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US Tech firms face reputation risk over approach to Cybersecurity


Cybersecurity initiatives and products define the leaders and laggards in the tech sector.

Security-focused product updates boost performance for the top companies. IBM offering $3m in grants to defend schools from cyberattacks helps the company secure the first spot.

The companies that are placed at the bottom of the ranking are impacted by cybersecurity attacks. Facebook users’ private information, gathered during a data breach in 2019, is apparently being sold on a cybercrime forum.


Cybersecurity discussion is largely centred around the aftermath of the SolarWinds cyber-attack

Tech executives reveal during a hearing of the US Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence (Bloomberg) that the historic SolarWinds cybersecurity breach that affected 100 US companies and nine federal agencies was larger and more sophisticated than previously known.

Microsoft is criticized for actions that might have helped exacerbate the SolarWinds cyberattack. In response, the company releases a free tool designed to hunt SolarWinds malware.

Lawmakers suggest that threat intelligence can be more easily and confidentially shared among competitors and lawmakers to prevent large hacks like this in the future. Symantec and Cisco are among the companies forming part of the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), working towards improving the cybersecurity of the global digital ecosystem by enabling high-quality cyber threat information sharing among companies and organizations in the cybersecurity field.


Phishing Changing nature of Cybersecurity

In 2020, the use of malware declined throughout the year, while the number of phishing sites rose to a decade high, as cyber criminals look to capitalize on the pandemic and the shift to remote working. Forbes reports that Google registered over 2m phishing sites during 2020, with the most sites being registered during May, at the height of the pandemic.

Security firm Malwarebytes notes that the amount of malware targeting macOS and Windows during 2020 declined by 38% and 12% respectively. This decline has been fuelled by greater layers of protection, as best practices are established throughout the sector. Layering protection solutions means that firms can focus their attention on more threat varieties, rather than just the common ones.

As phishing comes to the forefront of cyber-attacks, largescale investment is required to protect employee and user’s data according to Security Magazine. The continued development of automated identity verification solutions, as well as companies taking a Zero Trust approach sets the groundwork to protect against phishing attacks. However, these, and other techniques, need to become more sophisticated and widespread before they can turn the tide against these attacks, which feature in 24% of coverage during the period.


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