Cybersecurity Focus Shifts From Blocking to Spotting Threats

Companies such as IBM and Symantec are investing in new technologies to detect viruses and hackers and make stealing customer data more difficult. The companies believe that traditional antivirus software that erect barriers to keep out threats is becoming increasingly ineffective as hackers around the world regularly create novel bugs. IBM plans to analyze behavior in computer network data to detect irregularities. Symantec is launching its own division that will help hacked businesses respond to security breaches. 

Symantec will sell intelligence briefings on specific threats and eventually, a new and improved software to detect more advanced threats that mimic other processes within networks. Currently, only 45 percent of cyberattacks are caught in Symantec’s antivirus protection, according to The Wall Street Journal.

IBM’s new security systems also abandon the old antivirus model. Their data analytics will allow the company to find patterns of normal behavior on computer networks, software and websites. If the new system finds any irregularities in these patterns on a consumer’s computer, they will address the security breach before the bug has the chance to do any real damage.

Other cybersecurity companies are joining the trend. Juniper Networks wants to use fake data inside customers’ firewalls to confuse hackers. Shape Security wants to make passwords and credit card numbers more difficult to use once illegally obtained. FireEye specifically created software that looks for bugs that made it past the firewall defense.

This shift in the $70 billion cybersecurity industry comes as a result of some of the largest security breaches in history. Energy companies, American banks and Target stores are just some of the major businesses that have been the target of foreign hackers in recent months. Target did not act on the security alerts in their system, so hackers were free to steal credit card data from millions of Target customers.