Security Event Management (SEM) with CEP (Part 2) – Trends in Cyberspace

Security Event Management (SEM) with CEP (Part 2) – Trends in Cyber Attacks, Threats and Vulnerabilities

It is no secret that cyberspace has become one of the the most important areas of our daily lives in the modern world. We bank, buy stocks and purchase goods on the net. We book and pay for travel on line. We pay our credit cards bills over the net. Many of us have bill paying services and all of our bills are scanned and managed in cyberspace. With Blackberry’s and the coming iPhone we send and receive email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from almost every modern place on the planet. We collaborate in business and share our most personal and private moments in videos and pictures. We purchase music on line and download to our iPods (and iPhones soon!). Web 2.0 for most of us is simply the commercial version of the Freedom of Information Act!

Not surprisingly, the modern day information explosion in cyberspace leads to risks and security challenges we have never seen before – and it is getting more challenging, day-by-day. For example, take a look at this chart from CERT.

Around 25 years ago computer security experts were worried about password guessing and simple back doors in software. Fifteen years ago sniffers, spoofing and denial of service attacks jumped onto the scene; 10 years ago we see cross-site scripting and distributed cyberattack tools. Today, we are menaced with distributed botnets and organized gangs of cybercriminals and terrorists. In simple terms, the more sophisticated net-citizens we become, the more sophisticated the network threats and attacks become. Risk increases with reward.

Furthermore, over time, the level of knowledge required to attack and menace net-citizens has decreased. In the past, a high degree of computer and network knowledge was required to attack our lives in cyberspace. Today, sophisticated tools and malicious code permit just about anyone to make our cyberlives miserable.

The chart below from IBM illustrates a 2006 survey of malware in the Internet.

This is an amazing chart isn’t it? In 2006 IBM identifed over 68,000 downloader malwares, over 49,000 trogans, 39,000 back doors and more. These numbers eclipse the number of computer viruses, illustrated below.

In my next post in this series, Security Event Management (SEM) with CEP (Part 3) , we will review these cybersecurity trends a little more and then dive into the motivation for SEM and SEM functionality.

Copyright © 2007 by Tim Bass, All Rights Reserved.

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