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Information Security Forum warns of increase in sophisticated state-sponsored cyber attacks in the wake of Flame

Organizations must adapt their approach to cyber security according to the UK-based Information Security Forum.

The warning comes in the wake of the latest state-sponsored cyber attack, Flame, which is regarded as one of the most complicated and potentially damaging computer viruses yet created. Designed specifically for the purposes of cyber espionage, the attack has already affected Middle Eastern states, Iran, the West Bank, Syria and Egypt.

According to the ISF, cyber attacks of this nature are becoming increasingly sophisticated as state-sponsored espionage, activism (online activists) and cybercrime move up a gear. This level of sophistication will simply grow and grow on a global scale.

Steve Durban, Global VP at ISF, believes we are in the process of seeing a cyber cold war develop:

"The cyber arms race we're currently seeing will lead to a cyber cold war. This latest attack shows that nations are already in the process of developing more sophisticated ways to attack using cyberspace and will just go on to improve their capabilities and firepower over the next few years. Nations that haven't already developed this capability will do so, especially when they see the damage it can cause.

“As the future becomes more uncertain, organizations must prepare for the unpredictable so they have the resilience to withstand unforeseen, high-impact events.

"Organizations that fail to prepare for such attacks will suffer the most — whether that's financially, reputational damage, or physical damage, for example, to industrial control systems, there will be some level of impact."

The ISF, which represents large organizations ranging from major financial institutions to government departments around the world, advises them to develop cyber resilience to help prepare for such attacks and to protect the integrity of both company systems and data.

"We advise our Members to implement a level of cyber security governance, develop a clear and comprehensive risk strategy and response plan, and ensure the matter of cyber security is supported at the very highest level.

"Information security is no longer the dirty work done by the IT department in dusty server-filled rooms, it's a boardroom issue. If organizations don't recognise this and fail to adapt their business processes, they will suffer what may be very serious consequences now or in the future."


•Date: 31st May 2012 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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