Changing the Corporate Network Attacker’s Risk-Reward Paradigm

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Large organizations with warehouses of our personal data continue to be breached. What’s going on here—why does this keep happening? In this post, we break down the risk/reward ratio for corporate attackers and what we can do to change it.

As Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) continues to tell us, the primary motivator for hackers these days is coin, pure and simple. Selling Excel spreadsheets on the black market is extremely lucrative, especially if an attacker can get “fresh” credit card numbers that are likely to still be active. ersonal information like a person’s home address and social security number can be even more lucrative, since no one can turn off their social security number like they can a credit card. This gives personal data an extremely long shelf life. Company secrets stolen under the aegis of corporate espionage is another big slice of the reward pie for hackers.

On the risk side, cracking a corporate network doesn’t require a very sophisticated attacker. The fact is, keeping a corporate network secure is hard. These systems, especially if they’re international, are complicated. And as with any complicated system, a corporate network is only as secure as its weakest point. It’s easy for attackers to move within a network undetected once it has been compromised; even if the weakest point in the system is located in a small remote office, once compromised it can be used as a beachhead to gain access to the critical systems deeper in the network.

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Rapid7 (NASDAQ:RPD) powers the practice of SecOps by delivering shared visibility, analytics, and automation that unites security, IT, and DevOps teams. The Rapid7 Insight platform empowers these teams to jointly manage and reduce risk, detect and contain attackers, and analyze and optimize operations. Rapid7 technology, services, and research drive vulnerability management, application security, incident detection and response, and log management for more than 7,000 organizations across more than 120 countries, including 52% of the Fortune 100.
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