Why up-to-date knowledge and cutting-edge security technology are key to businesses and employees defeating cybercriminals.

“Once you stop learning, you start dying” – this quote by Albert Einstein has never been truer in today’s cybersecurity landscape. Today, it is no longer adequate to simply run a security software in the background and hope for the best. It is also crucial that employees and businesses alike stay in the know of the current security threats and tactics deployed by cybercriminals.

Knowledge of the current landscape, coupled with robust security policies and infrastructure, have been proven to greatly reduce the risks and exposure to cyber threats, thereby allowing businesses to fully focus on operating and growing at a high level.

Previously, we discussed the evolution of endpoint security, which has become ever so important due to the increased sophistication and complexity of cyber threats, calling for the need of endpoint security such as HP Wolf Security to reduce addressable attack surfaces and enable remote recovery from firmware attacks. Subsequently, we shed more light on how HP Wolf Security is key to cyber safety in the new normal, and how it equips businesses of all sizes and limitations. But to fully understand the $6 trillion cybercrime “industry”, it is critical for us to understand the threat landscape that we are dealing with.

In the H1 2021 edition of the HP Wolf Security Threat Insights Report, our security experts share emerging threats and hot spots in the cyberworld. With more knowledge and the right solutions, security teams can strengthen their security postures and manage these threats swiftly and effectively.

Threat actors are becoming collaborative

Most attacks involving malware are typically financially motivated – threat actors seek the quickest way to gain monetary benefits out of their victims. Traditionally, that was done through information theft and remote access Trojans, where attackers gain access to confidential information of their victims and sell that information. However, attackers are also now selling their access to other threat actors, pointing to the rapid evolution of the threat landscape.

To add to that, technological functions and hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies have made it easier for threat actors to collaborate with one another. The implication is that if an endpoint is unsecured and hacked by a less-resourced attacker, the threat of that access being granted to a more well-funded and experienced threat actor is extremely real. As cybercrime becomes more collaborative, there is now no such thing as a “minor breach”. It is critical to reduce attack surfaces and defend against both known and unknown attacks.

Traditional tactics still threaten

Today, cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated, while end users have not progressed – they are still susceptible to the same forms of attacks as before. Such instances include well-documented lures such as malicious attachments, dodgy websites and compromised web links. On top of the lack of awareness, outdated detection tools could be a contributing factor as well – they will evidently fail in detecting crime that has become more intentional and targeted. We also found that the top e-mail lures are associated with purchase orders, invoices, product specifications, RFQs and quality control reports, which could suggest that threat actors are moving towards targeting businesses, instead of individuals.

Hacking tools are on the rise

In our report, we saw a 65% increase from H2 2020 in hacking tools downloaded from filesharing websites and underground forums. This could mean that more people are turning to cybercrime as a platform to generate income and sustain their livelihood. It also indicates that confidence in cybercrime now is at an all-time high – novice attackers are downloading hacking tools because they believe that they can succeed without being apprehended.

In addition, we found that hacking tools now have features to bypass website security controls such as CAPTCHA challenges and web application firewalls, which could spell danger for both businesses and individuals who are alluded to think that they are safe from threats with these simple security measures.

What does this mean for businesses and employees

With mounting threats from new cybercrime tactics and business models, the endpoint continues to be a major focus for businesses to secure, and it is more important than ever to have comprehensive and resilient endpoint infrastructure to minimize attack surfaces.

In addition, businesses and employees, especially Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Safety Officers (CISOs) must understand the evolution of cybercrime and the dangers of a breach, however small it is. Regardless of the technology that is being used to protect company hardware and systems, all employees should have a basic understanding of how cybercrime takes place, how to avoid them and what to do to remedy attacks that have already taken place. It is imperative that businesses and their employees understand that it takes two hands to clap – that up-to-date knowledge and cutting-edge security technology are key to defeating cybercriminals.

Staying current with HP Wolf Security

HP Wolf Security places a huge emphasis on helping enterprises and small-and-medium businesses stay relevant in their pursuit of maximum security. Such features include threat containment using micro-virtualization which fully isolates threats that are delivered by common threat vectors. It also leverages on AI-based technologies to enable malware prevention through deep learning and behavioral analysis to provide predictive detection. Ultimately, we bring a holistic approach to endpoint security for businesses, protecting companies from threats within, between and under the OS. With Wolf Security, business leaders and CISOs can now rest better at night.