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Insider Threat

Best practices for protecting your business from insider threats

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Insider Threat

Best practices for protecting your business from insider threats

An insider threat is a cybersecurity risk coming from within an organization. This risk often arises when employees, contractors, vendors, or partners with proper access misuse it to harm the organization’s networks, systems and data. Whether intentional or not, such actions threaten the confidentiality, availability and integrity of the organization’s systems and data.

In the 2023 Insider Threat Report by Gurucul, it is revealed that over 70% of organizations believe that they are moderately to highly susceptible to insider threats. Over the past year, more than half of the surveyed organizations have faced at least one insider threat, with 8% encountering over 20 incidents.

According to the 2023 Cost of Insider Risks Global Report by Ponemon Institute, the average cost to address and mitigate the fallout of an insider threat that lasts for 91 days is $18.32 million. The report also highlights that only 13% of insider threats could be mitigated within 31 days.

Types of insider threat

Insider threats within organizations can manifest in various forms. These threats include:

  1. Unintentional Threats: Caused by negligence or accidents, these threats arise from insiders who disregard security protocols or make errors, like sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient or losing data storage devices.
  2. Intentional Threats: This involves malicious insiders who deliberately harm the organization for personal gain or due to grievances. Actions can range from data leaks to sabotage.
  3. Collusive Threats: These occur when insiders collaborate with external actors, like cybercriminals, to compromise the organization. This threat often involves fraud or intellectual property theft.
  4. Third-Party Threats: Often involving contractors or vendors, these threats stem from those with some level of access, who might directly or indirectly pose a risk to the organization.

Case examples of insider threat

High-profile cases of insider threats have demonstrated their significant impact on organizations. While some cases may not have immediate monetary implications, they still harm the company’s reputation and customer trust.

For instance, Tesla faced a data leak where two former employees disclosed over 75,000 employees’ personal information. The information compromised included personal and contact details, employment records and sensitive financial data. The two perpetrators also disclosed details about customer bank accounts, Tesla’s production secrets and feedback on its Full Self-Driving features. Tesla took legal measures against the individuals responsible, but the breach left lasting implications for its data security reputation.

In May 2022, Qian Sang, a then-Yahoo research scientist, downloaded Yahoo’s AdLearn product information. Sang transferred about 570,000 pages of intellectual property to his devices. This occurred shortly after he accepted a job offer from The Trade Desk, a rival company. Weeks later, Yahoo discovered the data theft. The company then issued Sang a cease-and-desist letter. Yahoo filed three charges against Sang, including the theft of IP.

Microsoft also experienced a security lapse when employees accidentally exposed login credentials in August 2022. The company did not disclose specific details about the systems impacted by the credential exposure. However, had the breach involved the personal data of EU customers, Microsoft would have to pay a substantial €20 million fine under GDPR.

In 2022, Apple initiated legal action against the startup Rivos. The tech giant accused Rivos of systematically hiring its former employees. Apple claimed that Rivos did this to obtain confidential information. At the time, Rivos had hired over 40 of its previous staff, including engineers who allegedly took gigabytes of sensitive data related to Apple’s System-on-Chip (SoC) technology. Apple had developed this SoC technology for over a decade with substantial investment. This technology was reportedly critical to Rivos’ accelerated SoC development. Apple’s lawsuit framed this as a data theft.

Protect your business from insider threats

To combat insider threats, organizations must integrate a series of strategic actions into their security plan. This begins with a comprehensive inventory and classification of data resources throughout the IT environment. The classification includes data stored onsite and in cloud infrastructures. Classifying data allows for the efficient and secure use of information across the organization.

Next, developing a detailed data handling policy is crucial. This policy should dictate how different types of data can be accessed and used and by whom. It’s essential to incorporate a system that flags violations of this policy, which could indicate potential insider threats.

Training employees is also essential in preventing insider threats as it enhances their awareness of security risks, including unintentional ones. Through training, employees better understand company policies and their roles in data security. They learn to recognize signs of potential threats and the correct response to suspected breaches. This reduces accidental security lapses and cultivates a strong culture of security within the organization.

Monitoring systems for signs of insider threats is also key. Implementing solutions like intrusion detection systems, privileged access management systems and user behavioral analytics helps in identifying suspicious activities. Investigating any unusual activities promptly can significantly mitigate risks posed by insider threats.

