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AlienVault InfoSec Report: Phishing, Ransomware Top Internal Threats

Phishing and ransomware represent the top internal cyber threats for organizations, according to a survey of 928 information security (InfoSec) professionals conducted by unified threat intelligence platform provider AlienVault.

Key findings from AlienVault's "InfoSec 2018 Security Report" included:

  • Phishing (55 percent) ranked first among internal cyber threats, followed by ransomware (45 percent).
  • 52 percent of respondents said they believe cloud-based threats will increase in the future.
  • 51 percent said the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has taken away vital resources needed to detect cyber threats.
  • 47 percent were confident that they had the right tools and resources in place to detect malicious cryptomining activity on their organization's network.
  • 40 percent would rather enable ads or pay a small subscription fee to access content than allow a website to mine cryptocurrency.

The cloud provides a flexible option to store and process data, but many organizations use it "as a digital dumping ground without thinking through the security required," AlienVault indicated. However, organizations that foster cybersecurity user awareness can reduce risk across the cloud and other IT environments.

How Can MSSPs Help Organizations Address Cyber Threats?

MSSPs can help organizations across all industries minimize the risks associated with cyber threats. In fact, IBM X-Force offered the following recommendations that MSSPs can use to teach organizations how to address various threats:

  • Develop and launch an employee training program. Employees can receive ongoing cybersecurity training to learn how to identify cyber threats and limit their impact.
  • Safeguard critical data against insider threats. Data security and identity and access management (IAM) solutions can help an organization protect its sensitive data and manage user access.
  • Use threat intelligence. Leverage threat intelligence in conjunction with unstructured data from blogs, websites and other relevant sources to evaluate security incidents. 
  • Implement an incident response plan. Create and deploy an incident response plan and update this strategy regularly.

Cybersecurity user awareness and education are important, but organizations also must create a layered defense that consists of people, technology and processes, AlienVault stated. In addition, organizations can use both network and endpoint threat detection tools and security alerts to quickly identify and resolve cyberattacks.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.