IT security isn’t one size fits all

The security landscape today is highly complex, which can largely be attributed to the increasingly sophisticated nature of cyber attacks, particularly from an execution perspective. DDoS attacks, for example, are now reaching speeds of up to 400Gbps, targeting both the network and application layer.

Evidently, attackers are progressing towards other methods to bypass traditional security defences, including the firewall. And the challenge for organisations when it comes application-layer DDoS attacks is to differentiate human traffic from bot traffic.

The motivation behind attacks are also becoming more complex especially from a political and economic standpoint. The NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, which revealed classified information from governments including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand is a recent example of a high profile hacking incident that certainly reminds us of this fact.

Moreover, one of the biggest threats to IT security is now organised cyber theft and fraud, as the smartest criminals in the world are increasingly realising the substantial financial gains that can be made via online crime.

Hence, the need for enterprises to ensure they are adequately protected against cyber attacks is becoming increasingly critical. An effective security strategy will cover all devices, applications and networks accessed by employees, beyond the enterprise infrastructure itself.

Traditional security methods such as next generation firewalls and reactive security measures are losing the fight of being effective against the new breed of attacks. Security is now very much about the protection of the application, enforcement of encryption and the protection of the users identity, and less about the supporting network infrastructure. This is because it has become far less static in recent times and has truly proven to be nothing more of a commodity transport vehicle for the complex applications that run on top of it.

What organisations need is a security strategy that is flexible and comprehensive, with the ability to combine DNS security and DDoS protection, network firewall, access management, and application security with intelligent traffic management.

Security won’t be one size fits all during 2014. End users will expect high performance, but organisations must ensure they deploy security solutions that don’t become a bottleneck.

This year, we can expect to see a rise in a multi-dimensional or 'cocktail' style attacks: DDoS attacks combined with application layer attacks and SQL vulnerabilities. As such, the traditional firewall is no longer a viable security defence, and organisations need to have a multi-stack security approach, combined with a process to handle internal control. With attacks from multiple angles on different devices, single-purpose security machines will be phased out in favour of sophisticated multi-purpose machines.

Matt Miller is field systems engineering (FSE) manager for Australia and New Zealand at F5 Networks.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags DDoS attacks

More about F5F5 NetworksNSA

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Matt Miller

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place