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Cyber criminals using malware that act as sleeper cells: Cisco
PTI
New Delhi, March 24, 2014
First Published: 10:53 IST(24/3/2014)
Last Updated: 11:17 IST(24/3/2014)
As enterprises are increasingly adopting technologies like cloud and mobility, they are also facing more security challenges with cyber criminals using malware that are dormant while entering a secure network and then becoming active, networking solutions giant Cisco said.
 
With companies increasingly adopting concepts like BYOD (bring your own device) and cloud services, they face more security challenges and complexities. Besides,'Internet of Everything' (IoE) that connects all devices and grids, also opens them to heightened security threats.
 
"In a world that is rapidly moving towards connecting everything, the security risks are also increasing. Now there are dormant cells, which could suddenly get active and how would you then seek protection," Cisco Worldwide Director (Security) Jawahar Sivasankaran told PTI.
 
The basic action that can be taken when there is a suspected intrusion is to pull the plug and shut down the system, he added.
 
Cisco is working on a solution called 'Before, During and After' to check such dormant cells. Organisations are putting a lot of focus on the 'before' part with strategies like security walls. Cisco continues to invest in innovative technologies in the 'before' area, Sivasankaran said.
 
"There is a critical need to protect the customers in the 'during and after' phase as well. In our 'Before, During and After' strategy we have focus on visibility driven, threat focus and platform based intrusions," he added.
 
The focus is continuous security and retrospective analysis. This is what the company is doing through its 'Fire amp Advanced Malware Security' solution, he said.
 
Mobile security today has become mainstream and people expect more from their IT and security programmes.
 
"The top challenge with android is the fake app, which opens customers up to advanced malware. In our focus of putting innovation in the 'before' phase, we are also briefing up our activity in the 'during and after' phase," he said.
 
Asked about sectors affected by malware, Sivasankaran said generally, financial, energy and retail are affected.
 
New sectors have come up as targets, like agriculture and IoE and this will exasperate the impact on other sectors, he added.
 
"There are a lot of connections, from farms to processing to transportation and delivering. In India, financial would be high, government and private sectors are also there. Soon energy and pharmaceuticals too will join," Sivasankaran said.
 
On the issue of data security, he said it is a focus point for Cisco and the company will continue to make investments.
 
"USD 2.7 billion investment in Sourcefire says that security is a top investment area. We have a little over 600 employees in the business unit that focuses on securities R&D.
 
"But, beyond R&D, there is a huge portfolio of people in services and solutions in India. We also bought a company called Cognitive that gave us our intelligence," he added.

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