For college and university CISOs cyber attacks are a daily, if not hourly threat. Universities and colleges are regularly targeted by cybercriminals as rich sources of personally identifiable information (PII), including email addresses, financial records and credentials, as well as intellectual property.
The typically collaborative nature, open culture, and global presence of most institutions creates significant challenges, and universities are behind the curve in adopting advanced security techniques; a recent report ranked education last out of 17 major industries in its handling of data security. There is a regulatory component, too. For example, the U.S. Department of Education Title IV funding contingent on schools meeting cybersecurity standards, including those found in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).
The impacts to student and employee trust along with the loss of sensitive personal data have put a spotlight on precariousness of the situation. Stovepiped, legacy systems are still in use, and as the number of endpoints into the systems multiplies, so do the risks, especially since the platforms—laptops, desktops, mobile, wearables, and IoT devices—used to access the systems likely have wildly varying levels of security.
One crucial factor in preparing a cyber-defense strategy: information.
Knowing Your Adversary Can Give You a Critical Advantage
Accurate details on global trends, analysis of real-world events, and details on most-used threat vectors can give you the insights to better fortify your enterprise. The 2019 CrowdStrike® Global Threat Report is designed to do just that, but providing analysis, statistics, and case studies, along with recommendations on how to better protect your data resources and your people.
The Report looks at data gathered by CrowdStrike’s incident response, intelligence gathering and threat hunting teams to provide a comprehensive view of the cyber-risk landscape, including the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) used by attackers worldwide. Key metrics include “breakout time,” a measure of the speed with which an intrusion spreads throughout an enterprise. Of note, state actors’ attacks are shown to spread significantly more quickly than those of eCrime organizations.
Also, in the report: where threats originate, such as nation-states that target both internal dissidents and foreign countries for both political and economic gain; the growing sophistication and cooperative strategies of cyber-criminals; and the continuing growth of ransomware attacks, where technology makes it easier to target vulnerable organizations for potentially huge payoffs.
Knowing what kinds of TTPs are prevalent—and the “how, when, and who” behind those attacks — are crucial to helping CISOs decide where to focus resources. To download a copy of the 2019 CrowdStrike® Global Threat Report, click here.