organizations need to install the proper framework to empower and encourage employees to use these secure practices. Mobile is everywhere: Mobile attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated every year. Instead of rendering the device unusable, hackers are now finding ways to steal sensitive personal data to exploit. Additionally, hackers are broadening their target range to include other, more uncommon mobile systems, such as the GPS system in a car. Cloud-based apps are on the rise: The popularity of cloud-based applications has made them an attractive target for hackers and other cybercriminals. However, the cloud is also a highly efficient way to scale security and protection for a business. Leveraged correctly, the cloud both helps reduce your security costs and can actually increase your overall security posture and protection. Data is king: Whether stored on a smartphone, in the cloud, or on a network, data is what cybercriminals seek. Taking the proper precautions to secure this often ubiquitous data is a crucial step for many organizations. Learn from previous mistakes: History is a great teacher for those who take the time to study it. Analytics help identify patterns, vulnerabilities, and even motives. Understanding any of these concepts can help prevent attacks in the future.
Experts in the report are McAfee Labs researchers, as well as Chris Roberts, founder and Chief Geek of One World Labs, Jayson Street, author of Dissecting the Hack, and David Kennedy, creator of The Social Engineering Toolkit. All these experts agree that the recommendations laid out in the report are preliminary, and these are just the first steps that need to be taken industry wide.
For a full copy of the McAfee Security Journal: Security Beyond the Desktop, please visit http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-security-journal-summer-2011.pdf.
About McAfee, Inc.
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse, and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector, and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com