LAS VEGAS: A culture of co-operation and sharing within all levels of the enterpruse is the key to thwarting an increasingly sophisticated class of cybercrime operations, according to the head of McAfee Labs.
Speaking with V3 at the company's annual Focus conference, McAfee Labs head Vincent Weafer said was working on integrating various technology components needed to differentiate potentially disastrous advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks from other malware infections.
"Every environment will see infections, but how do you identify the APT needle in the haystack?" Weafer asked.
"APTs are designed to be benign, it is how you tell that it is an important event prior to the data being stolen."
Weafer said that over the past year McAfee has learned a great deal about just how widespread APTs are. Once thought to be solely the domain of government-affiliated energy and defence organisations, APT attacks have now been reported in nearly every vertical and industry.
Much like co-ordination between various system components is needed to spot APT attacks within a system, co-operation between various organisations is needed to bring down the organised cybercrime groups behind the larger operations themselves.
Weafer said that in many ways the security community is making progress, with better communication between law enforcement groups around the world and integration with both the private sector and government research and security agencies.
Though law enforcement groups have stepped up their games to make tracking down cybercriminals easier, legal hurdles remain which can make putting the malware network operators behind bars.
Weafer said that a lack of updated and definitive laws dictating the procedures and jurisdictions of various governments and agencies can often make bringing criminals to justice a long and difficult process.
"We know that generally the laws are years and years behind," he explained.
"The law enforcement side are working very well together, it is the judicial side and ultimately the laws that are restricting this."
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