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Monday, November 22, 2010

Service providers lost N127m cyber attacks

The latest survey by Symantec Corporation, released at the weekend has revealed that infrastructure providers reported surge in politically motivated cyber attacks.

This culminated in a random loss worth $850,000, about N127,882,494.81 in the last five years.

Critical infrastructure providers represent industries that are of great importance to nation’s economy or society that if their cyber networks were successfully attacked and damaged, the result would threaten national security.

Symantec Corporation in its findings stated that its 2010 Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Survey, showed 53 per cent of critical infrastructure providers’ networks experienced politically motivated cyber attacks.

Disclosing these, the Symantec Chief Information Security Officer, Mr. Justin Somaini in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, noted that survey participants had experienced such attacks on an average of 10 times in the past five years, incurring an average loss of $850,000 to their businesses.

Participants from the energy industry, for instance, he said, reported that they were best prepared for the attacks, while their communications counterparts revealed they were not prepared.

Somaini also said that, critical infrastructure protection is not just a government issue as it includes small and medium sized enterprises.

“Security alone is not enough for critical infrastructure providers of all sizes to withstand today’s cyber attacks,” he said, stressing that Stuxnet worm, for instance targets energy companies around the world, which represents the advanced kind of threats that require security, storage, and back-up solutions, along with authentication and access control processes to be in place for true network resiliency.

The report, he said, showed some companies experienced attacks waged with a specific political goal in mind.

“Of those hit, 48 per cent expect attacks in the next year while 80% said the frequency of the attacks is increasing,” he declared.

Equally, he said, the report recommended that information infrastructure providers develop, enforce IT policies as well as automate compliance processes. Organizations, he explained, could enforce policies through built-in automation and workflow that not only identify threats but remediate incidents as they occur or anticipate them before they happen.

Additionally, he said, organizations need to stop using backup for archiving and legal holds, implement de-duplication everywhere to free resources, use a full-featured archive system and deploy data loss prevention technologies.

The report further tasked governments to emphasize that security alone is not enough to stay resilient in the face of today’s cyber attacks.

“Critical infrastructure providers and enterprises in general to ensure that their information is stored, backed up, organized, prioritized, and that proper identity and access control processes are in place,” he said.

ITRealms Online gathered that the survey was conducted in August 2010 based on 1,580 responses from 15 countries and six industries categorized as critical infrastructure providers.

Symantec prides itself as a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world.


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