At C8 Secure, we provide comprehensive services tailored to combat insider threats. Our expertise includes conducting detailed cyber security assessments, vulnerability testing and crafting incident response plans. C8 Secure’s managed Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services play a crucial role in mitigating insider threats. These services continuously monitor endpoints and network activity for suspicious behavior, enabling rapid detection and response to potential threats. For example, if an employee attempts to exfiltrate sensitive data via an unauthorized USB device, C8 Secure’s EDR solution would detect this anomalous activity and trigger an alert for investigation.

Similarly, C8 Secure’s managed Security Operations Center (SOC) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) services provide 24/7 monitoring and analysis of security events across an organization’s infrastructure. By correlating data from multiple sources, such as user activity logs, network traffic, and application events, C8 Secure’s SOC team can identify potential insider threats that might otherwise go unnoticed. For instance, if a privileged user suddenly starts accessing sensitive resources outside of their normal working hours, the SOC team would be alerted to investigate this anomalous behavior.

C8 Secure’s managed Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) services are also critical in defending against insider threats. These services protect an organization’s web applications and APIs from unauthorized access and abuse, which is particularly important given the growing reliance on cloud-based services. For example, if an employee attempts to exploit a vulnerability in a web application to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, C8 Secure’s WAAP solution would detect and block the attempt.

Beyond these technical controls, C8 Secure also emphasizes the importance of employee training and policy development in mitigating insider threats. By working with organizations to develop comprehensive security policies and providing targeted training to employees, C8 Secure helps foster a culture of security awareness. This can help prevent unintentional insider threats, such as the accidental exposure of login credentials by Microsoft employees.

Insider threats pose a significant risk to organizations of all sizes and industries. By leveraging C8 Secure’s managed security services, including EDR, MDR, SOC, SIEM, and WAAP, organizations can significantly enhance their ability to detect and respond to insider threats. Combined with robust security policies and employee training, these services provide a comprehensive defense against the growing risk of insider threats.


The alarming surge of Phishing and how to protect your business

01 March, 2024

The threat of phishing is escalating. Statista reported that there were over 1.62 million unique phishing sites globally in Q1 2023, over 50% higher than the same period in 2022.



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The alarming surge of phishing and how to protect your business

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The alarming surge of Phishing and how to protect your business

The threat of phishing is escalating. Statista reported that there were over 1.62 million unique phishing sites globally in Q1 2023, over 50% higher than the same period in 2022. On top of that, a 2024 survey involving 500 cybersecurity experts indicates a staggering 94% of organizations have faced phishing attacks.

Almost 80% of organizations faced financial implications due to phishing, with 64% experiencing direct monetary loss. Of these incidents, 74% led to disciplinary actions against employees.

Businesses typically spend about 11 months recovering from a phishing attack. With such implications, phishing has now become the primary method for initiating breaches (16%), surpassing stolen credentials (15%), according to data retrieved by IBM. The 2023 data also revealed that data breaches cost an average of over $4.5 million.

Types of phishing attacks

Phishing attacks come in various forms. Each of these has its own distinct characteristics. Here are some common types:

  1. Email Phishing: The most common type, where attackers send fraudulent emails resembling those from reputable sources. These emails aim to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
  2. Spear-Phishing: A targeted form of phishing. Attackers personalize emails to specific individuals, often using personal information for authenticity. The goal is to steal data or install malware on the target’s device.
  3. Whaling: A specialized spear-phishing attack targeting high-profile individuals like executives. Whaling attacks often involve crafting highly sophisticated emails that address specific business concerns or personal interests of the target.
  4. Smishing (SMS Phishing): This type of phishing attack uses text messages instead of emails. Smishing messages often create a sense of urgency, prompting recipients to disclose personal information or click on a malicious link.
  5. Vishing (Voice Phishing): Conducted via phone calls. Attackers pretend to be from legitimate organizations, seeking personal or financial information. They often use fear tactics, like threatening legal action.
  6. Quishing: This involves the use of fake or manipulated QR codes whereby hackers carry out fraudulent activities, such as malware spreading or taking personal information.
  7. Pharming: Here, attackers redirect users from legitimate websites to fraudulent ones. This is typically achieved by exploiting vulnerabilities in DNS servers.
  8. Clone Phishing: Involves creating a nearly identical replica of a legitimate email with a safe attachment or link replaced by a malicious one. It often claims to be a resend or updated version of the original.
  9. Angler Phishing: Uses social media platforms for attacks. Fraudulent social media posts or messages, often pretending to be customer service accounts, aim to extract personal information from victims.

