Malware threats could damage infrastructure, threaten downtime

by Charles Leaver

November 17, 2014

access_time 5 min read

Recent developments within the field of cybersecurity have made it more of a priority than ever for companies to collaborate. While there is always a fear of secrets being exposed and financial data lost, some types of malware can be even more insidious and devastating for business in general. What the financial and oil and gas sectors always have to worry about is their relationship to the larger web of organizations and services they both supply and are dependent upon, and what a critical attack on any of those sectors could mean to their continued well-being. Cybersecurity effects not only the businesses that are hacked, but their clients and those that work with their clients as well.

Endpoint threat detection software, combined with anti-malware, firewalls, and encryption services can be critical to dealing with the threat of subversion due to various different kinds of threats. Together, these services build up a web that can trap any malicious code that attempts to enter a company's servers. In this metaphor, the security officer maintaining the web is the spider - able to react to subtle pulls on the web through the use of endpoint threat detection and response software that helps it to know when something is moving on the servers. While firewalls, anti-malware software, and encryption all serve to create points at which it is difficult for hostile traffic to move on a given server, the spider is the element that ultimately kills the intrusion. It is important to include this human element when dealing with state-of-the-art cyber security because some traffic that comes on to servers will know about most conventional pieces of software that are used to stop exploits. Only intelligence that can react to malware as it attempts to move through a network will be able to deal with that kind of problem.

Understanding subversions and their effects on clients
While most financial and oil & gas organizations spend a lot of time and money on cyber security because they understand the risk behind either having customer data stolen, or having equipment malfunction, or both, there are deeper ramifications than even that. A major breach of a financial institution could potentially tank customer trust in a bank or even in the economic system,  resulting in a sustained period of economic collapse. With some elements out there that are designed to attack U.S. energy systems like BlackEnergy, there is always the possibility of an attack that deliberately seeks to destabilize major financial elements within U.S. borders, according to Eagleford Texas. If that is the case, then banks need to implement endpoint threat detection and response software as a way of keeping track of even subtle changes on a network.

The rapid pace of advancement in technology will continue to raise questions about cybersecurity. Conferences like the Human-Centric Security Initiative at the University of New Mexico set the tone for the advancement of real security awareness amongst professionals who seek to limit the harm that may be caused by those disrupting the systems that have now become a part of daily life. Companies that make use of a full suite of protective services, including endpoint threat detection software, firewalls, antivirus and anti-malware suites and encryption services can lead the charge to better protection online. The threat of an attack on any critical service like online banking can have profound consequences that extend beyond the ledgers of information records and impact the quality of life of average citizens. As stewards of people's funds, those in finance have a duty to protect their records as closely as possible.