Highlights from Cisco 2017 Cybersecurity Report

Worldwide leader in IT and networking, Cisco, has released its 2017 Cybersecurity Report at an event held at the Cisco Nigeria office. Various members of both online and offline media were present. The presentation was hosted by Olakunle Oloruntimehin, who is the Country General Manager, Cisco Systems Nigeria Ltd.

At the report presentation, Mr. Oloruntimehin described Cisco as “a networking company, with an aim to become the world’s leading security company in ten 10 years”. Cisco has 8 innovation hubs all over Nigeria, with one in Lagos and Abuja ad six in each geopolitical zone. Furthermore, he noted that Cisco’s innovation hubs have 16,000 students currently registered, of which 43 percent are female.

2017 Cybersecurity Report

Next was a video presentation titled Ransomware: Anatomy of an attack. This video described a typical ransomware attack. After the video, the 2017 Cybersecurity Report was unveiled in earnest.

Talking Points from Cisco 2017 Cybersecurity Report

Here are some talking points from the Report:

  • On Cyber Attacks: Business impact is apparent: The report pointed out that due to cyberattacks, 23% of businesses cited lost opportunity. 28% cited lost revenue, and 22% cited lost customers. This shows that the effects of cyberattacks on businesses are becoming more pronounced.
  • Increasing digital attack traffic creates a greater attack surface: For years, Cisco has provided global IP traffic forecasts and analysed dynamic factors that facilitate network growth. The most recent report shows the following:
    1. Annual global IP traffic will reach 2.3 zettabytes per year by 2020 (a zettabyte is 1 billion terabytes).
    2. 66% of all IP traffic by 2020 will be from mobile and wireless devices.
    3. Average broadband speeds will double by 2020.

What this means is that there will be more areas for cyberattackers to exploit as time goes by. More highlights include:

The process of attack

The 2017 Cybersecurity Report described the process of ransomeware attacks. These attacks have 4 stages:

  1. Reconnaisance: This is the stage where the hackers carry out extensive research. Then they identify and select their targets within an organization.
  2. Weaponization: Here, they pair remote access malware with exploits in deliverable payloads.
  3. Delivery: This is where the hackers transmit their malware through email attachments, websites and other tools.
  4. Installation: At this stage, when the malware is in position, it creates a backdoor into the target’s system and provides hackers with persistent access.

Areas hit by cyberattacks in business included finance, operations and brand recognition.

  • Hackers now use ads to spread malicious files. Sometimes, they use ads on trusted sites. Victims trust these sits, so they fall victim when they click on the ads.
  • 65% of all email is spam. 8% of spam contains malicious files.
  • Over 4 out of 10 security attacks are not investigated.
  • Obstacles to advancing security in companies include budget, compatibility issues, lack of training personnel, and certification requirements.

Recommendations for improving cyber security

  1. Make security a priority.
  2. Measure operational discipline.
  3. Test security effectiveness.
  4. Adopt integrated defense approach.
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