Franc Artes, Architect, Security Business at Cisco, tells TechRepublic's Dan Patterson about the risks businesses and consumers face in the wake of ransomware. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Dan Patterson: Are there things that business, or even consumers, can do to fend off these types of secret ransomware attacks?
Franc Artes: A lot of best practices we've personally been giving for years are still some of our best defenses. We see them continuing to be exploited because they aren't being followed.
SEE: IT leader's guide to the threat of fileless malware (Tech Pro Research)
Those are things like maintaining your cache levels on your applications and your operating system. It is utilizing inbound and outbound firewalls, especially for a consumer, by utilizing a laptop. They don't have a tech department to help them.
It is being aware of what you're doing. When we see that we still have a mass number of hacks and malware delivery coming in through phishing and so forth. We're still seeing old tricks being used, and they're still very successful, which is why the attackers continue to use them. Hopefully getting the awareness on that.
Dan Patterson: Are there any other insights from the most recent Cisco Security report that business and IT decision makers should be aware of? Threats that may be surreptitious or under the radar?
Franc Artes: From the report itself, we actually have a lot of very good information relating to more of the defense and the augmentation that we see corporations using in this particular case. That is a growing reliance and demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Cisco itself has a very large investment, and research, and development into those categories and fields within all of our different verticals from switching and routing all the information into our security products.
We see that benefiting through products like AMP, for example, that utilizes a back-end cloud system. AMP is the Advanced Malware Protection from Cisco. As we see that install base growing, we see, of course, the number of samples growing that come into that cloud. In the last year, we had 10-times the increase in the number of those samples. Consequently, that helped us reduce our time to detect brand new malware to a record set in four point six hours.
- Special report: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- How the cloud will save — and change — disk drives (ZDNet)
- Ransomware: A cheat sheet for professionals (TechRepublic)
- AWS makes Serverless Application Repository generally available (ZDNet)
- Android devices targeted in web-based cyberattack, forced to mine cryptocurrency (TechRepublic)
Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.