Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reputation Is A New Target For Cyber-Attacks

How organizations can protect their credibility in the midst of an incident?

Organizations have to equip themselves much better to deal with this whole attack on reputation. The Information Security forum recently issued its annual threat report, Threat Horizon: New Danger from Known Threats, which provides recommendations on protecting reputation, an area which is a high area of interest for attackers.

Word of a cyber-attack spreads fast these days and that viral impact can be a major issue. Criticism that was levied ... and fueled by social media, disgruntled employees and a whole collection of real viral traffic [causes] a major reputational hit. 

The faster an organization is able to respond, the more it knows about the particular issues that are being raised by hacktivist groups and can say credibly what their position actually is, then the less severe the impact is. 

To ensure they can respond effectively, organizations need to have clear ways of collaborating internally. They have to have honest relationships with the media in order to combat these things, plus an understanding of exactly where things are sitting from a data perspective across their own organizations.

Organizations also have an opportunity to get security and business departments together to get their arms around how they're going to deal with the issue of reputational risk because "it's very real."

Understanding threats is fundamental to enterprise risk management. Every organization needs to evaluate threats within the context of their own business to determine risks. The Information Security Forum advises that one of the key things that was noticed this year is that threats have evolved. Attackers have become more organized, attacks have become more sophisticated, and all threats are more dangerous and pose more risks to organizations, simply because they've had that degree of maturing. That increase in the sophistication of the people who are behind the attacks, behind the breaches, has increased significantly.

The Information Security Forum has that criminals have developed and we've called that "crime as a service," having upgraded to version 2.0 which gives you some view as to how we're seeing that.

It's a real opportunity for security departments and business departments to combine within organizations to get their arms around how they're going to deal with this issue of reputational risk because it's very real and we've seen some examples of it already this year.

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