Meeting the Challenges of Cyberattacks in the Big Data Era

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20th August, 2019

The ease of internet access and the increasingly prominent role it plays in virtually every aspect of our lives has led to a meteoric rise in the volume of information being saved or exchanged in data form. With the introduction of the 5G mobile communications standard just around the corner, data volume will continue to grow at an incredible rate. This growth has also, however, given rise to cybercrime, and if data and information systems cannot be protected effectively, they may fall prey to invasion and theft. Enter Mitsubishi Electric and yet another world’s first: Cyber Attack Detection Technology.

Cybercrime is Spreading Like a Virus—Are We Safe?

From 2016 through 2018, targeted cyberattacks took aim at an average of 55 organizations. In some cases, the damage caused by targeted cyberattacks is expansive and devastating. The WannaCry ransomware attack of May 2017 managed to invade computers in 150 countries in only a matter of hours. It crippled hospital information systems and affected government networks as well as those of private companies. With cybercrime-related financial damage estimated at as much as US$6 billion in 2017, existing cyberattack countermeasures clearly will not be sufficient to fend off attempts at invasion, ransom demands, and information loss. Technology must evolve rapidly and significantly to stay ahead of the increasingly sophisticated techniques employed by cybercriminals.

Viruses used in cyberattacks are proliferating at a rate of more than 300 million per year. And the spread of the Internet of Things (IoT)—where virtually every device imaginable is connected to the Internet—and the advent of the 5G mobile communications system will render more people, systems, and information vulnerable to targeted cyberattacks.

We at Mitsubishi Electric realized that it would take more than simply finding and identifying a virus. And, through exhaustive research that enabled us to categorize methods of attack, we have developed Cyber Attack Detection Technology that focuses on the method instead of the virus, detecting suspicious activity to isolate and prevent attempts at intrusion.

Focusing Not on the What, But on the How

Since the birth of the phenomenon several decades ago, cyberattacks have increased both in regularity and in degree of sophistication. In developing Cyber Attack Detection Technology—the world’s first-ever such technology that detects not viruses, but attack methods—we undertook a painstaking study of the various aspects of past attacks, looking for patterns, commonalities, and anomalies. Through this examination, we discovered that all the attacks we reviewed could be placed in one of 50 categories.

We then had to deal with the conflicting issues of controlling misdetections—or the detection of proper operation as a viral attack—and detecting all attack methods. We resolved this by developing operational rules that correspond with the operational status of a system at a particular time, giving our technology the ability to locate activity that deviates from these rules among enormous volumes of activity log data. And our meticulous investigation into the devious attack methods developed by cybercriminals also enables Cyber Attack Detection Technology to hone in on new methods by identifying characteristics in them that also exist in previously applied methods. We believe this technology will be effective in protecting the vital infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, helping to ensure the safety and stability of that infrastructure and of the lives of the people who use it.

Applying Our Technological Mastery to Ensuring Global Information Security

Cybersecurity becomes more important each day to individuals, corporations, and governments. When information and communication systems are compromised by targeted attacks, crucial functions and operations can be severely damaged or completely disabled. Mitsubishi Electric’s Cyber Attack Detection Technology overcomes the limitations of traditional protection methods by honing in on the attack method as opposed to the virus itself, and has the potential to be used in applications beyond infrastructure, thereby affording people everywhere even greater security.

Our extensive experience in infrastructure installation and security construction and our dedication to making a positive difference in people’s lives will serve us well as we continue to explore the possibilities technology holds to support even higher levels of safety and security for people everywhere.

The content is true and accurate as of the time of publication. Information related to products and services included in this article may differ by country or region.

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