Beware: Advanced Brand Threats Require New Defenses

It's as if not a day goes by when there isn't news about some national brand getting hit with a data breach. High profile breaches at large chains such as Target and Home Depot saw the records of tens of millions of customers stolen. While executives at these brands have an understanding of what the impact of a data breach can do to a brand's reputation as well as the legal ramifications, they do not have the information they need at their disposal to make educated decisions.

Seems like no  brand is immune, even as marketing budgets rise in the quest to protect brands from such attacks which is getting harder and harder to keep up with. In 2015, attacks such as data breaches seem to have taken place at brands under the radar and in a wide range of industries. These attacks were ones that did not receive any media coverage but affected  those brands in a multitude of ways.

Even as the threats are always on the rise, the patterns are becoming more and more clear. This makes it easier for brands to protect themselves and their data. Being able to identify threats before they strike is necessary to keep adopting the correct measures to provide maximum protection.

Always Investing

Cyber thieves are always investing in malware, and increasing their research while they develop highly unique pieces of malware on a constant basis, that can threaten sophisticated global payment infrastructures. These pieces of malware are often not identified by detection systems for days, weeks and sometimes months after they are released.

Malware distribution is becoming highly sophisticated as the attacks leverage a strategy that brands have been adopting to protect their data against theft, the protocol known as HTTPS. This strategy encrypts information, and it is more often used than not to protect data. But, alas as highly common in the cyber thievery world, attackers find inventive ways to use the technology that organizations employ in their favor, such as being able to hide malware from the sophisticated firewalls that organizations implement. An example of this would be the use of a banner ad that hackers placed on the Yahoo! News site which enabled them to distribute malware to over twenty seven thousand Internet users in Europe per hour for a few days.

The Attack Trends Continue

There are more attack trends coming up faster than you might think. Organizations must be prepared to transform both their security processes and infrastructure. Highly sophisticated (more than there is out there currently) malware will target smartphone users as well as users of wearable technology such as watches. Bitcoin and other digital currencies will see more attacks and it will get more personal, as home networks and the utilities that steer them will be part of a more vast array of DDoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

Knowledge is Key

So, the question is, what will you be doing to protect your brand to ensure maximum safety for your brand as well as customers? Firstly, knowledge is paramount. You need to implement security that is round the clock as well as train your employees to always be on guard if they notice something fishy.

I expect to see two step authentication becoming more prevalent with the combination of passwords, and identification methods such as voice prints and finger print technology, This type of verification is highly promising and worth looking into as it can more often than not stop hackers on taking advantage of any opportunities to steal data.

All in all, brands need to keep educating themselves on next generation technologies such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems to maximize protection for themselves and their customers.