The IT security industry should brace itself for an influx of cyber attacks focused on causing disruption and data loss rather than the theft of intellectual property, according to one expert.
Speaking at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week (April 22nd), Microsoft Trustworthy Computing corporate vice president Scott Charney warned delegates that data breaches are not only growing more frequent, but also “more destructive”, Computer Weekly reports.
He speculated that this might eventually drive a fundamental shift in the way organisations think about their IT security provisions, which have typically sought to reduce the risk of intellectual property theft and the loss of customer records.
In comparison, recent cyber attacks such as those carried out against Saudi Aramco and Sony Pictures have demonstrated the growing importance of data recovery and business continuity in the aftermath of a security incident.
Some organisations are already acting accordingly, Mr Charney added, with the gravity of these threats having forced the IT security conversation higher up the ladder.
“The nature of these attacks has changed the conversation outside the security community and in the executive suites and boardrooms,” the expert said.
“There is more activity, and the reason that is critical is that when a market wakes up, it creates demand, and the people who build technology rise up to meet the demand.”
Earlier this month, a new report from the Organization of American States and Trend Micro drew attention to the prevalence of data destruction-focused cyber attacks among critical infrastructure suppliers in North and South America.
It found that 44 per cent of government agencies, telecoms and energy companies, and manufacturing and financial services firms had experienced data breaches in which their information assets were deleted rather than stolen.
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