Guest Blog: Cyber Security Outlook 2014

This is a guest blog written by James Mulvey of CLLA, a communication platform that enables and facilitates the connection between clients and providers. HOSTING is a proud member of CLLA’s Connection Network.

cyber security outlook 2014In today’s networking environment, cybercrime is ever more omnipresent – affecting everything from website availability, to data center security. Yet the global approach to cyber security is not yet uniform enough to prevent attacks from wreaking havoc on entire industries.

There are two sides to the equation: Cyber criminals have come up with more creative ways to exploit websites, and end users are not taking the precautionary steps necessary to protect themselves. So where does this leave us? What can organizations (and end users alike) do to protect themselves from cyber-attacks?

Re-evaluating Security Threats

Cisco’s latest security report paints a bleak outlook stating, cybercrime methodologies range from socially engineered password theft to stealthier methods in an effort to exploit public trust. However, the technology products responsible for evaluating trust between network end users and devices can be re-vamped to isolate threats within a hosted environment.

In other words, organizations must consistently update security protocols while identifying which digital assets are at risk. This process includes re-examining previously breached access points or potential vulnerabilities and making security decisions based on need.

Re-evaluating Malware Threats

Amidst the recent wave of attacks targeted towards online retailers, a new form of Malware has materialized, dubbed the ZeroAccess Botnet. This particular form of Malware masks itself and targets online advertisers.  Typically, a user won’t even know they’ve downloaded the Botnet. Unsuspecting users are used as pawns, looking as though they are clicking on PPC ads (pay per click) and generating leads to advertisers. Unfortunately, for online advertisers the leads are fake clicks equating to roughly 2.5 million in revenue losses per month. What’s even more alarming; Android users are almost an exclusive target for Malware attacks.

As such, security professionals recommend that mobile users only download applications from trusted sites, enable security settings to verify downloadable content, and frequently update security software.

Cyber Security: An on-going challenge

Last December, Target confirmed that nearly 70 million customers were affected by a data breach that stole credit and debit card information. Six months earlier the company began installing a $1.6 million malware detection tool by a computer security firm whose clients include the CIA and the Pentagon. Despite these precautions, the damages caused by the breach are staggering:

  • 40 million credit card numbers and 70 million addresses, phone numbers and other personal information captured by hackers.
  • 90+ lawsuits filed against Target to date.
  • $61 million dollars spent by Target through February 1st to respond to the breach.
  • 46% drop in critical Q4 profits.

While the company has extended free identity theft and fraud protection to the customers affected, consumer confidence may never be the same. The bottom line is, cyber security is an uphill and on-going battle that shouldn’t be downplayed because the harsh reality is, our electronic way of life has opened the door to a smarter type of criminal whose end goal is reach the place where all precious data is shared, stored and accessed; the data center.

Information about CLLA and HOSTING Partnership

After a rigorous evaluation of cloud service providers, CLLA recently added HOSTING to its partnership program, the Connection Network. This partnership will allow CLLA to exclusively promote and market HOSTING’s services to its clients in the Denver area. In addition to operating a state-of-the-art data center in Denver, HOSTING also provides clients with ongoing protection services such as malware protection, managed patching and file integrity. HOSTING’s 24x7x365 monitoring identifies potential data breaches, and alerts teams when systems have been compromised. “We are happy to be working with HOSTING in Denver to provide clients with reliable and scalable IT solutions. We are confident that HOSTING’s “Lifecycle Approach” to providing IT services will fit our clients’ needs no matter where they fall in the sale cycle,” says Shawn Ahdoot, Marketing Director for CLLA.

The opinions and or views expressed by HOSTING guest bloggers represent the thoughts of individual bloggers, and not necessarily those of HOSTING or any of its affiliates.

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