Data theft is common in the Middle East

AccessData says that data theft code is so sophisticated it can not be stopped by traditional anti-virus or firewalls.

Tags: AccessData Group LLC (www.accessdata.com)
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Data theft is common in the Middle East Simon Whitburn, vice president International Sales at global digital forensics expert AccessData, says data theft is common in the region.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  May 28, 2013

AccessData says that data theft code is so sophisticated it can not be stopped by traditional anti-virus or firewalls.

Intellectual property theft is one of the most common types of IT fraud committed in the Middle East region, Simon Whitburn, vice president International Sales at global digital forensics expert AccessData, told Network Middle East magazine.

“The most common thing we see is customer data type thefts, and typically that has been an individual going in to a company and stucking a thumb drive in a device and pulling off a load of data, it could be credit card data. They then take that data and sell it to the highest bidder,” he said.

Data theft has become very sophisticated, with more and more highly complex code coming into companies designed to steal important confidential data. This type of code is so sophisticated, according to Whitburn that a company’s anti-virus, data loss prevention software, firewall, and intrusion detection systems are not going to catch it.

“You need to be more vigilant and have the capability to see what is actually happening out there, and also look at the network traffic,” said Whitburn.

Recently there have been a number of incidents where code has come into an organisation and, according to AccessData, typically 95% of incidents that happen are revealed to the company by an outside source, because the internal technology is nto sophisticated enough to catch the code.

“We have had a couple of incidents where the company knows they have been in trouble because someone has told them about it, but they don’t know what it is or where it is, because as soon as you execute some of this code, it will change again. Unless there is a signature out for it, then you can’t stop it. We don’t stop anything, we are out there investigating and looking for these types of incidents.

“We deploy our technology to their environment, look for anomalies, look for differences or we have an infected machine and can take a snapshot of what is going on on the machine, not stop the code but define that it is bad stuff,” said Whitburn.

Code designed to steal data is currently being written all over the world, but the hot spots are in the Far East and Eastern Europe. Whitburn says there is also very sophisticated code being written right here in the UAE.

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