IT risk report

by Mark Rowe

A US internet security firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd issued its 2013 Security Report, uncovering major security risks that impact organisations worldwide. The new report examines top security threats, risky web applications that compromise network security, and loss of data caused by employees unintentionally.

For a full copy of the Check Point 2013 Security Report, visit:

As what the US firm terms the arms race between attackers and IT unfolded in 2012, it has become clear that many of the most serious threats stayed hidden from network administrators. These threats come from ever-changing techniques deployed by criminal hackers in addition to risky online activities by employees, which unintentionally create vulnerabilities on the corporate network. To develop a strong security blueprint, organizations must first be aware of and fully understand the activities occurring on their networks.

Based on research of nearly 900 companies, the report sheds light on what is hiding on corporate networks, and the major security risks organisations are exposed to on a daily basis:

Hidden threats

From crimeware to hacktivism, cyberattacks will continue to evolve this year, impacting organisations of all sizes. The research revealed that 63 per cent of organisations were infected with bots, and more than half were infected with new malware at least once a day. The report reveals a list of top threats, including the most infamous botnets, top malware location by country, top vendor vulnerabilities and exposures, and SQL injection events by source country, among other findings.

Risky Web 2.0 Applications
The surge in web 2.0 applications has given criminal hackers unprecedented options to penetrate corporate networks. The research found 91% of organizations used applications with potential security risks. These risky web applications are brought to light in the report, including frequency and usage of anonymizers, P2P applications, file storage and sharing applications, and top social networks – all of which can potentially open a backdoor to enterprise networks.

Data loss

Corporate information is more accessible and transferable today than ever before, leading to higher risk of data loss or leakage. More than half of the organizations studied had at least one potential data loss incident. The report exposes the different types of sensitive data leaked and lost, including PCI related information as well as HIPAA–protected health information. It also sheds light on the industries with the highest tendency toward data loss.

“Our research uncovered many alarming vulnerabilities and security threats on networks that most organizations were not aware of,” said Amnon Bar-Lev, president of Check Point Software Technologies. “With clearer visibility, IT professionals can now better define a security blueprint to protect their organizations from the constant stream of evolving security threats, ranging from botnets, to employees using risky web applications like anonymizers, to data loss.”

To read the full report, click here:

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