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Intelligence essential to defeating global cyber scourge

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The world is engaged in an invisible war, with honest businesses at one end and fiercely determined cybercriminals at the other, writes Nithen Naidoo, CIO of Snode.
Cybersecurity is no longer just a pressing concern for the IT industry, it is a very real issue that every business has to contend with. Put plainly, a cyberattack is not just likely, it’s inevitable.
What’s more, many organisations’ security can already have been compromised, without them necessarily knowing even it. Today’s security landscape is no longer defined by the known and familiar attack vectors, responded to by the traditional defences of installing a firewall, antivirus solutions and constantly updated threat signatures. Rather, companies are being attacked in ways they cannot predict and often, don’t even detect using traditional approaches to cybersecurity.
Furthermore, companies are understandably reluctant to share details of how and when their security has been compromised, for fear of their reputations being damaged. This is exacerbated by the fact that they are facing advanced, highly motivated, and extremely well organised attackers, who are globally dispersed and often part of a much larger crime syndicate. This gives cybercriminals a structural advantage, making it all the more likely that they will continue to win the battles they wage.
However, with the explosion of information, we are now facing a situation where we have too much data and too little intelligence. To address all these concerns, Snode was designed to offer clients always-on intelligence solution, by concentrating on and examining the behaviour of data packets on a network.
It is analogous to examining and focusing on what a person does inside your building, irrespective of their credentials. This is a far cry from stopping at whether or not they have a key to the front door, an approach taken by the familiar firewall approach to cybersecurity. To put it bluntly, if any organisation thinks having a firewall in place will protect them from any and all attacks, they are quite simply wrong.
The good news is that attacks can be pre-empted. Because solutions like Snode focus on behaviour, rather than accepting log entries, its intelligent approach to security can detect precursor signs that an attack is imminent, by identifying the profile of abnormal behaviour and acting accordingly.
However, it is critical that those fighting cyberattacks have a united front. That doesn’t mean that companies need to share their data or disclose when they have been attacked. One of the advantaged of Snode is that it automatically and anonymously shares analytics and insights gleaned from existing attacks, while learning the patterns behind criminals’ attempts to attack their network. This means that the more customers using an augmented intelligence solution, the stronger it becomes as a line of defence.
From a local perspective, it is worth noting that cyber attackers are turning their attention to countries like South Africa. Indeed, emerging such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, and South Africa are viewed as soft, and lucrative, targets by organised crime syndicates with highly advanced cyber capabilities. The fact that these are advanced economies that have not made the same kind of security investments as their developed nation counterparts make them a dream target for hackers.
To confirm this, you only need to look at the list of countries being targeted by the recent wave of SWIFT attacks which are plaguing the banking sectors.
Even as dire as the cybercrime situation may sound, it doesn’t mean that the fight against cybercrime is hopeless, but rather that businesses need to be considerably more intelligent about their security, and stand together, figuratively speaking, to defeat this scourge.