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Cyber criminals now masquerading as ‘compromised’ employees: Forcepoint

‘Hackers are no longer going after traditional security like firewall and are actually attacking the employees through official mails’

tech Updated: Nov 21, 2017 15:57 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Forcepoint,Hacking,Cyber Crime
cyber crime hacker typing on laptop(iStockphoto)

Cyber criminals are attacking individual machines via spam emails -- thus masquerading as “compromised” employees to enter the organisation and hold the whole system to ransom, a top executive from global cybersecurity firm Forcepoint said.

According to Surendra Singh, Country Director, Forcepoint, The human-centric security framework is very important to ward off cyber attacks.

“Hackers are no longer going after traditional security like firewall and are actually attacking the employees through official mails. Once done compromising the machine, the hacker is now masquerading as an employee and his behaviour is very, very different,” Singh told IANS.

“Hackers are enticing subjects accounts and ask you to click upon a link. You click the link, the machine gets compromised and then, you become a kind of breach head for that hacker to enter the organisation,” he noted.

One way to prevent such a crime is to closely monitor the behaviour of employees -- the IT usage patterns once the employee has been compromised.

The risks get bigger with the faster adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Singh said.

“IoT can become Disruption of Things. We may face industrial disasters because of IoT process controls getting compromised. This is a very scary scenario,” Singh told IANS.

Forcepoint on Monday launched its 2018 Security Predictions Report, emphasising that the traditional security perimeters are eroding or becoming obsolete. Understanding how, when and why people interact with critical data, no matter where it is located, is crucial.

Critical data continues to move to the Cloud, malware is constantly evolving, and despite growing investments in defensive technologies, traditional security controls prove ineffective, the report said.

“At the heart of our predictions is a requirement to understand the intersection of people with critical data and intellectual property,” said Dr Richard Ford, Chief Scientist at Forcepoint. “By placing cyber-behaviour and intent at the centre of security, the industry has a fighting chance of keeping up with the massive rate of change in the threat environment,” Ford noted.

Forcepoint predicted that 2018 will ignite a broad and polarising privacy debate, not just within governments, but between ordinary people. As cryptocurrencies grow in importance, including as a method of extracting revenue from cybercrime, Forcepoint forecasts that the systems surrounding such currencies will increasingly come under attack.

“Attackers will target vulnerabilities in systems which implement blockchain technology,” the report said, adding that IoT will not be held to ransom but will become a target for mass disruption”.

A new threat that will emerge in 2018 is the disruption of things. As the IoT offers access to both disruptive possibilities and massive amounts of critical data, we will see attacks in this area, and may also see the integration of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, the report cautioned.

“In case of a compromise, you have to involve legal teams, you have to involve your CFOs -- you must notify all the people impacted. So there has to be a robust plan in place as a reactive measure,” Singh said.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 10:57 IST