Well-known cases of phishing

Deepfake video attack

A multinational company recently lost $26 million after a Deepfake fooled employees, fabricating representation of the CFO and others. The scammers convinced the victim to make a total of 15 transfers to five different Hong Kong bank accounts, according to reports. The company attacked has not been identified.

Colonial Pipeline attack

In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack starkly demonstrated the real-world impact of cyber attacks. The attack disrupted fuel supply across the East Coast of the United States. The breach, which likely began with a phishing email, compromised the company’s business network and billing system. Despite Colonial Pipeline paying about $4.4 million for a decryption key, the ripple effects were far-reaching.

The shutdown, lasting a week, halted the delivery of around 20 billion gallons of oil valued at about $3.66 billion. This incident spiked petrol prices and left over 10,000 petrol stations without fuel even after operations resumed. CEO Joseph Blount, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, acknowledged the wider economic toll and defended his controversial decision to pay the ransom. This attack ranks as one of the most financially devastating phishing incidents ever.

NotPetya Malware attack

June 2017 saw the onset of NotPetya, a catastrophic cyber attack that rapidly spread across more than 60 countries. Originating as a supply chain attack through Ukrainian accounting software, NotPetya targeted Windows-based systems, encrypting hard drives and demanding ransoms. Unlike typical ransomware, NotPetya, likely a state-sponsored Russian wiper malware, rendered data irretrievable. This caused unprecedented damages exceeding $10 billion. Major companies like Maersk, Merck and FedEx suffered immense losses.

Sony Pictures attack

In November 2014, Sony Pictures fell victim to the ‘Guardians of Peace’ hacking group. The attackers gained access through phishing emails, eventually leaking 100 terabytes of sensitive data. The emails, disguised as communications from Apple, deceived top executives into providing their credentials on a fake website. This breach not only exposed employee and film information but also included a demand to withdraw “The Interview” under threats of violence. The total damages to Sony Pictures from this cyberattack were estimated to exceed $100 million.

Facebook and Google scam

Evaldas Rimasauskas, a Lithuanian man, orchestrated a cunning business email compromise (BEC) scam against Facebook and Google, defrauding them of over $100 million. Between 2013 and 2015, Rimasauskas and his associates created convincing forged email accounts. They pretended to be Quanta Computer, a real vendor for both tech giants. Through elaborately crafted phishing emails containing bogus invoices and contracts, they deceitfully billed millions of dollars. The scam resulted in these companies transferring the funds to Rimasauskas’ sham company accounts spread across multiple countries.

FACC business email compromise attack

In 2016, FACC, an Austrian aerospace manufacturer, was hit by a severe BEC attack. Impersonating the CEO, attackers convinced an employee to transfer roughly $50 million for a fake acquisition project. While $10 million was salvaged at the last minute, the company still suffered significant financial damage and the CEO was subsequently dismissed.

Tips to combat phishing

Phishing poses a significant threat to businesses of all sizes. However, companies can effectively combat this pervasive cyber threat through a blend of technological solutions, employee education and vigilant practices. Here’s what businesses can do to combat phishing:

  1. Recognize phishing scams: Stay informed about new phishing techniques and their common features. Regular updates and training can help you identify these threats early.
  2. Provide security awareness training: Technical defenses alone can’t stop phishing. Educate employees about phishing dangers and teach them to report suspicious activities. Regular simulated phishing exercises can test and enhance your team’s readiness.
  3. Strong passwords and Two-Factor Authentication: Encourage unique, complex passwords for each account and discourage password sharing. Implement two-factor authentication for an added security layer.
  4. Heed update alerts: Don’t ignore software update notifications. These updates often contain vital security patches protecting against the latest cyber threats.
  5. Be careful with emails and links: Avoid emails and links from unknown sources. Verify links by hovering over them and avoid clicking unless sure of their safety.
  6. Avoid unsecured websites: Don’t share sensitive information on websites without HTTPS encryption or a visible security certificate. There is a closed padlock icon on the URL bar when the website has HTTPS certification.
  7. Ignore pop-ups: Pop-ups can be phishing attempts. Use ad-blockers to prevent them and avoid clicking on any that slip through.
  8. Regularly change passwords: Regularly updating your passwords can prevent ongoing unauthorized access, especially if your accounts have been compromised without your knowledge.
  9. Deploy Anti-Phishing tools: Use anti-phishing technologies to block fraudulent sites and emails. Combine desktop and network firewalls for comprehensive protection from external threats.

