Corporations are focusing too heavily on where cyber attacks originate rather than on deploying protection to plug gaps in their existing security set-ups, Gartner analysts warn.
The research firm notes that media hype around advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks is distracting enterprises from the fact that denial of service, theft of service, and information compromise attacks remain the biggest threats to enterprise’s security, and that businesses should address the vulnerabilities enabling those attacks rather than add more layers of security.
Gartner predicts the level of all three attack types will grow 70% over the next five years, and estimates that 4% to 8% of executables passing through current security defenses are malicious.
"The reality is that the most important issues are the vulnerabilities and the techniques used to exploit them, not the country that appears to be the source of the attack," vice president John Pescatore says, referring to the military origins of the term APT.
Pescatore advises that businesses identify holes in their current security set-ups and evolve defenses to cope with a new breed of highly targeted cyber attack that “are not noisy, mass attacks that are easily handled by simple, signature-dependent security approaches,”
Enterprises should also keep their eye on the security ball rather than focus on complying with local regulations. “A lean-forward approach to security is going beyond the due diligence level of the standard network security and vulnerability assessment controls, and using tools and processes to continuously look for active threats on the internal networks,” Pescatore states.