Increasingly powerful and freely available tools make it easy for attackers to get ahead of companies. The recent examples include ransomware attacks on one of the world’s largest aluminium producers, Norsk Hydro, make one thing clear: it is almost impossible for companies of any size to fully protect themselves against attacks.
The Head of SEC Defence, Stefan Prinz, shed light on the world of hackers and their methods at the SEC Consult Business Breakfast, held for the first time in the new Vienna offices on 25 April 2019. He outlined the secretive characters who are behind these attacks: from script kiddies who seek challenges, to hacktivists whose actions are politically motivated, to organized cybercrime and state spying with unlimited resources. The use and interaction of various applications in particular, but also mobile and IoT devices give hackers new avenues to attack companies with.
In addition to this, the greatest weakness in IT security: the human factor. No matter whether it’s a sweeping ransomware attack which encrypts the company’s data and can bring the business to its knees in a very short time, or targeted attacks on a company over a long period which mostly go undiscovered and which snatch business secrets – attackers employ a wide variety of methods and techniques to achieve their aims.
Detecting Attackers In The Network
Prinz presented the participants with two key findings from his professional work: on average, it takes around 100 days before hackers who have already breached a business network to be discovered. “It is particularly awkward for companies who have been hacked to accept relevant advice from outside,” says Prinz. Especially so if customers or business partners receive heaps of spam. In this context, Prinz emphasized the fact that today’s threat environment calls for a highly professional network defense, which requires a mix of technology, expertise and process discipline. Though due to capacity and resource limitations, this is an option for only a very few companies.
Measures against cyber attacks: Prevention and defense
With SEC Defence from SEC Consult, businesses have a professional team of experts at their disposal who can respond to attacks quickly and effectively, and who can mitigate any damage and lock out attackers in case of an emergency. Ideally, the SEC Defence Team takes pre-emptive action, assists companies in implementing professional defense strategies, and analyses and improves existing incidence response processes through workshops.
Emergency drills and simulation games help to train responsible staff so that they know which actions and processes have to work in the event of an emergency. The SEC Defence Rapid Response Squad (RRS) can be ready immediately when working remotely or on site with the customer anywhere in Europe within 24 hours to deploy all necessary countermeasures. This highly specialized and experienced cyber defense unit works hand in hand with the customer’s IT (security) department.