SafeBait: How C8 Secure can help

Partnering with C8 Secure can significantly enhance your company’s defense against phishing attacks. Our SafeBait service offers a comprehensive, managed solution that focuses on both technological and human elements. Our key features include:

  1. Simulation: Customized simulations help combat various social engineering threats. Our Phishing Simulator offers AI-driven scenarios in over 160 languages. We also have an Email Threat Simulator that strengthens email gateways against cyber attacks.
  2. Awareness training: Focusing on the human element, C8 Secure’s training includes MFA, Smishing, Vishing and Quishing Simulators. These simulate real-life scenarios and enhance staff’s ability to identify and respond to threats. On top of that, a Security Awareness Training Platform with interactive modules fosters a security-conscious culture.
  3. Threat sharing: C8 Secure’s Threat Sharing Platform allows for a collaborative defense ecosystem, where clients exchange threat intelligence. This unique approach allows our ecosystem to improve its collective security measures.

Choose C8 Secure’s SafeBait for advanced, all-around defense against phishing. Our simulations, awareness training and threat-sharing platform build a secure, informed company environment. Get in touch today


A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

17 November, 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant evolution in the cybersecurity landscape as it adapted to an array of emerging digital threats.



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The rise of GoldFactory: Addressing mobile threats with C8 Secure’s Mobile Protect

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The rise of GoldFactory: Addressing mobile threats with C8 Secure’s Mobile Protect

Craig Lusher, Product Principal [Secure Solutions], discusses the recently uncovered iOS Trojan designed to steal users’ facial recognition data, identify documents, and intercept SMS.

In an era where digital threats are increasingly sophisticated, the discovery of the GoldFactory iOS Trojan, as reported by Group-IB, underscores a critical challenge for businesses and individuals alike. This advanced iOS Trojan, designed to infiltrate iPhones through malicious applications, represents a significant escalation in the cyber threat landscape, particularly for users who assume iOS devices are immune to such risks.

The Trojan, named GoldFactory, exploits a method that bypasses Apple’s stringent app review process, enabling cybercriminals to distribute their malicious software via seemingly benign applications. Once installed, GoldFactory can execute a range of malicious activities, from stealing sensitive facial biometric information to executing phishing attacks, posing a substantial risk to data security and privacy.

C8 Secure’s response with Mobile Protect

In response to evolving mobile threats like GoldFactory, C8 Secure’s Mobile Protect service stands as a defence against mobile cyber threats. Our solution is designed to safeguard iOS and Android devices against a wide spectrum of cyber attacks, including sophisticated Trojans, malware, and phishing schemes.

Mobile Protect leverages cutting-edge technology to provide real-time threat detection and response, ensuring that even the most advanced Trojans, such as GoldFactory, are identified and neutralised before they can inflict harm. The service employs a multi-layered security approach, combining endpoint protection with continuous monitoring and threat intelligence, to offer comprehensive protection for mobile devices.

Addressing Business Challenges

The advent of Trojans like GoldFactory presents significant business challenges, from the risk of data breaches and financial loss to reputational damage. C8 Secure’s Mobile Protect service directly addresses these challenges by:

  1. Ensuring data privacy and security: Mobile Protect guards sensitive data against unauthorised access and theft, crucial for maintaining customer trust and complying with data protection regulations.
  2. Enhancing operational resilience: By safeguarding mobile devices against cyber threats, businesses can ensure uninterrupted operations, protecting against the downtime and financial losses associated with cyber attacks.
  3. Supporting compliance efforts: Mobile Protect aids businesses in meeting compliance requirements, like GDPR, offering peace of mind in an increasingly regulated digital environment.

