Incident & Breach Response , Security Operations

Experian: Why Cyberattacks Could Escalate to 'Cyberwar'

Michael Bruemmer Discusses 2017 Cyber Forecast
Experian: Why Cyberattacks Could Escalate to 'Cyberwar'
Michael Bruemmer of Experian Data Breach Resolution

Cyber espionage and other increasingly sophisticated nation-state cyberattacks will escalate into what amounts to "cyberwar" in 2017, predicts security expert Michael Bruemmer of Experian Data Breach Resolution.

"We've seen some of the cyberattacks, particularly those attributed to Russia and China, attack more than just private businesses, but also attack infrastructure and government entities," Bruemmer says. "I do think we'll see at least one large attack by one of the entities outside the U.S. that will officially be crossing the line where [cyber] war is declared - there will be countermeasures taken by the U.S., or even offensive measures to protect itself, and that's going to be a first-time event in our history."

Cyberattacks are increasingly targeting healthcare organizations and the payment card industry as well as government entities and colleges and universities, Bruemmer says in an interview with Information Security Media Group to discuss Experian's Data Breach Industry Forecast for 2017.

'Aftershock' Breaches

In addition to the escalating sophistication of potential cyberattacks next year, organizations across all sectors, as well as consumers, need to be prepared to prevent and respond to more "aftershock breaches," which involve the reuse of login credentials that were compromised in earlier breaches, Bruemmer says.

Credentials stolen from breaches of companies such as AOL, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn "are being used to access accounts of the individuals originally impacted, but who didn't take the time to update or change their credentials so that they couldn't be reused," he says.

In the interview, Bruemmer also discusses:

  • Why the healthcare sector will be a top target for the most sophisticated cyberattacks in 2017;
  • Steps organizations in healthcare and other sectors should take to prepare to deal with ransomware as well as other emerging cyber threats and attacks;
  • The biggest cyberattack surprises so far in 2016.

Bruemmer is a vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution, which offers incident management, notification, call center support and fraud resolution services while also serving affected consumers with credit and identity protection products. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Bruemmer also serves on the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance Steering Committee, Ponemon Responsible Information Management Board and the International Association of Privacy Professionals Certification Advisory Board.

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