Mitigating security threats at source
Author: Vishak Raman, Head of the Managed Security Services business at Tata Communications
Throughout 2014, cyber threats and hacking scandals have never been far from the headlines, from celebrity photo leaks to the news that millions of eBay accounts had been compromised earlier this year. In fact, in late November it transpired that an advanced piece of malware, labelled Regin, has been used in spying campaigns since 2008.
The emergence of cloud, mobile and social media has completely changed the security landscape. Advanced targeted attacks are becoming more prevalent than traditional cyber-attacks; cybercrime is not just for amateurs, but is instead becoming a lucrative and profitable industry; and cyber warfare between countries is now a reality.
Consequently, in the business arena, security has been escalated to a top priority in the boardrooms of small and medium companies through to large enterprises. The damage to a company caused by security flaws can be disastrous, which is why we are seeing a surge in action being taken by CIOs.
Each organization takes a different approach: from investment in cutting edge security tools, such as biometric readers for identity authentication, to education programs ensuring security awareness is present at every level of the organization. This progress is fantastic, but securing business data and infrastructure begins long before it reaches employees and end users.
To ensure protection right from the source, service providers need to be engaged in threat prevention, using scale and volume to become guardians for downstream enterprise and mobile customers. At Tata Communications, this takes the form of our global threat intelligence and multi-vendor service platform, spread across multiple geographies globally to prevent attacks at the source.
This kind of protection spans three main security threats:
- Firstly, DDos (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, when skilled, persistent hackers launch high volume attacks on cloud infrastructures and hosted e-commerce platforms. Only with the right network fabric can this attack be countered, mitigating the problem by weakening the hacker’s distributed hubs.
- Secondly, APTs(Advanced Persistent Threats), when traditional signature-based detection techniques are collapsing under the pressure of zero-day attacks and targeted malware exploits. Outdated signature based sandboxing techniques are becoming ineffective; instead a global tier 1 network provider is required that can mitigate these risks, bringing global threat intelligence and large attack aggregation points with the ability to avoid attacks through early detection.
- Finally, malicious traffic. Enterprises require secure, clean pipes with a well-engineered and systems-validated solution to ensure only clean and legitimate traffic is delivered.
Only by considering these threats upstream and working with a partner that can combat such risks, can CIOs truly secure their business at every step of the journey. In 2015, as security continues to be a crucial part of the board agenda, the winners in business will be those that embrace this all-encompassing approach from source right through to end user.
Find out more about managed security services.