“Excuse me, are you aware of what’s happening right now? We’re facing 20 billion security events every day. DDoS campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks …” says a woman sternly to an associate in a recently aired commercial featuring Watson and IBM Security. She may have been an actor, but the question and the threats she described plague real-world organizations and their security operations teams daily.
The Year of the Mega Breach
IBM X-Force knows the difficulties organizations face when it comes to finding time to step back from day-to-day operations to look at the big security picture. Because of this, they may be left with many unanswered questions, such as:
- What cybercrime trends have surfaced over the last year?
- What are the most prevalent mechanisms of attack and what steps do we need to take to mitigate those attacks?
- Is my industry one of the most targeted in terms of attacks, and is there something to learn from those that have experienced fewer compromises?
- Are the majority of attacks coming from inside or outside my network? Is the makeup of the insider attacks mostly malicious or inadvertent?
Fortunately, IBM X-Force takes the guesswork out of assessing the security threat landscape for organizations with the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index. To form assessments regarding the threat landscape, X-Force researchers draw on numerous data sources to include both data from monitored security clients — billions of events per year from more than 8,000 client devices in more than 100 countries — and data derived from noncustomer assets, such as spam sensors and honeynets.
The Big Security Picture
The following key trends point to a continued need to focus on security fundamentals.
- World-changing leaks: The security landscape was rocked with unprecedented leaks of comprehensive datasets, with over 4 billion compromised records exposed.
- Tried-and-true methods: Cybercriminals continue to favor older attack methods to gain access to valuable data and resources, including command injection, malware toolkits and ransomware.
- Decline in attacks: The average IBM monitored security client experienced fewer attacks compared to last year, down 12 percent. But that doesn’t necessarily mean less danger; it could indicate that attackers are relying more on proven attacks, thus requiring fewer strikes.
For a closer look at the full cyberthreat landscape for 2016, download the complete IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2017.