Identifying IT Security Threats

The Complexity of IT Security

Modern businesses – of all sizes – are becoming increasingly vulnerable to security breaches even as they enable their workforces with state-of-the-art technologies.

  • Cyber attacks are up 100% since 2010.
  • Cyber attacks can be costly. The average time to resolve a cyber attack is 24 days at an average cost of $591,780, or nearly $25,000 per day.
  • The most costly cyber-crimes are caused by malicious code, denial of service, stolen or hijacked devices, and malevolent insiders.

Threat 1: Data Loss & Leakage

  • Unintentional distributioninformation-leakage
    of sensitive data:

    • financial
    • employee
    • customer data
    • intellectual property
  • Due to:
    • loss or theft of laptops or mobile phones.
    • electronic transmissions, such as unencrypted emails, IM, webmail and file transfer tools, hacking, virus



Threat 2: Denial of Service Attacks


  • DoS attacks flood a network with more traffic than it can handle, consuming bandwidth or server resources.
  • Distributed DOS attacks use multiple systems to launch the offensive, making them difficult to shut down.
  • DDOS attacks are growing in size – to more than 50GBps in 2012 ‒ and last more than 30 hours, according to data from Prolexic.





Threat 3: Malware

  • Malicious software (aka malware) is unwanted software installed without consent.malware
  • Examples include:
    • viruses
    • worms
    • Trojan horses
    • spyware
    • Botnets, Zombie



Threat 4: Phishing/Social Engineering


  • Cyber criminals use phishing and “social engineering” schemes to trick people into sharing personal information, such as:
    • account information
    • credit card data
    • social security numbers
    • passwords
  • Phishing  and social engineering are done typically with links to fill-in forms from:
    • e-mails
    • Websites
    • social media

Threat 5: Human Error/Malevolence


  • More than 50% of security problems are due to employees or IT staff inadvertently:
    • failing to follow procedure
    • being careless
    • lacking expertise
  • Insiders or former insiders, such as disgruntled or malicious employees or contractors can be dangerous attackers because they know the organization’s:
    • security codes  and measures
    • computers and applications
    • actions that will cause the most damage


Understanding Data-Centric Security

Before you even think about technology, you need to determine who will be responsible for security. The development and communication of your security strategy is critical.

  • Understand present, potential and future riskscomplexity-of-it-security
    • Employee vulnerabilities
    • Internet, cloud vulnerabilities
    • LAN vulnerabilities
    • Premises security
  • Implement
    • Minimum security codes and measures
    • Define business and personal computer and applications use
    • Define consequences for violating company security policies
    • Educate users