All War is Based on Deception - Interview with Ori Bach, General Manager & VP Product at TrapX
What is your view on the current and future state of global cybercrime?
Unfortunately, when it comes to cybercrime, I am not the bearer of good news, and the reality is that where once the primary motivation of hackers was financial gain, they also now use it as a means of influencing and impacting our democratic process, directly impacting on society and government.
The interference in the US electoral system and democratic process, was the most obvious example of how cybercrime can have a very real impact on election results: the orchestrated campaign that was undertaken by anonymous cybercriminals against presidential candidate Hilary Clinton - at enormous expense to her campaign – was, perhaps, the most obvious example yet of just how influential cybercrime is in today’s world.
Like everything in the tech and online world, cybercrime has become - and continues to develop at a rapid pace - incredibly sophisticated to the point where hackers can now cause enormous damage with minimal financial resources. Given the level of sophistication and the highly effective and efficient nature of attacks – which are carefully orchestrated to cause maximum damage - the return on investment for cybercriminals can often be huge, while the risk of detection is low.
And as for the future? Well, as the profile of the hacker continues to change from the stereotypical lone-wolf, computer-geek operating on his own, to a highly sophisticated criminal network that’s well- resourced and funded - working under the radar via the dark web - cybercrime will continue to become more professional and more lucrative while the risk of detection remains low. That said though; we can also expect to see more investment in cyber-crime prevention by government, as well as increased collaboration across government and industry.
TrapX has created a new generation of deception technology”, can you elaborate further?
Deception as a tool to secure a victory – or as a means of luring someone into a trap – is not a new phenomenon: deception was used as far back as World War 2 when the US developed its ‘ghost army,’ an entire fake army meant to deceive the Germans on the location of D-Day.
TrapX is simply the new generation of deception tactics. Wherever hackers go, TrapX creates an artificial hall of mirrors to lure them in. By using our highly sophisticated deception technology, companies can improve their threat detection function, and augment, or potentially replace, threat detection and response approach in important ways. We educate cybersecurity teams to be proactive and fight back.
“By deploying Deception Grid, you can create a proactive security posture, fundamentally halting the progression of an attack while changing the economics of cyber attacks by shifting the cost to the attacker.”
Deception grid halts the progression of an attack and shifts the cost to the attacker, in three key areas:
● Taking up a lot of their valuable time
● Tricking them into revealing their tactics
● Revealing their technical tools/code - which are being used across the world – which they purchased on the darknet
The critical thing to remember is that sophisticated hackers are no longer working alone; instead, they’re working as part of highly organised, well-structured networks which are akin to organisations in their own right.
However, the good news is that, while up to now hackers could act with complete anonymity, with TrapX, you get to find out exactly who you are fighting!
Are there particular industries and geographies that are more vulnerable or targeted by cybercriminals?
For hackers, just as with any legitimate business, it always comes down to one thing: return on investment. Sophisticated attacks are well orchestrated, as opposed to random, and hackers will identify their target based on two core elements:
● Extract a currency from the activity - political or financial
● How easy it is to perform the hacking activity
There is no doubt that certain industry sectors – manufacturing and healthcare, for example - are often more susceptible to hacker attacks and security breaches, because they often have legacy systems in place, are notoriously slow to change existing systems and work practices, and often don’t have the tools required to safeguard their systems and the data of their customers.
In the case of medical organisations, for example, malware can be used to steal sensitive patient data, which hackers use for identity theft, profiteering from the selling of such data on the darknet.
Finally, even medical devices are vulnerable to attack; targeting devices such as CT or MRI scanners in order to access sensitive patient data; they can even create fake cancerous nodes to scans, before the doctor or radiologist gets to examine them, resulting in a misdiagnosis or failure to treat a patient who may need critical and urgent care. Regulation can be an inhibitor in this industry as it is very difficult to add new security controls to FDA approved devices.
There is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals globally, does emerging technology assist in reducing the need for this resource?
It’s important to remember that cybersecurity is a relatively new profession, which has only emerged, in a serious and mainstream context, in the past decade. As a result, like any emerging technology or industry, it’s still only in its infancy, and as a result, we can expect enormous developments – both in terms of machine learning as well as amongst humans – to take place in this industry over the course of the next decade and beyond.
Of course, the key challenge is that since technology is now everywhere and in everything - as opposed to just in technological devices, computers, and gadgets - when it comes to cybersecurity, there is simply a chronic lack of people with the necessary skills and experience required.
The fact is, the world is struggling to train enough professionals in this increasingly important field – much in the same way as when electricity was invented, there was a severe shortage of electricians available on the market.
As General Manager & Vice President of Products, Ori is a veteran of the fight against fraud and cybercrime and worked for leading global companies such as IBM Trusteer and Nice - Actimize, as well as government entities such as the Israel Ministry of Justice and the Israel Defence Force (IDF).
Bach has extensive experience in cyber-security, threat intelligence, and product management, and prior to joining TrapX, served as Director of Product Management at Actimize, before working as a Senior Security Strategist at IBM Trusteer.
During his career to date, he has published dozens of research reports, white papers, and blogs on the subject of managing cyber-security and fraud prevention. He holds an LLB degree from Tel-Aviv University and is a member of the Israeli BAR association.