Gaining a Data Security Edge with Social Threat Detection

Friday, August 16, 2013

Vince Schiavone


In a previous article, we reviewed the myriad of growing threats enterprises are faced with in today’s Social Age. Among these emerging complex dangers are an array focused on enterprise data security risks stemming from isolated incidents to well-organized initiatives.

From weak data protection practices to sophisticated organized attacks, enterprises are facing a multi-front war when it comes to protecting and preserving their information and intellectual property.

Multi-Front Threats

The array of data security threats facing organizations is wide and continually growing and includes, but is not limited to:

Data Breaches: Typically, these incidents stem from “traditional” hackers who identify and exploit weak points in systems security measures. The perpetrators can range from isolated individuals to well-orchestrated targeting from highly sophisticated networks. The resulting damage can be basic embarrassment with a website hack to massive financial and reputational losses.

Credential Sharing: Even though corporations typically have “strict” policies protecting login and access credentials, employees often (intentionally or not) share their credentials with co-workers or are duped into providing them via email or telephone “phishing” scams. In many cases, once the custodian reveals the security credentials it can become incredibly hard for the enterprise to realize their system is compromised.

Intercepted Credentials: A growing number of cases are emerging where security credentials are “intercepted” across unsecure broadcast channels or via technical capture measures. This becomes even more difficult for the organization to identify the vulnerability that has emerged.

Denial of Service: This method of essentially shutting down online access to a website or app is a tactic an increasing number of enterprises are experiencing and combating. These are incredibly disruptive and damaging to the brand in terms of its credibility, reputation, revenue and an array of other factors.

Account Takeovers: Account takeovers range from individual access to systems as basic as email to entire backend platforms. One of the most common and damaging approaches seen is taking over social media accounts to broadcast misinformation to damage the organization. In one textbook example, the Associated Press Twitter account was hijacked in April 2013. The violators posted fradulant? “breaking news” of two explosions in the White House injuring the President. The resulting reaction in mere moments was a loss of approximately $136 billion in market value.

CISPA / SOPA Responses: The Congressional Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) have sparked ongoing targeting and attacks of corporations that are seen by online activist as proponents or supporters of the acts. These have led to an array of cyber attacks on these businesses such as #TangoDown attacks.

Trojan Hackers: Believe it or not, a growing number of incidents are being revealed where hackers are working for large corporations they may actually be targeting. These “Trojan” situations allow for the perpetrator to get access to systems and information to help them conduct their attacks from the outside.

Gaining an Edge

With many of these data security threats communications often occur within the open social universe. Many times they are veiled and often they are proclaimed. For example, aside from the straightforward announcements that a corporation has been hacked or targeted with a DOS attack, hackers will often reveal hacked information including security credentials online to isolated “communities.” These hackers will also attempt to “out” one another by revealing tactics and information about them or even if they are a “Trojan” within a company.

A critical component to protecting the enterprise against these situations is having an advanced social intelligence system to detect these threats, risks and violations from within the billions of daily social discussions across millions of open social universe sources. Real-time detection can mean the difference between rapid mitigation and massive damage. The number of threats identified through social detection is growing at an exponential rate.

This is a primary driver for corporations to adopt advanced streaming big data processing and concept modeling to detect and identify these types of threats in real time. This technology feeds into business command centers like the one pictured for analysts to rapidly review and act upon. It’s this type technology that is helping enterprises gain a significant intelligence edge to these growing data security threats.

About the Author: Vince Schiavone is an expert in digital privacy, information security and enterprise social risk. He Co-Founder and CEO of ListenLogic, and is co-author of Social Business Intelligence: Reducing Risk, Building Brands and Driving Growth with Social Media and the coming book Avoiding #FAIL: Mitigating Risk, Managing Threats and Protecting the Corporation in the Age of Social Media.

General Network->General Enterprise Security Security Awareness General Impersonation Phishing Phreaking Breaches
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