‘Keep calm and save the world’

TSA-Carry-On-Baggage-Scanners-Easy-To-HackFrom April 20-24th, experts from Kaspersky Lab met with leading media in the region at the Kaspersky Lab Security Analyst Summit for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa held in Budapest, Hungary. 

There, security experts discussed global and regional cyber threats, corporate security issues and solutions to emerging threat. The company also presented its new virtualisation and fraud prevention solutions among other technologies. Kespersky’s goal is simple. “We are here to save the world,” was a phrase uttered countless times by all Kespersky experts at the Security Analyst Summit. While it may seem like a lofty goal, the Kespersky team is serious about protecting the world from cyber criminals. As one of the fastest growing IT security companies in the world, Kespersky may be on its way to actually saving the world – or at least the world’s computers.

The Summit gave the press unprecedented access to top-level security experts from Kaspersky. In addition, the Summit was attended by leading experts from other research outfits, including Necati Ersen Siseci Unit Head of the Cyber Analysis Team at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Cyber Security Institute; Paolo Borghesi, Qatar Leader of Deloitte Information Technology Risks Services, Deloitte & Touche in Qatar; Boldizsar Bencsath, Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Cryptography and Systems Security, Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

The event was geared toward journalists in the region, which allowed the media to understand the cyber security landscape on a deeper level. Presentations were given in lay terms with real world examples, and the floor was consistently open for questions and discussion. Sergey Novikov, Deputy Director, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab kicked off the presentations with a regional cyber threats overview. “The threat landscape is changing,” said Novikov, “in 2006 there was one new virus discovered every minute. In 2012 we were looking at one new virus per second. Today, Kespersky Lab is currently processing 315, 000 new malicious files every day.” At a regional level an average of 32.7 percent of users faced web-related threats this year and 47.24 percent of users had security incidents related local networks and removable media.

Stefan Tenase, Senior Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Kaspersky Lab presented an analysis of the world of cyberwarfare and advanced persistent threats. Hackers and so-called “hacktivists” are using cyber criminality to prop up and bring down governments and political movements. While stating the trends of small cyber-mercenaries groups emerging and being available for hire to perform surgical hit and run operations, the decrease of cost of every new cyber-campaign, supply chain attacks, Tenase stressed that no high profile entity or enterprise can afford to be complacent about security.

Any conference on cyber security would be remiss to exclude a discussion of e-commerce and financial security. As we make more of our finanacial transactions online, our Vladimir Zapolyansky, Head of Technology Positioning Department, Kespersky Labs showcased vulnerabilities of modern electronic payment systems and e-commerce sites. They give examples of real-like cases and explained how the recently-presented Kaspersky Fraud Prevention platform helps combating cyber-attacks targeted at financial service providers and users.

As the conference continued, a plenary discussion dedicated to global and regional corporate cyber security threats focused on the foremost fears of today’s CIOs. Topics included were Distributed Denials of Service, securing data storages, personal devices and clouds used by employees, the Bring Your Own Device trend, employee attitudes toward security policies and the need of government regulations of standards and business.

Of course, Kespersky experts did illustrate a number of examples of cyber threats that could have been avoided using security tools. Zapolyansky highlighted a number of new tools recently added to the security firm’s portfolio including Light Agent solution for Microsoft Hyper-V. The new light agent technology along with Endpoint Security for Business and Kaspersky Fraud Prevention is set to form a comprehensive platform of enterprise solutions with the goal of creating safer cyber environments.

To bring the idea of the state of cyber threats literally to a street level, the team at Kespersky sent the participants of the summit on an elaborate cyber security themed scavenger hunt across Budapest. Far from a simple game, the exercise involved tasks and puzzles that emphasised the importance of having a solid security plan in place. Though the activity was based on the idea that a the funds of the government of Hungary had been threatened, the lessons provided could be applied to any size business. The point of the exercise was to let the media know what kind of cyber threats exist, and what can be done to protect sensitive data and information.

Indeed the event overall illustrated the enormity of the task that is protecting the world’s cyber environments. Kespersky Lab says it is out to “save the world,” and they may not be far from the truth. Kespersky Lab is at least making headway in protecting our data and information for potential threats, local and global.

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