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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

U.S. in cybercrime crosshairs, researchers say

Data protection methodologies and legislation have made little impact on international cybercrime, according to a new study published Aug. 8, 2018 by U.K.-based Juniper Research Ltd. The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Threat Analysis, Impact Assessment & Leading Vendors 2018-2023, predicts a plethora of attacks will continue to grow, defrauding organizations of more than 146 billion personal records worldwide over the next five years.

Researchers place the United States at the epicenter of criminal activity due to the country's disparate methodologies for storing and transmitting data. The resulting patchwork of vulnerabilities makes U.S. firms vulnerable to opportunistic criminals, researchers noted. Without additional protections in place, experts said, more than half of international data breaches are expected to originate in U.S. companies by 2023.

Ryan Wilk, vice president of delivery - customer success at NuData Security, a Mastercard company, said Juniper's projections make a strong case for implementing multilayered security across a range of industries and financial institutions. Advanced technologies such as passive biometrics and behavioral analytics protect individuals and organizations from the credential theft, because consumers' unique behaviors cannot be duplicated by hackers, he added. "With these technologies, the massive amounts of stolen credentials cannot be used to log into someone else's account or otherwise used for fraud," Wilk stated. "The user's identity is established using hundreds of indicators derived in part from the user's unique online behaviors instead of static 'known knowns' such as passwords, challenge questions, and government identification numbers."

Protect critical infrastructure

Juniper researchers recommend that a multilayered approach to security combine recent data protection legislation, such as GDPR and PSD2, with strong technology mandates to reinforce cybersecurity across network endpoints, cloud security, identity and access management and the Internet of Things. These efforts are critical for small and midsize businesses, which account for 99 percent of all companies but contributed just 13 percent of cybersecurity spending in 2018, researchers noted.

One reason small business owners spend so little on cybersecurity is their tendency to use consumer-grade products that cost less than $500 per year to install and maintain. Researchers pointed out that these retail products are insufficient protections against newer forms of malware, which require a more holistic approach than simple endpoint and perimeter protections. Failure to implement advanced security strategies will leave numerous small businesses vulnerable to data breaches, which can cost millions of dollars and have devastating impacts on consumers and businesses alike, noted research author James Moar.

"Juniper's strategic analysis of 48 leading cybersecurity companies shows that AI and predictive analytics are now table stakes for this market," Moar said. "These technologies need to be made available to all businesses, regardless of size."

Wilk added that Juniper's findings should serve as a "terrifying reminder for every organization transacting online to substantially tighten and continually test their security and authentication strategies and ensure that payment data, sensitive records, and personally identifiable information are secure." end of article

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