Dell has today announced the results of their annual threat report and the results are pretty staggering for businesses worldwide. The company has now called for new decryption and inspection strategies in light of recent comments from Dell VP Patrick Sweeney, who warns that we can expect cybercriminals to continue finding ways to circumvent the latest security updates issued by the likes of Android.
Key findings from the report include:
- Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption passed the tipping point in the last 12 months, encrypting 64.6 percent of web hits and leading to under-the-radar hacks affecting hundreds of millions of users.
- Exploit kits have taken unprecedented developmental steps, becoming stealthier than ever with “novel shape-shifting abilities”.
- 85% of smartphones globally are at risk because of a near doubling in malware attacks – the number now sits at an astonishing 8.19 billion – considering there are an estimated 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, that’s a pretty big deal.
Using the data gathered from over a million firewalls in operation worldwide, as well as tens of millions of connected endpoints, Dell SonicWALL network traffic and other industry sources, Dell will unveil the full report at RSA 2016 in San Francisco this month.
What does it mean?
The growth of SSL/TLS Internet encryption is a mixed bag – a positive trend in many ways, but also a tempting new threat vector for hackers. Using SSL or TLS encryption, skilled attackers can cipher command and control communications and malicious code to evade intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and anti-malware inspection systems. This tactic was used in a crafty malvertising campaign in August 2015 to expose as many as 900 million Yahoo users to malware by redirecting them to a site that was infected by the Angler exploit kit.
What’s more they expect malicious apps and such to continue circumventing the latest security measures, since users are not always aware how legitimate the sources of their downloads are.
In any case, it’s clear that hackers are stepping up their game and several different measures need to be adopted by businesses; considering that Gartner predicted in November that roughly 5.5 million new smart devices will be connecting to the net every day, their target is getting bigger. Will it be harder to keep safe? We’ll have to see how 2016 plays out!