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Incident Of The Week: Equinix Is The Latest In A Long Line Of Ransomware Victims

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[Records Exposed: Undisclosed  |  Industry: Internet  |  Type Of Attack: Ransomware]

Equinix is the latest victim in a long line of ransomware targets. The data center and colocation service provider released a short statement on September 9 that read,

“Equinix is currently investigating a security incident we detected that involves ransomware on some of our internal systems. Our teams took immediate and decisive action to address the incident, notified law enforcement and are continuing to investigate. Our data centers and our service offerings, including managed services, remain fully operational, and the incident has not affected our ability to support our customers. Note that as most customers operate their own equipment within Equinix data centers, this incident has had no impact on their operations or the data on their equipment at Equinix. The security of the data in our systems is always a top priority and we intend to take all necessary actions, as appropriate, based on the results of our investigation.”

The threat actors are demanding $4.5 million in exchange for a decryptor and the promise that they won’t release stolen data. However, Equinix updated their statement on September 14 to reiterate that customers’ data and operations remain safe.

Related: Cyber Security Standards and Frameworks

It appears the guilty party is the young cybercriminal group known as NetWalker who first burst on the scene in August of 2019. Their success lies in their ability to automate ransomware attacks, including a countdown clock and prefab ransom note that populates at just the right time during the operation. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) poses an increasing threat across the cyber security landscape, as it allows inexperienced or less technical hackers purchase the automation software needed to execute such a hack.

With NetWalker acting as the gatekeeper, hacker groups go through a screening process before gaining access to a web portal that holds NetWalker’s ransomware, which can then be customized to fit their specific needs. NetWalker’s commission of 20% has earned the group $25 million between March 1 and July 27.

Lessons Learned:

If it seems like ransomware attacks have been in the news a lot lately, it’s because they have. In fact, a report by Coalition discovered that in the first half of 2020, 41% of cyber insurance claims were ransomware incidents. It was also reported that, while ransomware attacks are becoming slightly less frequent, their rate of success and size of target are growing. In other words, the increasingly sophisticated strategies of these threat actors poses real risks to even the most developed enterprise.

Related: How To Preemptively Track Phishing Campaigns

While ransomware attacks are specific in their execution, the vulnerabilities exploited to make them possible are the same as most other cyber threats. Specifically, 54% of cyber attacks are achieved through email (malware) and phishing schemes.

Quick Tips:  

Ransomware attacks rely in part on lax cyber protocols. In order to best safeguard your enterprise from this growing threat, consider the following:

  1. Back up data smartly – One of the ways cyber criminals convince corporations to pay ransoms is by holding their data hostage by encrypting it. While most enterprises back up their data, it is often located in the same compromised infrastructure the original data. Consider backing up data to external drives or a second cloud service provider.
  2. Choose a reputable security suite – Standard antivirus software and basic firewalls may be sufficient for the layperson, but enterprises should invest in a security suite that uses smart tools and sophisticated algorithms to spot and, if possible, remove ransomware. The tool must be able to run in the background 24/7.
  3. Install Software Updates – Cyber criminals look for the path of least resistance. Such a path is usually found in outdated software that hasn’t downloaded the most up-to-date patches, bug fixes, and other newly designed features. Remember to keep all apps, plug-ins, and third-party software up to date as well.

Read More: Incident Of The Week

Source: https://www.cshub.com/attacks/articles/incident-of-the-week-equinix-is-the-latest-in-a-long-line-of-ransomware-victims

Big Data

Top 10 Big Data trends of 2020

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Top 10 Big Data trends of 2020

By Priya Dialani

During the last few decades, Big Data has become an insightful idea in all the significant technical terms. Additionally, the accessibility of wireless connections and different advances have facilitated the analysis of large data sets. Organizations and huge companies are picking up strength consistently by improving their data analytics and platforms.

2019 was a major year over the big data landscape. In the wake of beginning the year with the Cloudera and Hortonworks merger, we’ve seen huge upticks in Big Data use across the world, with organizations running to embrace the significance of data operations and orchestration to their business success. The big data industry is presently worth $189 Billion, an expansion of $20 Billion more than 2018, and is set to proceed with its rapid growth and reach $247 Billion by 2022.

It’s the ideal opportunity for us to look at Big Data trends for 2020.

Chief Data Officers (CDOs) will be the Center of Attraction

The positions of Data Scientists and Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are modestly new, anyway, the prerequisite for these experts on the work is currently high. As the volume of data continues developing, the requirement for data professionals additionally arrives at a specific limit of business requirements.

