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Sanjay Ramnath, Vice President Global Marketing, Barracuda Networks says that attackers will continue to look for new mechanisms like botnets to deliver ransomware. (Photo: Agency)

With growing adoption of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing, the vector of cyberattacks are also significantly increasing and companies need to be innovative to mitigate these challenges. In a recently published report, firm said that it has detected an exponential rise in bot attacks in 2017 with more than half of the attacks happened through command injection and 90% of all the attacks were from bots. The firm said that unfortunately, such attacks will only rise in 2018.

Agreeing with this, Sanjay Ramnath, Vice President Global Marketing, says that attackers will continue to look for new mechanisms like botnets to deliver ransomware. “We also expect the evolution of ransomware to “protectionware”. Cybercriminals may evolve from demanding ransoms to unlock data to demanding payments to avoid being targeted,” he said.

He added that email will remain the most common delivery vehicle for advanced threats. “In addition to delivering malicious payloads, email-borne attacks will continue to become more sophisticated. Attackers will leverage social engineering, targeted campaigns, spear phishing and whaling to steal credentials, exfiltrate data, commit business fraud and more,”  Ramnath said.

Ramnath is of the view that as organisations become more dispersed and adopt cloud platforms, they also present an expanded attack surface for cybercriminals to launch multi-vector attacks. Web applications will be increasingly targeted by hackers to steal data and disrupt businesses.

So, here are some details shared by Venkatesh Sundar, Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Indusface about key cybersecurity trends for 2018 that may help you in becoming more secure this year.

Bots were responsible for 90% of the attacks

The word Botnet is formed from the words ‘robot’ and ‘network’. Hackers often takes control over several devices in a bid to attack web applications through spam generation, DDoS, viruses and phishing. However, we have noticed that over the years tools like Sentry MBA have helped hackers with a list of proxies to relay the attack along with input data to inject commands into a web application.

Over one week in December 2015, cybercriminals made over 5 million login attempts at a Fortune 100 B2C website using multiple attack groups and hundreds of thousands of proxies located throughout the world.

Indusface labs have detected an exponential rise in such attacks this year with more than half of the attacks happened through command injection and 90% of all the attacks were from bots. It’s a clear pattern that has emerged in 2017. Hackers program bots to inject scrupulous commands. Such attacks will only rise in 2018; protection against these is paramount.

It takes more than 60 days to patch a vulnerability

Imagine an attacker with over two months’ times to figure out breaching ways. All while the vulnerability is open to be exploited. Our Signature Development team found out that out of 10,000 applications, 65 days was the average time to fix a vulnerability across all sectors. While BFSI sector is doing marginally better, there is still a long way to cover for web applications across all sectors.

Business logic vulnerabilities are on the rise; but businesses fail at finding them

Some security loopholes are exclusive to your business. These are business logic vulnerabilities that arise due to logical flaws in the business function or flow. Since no automated tool will know about your business flow, they will not detect these vulnerabilities either. New-age business application change frequently. Calculating security repercussions of these changes isn’t a job for tools. Ideally, it should combine frequent automated testing with manual penetration testing by security experts who understand cracking methodologies that go far beyond OWASP Top 10.

CISOs look for Protection from Zero-Day

Zero-Day attacks exploit undisclosed vulnerabilities that are unknown to application vendors or developers. Simply put, zero-day is a nightmare for security professionals. They cannot protect web applications until developers update the code. The vulnerability is wide open for exploit attempts and securing during the patch development period is what most new-age business CISO/CIOs look at.

In 2018, as more attackers use robots to look for exploitable applications after announcement of a vulnerability, we expect CIO/CISOs and developers to look at more scalable and instant options like WAF over traditional code patching.

Web Application Security 2018: Year of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Instant Protection

Efficient application security programs should rapidly detect, resolve, and prevent security threats before they spiral out of control and negatively impact your business. Attackers now have bots at their disposal to disrupt any online service in seconds. Security professionals will have to get smarter to identify and prevent such attempts.

Learn and Detect Anomalies: Cybersecurity teams are tasked with adapting their technology to find new anomalies. Once machine learning and AI learn what to look for, they can quickly give their human counterparts the information they need to mitigate attacks and the fallout.

Identify Advanced Attacks: Detecting and addressing advanced, complex hacks and security issues is an uphill battle. Thousands of pieces of ever-changing data and anomalies need to be quickly analysed to find potential incidents.

Quickly Respond to Attacks: In many cases, it takes more time to respond to an incident than businesses have before their systems are hit. Technology can use those lessons to stop a hack or alert a human operator on best practices to respond to an incident. This can dramatically shorten the response process and lessen the financial and reputation damage from a customer-facing hack.

Lower Cybersecurity Costs: A more efficient cybersecurity process can help reduce costs and help streamline the process. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can rapidly and efficiently detect threats, resolve them, and prevent them in the shortest amount of time possible with the greatest potential for resolution.

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