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Fujitsu Warns that European Companies are too Slack in Preventing Cybercrime

Fujitsu UK & Ireland

News facts:

  • Cybersecurity threat list for 2017 from Fujitsu Security Operations Center highlights critical enterprise vulnerabilities
  • Unprotected channels into critical systems, banking and smart cities among the most likely targets for cybercriminals this year
  • Artificial Intelligence likely to be game changing for cybersecurity and cybercriminals alike
  • Greatest risk remains poor IT processes, which will continue to cause avoidable breaches
London, February 16, 2017

European businesses must be more vigilant in taking steps to prevent cybercrime from disrupting their essential operations, warns Fujitsu. In its 2017 Threat Predictions report1, published today, the Fujitsu Security Operations Centre2 identifies 10 of the greatest security risks to enterprises. These include failing to keep up with basic IT security processes. Further high risks are attacks on banking applications and smart cities.

Based on real-world intelligence in monitoring ongoing security threats, Fujitsu has identified that the most significant cyber threat - the failure to keep up with basic IT security processes - is also the easiest to remedy. Fujitsu security researchers believe that lax security will continue to lead to easily avoidable breaches, noting: “An amazing number of businesses don’t carry out the simple – yet vital – housekeeping tasks that cut down on risks.”

According to the report, immediate measures that all businesses can take to better protect themselves include more effective vulnerability patching, and ensuring that only current users have access to critical systems. What’s more, many organisations are too generous when it comes to system access privileges for regular users. As a consequence, Fujitsu says that companies are “needlessly vulnerable to data loss, data theft or external disruption of their systems”.

One particular weakness identified by the Fujitsu security experts relates to encrypted channels that provide external access to the heart of critical computing systems. These are designed to give remote workers easier access to networks, but when taken over by a cybercriminal, can mean that nefarious activities are largely undetectable. This is due to what Fujitsu describes as “a blind spot, with attacks over encrypted channels being missed due to the lack of SSL inspection capabilities”.

Companies should also be more vigilant in managing banking applications, another hot favourite for criminals. Fujitsu predicts that 2017 will see more attacks to banking payment systems, and expects further growth in banking Trojans targeting older, more vulnerable back office applications. Although international banking networks are moving to establish mandatory controls, Fujitsu states that it “still presents a window of opportunity for cybercriminals”.

Smart cities will also find themselves targeted – with Fujitsu security experts commenting that “many of the protocols designed for smart connected devices have their own potential flaws and vulnerabilities”. Implications could include allowing hackers to disable smart lighting grids in entire cities, Fujitsu warns.

The state-of-the-art Fujitsu Security Operations Centre (SOC) – which protects customers by detecting, analysing and neutralising threats – also foresees that the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities will become game changers in enterprise security. AI can immediately identify anomalies, for example in web traffic patterns. Such early warning systems allow security professionals to take a proactive approach to risk mitigation, aiming to eliminate threats before they become problems. However, the report cautions that cybercriminals will also be turning to these technologies to launch previously unseen types of attack.

Rob Norris, VP and Head of Enterprise Cybersecurity, EMEIA, Fujitsu, comments: “Every move to tightening up cybersecurity means an exponential decrease in vulnerability. Many organisations have not yet fully realised that when you depend on computing to run your business, then being offline essentially means being out of business. It’s not only financial risk but also the cost of damage to your reputation from data loss and theft. Our new report highlights some easy steps that any organisation can take to ensure they are not needlessly exposed to data loss, data theft or external disruption of their systems.”

Notes to editors

Online resources

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 156,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.7 trillion yen (US$41 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu in the UK & Ireland

Fujitsu employs over 14,000 people in the UK & Ireland, with total revenues exceeding £1.8 billion. Offering an integrated product and service portfolio, we deliver consulting, applications, technology products, systems integration and managed services, including cloud-based solutions, for customers across both public and private sectors, including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer IT. For more information, please see http://uk.fujitsu.com.

Daisy Onida

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 20 7861 2858
E-mail: E-mail: teamfujitsu@harvard.co.uk
Company:Harvard PR

Graham Goulden

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 843 354 9568
E-mail: E-mail: graham.goulden@uk.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu UK & Ireland

Date: 16 February, 2017
City: London