Report: 2019 Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate

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Governments continue to be among the most likely targets for cybersecurity attacks. Optiv Security’s CTIE report aims to keep organizations up to date on the latest threats and offers insights into best practices for managing them.

DENVER — Businesses and organizations of all sizes have steadily begun to recognize the importance of cybersecurity to their success. As spending and awareness of the importance of cybersecurity increases, so does the demand for intelligence about how best to spend those funds and what security leaders can expect in today’s constantly evolving attack surfaces.

To help give leaders insight into the threat landscape to better mitigate risk, Optiv Security has published its 2019 Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate (CTIE) report, which evaluates the latest cyber threats, explores statistics from various vertical industries and offers insights into best cybersecurity practices.

“Keeping pace requires up-to-date threat intelligence,” said General David Petraeus, retired general for the U.S. Army and Optiv Board Member, “and the purpose of Optiv’s 2019 Cyber Threat Intelligence Estimate (CTIE) is to help leaders understand the ever-evolving threat ecosystem and employ that knowledge to inform security decisions and investments, continually refining their cybersecurity and risk management programs.”

Findings of the report include:

  • Retail, healthcare, government, and financial institutions continue to be among the most targeted verticals of cybersecurity attacks or attempts among the 10 categories of Optiv clients.
  • Attackers are growing more and more sophisticated and traditional classifications (nation-states, “hacktivists,” or cybercriminals) are becoming somewhat outdated. So called “hybrid threat actors” – who masquerade as a different classification in order to mask their identity – are on the rise.
  • Botnets, Denial-of-Service (DDoS), phishing, and malware continue to be persistent threats or threat delivery methods, but more modern attack methods and malware delivery systems, such as “cryptojacking” and ransomware, are increasing in popularity.

“We feel it is vital to gather the latest threat intelligence that is actionable and relevant for digestible presentation to our clients,” said Anthony Diaz, vice president and general manager, cyber operations, Optiv. “Business and security leaders can learn from this report and use it to strengthen their security programs. Cybersecurity can be an existential threat for organizations, but that only highlights the importance for guidance.”

The report lists several best practice recommendations moving forward, including:

  • Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to cybersecurity programs, as bad actors exploit the fact that many organizations only respond to cyber threats instead of actively watching for them.
  • Map data access, ideally from an outside perspective in order to better identify possible weaknesses.
  • Conduct regular audits of all vendors and other third-party assets and phase out ones that are no longer in use.

“Cyberspace has become more hostile. Hackers are more organized and sophisticated in 2019, and we’re seeing malicious attackers increase their counter measures to avoid detection,” said Tom Kellermann, Chief Cybersecurity Officer, Carbon Black. “According to our research, no vertical is immune. We hope cybersecurity leaders and teams will use this data as a clarion call to improve their cybersecurity postures.”

Access the full report on Optiv’s website.

About Optiv

Optiv is a security solutions integrator – a global, “one-stop” trusted partner with a singular focus on cybersecurity. Our end-to-end cybersecurity capabilities span risk management and transformation, cyber digital transformation, threat management, cyber operations, identity and data management, and integration and innovation, helping organizations realize stronger, simpler and more cost-efficient cybersecurity programs that support business requirements and outcomes. At Optiv, we are modernizing cybersecurity to enable clients to innovate their consumption models, integrate infrastructure and technology to maximize value, achieve measurable outcomes, and realize complete solutions and business alignment.

Read more about cybersecurity for state and local governments in our previous coverage:

These 12 Cybersecurity Tasks Can Help Governments Secure Privacy

APCO: Cybersecurity 101 (What Every PSAP Needs to Know)

Can Maryland Rescue U.S. Cybersecurity?

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EfficientGov Staff

EfficientGov is an independent information service providing innovative solutions to fiscal and operational challenges facing cities and towns around the world.