Growing digital dependence fuels cyber threat sophistication: Check Point CEO

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Growing digital dependence fuels cyber threat sophistication: Check Point CEO

The world’s dependence on digital infrastructure is at its highest, according to Check Point Software founder and CEO Gil Shwed, and as cyber threat sophistication rises, so too does the need for sophisticated security.

In his keynote at the CPX 360 2022 APAC virtual event, Shwed outlined the changing role of cyber security as all facets of our lives become connected.

“Cars are connected, smart homes are connected, the entire healthcare system is connected, controlling our infrastructure, utilities. All of that is based on the internet. Not to mention telco, banking, manufacturing, and of course our daily life with entertainment of shopping. Everything is connected,” said Shwed.

“If two years ago it was 60 percent of our life, today it's 90 percent of our life. And even post COVID I believe this dependence will just increase.”

As all fundamental infrastructure eventually connects to the internet, the threat of an attack grows.

Shwed highlights multi-vector fifth generation or Gen V cyber attacks as the kinds of breaches that can be the most exploitative but are becoming increasingly common.

“A few years ago in this conference I spoke about the fifth generation or Gen V cyber attack. It sounds like something futuristic. Today a Gen V cyber attack is something we experience every day —attacks on our supply chain, attacks which involve ransomware that takes down an entire hospital or takes down the entire oil pipeline for half of the US,” said Shwed.

“When we look back at 2021 it was one of the most challenging years in terms of cyber attack. It started with the Solar Winds attack, one of the most sophisticated Gen V attacks and it ended with Log4j which we still have to take care about for many, many, many more months, one of the most exploited vulnerabilities ever seen in cyberspace.”

The cost of cyber crime is also going up. Shwed remarked that just a few years ago a ransomware ask would be in the hundreds, while today it is in the tens of millions.

“When it comes to security, second best security is not enough.”

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