By Charles Leaver

Decrease in malware doesn’t mean cyberspace is safe

A recent industry report showed that not only has the number of malware samples decreased from previous years in 2013, but that samples will continue to drop in 2014 as well.

According to ARN, the report discovered that there was a significant decline in certain types of malware in 2013. Furthermore, this trend will continue into next year as cybercriminals utilize new techniques in their attacks, stated SC Magazine UK.

However, industry expert Gerry Tucker told ARN that this should not translate into a sense of false security. Although the volume of malware may have lessened, attackers are utilizing new techniques in more intricate and targeted infections.

“These [advanced persistent threats] are increasingly stealthy in nature and once a foothold is secured, they will steal user credentials and move unilaterally throughout infiltrated networks,” Tucker said. “Not only are APTs harder to detect, they are also much more destructive to organizations that fall victim to these attacks.”

Furthermore, the report also predicted that cybercriminals will increasingly turn to the cloud for data leakage in favor of on-premise systems. As more organizations leverage the cloud for data storage and to power their mission-critical applications that also contain sensitive business information, the platform becomes a rich source of valuable data. This is mainly due to the fact that permeating a cloud system is easier than penetrating the “castle walls” of an on-premise system.

“No doubt attackers will still infiltrate enterprise networks to target users, steal information and compromise their systems,” the report stated. “However, such attacks will serve as an intermediate step to gain access to third-party cloud services instead of an internal data store.”

In this way, businesses must ensure that they not only have endpoint protection in place on their end, but that their service provider has adequate protections in place to safeguard data in the cloud.

Organizations that have adopted the cloud and are seeking to prevent data leakage due to malware can turn to Ziften, a leading provider of malware and suspicious binary detection software.

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