Think your company is safe from cyber-attacks? Think again: not only cybercriminals are constantly looking for new victims (and your organization could be next) but the proliferation of new platforms such as mobile devices, cloud services, blockchain, where your data is stored or shared externally, means that they can operate on and through multiple channels which are not always well-protected.
"As new platforms are introduced attackers learn how to extract value from them and how to leverage them to their nefarious goals. Similarly, the countermeasures used to protect against attackers also evolve swiftly.
Keeping in pace with this evolution is critical to properly defending your assets," Juan Caballero, Deputy Director and Associate Research Professor at Madrid's IMDEA Software Institute, says.
It's the classic guards and thieves' game: you always need to stay at least one step in front of your competition to survive. But even that might not be enough: in some cases, your system might have already been compromised for a long time and you may not be aware of that.
Cyber-criminals, in fact, often do not target immediately their victims: they prefer to linger in their internal networks and wait for the right moment to act.
At the core of many cyberattacks is the installation of malware on the hosts and networks of an organization to provide the attacker a long-lived presence into the organization and to enable the extraction of value from their assets.
"Understanding if your organization has been targeted or affected by a cybercriminal ring, what type of malware was used in an attack, and how to detect and analyze malware attacks including ransomware, worms, and advanced persistent threats is fundamental to protecting your organization," Caballero adds.
In other words, knowing your enemy is fundamental to a successful organizational security posture. Every security manager should understand the types of attackers they may face, their motivations, the types of attacks they may use to infiltrate their organization, the economics of those attacks, and the right countermeasures to prevent them.
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