Security is an odd concept, it’s has been widely pursued by individuals to great nations yet it is never truly attained. The “threat” is constantly changing and adapting, “security is not a fixed unit but it is created through a process of securitization” (1) From a personal standpoint, citizens are so concerned with security that they are willing to forego civil liberties. While we’ll not delve into any political discussion with this post, we will discuss an increasingly sensitive area for corporations both large and small - Cybersecurity.
According to the latest Internet Security Threat Report published by Symantec cyberattacks on big business is up 40% in 2014. Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network monitors threat activity in 157 countries and territories. The unparalleled amount of data give Symantec a unique perspective to analysis, identify and provide commentary on attack trends. In an environment as fluid as high tech security, being able to monitor threats in real time is a unique advantage.
The report tells of a losing game of cat and mouse, where most of the cats have become lazy housebound felines, while the mice have begun using more sophisticated attacks dancing around defenses. We logically expect the response to the rising spike in attacks to be an increase in the amount of IT enterprise spend to attempt to neutralize this threat. From a company’s perspective, a large scale breach could have enormous and long lasting ramifications. Executives have to ask themselves a serious questions. What is the company’s reputation, data and client’s trust worth? Our expectation is for a renewed focus on defense for corporations.
Despite the headline worthy attacks at Home Depot, JPMorgan, Staples and Sony, Symantec says the mining industry, which includes oil & gas, was the most-targeted sector last year. Other high risk targets were the manufacturing, transportation and communications industries. It’s the large scale attacks which draw our attention, but last year nearly 60% of targeted attacks were against small and medium sized businesses with less than 2500 employees.
"If there is one thing that can be said about the threat landscape, and internet security as a whole, it is that the only constant is change," the report said. "This can clearly be seen in 2014: a year with far-reaching vulnerabilities, faster attacks, files held for ransom, and far more malicious code than in previous years."
This recent threat assessment data reaffirms our view that the securitization process remains in full effect, and enterprise IT spend will continue to increase. This remains an attractive longer term thematic and we will currently hold Symantec in the Connected Wealth U.S. Dividend portfolio to take advantage of this thematic.
Source: The concept of security as defined by Georgios Karyotisand Rens van Munster, http://eurozone.over-blog.org/pages/The_concept_of_security_as_defined_by_Georgios_Karyotisand_Rens_van_Munster-828550.html
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