Advanced Threats

In 2016, SonicWall detected a 600% growth in ransomware families. We saw a wide range of ransomware forms and attack vectors in the 2017 Annual Threat Report; some successful, others not so much.  So, what is at the core of any successful attack? If you understand the seven components of a ransomware campaign strategy, you can better defend yourself from one of the most pernicious forms of malware in history.

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2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report

The 2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report, published last week, covers the evolution of the cybersecurity landscape through 2016. Based on the data from the SonicWall Global Response Intelligence Defense (GRID) network, the report highlights the advances of the criminal and the defense sides of the global cyber security landscape.

For example, law enforcement apprehended the writers of the popular Angler exploit kit and POS malware dropped significantly, as the industry adopted better security practices and technology.

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Ransomware has forced organizations to rethink their security architecture.  Organizations are increasingly investing in security solutions that provide additional protection of sensitive data, as well as better visibility over network traffic and endpoint activity. According to IDC research, 60% of organizations surveyed indicated that modern endpoint and network security products such as network sandboxes were either a high priority or an extremely high priority over the next 12 months.

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Last week I was at one of our sales offices in Utah. I heard an interesting story about how a dentist office called in to ask for threat prevention against ransomware. The dentist office had been affected by ransomware twice in a short period of time. Twice, they paid the ransom to ensure business continuity and customer retention.

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NRF Retail’s the BIG Show

The data is still coming in, but it’s looking like consumer spending this holiday season will once again outperform previous years. Multiple research firms including the National Retail Federation (NRF) are predicting a growth in sales over the same period in 2015. Credit card vendor Mastercard is forecasting a 19% increase in online sales over the holidays.

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What would happen if you gathered five days of newly discovered malware and unleashed it upon an end-point protected by SonicWall?

I have been working with SonicWall firewalls for 10 years, and I was beta testing SonicWall Capture as part of my role here as an escalation engineer. Since we are big believers in drinking our own champagne, I was testing on my home network.

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In most organizations, the same issue is being felt – how can network security be increased without lowering performance within a budget? How much risk is acceptable? If your organization is not facing this issue, you should be looking at the growth of encrypted web traffic (https) and cloud computing and how your current firewall maintains performance and/or efficacy in this new environment.

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Designed to strengthen protection of personal information for all EU citizens, the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR – goes into effect in May 2018 and may affect companies of all sizes, in all regions, and in all industries, who holds EU citizen personal information. Those who will be victim of a data breach when the GDPR goes into effect risk significant fine (up to Euros 20millions or 4% of their global revenues), and loss of reputation, that could bring the business to its knees.

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