• Encryption increasingly used to hide malicious activity

Encryption has been used in almost half of cyber attacks in the past 12 months, according to a study by A10 Networks and the Ponemon Institute.

Increasing demand for data privacy has driven the use of encryption in businesses, but its use has also risen among hackers who use it to hide their activity. The SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption which protects sensitive data such as emails and web transactions also allows encrypted malware to pass through undetected.

The report also highlighted that as the legitimate use of encryption continues to rise, so too will the use of this technology for malicious ends. Only 16% of respondents thought that their organisation could identify and respond to an encrypted attack before data was lost to hackers.

The most common reason that businesses cited for not inspecting decrypted traffic was a lack of appropriate security tools, with 47% of those surveyed saying this was the most significant barrier. This was followed by insufficient skills and resources (45%) and degradation of network performance (45%).

Chase Cunningham, director of cyber operations at A10 Networks suggested that a focused approach was most likely to benefit businesses. He said: “IT decision-makers need to think more strategically.

“Instead of focusing on doing everything right 100%, IT leaders can be more effective by doing a few things very strategically with the best technology available.”

Read our ultimate guide to cyber security here