Findings in the annual NTT 2015 Global Threat Intelligence Report reveal that there is a massive increase in malware detection on Monday morning when users reconnect their devices to the corporate network. A press release from Dimension Data explains the phenomenon:
“This is because end users increasingly use their devices both inside and outside the corporate security perimeter. In fact, the user is today’s new organisation perimeter. What’s more, IT and security management can no longer count on well-defined network security perimeters to protect their organisations.”
Other key findings from NTT Innovation Institute’s report:
- Finance continues to represent the number one targeted sector, being victim of 18% of all detected attacks.
- 76% of identified vulnerabilities throughout all systems in the enterprise were more than two years old, and almost 9% of them were over ten years old.
- Of the vulnerabilities discovered across enterprises worldwide, seven of the top ten vulnerabilities resided within user systems and not on servers.
- Threats against the end user are higher than ever; attacks show a clear and continuing shift towards success in compromising the endpoint.
- Attacks against business and professional services increased from 9% to 15%.
The finding that I’ve highlighted above stands out to me the most. I often talk about the threat that the end user represents, whether it’s intentional or not. Your end users are those that create, access, and share your organization’s most valuable asset: data.
If you want to protect that data, you can no longer rely solely on traditional techniques such as antivirus to protect you from threats. A user-focused approach is needed.
If you’re going to use antivirus on your network, provide your staff with training on what it is and how to use it.
If you’re going to allow staff to bring their own devices, provide education sessions on how they can practice good cybersecurity hygiene inside and outside the workplace.
Remember: good cybersecurity should be an enabler, not a restriction.
People don’t like restrictions.