Why SMB Networks Need Advanced Threat Intelligence
For some time now, small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) have assumed cybercriminals won’t consider them a viable target due to their size. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. SMBs still provide plenty of incentive to entice cybercriminals to target their networks, thanks to the unique security challenges they face.
For example, SMBs house the same personal, proprietary and financial data as their enterprise-level counterparts. Combined with a reputation for a less-rigid security posture and increasingly automated attacks that can target multiple organizations simultaneously, SMBs are actually viewed as an easier opportunity for cybercriminals — with equal payoff.
To effectively protect SMB networks, your customers need to be equipped with up-to-date, advanced threat intelligence that can help accurately guide their cybersecurity strategies, identify key vulnerabilities and keep up with the ever-expanding threat landscape.
The Modern Threat Landscape
Today’s cybercriminals are leveraging a variety of sophisticated cyberattacks across the kill chain. These complex capabilities — which move at rapid, machine speeds — have the potential to cripple small- and medium-sized businesses. To actively address your SMB customers’ unique needs, partners must understand the modern threats targeting these organizations.
In our Global Threat Landscape Report for Q3 2018, we identified several notable threats that have the potential to seriously affect SMBs. To successfully secure your customers, it’s important to be aware of the following risks:
- Threat development continues to be a priority: Modern cybercriminals are no longer gauging the merit of their attack capabilities based solely on their effectiveness at breaching network security. Instead, they’re also weighing attack capabilities against the overhead required to develop, modify and deploy them. The threat landscape’s growth is the result of cybercriminals continuing to focus on effective, affordable and scalable attack methods. In the third quarter of 2018 alone, unique malware variants grew a staggering 43 percent, with unique, daily malware detections rising 62 percent. These unique variants, combined with the 32 percent increase in malware families, demonstrates continued experimentation and capability expansion by modern cybercriminals.
- Mobile and the IoT are the primary threat vectors: As SMBs continue to engage in digital transformation, a myriad of mobile, IoT and BYOD devices are being rapidly introduced to network infrastructures. While these devices allow your customers to better meet the demands of their customers, unless properly secured, they also open up a variety of threat vectors that cybercriminals are keen to exploit. For example, our third-quarter threat data indicated that 26 percent of all detected malware was mobile-based. Moreover, we’ve identified malware targeting and compromising IoT devices such as cameras, printers, routers, etc., that are then being used as botnets with command and control infrastructures that allow them to rapidly expand across networks.
- Evolving cryptojacking: Given the rise in IoT and mobile device adoption, it makes sense that we’ve also seen an increasingly sophisticated variety of cryptojacking capabilities enter the threat landscape. Now, modern crypto attacks – which have risen 38 percent since our last report – have the ability to disable existing security solutions, exposing networks to attack from other sources.
- Exploits are focusing on encrypted traffic: As more and more SMBs shift to SSL-encrypted traffic, cybercriminals have begun to capitalize on the general assumption that because traffic is encrypted, it is inherently secure. As a result, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the Pushdo botnet, which is used to spread DDoS attacks across networks leveraging SSL-encrypted traffic.
Modern Challenges Facing SMB Cybersecurity
As cybercriminals continue to shift their attack capabilities to capitalize on weaknesses found across the attack chain, partners must understand the unique challenges facing their customers and how these expanding cyberattacks aim to take advantage of these challenges. In doing so, partners will be better equipped to provide the tailored cybersecurity recommendations that address …