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Businesses are poorly equipped to deal with zero day threats

Excalibur Communications

Just about every business out there appreciates the need for a robust, multi-layered security solution to keep their network and data safe.

Yet many appear to be poorly equipped to deal with zero day threats. Reactive defences are fine, but to remain safe in the current environment, multi-layered proactive security is essential.

The recently published Check Point 2015 Security Report makes for very interesting reading. If you’re responsible for protecting your business, it’s worth a few minutes of your time. The data is from 2014 so is relatively up to date.

Key points it makes include:

New malware threats increased 71% between 2013 and 2014

A business PC accesses a malicious website every 24 seconds

Every 36 minutes, a business loses sensitive data to a hacker

83% of businesses have active bots within their network

81% of businesses have lost data through malware

Zero day threats are at the root of this problem.

Zero day threats

Zero day threats are those that antivirus companies have not detected and updated your antivirus for. They will include unknown characteristics that many reactive security applications won’t recognise as hostile, so will be able to roam free on your network.

According to the security report, 106 unknown malware programs are downloaded per hour across the world. In 2013, 83 million versions of malware were active. In 2014, that had leapt 71% to 142 million.

The response

Traditional techniques include sandboxing and using antivirus updates to recognise viruses and malware. This is quite a responsive defence. While effective in many cases, it doesn’t protect your network from zero day threats.

The best defence is a multi-layered approach that uses hardware and software tools that comprise sandboxes, endpoint antivirus and active scanning and analysis to cover all bases. Those solutions should also be able to work with mobiles and BYOD devices too as they are an emerging weakness in enterprise security.

While all this paints quite a bleak picture, this is the eternal game of cat and mouse. As attacks become more sophisticated, so do the defences. Security companies are becoming much more responsive and are learning how to protect from attack types as well as individual attacks.

The key message from all this is that a single security program is not an effective way to protect your network from harm. Only by building a multi-layered solution that includes all those elements above, that includes mobile and BYOD, robust security policies and proactive monitoring can you truly stand a chance of securing what’s yours.

If you need help or require such a solution, Excalibur has the expertise to deliver. Contact us to learn more.

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