SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Exclusive: Are we heading for the cyber security dark ages?

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Recently IT Brief had the opportunity to talk to Rackspace A/NZ GM Darryn McCoskery about the future of the cyber security industry. 

How do businesses need to evolve in order to prepare companies for future cyber threats? 

Given the rapid pace that technology is changing at, businesses can no longer rely on the ‘set and forget’ approach to security of the past. Today, cyber security strategies need to focus less on preventing attacks from occurring – because they will occur, and more on increasing the amount of time that attackers are forced to spend within corporate cloud systems. 

This may seem counter-intuitive to some but an approach like this accepts the reality of Australia’s tech landscape wherein the time it takes you to identify (and then resolve) a data breach, another one could just as easily be taking place.

At Rackspace for example, we have moved beyond perimeter security measures to internal, host-based security controls. Known as Active Defence, this approach works by increasing the time it takes attackers to circumvent controls and exploit systems with the use of deceptive techniques such as honeypots. 

This not only acts as a deterrent but also increases the time that a black hat must spend within the system, which allows us to create a thorough profile and gain valuable insight into what it is they are going after and how. Essentially, the more time it takes for an attack to occur, the more prepared for future attacks businesses can be.

There also needs to be greater collaboration with different stakeholders within the organisation. The best security experts and advanced security solutions won’t protect you if your employees are not following basic security measures, or lines of businesses are using new technologies without informing the IT department. 

This is why more and more companies rely on third-party experts, whose job is to identify security gaps within the organisation, educate stakeholders, improve collaboration, and chose the security solutions and strategies best suited to every single organisation.

What do security providers need to do to reassure their clients that they are prepared to handle future cyber threats?

The introduction of the national Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Scheme, and globally other regulations like the GDPR, have highlighted the need for improved cyber security processes and encouraged organisations to take more interest in their data security and notification.  

As customers seek assurances about how their data is being shared and protected, and how their clients’ data is being shared, it is important for security providers to be up-front and honest. Trust and transparency are critical.

Cyber attacks are getting more sophisticated every day, and the surface of attacks is constantly increasing, especially as the IoT expands.  Keeping customers up to date and informed about cyber hackers’ new techniques, and running attack simulations can be a great way to keep cybersecurity top of mind while raising awareness amongst key stakeholders. Education is always a key piece to this complex puzzle.

One of the ways we demonstrate value at Rackspace is through regular reporting on security activities that take place on our customers’ accounts, including investigations that have resulted in false positives and remediation activities when a breach has taken place. 

Immediate notification is absolutely necessary to maintain the trust relationship between customers and security providers. Ongoing training and support tools are also necessary to ensure customers are empowered to make cybersecurity decisions and feel a part of the organisations’ overall security conversation.

How are we training our Information Security teams to be the expert across the exhaustive list of threat vectors?

Across the nation, there is an acute technology skills gap. This isn’t news to anybody – you only have to take a look around to see the shortage in action. According to a recent survey by Intel Security, 88% of Australian IT decision makers believe that there is a shortage of cybersecurity skills both within the public and private sectors.

A successful cybersecurity strategy involves a combination of factors: proactive detection, and investment in the right skills that enable siloed teams to identify and respond to individual patch vulnerabilities. It’s not about being able to defend against every type of possible threat. 

Instead, the focus must shift to training Information Security teams to think like hackers (or whitehats), encouraging the team to constantly innovate and brainstorm ways of breaching current security measures… and to always think one step ahead in terms of active defence.

Other Australian businesses have realised the benefits of leveraging external security providers for this task, with the specialised knowledge and relevant experience to detect, respond and report in real-time on potential breaches.

Industry stats prove it still takes (on average) 99 days to detect a breach! How can businesses quickly adopt a “patch or perish” mentality?

Globally, the average time that it takes to identify a breach and then resolve is 99 days. Across the APAC region, this timeframe is closer to 170 days. 170 days! Realistically, breach detection should be taking 24 hours, not close to 6 months.

Businesses need to be taking a more long-term approach to cybersecurity by developing graduate programs that attract the best university talent and incentivising their current IT staff to upskill. Outsourcing through a managed services provider (MSP) is another option to close this skills gap and relieve some of the pressure on over-worked, capacity-strapped internal tech teams.

Do you believe that AI and machine learning are the future of 'full-proof' security? 

While AI and intelligent machines have the ability to maximise and augment human capacity, these technologies will never be able to replace the human workforce. In terms of cybersecurity, for instance, skilled IT professionals can utilise cognition to think outside of the box – understanding how hackers work, how their strategies are evolving and how to actively defend the secure environment instead of focusing solely on prevention.

Under every cyber-attack there is a human, using technology. A “full proof” security approach needs to incorporate both elements: human and technology. Organisations using and combining the best of both worlds will likely be the ones able to get ahead of hackers when others – relying only on human skills or only on technology – will slowly lose the battle.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Adatree, Brother, Databricks, Nutanix & Rubrik
We round up all job appointments from May 20-26, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
4/10 Australian SMEs fallen victim to cyber-attacks since pandemic
Almost four out of teb SMEs in Australia have fallen victim to cyber-attacks since the pandemic began, according to a new study.
Story image
Transport
Third-party automotive apps bear significant privacy risks
Mobile applications for connected cars provide various features to make life easier for motorists, but they can also be a source of risk.
Story image
Malware
Fortinet introduces self-learning AI in latest offering
Fortinet is introducing self-learning AI capabilities in its new network detection and response offering, FortiNDR.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Remote Working
Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues
SOTI's new report finds better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Malware
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.