The playing field between skilled nation-state cyber adversaries and their less experienced criminal counterparts is being levelled, according to the 2018 Global Threat Report from cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike, in part because of the trickle-down effect that occurs when governments fund the development of sophisticated tech and over time, those tools make their way to the private sector, sometimes falling into the wrong hands.
“One of the major findings out of that is seeing the blurring of lines between nation-state or statecraft – so highly funded, highly sophisticated organizations that have built very sophisticated toolsets to use to attack corporations and to compromise their environments,” said Charlie Groves, global director of business development at CrowdStrike, adding that e-crime is becoming more sophisticated as a result of the compromises of those toolsets. “It’s hugely problematic for corporate America and abroad because now you have so many people armed that are coming after your environment that it all drives that need for a heightened awareness on cybersecurity.”
CrowdStrike provides endpoint protection, threat intelligence, and incident response for companies around the world through its Falcon platform. Groves says that the company’s approach to security is not just about keeping everyone out of a particular network, but being able to detect a breach quickly – often within two hours – and containing it before the hacker causes damage across the network.
“In this day and age, we know it’s very difficult to keep adversaries out of the environment. With all of the social engineering and spearfishing, it’s really almost impossible,” said Groves. “It’s really about early detection.”
Yet, even as cyber criminals continue to infiltrate companies, many still don’t have the right security in place, even if losses have the potential to skyrocket.
“It used to be you’re only up against a few adversary groups - now when these tools are in the hands of your average everyday hacker, and they can actually breach fairly sophisticated systems, absolutely the losses can be exponential,” explained Groves, adding, “We’re still seeing [when] we advise clients that some of the basics are still not in place. The two things that come top of mind is administrative access – why does a large portion of your organization have to have administrative access – or multifactor authentication. Those are certainly easy ways to take a leap forward in maturity.”
Emerging cybersecurity tools can likewise help companies of all sizes protect their data and other assets from hack attacks. CrowdStrike’s Falcon solution offers companies continuous breach prevention, and the company also recently announced a breach prevention warranty of up to US$1 million in breach response costs if a breach occurs within the protected environment.
“We have enough confidence where we really could put our money where our mouth is, and really standing behind that and putting a warranty on that,” said Groves. “The offering itself is also very unique to the industry. This is the first time where a cybersecurity company, on top of their technology solutions, has also combined it with services that manage the entire platform for the client. It can even reach in and do remote remediation, so as soon as you see an issue within the environment, you can actually go take that machine offline, fix the problem, and bring it back, and there’s no impact to the client.”