New threats and old mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for net­work se­cu­rity

Business World - - The Economy - Vin­cent Mariel P. Galang

CYBERCRIMINALS are rolling out new meth­ods of pen­e­trat­ing data sys­tems associated with the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of cryp­tocur­rency min­ing, though older meth­ods linked to decades­old work soft­ware re­main rel­e­vant threats, net­work se­cu­rity firm Trend Mi­cro Inc. said.

The Ja­panese com­pany said a re­cent study found that while cryp­tocur­rency min­ing mal­ware has emerged to ac­com­pany the spread of dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, but some of the threats re­main old and fa­mil­iar, like worms or macros, in­creas­ing the scope of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties that in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (IT) pro­fes­sion­als need to pro­tect against.

“Ac­cord­ing to the Frost and Sul­li­van study… we need (more) cy­ber­se­cu­rity en­gi­neers to help ad­dress the grow­ing chal­lenge of cy­ber­crime more than ever be­cause as you know we are be­com­ing more and more… in­ter­con­nected… It means a lot of op­por­tu­nity for us, but at the same time those op­por­tu­ni­ties are seen by cybercriminals and threat ac­tors as well,” ac­cord­ing to Paul J.S. Oliv­e­ria, Trend Mi­cro’s tech­ni­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tions lead for core tech­nol­ogy.

Some threats have been around for a while, like macros, which are typ­i­cally used in Mi­crosoft Of­fice doc­u­ments. Mr. Oliv­e­ria associated their resur­gence with Mi­crosoft’s re­design of Of­fice which no longer en­abled macros by de­fault.

“What they are try­ing to do is… ask peo­ple to en­able them… It’s not nec­es­sar­ily de­tectable be­cause it ar­rives in your com­puter as a Word doc­u­ment.”

File­less mal­ware is one of the big­gest cur­rent chal­lenges, the com­pany said. In this sce­nario, hack­ers pen­e­trate a sys­tem and leave no trace be­hind, leav­ing the tar­get to­tally un­aware.

Mr. Oliv­e­ria said vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties need to be ad­dressed by reg­u­larly up­dat­ing devices, chang­ing de­fault cre­den­tials and stay up­dated on com­mon at­tacks.

“As we be­come more and more con­nected… the chal­lenge now is to how to be­come more in­tel­li­gent when an at­tack hap­pens… How can we ad­dress these chal­lenges in or­der for us to se­cure the in­for­ma­tion?” Mr. Oliv­e­ria said. —

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