#CyberFLASH: Cyber criminals shift sights from whole companies to individual employees

graph+tablet+dataEvery day, government agencies and private businesses are under threat from cyber criminals. While that is nothing new, two recent industry reports show the tactics being used to attack them have changed, and technology alone is insufficient to stop the threat.

“Every day millions of records are being stolen. It’s happening right here, right now,” said Ajay Sood, General Manager of FireEye Canada. “You can no longer use technology to meet this level of threat.

FireEye, a security company headquartered in California that provides malware and network-threat protection systems for 4,400 customers in 67 countries (including 100 companies in Canada), released a report this year which showed businesses are swamped with alerts for security breaches — up to 17,000 each week. There’s no system to rank or contextualize these breaches, which can leave major ones overlooked, and it can take up to 100 days to respond to serious breaches. FireEye’s studies show that organizations can only manage to respond to 4 per cent of threat alerts and spend up to US$1.2-million annually responding to inaccurate alerts.

“The result is that you are still grossly exposing yourself to the probability of being breached,” Sood said. “Statistics show us that the time from invasion, reconnaissance, data theft, and exfiltration is approximately seven minutes. Imagine what a criminal can do in 100 or 200 days?”

But the biggest thing businesses and government organizations should be concerned about are how cyber criminals are now targeting them.

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