Hacking Pays

95 percent of security breaches can be put into nine specific categories:
1) User errors
2) Crimeware
3) Insider misuse
4) Physical theft
5) Web app attacks
6) Denial of service
7) Cyber espionage
8) Point-of-sale intrusions
9) Card skimmers

In May, the U.S. Government took the unprecedented step of charging Chinese military officials of stealing data from six U.S. organizations, even going to the trouble of printing "Wanted Posters." And while bringing these Chinese officials to justice in the U.S. is unlikely, the move shows that Chinese cyber espionage has become a critical issue to be addressed by the highest enforcement levels in the country, for reasons far beyond simple Homeland Security. This move is strictly about stealing valuable business data and gaining an edge in the new, global economy. 

“The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in response to the charges. He added that these breaches were beyond state-sponsored information gathering, and instead rose to the level of "a state sponsored entity, state sponsored individuals, using intelligence tools to gain commercial advantages, and that is what makes this case different.” 

But take heart, Gomes points out that not only are the hackers getting more prolific, but security experts are also getting much better at detecting data breaches and attacks. 

For service providers, the explosion of the number of mobile devices accessing their networks are exposing them to cyber attacks and putting tremendous pressure on security—which makes it a great time to be in the security business.

“The triple threat of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) as a dominant enterprise trend, an increasingly hostile threat environment, and the deluge of frightening revelations about privacy courtesy of the NSA is forcing enterprises and consumers to invest real money in mobile device security,” says Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research. “The mobile device security software market grew 40 percent to cross the billion-dollar mark in 2013 and we expect it to grow to $3.4 billion in 2018.”

Wilson's research also finds that, in 2013, enterprise mobile clients comprised 51 percent of the total security client market, while consumer mobile security clients made up 49 percent.

There are also specific vertical markets ripe for security specialists. The U.S. push toward digitizing healthcare records following the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) opens up a big security opportunity for vendors including Validian with its solution that secures the transfer of confidential information for telemedicine and eHealth.

Gemalto is an M2M digital security vendor that aims to help governments secure their borders. Gemalto's Coesys Border and Visa Management simplifies travel procedures and reduces waiting times by enabling an electronic system for easy deployment of immigration policies and creating a secure e-passport for travelers. 

“This new solution capitalizes on Gemalto’s security expertise and the hundreds of millions of electronic travel documents with the associated services that we have deployed so far,” said Frédéric Trojani, Executive Vice President, Government Programs at Gemalto. “With air passengers traffic expected to double by 2030 and 53 percent of all passports issued forecast to embed the electronic feature in 2017, Coesys Border and Visa Management comes about just when governments need to fast track travelers through major international airports, with no compromise on security.” 

Pipeline's annual COMET Innovation Awards program has also seen a variety of compelling new security solutions coming to market in recent years. CSG International's Invotas product won this year's Innovations In Security & Assurance category and it provides real-time threat detection capabilities while using a "playbook" of automated or semi-automated responses to immediately address them.  ISC8, the winner of the Innovations in Security category in 2013, submitted a solution that provided real-time detection and prioritization for Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Nakina System's NI-Guardian product, which was the runner-up in this category this year, acts as a proxy between internal users and the systems and devices they have access to while providing physical, virtual, and logical detection capabilities to identify and investigate security risks.

But aside from these specific examples, mobile networks as a whole need to be secured. Nokia is attempting to stem the tide of mobile broadband security breaches with the establishment of a new mobile broadband security center in Berlin. According to Nokia's research, mobile malware grew a staggering 614 percent from March 2012 to March 2013, and there are more than 500 app stores that contain malicious apps. At the Berlin security center, Nokia and its partners will simulate attacks and find the best way to protect mobile networks against them.


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