The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. ~Amelia Earhart
Definitions, compliments of Wikipedia:
Malware, short for malicious software, is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user.
Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website, the look and feel of which are identical to the legitimate one and the only difference is the URL of the website in concern.
An advanced persistent threat is a set of stealthy and continuous computer hacking processes, often orchestrated by a person or persons targeting a specific entity. An APT usually targets either private organizations, states or both for business or political motives. APT processes require a high degree of covertness over a long period of time. The “advanced” process signifies sophisticated techniques using malware to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. The “persistent” process suggests that an external command and control system is continuously monitoring and extracting data from a specific target. The “threat” process indicates human involvement in orchestrating the attack.
APT usually refers to a group, such as a government, with both the capability and the intent to target, persistently and effectively, a specific entity. The term is commonly used to refer to cyber threats, in particular that of Internet-enabled espionage using a variety of intelligence gathering techniques to access sensitive information, but applies equally to other threats such as that of traditional espionage or attacks. The purpose of these attacks is to place custom malicious code on one or multiple computers for specific tasks and to remain undetected for the longest possible period.
Cisco’s 2016 Annual Security Report states: Attacks are Increasing
The frequency, types, and severity of cyberattacks are continuing to rise. The top reported threats include:
* Malware (68 percent)
* Phishing (54 percent)
* Advanced persistent threats (43 percent)
Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report states: Bad Guys Are More Devious Than Ever
* 89 percent of breaches are motivated by financial gain or espionage
* 89 percent of threat actors are organized crime syndicates
* 9 percent are political actors
The top three data targets are: Credentials, Trade secrets, Banking data
Mandiant Consulting reports: Your People Are Your Top Security Risk
* 30 percent of phishing messages are opened by the target.
Assets (Laptops, Cell Phones, Tablets) are lost over 100 times more frequently than they are stolen.
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