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Attackers developing more skill in creating malware, Cisco warns

Lagos – Global Information Technology leader, Cisco, says 94 per cent of Middle East and African countries suffered cyber breaches in the past year and that attackers were developing more skill in creating malware making malware  more vicious and harder to combat,

From left: General Manager of Cisco, Nigeria, Mr Olakunle Oloruntimihin; Systems Engineer and Security expert, Mr Tomi Amao

The General Manager of Cisco, Nigeria, Mr Olakunle Oloruntimehin, made this known during a Media Roundtable on Cyber Security in Lagos on Wednesday.

According to the general manager, 34 per cent of the breaches resulted in more than half of systems being impacted, advising that businesses should adopt high security measures to curtail such breaches.

“As cybercrimes become more rampant and sophisticated, Cisco has called on businesses to adopt proper security measures.

“There is need for them to take a comprehensive approach across people, process, technology and policy to protect their businesses from hackers and cyber criminals.

“This follows the findings reported in the recently released Cisco 2018 Annual Cyber Security Report which identified the evolution of ransomware as one of the most significant threat developments over the past year,” he said.

Oloruntimilehin said that the report also highlighted that malware had become more vicious and harder to combat, and that attackers were developing more skill in creating malware that could evade traditional sandboxing.

He said that adversaries were increasingly embracing encryption, meant to enhance security, to conceal command-and-control activity, adding that nearly half of the security risks that organisations faced stemmed from having multiple security vendors and products.

“There is the need for businesses and enterprises to adopt advanced methods of cybersecurity as security is getting more complex and the scope of breaches expanding.

“Several companies are hit by cyber breaches and attacks every year, causing losses in millions of naira and stealing highly classified information.

“It is, therefore, imperative that any organisation that desires to stay safe and minimise risks or losses should address cyber security at the top.

“Executive leadership should set the tone and engender a security-first-always-and-everywhere culture that flows throughout the organisation,” he said.

He said that the Cisco 2018 Security Capabilities Benchmark Study revealed that nearly a quarter of organisations in the region manages more than 21 vendors.

He added that the study cited inadequate security personnel as one of the biggest obstacles to security.

Corroborating the importance of robust cyber security practices, Systems Engineer and Security expert at Cisco, Mr Tomi Amao, said that Cisco researchers observed a two-fold increase in malicious web traffic volume for over 12 months.

According to him, this alone demonstrates that cyber adversaries continue to evolve.

He said that it was time to raise the bar in cyber security.

“That is why, at Cisco, we educate and provide businesses with the solutions and best practices required for effective cyber security.

“Our threat researchers have a reputation for timely, accurate and innovative work and our network of talented teams devoted to driving impactful outcomes for our customers.”

Amao said that the Cisco 2018 Annual Cyber Security Report, now in its 11th year, would offer security industry data, analysis and insights about attacker behaviour over the past year.

He said that the report highlighted findings and insights derived from threat intelligence and cyber security trends observed over the past 12-18 months.

The official added that the report provided recommendations designed to help organisations and users to defend against attacks.

“Cisco has an integrated and comprehensive portfolio of security technologies to provide advanced threat protection.

“Cisco technologies include next generation firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, secure access systems, security analytics and malware defence, which work together to deliver effective network security and incident response,” he said.(NAN)


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