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The challenge: understanding today's threat landscape

Today's external cyber threats are more sophisticated than ever. This article reveals the One Big Thing you can do today, to immediately mitigate the threat of cyber attack and empower your users with the freedoms they need to be productive.

The challenge: understanding today's threat landscape

Advances in IT security are continuing to cause headaches for today's cyber criminals, yet as a new breed of increasingly savvy hackers emerge, exposure to a variety of threats remains a fact of life for most organizations across the globe. Without appropriate security measures in place, companies are facing the risk of data breaches, loss of employee productivity, damage to brand reputation and noncompliance, leading to potentially severe fines.

External threats

Malware is constantly evolving, with millions of forms of malware being released every year. In fact, McAfee catalogs over 100,000 new malware samples a day (69 per minute) [1]. With that, successful cyber-attacks have risen 20 percent year on year, with the average cost of cybercrime standing at over $7m dollars a year [2].

Insider threats

Increasingly, threats faced by enterprises are coming from the inside as well as the outside. Recent headlines have been dominated by stories of data theft driven by maverick insiders. Details of the most high profile event, the notorious breach by Edward Snowden at the NSA, continue to emerge over a year later.

With research commissioned by the UK BIS finding that 84% of data breach incidents are caused by staff, business leaders must be prepared for the risks associated by insiders gaining access to corporate information.

According to a recent report, more than 80% of business users use cloud applications without the knowledge or support of corporate IT3.

Cyber security predictions

Analysts and industry experts predict that cyber-attacks will continue to evolve with attackers becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to find and exploit holes into the operating system and corporate network.

McAfee: "In the spy vs. spy world of cybercrime and cyberwarfare, criminal gangs and state actors will deploy new stealth attacks that will be harder than ever to identify and stop." McAfee Labs 2014 Threat Predictions.

Gartner: "We are in one of those periods that occurs every five years or so, where the attackers find new levels of vulnerabilities to exploit, and the threats get ahead of the standard level of protection." Gartner, Strategies for Dealing with Advanced Targeted Attacks.