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Targeted Espionage- Are you protected?

Level 11

Targeted espionage in simple terms is the practice of illegally spying and investigating competitors, mostly to gain business advantage. The target may be financial information, a trade secret such as a proprietary product specification and so on. You may think that your organization is not a high-value target, but that’s not true.

There is always a hunt for sensitive and personal information like credit card and social security numbers, patient records, etc. In most cases, a highly targeted attack precedes an APT, and it may exploit a maliciously crafted document or executable, which is emailed to a specific individual, or a group. APT or Advanced persistent threat refers to an entity or a group with both the capability and the intent to persistently target a specific organization or a network, etc.

A recent survey conducted by Verizon on data breach, revealed the victims by Industry:

     • 37% - Financial Organizations
     • 24% - Retail and Restaurants
     • 20% - Manufacturing, Transportation and Utilities
     • 20% - Information and Professional services

So how does the attack typically happen?
The factors that contribute to attacks like this are known as ‘threat actors’ and they can be classified into three categories:
     • External - The ones outside the victim organization
     • Internal - These threat actors are the ones within the victim organization
     • Partners - Partners can be any third party that share a business relationship with the organization

Most attacks come with an intent to crack the financial data, sometimes business information. Hence the attacks can come in the form of data theft attempts, SQL injection, spyware, phishing attempts, hacking and other kinds of malware.

For instance, databases are increasingly becoming targets for hackers which has resulted in information security becoming one of the most important drivers for security investments. You need to have visibility and protection over security & compliance, and protection of your data. To ensure this, you need to collect and consolidate log data across the IT environment and correlate events from multiple devices in real-time.

A recent report showed that a decade-long espionage operation used the popular TeamViewer remote-access program and proprietary malware to target political and industrial figures in Hungary

So it’s high time that you get proactive and shield yourself against possible threats. You need to continuously monitor the activities on your web server, firewalls and endpoints. By deploying a logfile
tool, you can identify anomalies, deviations in policy definitions and baseline your IT environment for vulnerabilities, and shield them.


Another great article!  Piling on:

Level 15

A great article, I agree.  Thanks for posting.