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Palo Alto Networks: Evolving Ransomware Is The Biggest Cyber Security Threat

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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INTERVIEW: Silicon talks cyber security threats with Aaron Miller, senior technologist at Palo Alto Networks

Cybersecurity is a typically one of the fastest moving areas of the technology world, with zero-days cropping up on a highly regular basis and old malware resurfacing in a refreshed from, poised to wreak havoc on seemingly protected networks. 

Unfortunately, that situation is not likely to change anytime soon, according to Aaron Miller, senior technologist at Palo Alto Networks. 

At Silicon’s stand at Infosecurity 2017, Miller echoed the general trend of ransomware retaining its position at the top the malware threat pile. 

“I think it would be remiss to not mention WannaCry,” said Miller, referencing the ransomware attack that spread voraciously across many systems worldwide

“Ransomware is very prevalent; we’re seeing  different iterations of ransomware hitting the marketplace.”

Mulling over malware 

malware“I think that the target of those attacks is beginning to change a little bit,” expalined Miller.

“Traditionally ransomware was a carpet bomb approach, if you will, consumer [or enterprise [attackers] were pretty indifferent; we are now beginning to see more targeted attacks in terms of going after healthcare as an industry and finance as an industry.” 

Miller also noted that automation will drive cyber attacks alongside the combination of reused malware aimed at new exploits and cyber security flaws, essentially refreshing existing hacking techniques, with that information spread through a hacker ecosystem lurking in the dark web. 

It is an alarming prospect, but to tackle these threats, Miller said that a mix of technologies and techniques will be used to keep up with the evolving threat vectors. 

He highlighted how automation and machine learning will be uses across networks and at end-points, combined with data collection and analysis in the cloud to identify emerging cyber security vulnerabilities and tackle them; in effect taking a prevention rather than cure approach to cyber security. 

Miller also discussed how Palo Alto Networks approaches cyber security and the technology is employs to keep up with the hackers; for more check out the video above. 

There was plenty more going on at the Silicon stand, including a discussion with ZoneFox on tackling the challenges of GDPR and insight from Symantec on IT integration and security

Quiz: What do you know about cyber security in 2017?