CDO is a C-level authority at risk for data availability, integrity, and security in a company. As more businessmen comprehend the noteworthiness of this job, enlisting a CDO is transforming into the norm. The prerequisite for these experts will stay to be in big data trends for quite a long time.

Investment in Big Data Analytics

Analytics gives an upper hand to organizations. Gartner is foreseeing that organizations that aren’t putting intensely in analytics by the end of 2020 may not be ready to go in 2021. (It is expected that private ventures, for example, self-employed handymen, gardeners, and many artists, are excluded from this forecast.)

The real-time speech analytics market has seen its previously sustained adoption cycle beginning in 2019. The idea of customer journey analytics is anticipated to grow consistently, with the objective of improving enterprise productivity and the client experience. Real-time speech analytics and customer journey analytics will increase its popularity in 2020.

Multi-cloud and Hybrid are Setting Deep Roots

As cloud-based advances keep on developing, organizations are progressively liable to want a spot in the cloud. Notwithstanding, the process of moving your data integration and preparation from an on-premises solution to the cloud is more confounded and tedious than most care to concede. Additionally, to relocate huge amounts of existing data, organizations should match up to their data sources and platforms for a little while to months before the shift is complete.

In 2020, we hope to see later adopters arrive at a conclusion of having multi-cloud deployment, bringing the hybrid and multi-cloud philosophy to the front line of data ecosystem strategies.

Actionable Data will Grow

Another development concerning big data trends 2020 recognized to be actionable data for faster processing. This data indicates the missing connection between business prepositions and big data. As it was referred before, big data in itself is futile without assessment since it is unreasonably stunning, multi-organized, and voluminous. As opposed to big data patterns, ordinarily relying upon Hadoop and NoSQL databases to look at data in the clump mode, speedy data mulls over planning continuous streams.

Because of this data stream handling, data can be separated immediately, within a brief period in only a single millisecond. This conveys more value to companies that can make business decisions and start processes all the more immediately when data is cleaned up.

Continuous Intelligence

Continuous Intelligence is a framework that has integrated real-time analytics with business operations. It measures recorded and current data to give decision-making automation or decision-making support. Continuous intelligence uses several technologies such as optimization, business rule management, event stream processing, augmented analytics, and machine learning. It suggests activities dependent on both historical and real-time data.

Gartner predicts more than 50% of new business systems will utilize continuous intelligence by 2022. This move has begun, and numerous companies will fuse continuous intelligence during 2020 to pick up or keep up a serious edge.

Machine Learning will Continue to be in Focus

Being a significant innovation in big data trends 2020, machine learning (ML) is another development expected to affect our future fundamentally. ML is a rapidly developing advancement that used to expand regular activities and business processes

ML projects have gotten the most investments in 2019, stood out from all other AI systems joined. Automated ML tools help in making pieces of knowledge that would be difficult to separate by various methods, even by expert analysts. This big data innovation stack gives faster results and lifts both general productivity and response times.

Abandon Hadoop for Spark and Databricks

Since showing up in the market, Hadoop has been criticized by numerous individuals in the network for its multifaceted nature. Spark and managed Spark solutions like Databricks are the “new and glossy” player and have accordingly been picking up a foothold as data science workers consider them to be as an answer to all that they disdain about Hadoop.

However, running a Spark or Databricks work in data science sandbox and then promoting it into full production will keep on facing challenges. Data engineers will keep on requiring more fit and finish for Spark with regards to enterprise-class data operations and orchestration. Most importantly there are a ton of options to consider between the two platforms, and companies will benefit themselves from that decision for favored abilities and economic worth.

In-Memory Computing

In-memory computing has the additional advantage of helping business clients (counting banks, retailers, and utilities) to identify patterns rapidly and break down huge amounts of data without any problem. The dropping of costs for memory is a major factor in the growing enthusiasm for in-memory computing innovation.

In-memory innovation is utilized to perform complex data analyses in real time. It permits its clients to work with huge data sets with a lot more prominent agility. In 2020, in-memory computing will pick up fame because of the decreases in expenses of memory.

IoT and Big Data

There are such enormous numbers of advancements that expect to change the current business situations in 2020. It is hard to be aware of all that, however, IoT and digital gadgets are required to get a balance in big data trends 2020.

