‘Cyber threats are mainly about money’

Frost & Sullivan point out the real malware menace: organised crime

Tags: Cyber crimeFrost & Sullivan (www.frost.com)United Arab Emirates
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‘Cyber threats are mainly about money’ Organised crime represents 80% of malware exploits, says Frost & Sullivan.
By  Stephen McBride Published  November 21, 2012

Global market researcher Frost & Sullivan today held its Middle East Enterprise Security Summit in the UAE, which brought together executives, senior managers and department heads from a range of industries.

Representatives from sectors as diverse as banking, telecoms, government, media, manufacturing and healthcare gathered in the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort, Dubai, to listen to discussions on enterprise ICT security that included threat trends, cost impact, the changing role of the CIO and the ever-present BYOD dilemma.

"We are under attack in many ways," said Andy Baul-Lewis, director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

"There are people out there who are determined to break into our systems, steal our passwords, damage our reputations and also steal [data] in order to make money. Let's not forget that these people are active."

Middle East enterprise-level infrastructures have fallen victim to a series of summer exploits. In August Saudi Aramco suffered a 12-day disabling of tens of thousands of workstations and Qatar was hit by two major cyber incursions: LNG producer RasGas had to take its office systems offline and in early September the Al Jazeera news network's SMS alert system was compromised.

"These people are particularly active recently because of what we have seen over the past 10 years: growth in Internet use, growth in mobility and, in the past three to five years, growth in social networking and use of corporate access from multiple devices," said Baul-Lewis.

Security analysts also continue to refer to the Stuxnet worm, which "escaped" from its much-publicised attack on Iran's uranium-enrichment centrifuges and is thought to still pose a global risk to certain Siemens-based industrial control systems. This has sparked a wider discussion about the looming dangers of real-world impact from cyber threats. In mid October Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky confirmed on his blog that the security company would be developing its own OS to plug the holes in vulnerable ICS infrastructures.

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