Study shows hidden security risks on enterprise networks

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As the arms race between attackers and IT professionals unfolded in 2012, it become clear that many of the most serious threats stayed hidden from network administrators, the anti-virus firm said. ?These threats come from ever-changing techniques deployed by criminal hackers in addition to risky online activities by employees, which unintentionally create vulnerabilities on the corporate network,? it said. It added: ?In order to develop a strong security blueprint, organizations must first be aware of and fully understand the activities occurring on their networks.? Hidden security threats From crimeware to hacktivism, cyberattacks will continue to evolve this year, impacting organizations of all sizes. The research revealed that 63 percent of organizations were infected with bots, and more than half were infected with new malware at least once a day. The report revealed a list of top threats, including the most infamous botnets, top malware location by country, top vendor vulnerabilities and exposures, and SQL injection events by source country, among other surprising findings. Risky Web 2.0 applications The surge in Web 2.0 applications has given criminal hackers unprecedented options to penetrate corporate networks. The research found 91 percent of organizations used applications with potential security risks. The risky Web applications were brought to light in the report, including frequency and usage of anonymizers, P2P applications, file storage and sharing applications, and top social networks — all of which can potentially open a backdoor to enterprise networks. Data loss incidents More than half of the organizations studied had at least one potential data loss incident. The report exposed the different types of sensitive data leaked and lost, including PCI related information as well as HIPAA-protected health information. It also shed light on the industries with the highest tendency toward data loss. “Our research uncovered many alarming vulnerabilities and security threats on networks that most organizations were not aware of,” said Amnon Bar-Lev, president of Check Point Software Technologies. “With clearer visibility, IT professionals can now better define a security blueprint to protect their organizations from the constant stream of evolving security threats, ranging from botnets, to employees using risky Web applications like anonymizers, to data loss.” ]]>

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