Feeds

FBI publishes computer crime and security stats

Hack attacks down, viruses up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Every year for the past nine years, the Computer Security Institute and the FBI undertake a computer crime and security survey among companies and institutions in the US. These surveys provide interesting insights into the level of computer crime being experienced by companies, as well as how they are responding to security breaches.

Computer security has evolved from being purely the domain of IT resources to the point now where even the board of a company take an interest. This growing concern about security has come about as the internet has emerged to be a ubiquitous business tool. When the CSI and FBI started performing this survey in the mid-1990s, computer security concerns largely centred on technical issues such as encryption, access controls and intrusion detection systems.

By 2004, the ninth annual survey indicates that companies are becoming more concerned with the economic, financial and risk management aspects of computer security in addition to the purely technical aspects. This indicates the greater importance that is being placed on security by senior management in organisations.

Overall, the 2004 survey indicates that the frequency of successful attacks against corporate information systems is decreasing - and has been in steady decline since 2001. In fact, only 53 per cent of respondents indicated that they had experienced unauthorised use of their computational systems in the past year, which is the lowest level since 1999. Over the past year, there has been a dramatic drop in reports of system penetration, insider abuse and theft of intellectual property.

Across respondents, there was also a fairly even split between reports of breaches coming from inside and outside of the organisation. This is a substantial change from last year's survey, when 80 per cent of respondents reported insider abuse of networks to be the most common form of attack or abuse and indicates that security implementations are having some level of success in stopping these attacks.

Even though 99 per cent of organisations surveyed are using anti-virus technology, virus attacks were cited as the most common form of security incident, affecting 78 per cent of respondents. Further, virus attacks are contributing the most in terms of financial loss stemming from security incidents owing to the emerging threat of virus attacks being combined with denial of service attacks - costing companies more than double in monetary terms than any other type of security breach reported.

The next most costly forms of attack are theft of proprietary information, insider abuse of networks and the newly emerging threats of abuse of wireless networks. After virus attacks, insider abuse of networks was cited as the second most common form of security incident, reported by 59 per cent of organisations, followed by laptop or mobile phone theft, which affected 49 per cent of the survey sample.

For the first time, the survey asked respondents whether or not they conduct security audits of their information networks to look for vulnerabilities in a proactive manner. Whilst 82 per cent of respondents indicated that they do conduct such audits, that still leaves a sizeable 18 per cent of organisations that do not conduct this exercise - one of the most fundamental aspects of boosting the security of organisations.

One further new area was examined in the 2004 computer crime and security survey - that of the impact of regulation, specifically Sarbanes-Oxley, on the information security activities of companies. Corporate governance has been on the lips of corporate executives for the past year, and high-profile court cases have begun to hand out strict jail terms for transgressors. But, surprisingly, only among executives from the financial services, utilities and telecommunication industries did the majority state that Sarbanes-Oxley had affected their information security activities.

In contrast, most of the respondents from other industry sectors did not agree that Sarbanes-Oxley had raised the level of interest in information security in their organisations or had shifted the focus from technology to corporate governance. It is my bet that this is a situation that will change dramatically over the coming year.

© IT-Analysis.com

Related stories

Al-Qaeda cyber terrorist panics US
Your data online: safe as houses
Sasser kid blamed for viral plague

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.