Why Internet Monitoring is now Integral to Business Security

Media Division | January 28, 2014

When I refer to internet monitoring for security I do not remotely accessed security devices spying on employees or trackers placed within company systems.When I say internet monitoring I mean, the observation and collection of vital intelligence on the world-wide internet so that companies may be proactive in their digital security.

This would include, but is not limited to:

  • Detection of phishing attempts
  • Actionable attack intelligence (will you be hacked tomorrow?)
  • Trademark and copyright infringement
  • Sensitive data exposed through unsecure file transfers
  • Data leaks through staff oversight
  • Comprimised accounts and servers
  • Company consumer data being sold on the underground black market
  • Stolen financial data (credit, debit, paypal and other systems)

Massive recently did a study of 20 company websites, placing a blacklist blocker and tracking system from Securi on each website. The results? Astonishing.

What we found

What you see below is a chart showing the traffic of one of our test websites for just one day. The site was loaded 1,869 times with a grand total of 225 attempts blocked by Securi’s firewall. That’s just over 10% of all traffic blocked over a 24 hour period. A big number.

Attempted breaches

So what were these 225 blocked attempts? The table below shows a part the log which gives precise data on these blocked attempts (we have excluded the file names which were trying to be accessed for security reasons).

  • The majority of blocked hits came from remote countries which had nothing to do with the site’s geographical targeting (Poland, Romania, Philippines, Croatia, Russia etc)
  • 40% of the blocked attempts came were trying to access administrator backend files (login panels, registration)
  • 30% were bad bots (blacklisted IP addresses scanning the site)
  • 15% of the blocked attempts were trying to place a backdoor entry point on the site
  • 15% were users accessing the site with blacklisted IP addresses (loading the site through a known bad VPN or some such thing)

hacker log intelligence

Results from 20 websites

Accumulating the stats of all 20 websites the percentages were almost identical.

  • The 20 websites generated 42,982 requests
  • An average of 9% of traffic of these requests were blocked due to harmful signals
  • 3% of of that 42,982 were direct attempts to access the site with known hack techniques (whether automated or manual)

So how does that make you feel right now? Vulnerable?

If Google’s engineers can create a search engine which scans every inch of the web with incredible intricacy, then equally skilled black hat engineers (hackers) can create an engine which locates and reports on vulnerabilities in your website, server or system allowing for quick pinpointing of easy targets. This is happening now.

See also: Internet Monitoring and Brand Protection

In fact, a Norton cyber crime report detailed that “One is twice as likely to be targeted with cyber crime than a crime in the physical world…” and that this increase is because, “criminals are moving to the internet because they are less likely to be caught..”.

No sense of urgency

When you ask a business owner, CEO or Board of Directors if they feel their system or digital online profiles are vulnerable you will most likely get shrugged off with a lack of urgency. This is because cyber crime is stealthy and silent. It does not result in physical harm and in most cases cannot be detected. A majority of executives have the stance that “this will never happen to us”, but I can be pretty sure sure you that it it already has happened, whether on a business or personal level.

Remember the last time you got a spam email? What about those infamous phishing messages stating, “There is an issue with your account, please click here to resolve…”

These are all due to breaches, unlawful extraction of data and hacks. Somewhere out there a company server, website or network which you interacted with and placed your personal information on was attacked and breached. Now you are the target.

The Solution

They can scan you and work out strategies for brute force entry, but so can we watch their every move. Internet monitoring of the world wide and deep web will locate any instance of sensitive data or attack intelligence relating to your brand, its key assets, private information and consumer data. If it shows its head or is being discussed, it will be found.

To find out more about internet monitoring for business security, visit our Strixus page.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.