Reports warn of rise in cyber theats

18 Oct 2010 View Comments
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A cyber criminal
Various industry reports agree, cyber crime is increasing

Medium-sized companies face as great a risk of cyber attack as larger organisations, according to a new report from cyber security firm McAfee entitled The Security Paradox.

The report adds that smaller companies are less well able to defend themselves, as well as less able to sustain a serious loss of critical data.

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Alex Thurber, senior vice president McAfee, explained that attacks are increasingly automated, meaning they can be distributed widely and are not necessarily restricted to the largest organisations.

He added that his firm's acquisition of Trust Digital in June this year was a response to this trend.

"Trust Digital takes security and builds it into the device," explained Thurber. "It creates a secure boundary with native applications between personal and private use."

Thurber gave the example of a user losing their smartphone, containing both business and personal data. Using Trust Digital technology, the IT department would be able to remotely wipe all the business information from the device, thereby vastly limiting risk.

This week Symantec released its latest monthly report called The State of Spam and Phishing. It showed that while spam messages (such as the recent 'Here you have it' email) decreased in September, phishing attacks increased by 52 per cent.

Again, automated toolkit attacks were blamed for the increase.

Increasing cyber crime was also reflected in risk consultancy Kroll's Global Fraud Report, released today. The report found that the theft of information and electronic data has overtaken physical theft for the first time as the most frequently reported fraud.

Meanwhile, CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service, this week released a report into online identity fraud, called Digital Thieves, which blamed increasing levels of cybre crime on the internet getting faster and permeating all layers of society.

The report includes tips from industry experts and law enforcement groups on how individuals and businesses can secure themselves online.

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