Interview

Use backup as a combat tool in a ransomware attack: Tarun Kaura, Symantec

As new ransomware variants appear on a regular basis, it is essential now more than ever for CISOs to always keep their security software and other apps up-to-date.

Sejuti Das Jun 14th 2017

2016 was a year marked by sophisticated and innovative attacks. From extortion hacks to ransomware attacks, cyber threats are rising and becoming a huge concern for CISOs.

Given the circumstances, Symantec believes advanced security has now become an essential part of the business operations, rather than an add-on or something to appease auditors. 

To understand more about the current scenario of the security landscape, CSO India reached out to Tarun Kaura, director-Product Management, APJ at Symantec. Here is what he has to say about the year ahead and what can be done to prepare for the worst.

What are the key technology trends impacting the security industry this year?

Over the past year, we have seen a profound change in how enterprise data has been targeted by cyber criminals. IT leaders are on high alert after attacks on organizations and threats like the Dyn attack, which involved multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks targeting systems operated by DNS provider Dyn. These brought information security to the top of a CISO's priorities.

 

“The rise of the cloud generation is another concept that will dictate a change in the information security focus, as businesses continue to adopt a modern and digital workplace.”

- Tarun Kaura

Director-Product Management-APJ, Symantec

 

 

The rise of the cloud generation is another concept that will dictate a change in the information security focus, as businesses continue to adopt a modern and digital workplace. With the consistently changing security landscape, it’s important for CISOs to take the time to assess potential risks like the proliferation of the cloud generation and increased IoT DDoS attacks.

How do you see the rise in ransomware attacks? What are the best practices for CISOs to reduce the time taken to respond to such threats?

Over the past few years, cybercriminals are utilizing the ever-growing online tools and services available with the latest ransomware-as-a-service. In fact, our recent security threat report highlighted that in 2016, ransomware was one of the most significant threats facing both individuals and organizations. Attackers have honed and perfected this business model, using strong encryption, anonymous Bitcoin payments, and vast spam campaigns to create dangerous and wide-ranging malware.

As new ransomware variants appear on a regular basis, it is essential for organizations to always keep their security software and other apps up-to-date, to protect themselves against any harm. We strongly believe that service providers should secure the internet, network and physical infrastructure, but businesses are generally responsible for protecting their own data and systems. Backing up important data is one of the most effective ways of combating ransomware infection.

How should enterprise security heads tackle the influx of newer technologies like AI, robotics?

Attackers will inevitably go where the users are and will try to hack into the next most popular platform or technology—whether be it artificial intelligence or robotics. The nature of connected technologies, which are able to collect, store, and analyze a wide range of data—makes them the desired targets for hackers.

There are many steps businesses and consumers can take to protect themselves. As a starting point, we recommend IT leaders and security heads to use and deploy advanced threat intelligence solutions that can help businesses to find indicators of compromise and respond faster to incidents.

It is also required to implement a multi-layered defense strategy that addresses attack vectors at the gateway, mail server, and endpoint. Educating employees on the dangers posed by spear-phishing emails and other malicious email attacks is another crucial step, along with monitoring resources and networks, for abnormal and suspicious behavior.

This content is part of a special series on IDG Security Day,a day-long global event, with the India chapter to be held in Mumbai on June 21, 2017.

 

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