Rising network intrusion rates demand better defenses

Defending the company network has become a major concern for many businesses.

Cybersecurity has become an issue of great concern for many businesses. Hackers have increasingly targeted enterprises of all sizes, patiently prodding network defenses until they have found a vulnerability that they can exploit. The Verizon RISK Team's "2013 Data Breach Investigations Report" found that hacking attacks were the most commonly reported method of cybercrime. These incidents accounted for 52 percent of breaches identified by the study. With network intrusions becoming more common, many organizations are investing in cybersecurity solutions that can provide greater protection for their sensitive data and critical systems.

According to a report recently published by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, spending on the global intrusion prevention system (IPS) market is on the rise. IPS technology provides a range of defensive capabilities including detecting botnet activity and preventing distributed-denial-of-service attacks. It can also identify malware without the presence of available detection methods. In 2012, revenue from network defense solutions topped more than $1.21 billion. That figure is expected to more than double by 2017, when it is expected to reach $2.44 billion.

"The growth in long-term, targeted advanced persistent threats (APTs) indicates that hackers are now well-organized and highly-skilled, and are most likely funded by nation-states or large criminal organizations," a press release supporting the report stated. "Hence, while enterprises continue to install IPS to detect traditional malware, the increase in APTs primarily compels customers to upgrade to IPS."

High costs prevent wider adoption
However, these products do come with their own drawbacks. Most notably, they are extremely expensive compared to traditional cybersecurity defenses such as firewalls or antivirus software. According to the report's authors, businesses that have already faced financial hardship in the rocky global economy may be wary of making such a large investment. In addition, to maximize the effectiveness of these solutions, businesses need to acquire the assistance of a cybersecurity expert who can configure an organization's ISP application to meet its specific circumstances.

Although the high cost of investment and need for expert assistance will prevent many companies from acquiring ISP technology, there are other viable cybersecurity solutions available to them. For example, application control software can be a major asset for organizations that want to prevent network intrusions. These tools can be purchased at a much more reasonable cost and do not require the assistance of a cybersecurity expert to optimize their performance. Users can simply authorize whatever programs they want to run on their systems and the whitelisting software will block all other applications that attempt to launch.

For an even more robust security protocol, companies can employ system restore technology that will allow them to reboot their machines to a preset configuration in the event of a malware infection. Together, these solutions can ensure that mission-critical machines remain operational and performing at a high level.

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.