There have been a number of attacks recently that have demonstrated the potential risks faced by businesses that handle large volumes of sensitive information – in particular, the past few weeks have seen both traditional and new media institutions such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Twitter suffering targeted cyber intrusions. Media outlets are a particularly prominent target as their business often involves holding confidential and delicate information.
The attacks on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal had the hallmarks of what we would class as a tactical intrusion – an attack triggered by an event which intelligence agents have an interest in collecting information on. As the New York Times itself admitted, traditional security technology such as firewalls and anti-virus were unable to stop these events. This is because such technology has not been designed to counter the type of bespoke targeted attacks by adversaries with a strategic interest in accessing an organisation’s networks. The attacks showed that current defences failed and it was only the additional detective work on their networks that identified the type and scale of the attack.
We would encourage all organisations that are concerned about their information, to consider proactive monitoring, looking for the things that their existing security tools aren’t telling them. With today’s technology this can now be done efficiently and effectively.
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