Sophos: this year sees “a stunning success” in fight against cybercrime
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Sophos: this year sees “a stunning success” in fight against cybercrime

Last Wednesday, software security vendor Sophos released its year-end review report. And, despite acknowledging the huge task ahead of the infosec (information security) industry, there was cause for celebration: more than 50% of the entire web, and almost 80% of all network traffic, is “encrypted in response to cyber attacks.” A Sophos principal research scientist, Chester Wisniewski, described this as “a stunning success” and added: “we have a tendency to judge ourselves by our failures, and no one takes the time to celebrate our successes.” However, in his mind, the fact that cybercriminals are having to change tactics so rapidly is a sign that infosec professionals are getting something right.

When Sophos’ share price plummeted last month, we saw a buying opportunity

graph 2011 sophos

Source: Yahoo Finance

Wisniewski noted that organisations and consumers were updating and patching computers at record speed and removing vulnerable software. As a result, hackers “prefer to use deception to convince people into running malicious email attachments, exploiting human vulnerabilities rather than software. The work we do matters. It has a pronounced effect on forcing criminals to seek out new methods, and as defenders, we must continue to learn from the adversary’s changes and improve our own defences.”

The company’s chief technology officer, Joe Levy, said that some bad actors were now blending the software and social elements of hacking to create hybridized attacks as a direct response to the infosec industry’s success. He said:

The downside is that it’s much more challenging to halt these hybridized threats using conventional methods, but it also means there are fewer criminals competent enough to conduct them, and we keep driving up the cost of their operations. It’s a Darwinian process, and the sort of shift in attacker/defender economics we’ve been striving to achieve for a long time. We consider that a victory, and the start of a trend of attacker disruption that we intend to continue driving.”

Disclosure
Dominion holds Sophos in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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