Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a global online security vendor, today issued its 2015 Security Report, the company’s third annual report revealing the major security threats that impacted organizations across the world.
The Check Point 2015 Security Report provides insight into the major security events that occurred in organizations across the world and offers recommendations on how to protect against them. This report is based on collaborative research and in-depth analysis from security events found in more than 1,300 businesses from all industries around the globe, 1 million devices, and from events discovered through Check Point ThreatCloud, which is connected to security gateways of more than 16,000 organizations and from more than 3,000 gateways reporting to the Check Point Threat Emulation Cloud.
Key findings of the Check point 2015 Security Report include:
Mobile Devices are a Company’s Biggest Vulnerability
Mobile devices are the weak links in the security chain, providing easier direct access to more valuable organizational assets than any other intrusion point. Check Point research found that for an organization with more than 2,000 devices on its network, there’s a 50 percent chance that there are at least 6 infected or targeted mobile devices on their network. 72 percent of IT providers agreed that their top mobile security challenge is securing corporate information, and 67 percent said their second biggest challenge is managing personal devices storing both corporate and personal data. Corporate data is at risk, and being made aware of these risks is critical to taking the proper steps to secure mobile devices.
Known and Unknown Malware Increased Exponentially
2014 brought the rise of malware at alarming rates. This year’s report revealed that 106 unknown malware hit an organization every hour: 48 times more than the 2.2 downloads per hour reported in 2013. Unknown malware will continue to threaten the enterprise in the future, it said. Even worse than unknown malware is zero-day malware, which is effectively built from scratch to exploit software vulnerabilities of which vendors aren’t yet even aware. Cybercriminals are also continuing to use bots to amplify and accelerate the spread of malware. 83 percent of organizations studied were infected with bots in 2014, allowing constant communication and data sharing between these bots and their command and control servers.
Using Risky Applications Comes at a High Price
Corporations frequently rely on applications to help their business be more organized and streamlined. However, these applications become vulnerable points of entry for businesses. Some applications, such as file sharing, are obviously risky. The rise of ‘shadow IT’, applications that aren’t sponsored or supported by the central IT organization has led to even riskier business. Research revealed that 96 percent of organizations studied used at least one high-risk application in 2014, a 10 point increase from the previous year. Check Point research also unveiled that 12.7 high-risk application events happen every hour. That creates many opportunities for cybercriminals to access the corporate network – that is risky business.
Data Loss is Top of Mind
Cybercriminals are not the only threat to the integrity and security of corporate data. Just as quickly as a hacker could penetrate a network, in-network actions can also easily result in data loss. Check Point found that 81 percent of the organizations analyzed suffered a data loss incident, up 41 percent from 2013. Data can unknowingly leak out of any organization for a variety of reasons, most of those tied to current and past employee actions. While most security strategies focus on protecting data from hackers coming in, it is equally important to protect data from the inside out.
“Today’s cybercriminals are sophisticated and ruthless: they prey on the weaknesses in a network, approaching any security layer as an open invitation to try to hack it. In order to protect themselves against attacks, security professionals and organizations alike must understand the nature of the latest exploits and how their networks are potentially impacted,” said Amnon Bar-Lev, president of Check Point Software Technologies. “Only by arming themselves with a combination of knowledge and strong security solutions can organizations truly protect themselves against these evolving threats. By making that security a critical asset to your business, you can turn security into an enabler. And in doing so, you’re able to unlock innovation and foster an environment for high performance and productivity.”
[Download PDF]– Check Point 2015 Security Report