Cybercriminals target corporate data

Cybercriminals have shifted their focus from stealing personal information to targeting the corporate intellectual capital of prominent global organizations.

According to McAfee CTO Simon Hunt, online criminals understand there is “greater value” in selling a corporations’ proprietary information and trade secrets.

“[They] have [altered] their focus from physical assets to data driven properties, such as trade secrets or product planning documents. We’ve [certainly] seen significant attacks targeting this type of information,” said Hunt. 

“Sophisticated attacks such as Operation Aurora, and even unsophisticated attacks like Night Dragon, have infiltrated some of the of the largest, and seemingly most protected corporations in the world. [Clearly], criminals are targeting corporate intellectual capital and they are often succeeding.”

To illustrate his point, Hunt noted that a quarter of companies have had acquisitions and new product roll-outs stopped or slowed by data breaches and related threats.

As such, organizations are looking to store intellectual property abroad. 

Meanwhile, in China, Japan, U.K. and the U.S., corporations are spending more than $1 million per day on IT related costs, with companies in the U.S., China, and India shelling out more than $1 million per week on securing sensitive information abroad.

Hunt added that one of the greatest challenges organizations currently face when managing information security is the rapid proliferation of mobile devices like iPads, iPhones and Androids.

“Securing mobile devices continues to be a pain point for most organizations, with 62 percent of respondents identifying this as a challenge.

“Concurrently, the most significant threat reported by organizations when protecting sensitive information is data leaks.”

Additional information about the state of online criminal activity can be accessed here in a recent report published by McAfee and SAIC.