Hackers, corporates drive cyber security arms race

2016-03-02 07:38 - Duncan Alfreds, Fin24
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Password. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)


Cape Town – The battle to protect company assets will result in a rise in security budgets and increasing demand for IT professionals, says an international organisation.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), public data breaches have cost companies millions and they have increased their appetite to hire skilled professionals.

“With the ongoing battle to protect corporate digital assets, company security budgets will continue to rise and, as a result, the demand for qualified IT security professionals will continue to outstrip supply,” said Eric Bloom, adjunct research advisor at IDC.

He said that the ongoing battle to protect data assets will see firms prioritising perimeter and detection activities, while others might, due to resource pressures, focus only on critical data.

“Still other firms will outsource the majority of their security efforts, having decided they don’t have the technical ability, financial resources, or interest, based on the perceived risk and/or probability of a significant data breach,” he said.

READ: Beefed up banking malware stalks smartphones

According to the Gemalto Breach Level Index (BLI) for 2015, 1 938 383 data records were stolen per day in 1 673 data breaches that were reported globally.

Anonymous tweeted to Fin24 that it conducts hacking activities because of corruption.

Personal data has become a key battleground for cyber warfare between hackers and organisations.

“The most severe breach of 2015, which received the highest possible score in terms of severity on the BLI, was an identity theft attack on Anthem Insurance,” said the Gemalto report.

Hackers gained access to personal records of 78.8 million customers of the healthcare provider in 2015.

“With respect to data security and cyber crime in general, the technical arms race will continue to accelerate. Also, cyber crime activities will expand in type, complexity, and frequency as the cyber crime industry matures,” said Bloom.

He referenced the hacktivist group saying that “corporate humiliation” was one of the key motivators for cyber attacks.

“Currently, security breaches have primarily been in the areas of acquisition of personal/credit data, intellectual property theft and, more recently, corporate humiliation.”

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