The function of IoT in healthcare can be seen today, likewise, the innovation joining with gig data is pushing companies to get better outcomes. It is expected that 42% of companies that have IoT solutions in progress or IoT creation in progress are expecting to use digitized portables within the following three years.

Digital Transformation Will Be a Key Component

Digital transformation goes together with the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data. With IoT connected devices expected to arrive at a stunning 75 billion devices in 2025 from 26.7 billion presently, it’s easy to see where that big data is originating from. Digital transformation as IoT, IaaS, AI and machine learning is taking care of big data and pushing it to regions inconceivable in mankind’s history.

Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/top-10-big-data-trends-of-2020/

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Cyber Security

Feedzai grows +44% in the first half of the fiscal year and strengthens its C-suite

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Feedzai grows +44% in the first half of the fiscal year and strengthens its C-suite
  • H1 growth above target amid the COVID-19 pandemic and market uncertainty. Multiple multi-year enterprise contracts negotiated during the lockdown

  • New Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer join the company

  • 26% of the revenue invested in R&D and 10 patents filed in H1 2020

Feedzai, the world’s leading risk management platform, announced today that its Q2 2020 has been one of the most successful ever from a new business generated perspective. The company has experienced a +44% growth in new Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in H1 2020 when compared to H1 2019. A very successful renewal cycle and new large-enterprise deals closed in the US, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM, made the first half of the year a success.

Feedzai currently protects companies with more than 800 million customers in 190 countries. With more than 154M US individual and business taxpayers, almost half of the UK and Canada’s population, and 60% of global music streaming subscriptions being monitored and protected by Feedzai, the company has shown over the years that its mission-critical technology is preferred by the largest and most innovative companies in the world.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Feedzai has seen an increase in financial crime, particularly mule accounts, phishing attacks, employer fraud, and a big spike in fraudulent activity related to online commerce in which people had to significantly rely on during the lockdown.

“Fraudsters thrive on periods of confusion and chaos, and this pandemic represents fertile breeding ground. While many bank capital investments are on hold amidst the economic uncertainty, we are seeing that solutions like Feedzai’s, which reduce fraud losses, decrease operational expense, and improve customer experience through more efficient detection routines are actually seeing increased prioritization for funding, given the increased urgency to protect digital channel transactions in a customer-friendly manner,” says Julie Convoy, Research Director at Aite.

“Feedzai had one of its best quarters ever amid the pandemic, while many industries, unfortunately, showed signs of deterioration. This simultaneously shows that our technology is mission-critical, and our business is crisis resilient,” said Nuno Sebastiao, Co-founder, and CEO of Feedzai. “I’m confident that our next phase of growth will benefit from market conditions in which digital transformation will play a larger than ever role, and from a set of strategic decisions we’ve made in the last 9 months.”

As part of the growth, Feedzai has achieved several important milestones, including:

Business Performance – Feedzai reports a +44% growth in H1 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The company has also seen Q2 2020 growth above target amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to one of its best quarters ever from a new Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).

C-suite Strengthening – the company has defined a combination of strategic hires and internal promotions to prepare the organization for the next level of growth

  • Amaury Dauge, Chief Financial Officer – joins Feedzai after several C-level roles at Qontigo and previous experience as the CFO of Euronext, the 6th largest stock exchange in the world

  • Varun Kohli, Chief Marketing Officer – a seasoned Silicon Valley executive, who has been part of multiple multi-billion dollar exits (8 out of 9 companies he worked at either went IPO or were acquired)

  • Richard Harris, EVP of Global Sales – a veteran in both the finance and technology industries, steps in to spearhead the global sales operation after 5 very successful years at Feedzai where he led international operations. Prior to that, Harris held leadership positions at Visa, Experian, and American Express

  • Pedro Barata, SVP of Product – after 10 years at Feedzai – hired as one of the first employees of the company – Barata becomes the new product leader after successfully building from scratch the entire Customer Success operation

  • Cristina Perez, Head of Legal – joins Feedzai after 20 years spearheading legal, public policy, and regulatory affairs at Vodafone Portugal

Geographic Expansion and Strategic Deals – Feedzai has closed deals during H1 in all of the regions it is currently operating in – US, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM – and was able to negotiate multi-year contracts with some of the largest and most innovative companies in the world (e.g. one of the biggest payments processors in the world, one of the top 3 banks in Brazil, one of the big four banks in Australia, the largest national card processor in Europe, and several others).

