By Charles Leaver

Malware attacks on the rise, new studies find

For businesses that lack the proper endpoint security management systems in place, the prognosis for business stability can be grim. After all, as multiple studies and daily news stories attest to, the climate for security attacks is more insidious now than ever before. One of these studies, carried out by a Houston-based cybersecurity company, asserts that not only have malicious incursions become more numerous and widespread, but also more diversified, the Houston Business Journal reported. What this means is that the variance in different malware strains makes them extremely hard to trace, let alone contain. The reality that hundreds of thousands of malware strains are circulating the Web unchecked puts the pressure on businesses to build up their safety walls via endpoint data protection. And yet according to the study director, Stephen Coty, businesses are not taking the necessary steps to secure their presence in the cloud, an oversight that actively undermines the security potential of cloud computing.

“I think our numbers show the cloud can be just as safe as enterprise data centers, but to secure an environment to the full extent, companies must share responsibility — you have to be secure and your service provider has be secure,” he said.

The rampant criminality within the hacking underworld is creating greater cohesion among hackers and, as a result, more sophisticated attack strategies. What this means is that companies of all types face an unprecedented measure of risk when it comes to malware. Any day, the unguarded enterprise can be dealt with a crippling blow from which it may not recover. And for all the passivity of companies that refuse to protect themselves, there’s a malware author hungrier than ever.

Espionage hacks are becoming a major problem
Illustrative of the diverse nature of the contemporary hacker is the existence of espionage hackers. For these cyber spies, their currency is national secrets instead of dollar bills, according to Reuters. Primarily concentrated in Eastern Europe, these breachers carry out covert incursions of other governments, looking for privileged information. According to a recent report there were 511 such spying incidents in 2013, and like most things in the security breach realm, these numbers look to be on the rise.

With the fallout from Heartbleed, these issues are not going away anytime soon
Some businesses – and people, for that matter – prefer to handle a problem by assuming that if they ignore it for long enough, it may just go away. While this is arguably an all-around poor strategy, a tactic like this is particularly dangerous when it comes to company safeguarding. For the businesses that refuse to implement suitable endpoint protection software, the price can be incredibly steep, and recovery can sometimes be impossible. Unfortunately, with the emergence of the Heartbleed bug and the revelation that hackers are harnessing it to help their malicious efforts, there is absolutely no time to waste in enacting a comprehensive data leak prevention company strategy.

In the wake of Heartbleed, organizations are taking precautionary measures including mandating that their users change their passwords. Most recently, for instance, Healthcare.gov notified all its users that despite apparently not being breached, they were still requiring a password change across the board, according to PCWorld. So far more than eight million people have altered their passcode.

This effort on the part of the government is admirable because it demonstrates a proactive mindset. That said, organizational security does not rest in the hands of customers. It is always the business itself that is charged with the enterprise safeguarding that can prevent an attack.

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