IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

The rise of cyber warfare: 2019 sees significant increase in companies reporting attacks attributed to foreign governments

Radware has released its 2019-2020 Global Application & Network Security Report, which states that more than one in four respondents attribute attacks against their organization to cyber warfare or nation-state activity. In 2018, 19 percent of organizations believed they were attacked by a nation-state. That figure increased to 27 percent in 2019. Companies in North America were more likely to report nation-state attribution, at 36 percent.

“Nation-state intrusions are among the most difficult attacks to thwart because the agencies responsible often have significant resources, knowledge of potential zero-day exploits, and the patience to plan and execute operations,” says Anna Convery-Pelletier, Chief Marketing Officer at Radware. “These attacks can result in the loss of sensitive trade, technological, or other data, and security teams may be at a distinct disadvantage.”

These findings come at a time of heightened anxiety for security managers. Organizations are increasingly turning to microservices, serverless architectures, and a mix of multiple cloud environments. Two in five managers reported using a hybrid environment that included cloud and on-premises data centers / centres, and two in five said they relied on more than one public cloud environment. However, only 10 percent of respondents felt that their data was more secure in public cloud environments.

As organizations adapt their network infrastructure to enjoy the benefits of these new paradigms they increase their attack surface and decrease the overall visibility into their traffic. For example, 22 percent of respondents don’t even know if they were attacked, 27 percent of those who were attacked don’t know the hacker’s motivations, 38 percent are not sure whether an Internet of Things (IoT) botnet hit their networks, and 46 percent are not sure if they suffered an encrypted DDoS attack. 

Convery-Pelletier added, "This report finds that security professionals feel as though the battlefield is shifting under their feet.  Companies are increasingly adding and relying upon new paradigms, like microservices, public and hybrid clouds, and IoT, which means the infrastructure is harder to monitor for attacks. These new technologies force a shift in security implementation into the development teams.  Security is often an afterthought as businesses march forward, and there is a misconception that ‘good enough’ is enough.”

The emergence of 5G networks

As the push for 5G grows, there exists an important opportunity to build security into networks at its foundations. Despite the increasing buzz around 5G networks, only 26 percent of carriers responded that they felt well prepared for 5G deployment, while another 32 percent stated that they were somewhat prepared.  

5G promises to advance organizations’ implementation of and the value they derive from IoT technologies, but that promise comes with a corresponding increase in the attack surface. When it comes to IoT connected devices, 44 percent of respondents said malware propagation was their top concern, while lack of visibility followed at 20 percent and denial of service at 20 percent.

Data loss is top concern

About 30 percent of businesses stated that data theft as a result of a breach was their top concern following an attack, down from 35 percent the previous year, followed by service outages at 23 percent.  Meanwhile, 33 percent said that financial gain is a leading motivation for attacks.

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