Cutting-Edge technology – Feedzai continues to pave the way with the most advanced, and promising machine learning techniques built to better protect customers and businesses all over the world. The company also keeps protecting its growing Intellectual Property portfolio with 6 new patents filed in the first half of the year around Deep Learning, Model Fairness Optimization, Active Learning, Transaction Graph Representations, and more. Feedzai will also invest around 26% of its revenue in R&D by the end of 2020, while the average investment made by successful SaaS companies sits at 23%.

Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/feedzai-grows-44-in-the-first-half-of-the-fiscal-year-and-strengthens-its-c-suite/

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Big Data

A pilot launched in Estonia aims to set a new standard for AML fight

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A pilot launched in Estonia aims to set a new standard for AML fight

The pilot is initiated in the collaboration of Salv and four of the largest banks active in Estonia – LHV, SEB Estonia, Swedbank Estonia, and Luminor, owned by the world’s largest investment fund Blackstone.

Salv, the anti-money laundering (AML) startup that raised $2M last year, is set to launch a pilot program called AML Bridge, in cooperation with four of Estonia’s largest banks. The pilot comes with cooperation from Estonia’s Financial Supervisory Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit, and Data Protection Inspectorate whose experts have been participating as consultants in the working groups. Results of the pilot will be announced in the spring of 2021.

The aim of this pilot is threefold. First, to prove that collaborative crime-fighting in the banking industry is the best way to fight money laundering. Secondly, to confirm that the Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) enables safe, secure data sharing within the bounds of regulatory and data privacy laws in the European Union. Finally, if the pilot proves successful in Estonia, it should set a new AML standard for financial institutions across Europe to follow in Estonia’s footsteps.

Taavi Tamkivi, the founder of Salv, recognizes Estonian banks and regulators for an open-minded approach to challenge financial crime with intelligent technology. “Today, it’s estimated that banks can prevent less than 1% of illicit funds flowing through their system. The current system is unduly burdensome for honest customers who have nothing to do with money laundering and has nothing to do with banks’ hesitation to prevent money laundering. The core problem is inefficient tooling. Up until now, criminals have had the upper hand — because they can collaborate. Banks cannot. Achieving a new crime-fighting standard is a complex objective because of the need to respect privacy protection rights. A new standard can only be established in collaboration with forward-thinking banks and regulators. I do hope that Estonian banks and regulators can forge paths for the rest of the world to follow,” he further explains.

Tamkivi points out that criminals with a global reach cooperate and share best practices amongst each other. “They literally share laundered cash flows. In other words, they cooperate in legalizing illegal income, and they consciously plan the most complex and hard-to-find networks. At the same time, due to regulatory challenges, banks work in silos without being able to quickly exchange information. Until now, there hasn’t been a technological solution that could make sense of data without violating a person’s right to privacy. The situation is further complicated in some countries when its people suspect senior government officials of collaborating with criminal network leaders. Criminals gain an advantage when given access to information on current preventive and blocking measures taken against financial crime. AML Bridge is a supplement, not a replacement, for AML tools financial institutions use today. Our technology offers banks a new tool that enables secure access to third party intelligence and, thus, greater collaboration in the fight against crime,” says Tamkivi.

The AML Bridge pilot tests a similar solution to X-road Estonia, Estonia’s centralized e-platform where, instead of storing data in a centralized location, technology instead enables data to be kept in the hands of the originator and accessed securely from there. This ensures maximum immunity against cyber-attacks and robust personal data protection. AML Bridge will only allow a bank to access another bank’s intelligence if there’s a reasonable basis according to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act. Salv’s technology can create links between peer banks’ data and securely share AML intelligence to identify potentially severe risks. In this way, banks will be able to prevent illicit transactions and discrimination against honest customers. “We can rule out cases where a person is refused service because a criminal in another country has their same name,” said Tamkivi.

According to Erki Kilu, Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Banking Association, the pilot gives Estonia a unique opportunity to test intelligent collaborative solutions to make AML measures more effective. He believes those findings could be implemented outside Estonia. “Today, the Estonian digital society is an example for other countries in the world. Estonia is seen as an opinion leader when it comes to e-government solutions, so perhaps Estonia could also become an opinion leader in the prevention of money laundering acts. The biggest challenge isn’t so much in the technology’s capabilities, but in how to conduct the pilot in full compliance with data privacy regulations. Therefore, the pilot is conducted in collaboration with experts from FSA, Financial Intelligence Unit, and Data Protection Inspectorate,” Kilu explains.

Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/a-pilot-launched-in-estonia-aims-to-set-a-new-standard-for-aml-fight/

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