Q&A: What Are Today's Biggest Malware Challenges?
Print Issue: October 2014
MARK GAZIT - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - THETARAY
Enterprises are challenged by the growing sophistication of both malware and those who perpetrate malware-assisted attacks. Perhaps the biggest challenge enterprises face is the issue of detecting unknown threats. While many solutions prove effective in detecting run-of-the-mill threats, they are powerless facing targeted attacks like Stuxnet and zero-day threats like Heartbleed. This erosion of security in the face of malware, which is rapidly evolving in scale and sophistication, leaves enterprises exposed to attacks motivated by intellectual property theft; the exfiltration of data about sales, customers, future budgets and plans, and trade secrets; and a cyber-heist on the business’s financial accounts.
CLINTON KARR- SENIOR SECURITY STRATEGIST - BROMIUM
Financially Motivated Attacks
Cyber criminals commonly take advantage of exploits in Web browsers, plug-ins, and document readers to compromise end users with Remote Access Trojans (RATs). RATs allow hackers to maintain access while evading detection and compromise sensitive user information such as bank account credentials. Ransomware attacks encrypt all user files. To obtain the key needed to decrypt the files, the victim must pay a ransom to recover their data. The success of ransomware attacks seems to indicate that they will increase over time.
KENNETH BECHTEL - MALWARE RESEARCH ANALYST - TENABLE NETWORK SECURITY
As network administrators solve e-mail-based malware issues, malware creators shift and invent new methods. E-mail-based malware used to be about delivering executable code to the host, and then replicating out. Today, social engineering is going into e-mail deliveries, such as embedding compromised documents in encrypted zip files while providing the password in the e-mail, or disguising the file type, such as making an executable file look like a PDF file. Hoisting the actual infection on a compromised server, and making it change with every download, has also been an issue.
RAJA PATEL - SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR CLOUD SECURITY PRODUCT MANAGEMENT - CISCO
One predominant trend in mobile malware attacks is general information-stealing malware, which tracks what you are doing, gets your credentials, or hijacks transactions, including financial ones. The shift toward mobility and cloud services is placing a greater security burden on endpoints and mobile devices, some of which never touch the corporate network. Mobile devices introduce security risks when they are used to access company resources; they easily connect with the Internet and third-party cloud services, and with computers with security postures that are potentially unknown and outside of the enterprise’s control.