As we consider how best to address cloud security, it is important to understand some further context around our changing IT landscape and its implications for effective cyber security protection.
In it’s most recent annual cyber security report, Cisco has identified that the scale and sophistication of cyber attacks have increased over the past year. Indeed you may recall attacks such as Nyetya and WannaCry which were global in scale and almost brought the NHS to a standstill. The scale and pace of cyber attacks are likely to increase because of the growing appetite for all things to be connected is accepted in many quarters as a business imperative. The actual facts, as well as analysts predictions, bear this out. Smartphones have now surpassed computers as the predominant type of device being used to access the Internet. The Internet of Things is a reality with expectations that 10 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by the end of this year.
In our previous blog, we discussed the proliferation of remote working alongside the growth in cloud adoption. The net result of these trends is that the target area or attack surface for cyber attacks is getting bigger. If the traditional methods of protection are adopted, the chances of a successful attack increases. It’s not as simple as upscaling or upgrading the cyber security defences. Leading enforcement agencies such as the FBI state that cyber attacks will be a reality for all organisations, it’s not a case of if but when.
We are working a new age, the age of digitisation where change, transformation and business process upheaval is the norm. Underpinning this business transformation and acting as the agent of change is technology. To support the change, technology needs to be agile, scalable and resilient and in many instances, information needs to be instantly accessible to stakeholders and most importantly customers. The security that is necessary to support digitisation out of necessity needs to be agile, adaptable to a changing threat landscape, omnipresent at all touch points of interaction and insightful.
Cyber security defence is not just about protecting against known threats but it is also about the unknowns, to coin a phrase from former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Our approach to cyber security defence needs also to address the threats that we have no knowledge about today. It needs to have the intelligence to understand normal behaviour for an organisations IT and distinguish abnormal behaviour upon which defensive action and alerting is taken.
A simple example of this is if we have low data volumes with a hosted application and volumes suddenly start to spike, that would be a good indicator that this unusual behaviour is a potential cyber attack, which our automated defence should respond to. Another big challenge is skilled personnel, there is an estimated 1m+ global shortage of cyber security professionals.
As we continue our blog in the coming days we will review some practical approaches and solutions to the address the challenges outlined above.
Anatomy of an IoT Attack
Connected devices are increasingly being used for cyber attacks.
They often lack critical device protections and organizations fail to segment their networks in order to reduce the attack surface.
This 3 minute video explores how simply it can be for hackers to attack connected devices. Watch the video here.