New Attack Trends – Are You Bringing a Knife to the Gunfight?

Today, we launched our 2012 Global Application and Network Security report. It was prepared by our security experts – the Emergency Response Team (ERT) – who’ve seen their fair share of cyber attacks while actively monitoring and mitigating attacks in real-time. In this year’s annual report, our experts have uncovered several new trends in cyber-security worthy of a closer look.

DoS/DDoS attacks that utilize server-based botnets and encrypted layer HTTPS attacks are just two of the more significant attack types in hackers’ updated arsenals. Which, as of late, have plagued many of the largest U.S. financial institutions.  In addition, ERT research has evidenced a significant uptick in the number of complex attacks. These advanced persistent threats (APTs) are characterized by an increase in the length of attack incident (sometimes lasting days or up to a month), have multiple attack vectors (as many as 10 on the high end) and are highly effective as organizations have not developed the means to sustain this type of an attack campaign. They are very good at preparation before, also in forensics after the attack, but do not operate effectively under a prolonged attack. This is equivalent to “bringing a knife to a gunfight” – organizations aren’t sufficiently armed for today’s fight.

However, there is a silver lining in this black cloud. These long attack campaigns provide organizations the time to fight back. During these prolonged attacks, security experts have the ability to collect intelligence about the attacker such as who they are and tools used – all in “real-time” which can give an organization the chance to deploy counter measure techniques to stop the attackers.

The 44-page report can also act as a valuable resource for any cyber security expert who wants to gain up-to-date knowledge and actionable intelligence on how to better detect and quell these types of attacks. It also provides quick tools, such as Radware’s “Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) score”, which can help organizations quantify attacks based on their level of sophistication and persistence. You’ll find the numbers to be staggering – with 58% of attacks in 2012 having scored a 7 or higher in complexity (out of 10).

Our ERT also shares their recommendations to help you combat against emerging attack trends and techniques such as the amount of security engineers you would need to fight a typical persistent DDoS attack,  and why you would need external  “force multiplier” teams instead. Or the need to have a “mitigation checklist” completed with any missing elements to be addressed.

Our 2012 Global Application and Network Security report can be accessed here. Feel free to download the report and use it as a future reference guide as we don’t see these new types of attacks slowing down any time soon.

Ziv Gadot

Ziv Gadot is Senior Security Researcher for Radware and manages Radware’s Security Operations Center (SOC) , a unit performing analysis and research on DDoS related subjects and the Emergency Response Team (ERT), a 24/7 service intended to assist organizations under DDoS attacks on a daily basis. Mr. Gadot joined Radware in 2003 and is actively involved in security research and service strategy.

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