The detection of the GoldFactory iOS Trojan serves as a stark reminder of the evolving cyber threat landscape and the need for robust security measures. C8 Secure, through its Mobile Protect service, offers an effective solution to these challenges, providing businesses and their mobile users with the highest level of protection against mobile cyber threats.

As cybercriminals continue to innovate, the importance of proactive and comprehensive security measures cannot be overstated. With Mobile Protect, C8 Secure reaffirms its commitment to securing the digital frontier, ensuring that businesses can operate with confidence in a connected world.


A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

17 November, 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant evolution in the cybersecurity landscape as it adapted to an array of emerging digital threats.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Navigating the 2024 cybersecurity frontier: Key trends to watch

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Navigating the 2024 cybersecurity frontier: Key trends to watch

As we enter the new year, the cybersecurity landscape is facing pivotal transformations. For example, the increasing frequency and complexity of cyber threats, like phishing with deepfakes, are pushing the boundaries of traditional security frameworks. Grasping these emerging threats is crucial for organizations in this changing digital world.

The critical nature of the changing cybersecurity landscape is highlighted by the expected economic repercussions of these threats. To put it into perspective, by the end of 2025, cyber attacks are expected to cost the global economy a staggering $10.5 trillion. A massive number – if cybercrime were a country, it would be the third-largest economy in the world, right after the U.S. and China.

For companies operating predominantly online, in industries such as in banking or gambling, this escalating cybersecurity battle is particularly critical. These companies handle sensitive user information and large financial transactions daily, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals.

That is why employing robust cybersecurity measures is a must, maintaining the trust and safety of their users, and of course their business’s credibility and success.

Looking ahead to 2024, we’re gearing up for new challenges and we must stay one step ahead of the game. Here are our predictions for key cybersecurity trends in 2024.

Cloud Service Attacks

One of the big areas for concern for the coming year is attacks on cloud services. The shift to cloud computing has provided businesses with faster operations and cost savings. In fact, management consulting company Gartner predicts a 20.7% increase in cloud service spending in 2024, reaching around $600 billion.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and the cloud is no exception. We’re talking about risks like less control over your data, disorganized cloud storage settings, weak cloud apps, data that doesn’t quite delete completely, and all those tricky compliance and migration issues. It’s a whole new battlefield, and businesses will have their work cut out for them, making sure their data stays safe from these cloud threats.

Key practices to protect cloud infrastructure against evolving security challenges include implementing granular identity and access management (IAM) based on a policy-driven, role-based approach with a zero-trust model.

It’s also vital to establish regular security audits and robust data backup and recovery plans, ensuring organizational resilience against data breaches. Meanwhile, proactive system monitoring through tools like vulnerability scanners and real-time security event monitoring through a 24/7 SOC is essential for early threat detection and response. Above all else, securing data through encryption and deploying web application firewalls are critical for protecting sensitive information and cloud-based applications.

AI and ML Integration

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies are transforming cybersecurity. They empower systems to process large data volumes, spot patterns, and quickly detect anomalies, transforming threat detection and prevention.

For online gambling companies, this advancement is key. Leveraging AI and ML, they’re enhancing their cybersecurity to tackle rising threats. For example, this approach can detect anomalies in network traffic and user behaviors to provide instant threat identification, helping to ensure the safety of players and transactions.

It’s also pivotal in large-scale fraud prevention and anti-money laundering by scrutinizing extensive data to pinpoint suspicious activities, thereby preserving the company’s integrity and customer trust. Plus, robust cybersecurity in industries such as online gambling is often vital for meeting regulatory demands, maintaining player and regulatory body trust, and reducing legal and financial risks.

Quantum Computing Cybersecurity

Quantum computing is deconstructing how we deal with data and solve tricky problems. Unlike regular computers that work with bits as 0s or 1s, quantum computers use qubits. These qubits, thanks to quantum superposition, can be in several states at once. This lets quantum computers tackle massive data sets and complex problems much faster than traditional computers.

Quantum computing’s growth brings both pros and cons for cybersecurity. Its incredible speed could boost cybersecurity, making encryption stronger and threat detection smarter. It’s also great for handling secure data on a large scale.

But there’s a flip side. Quantum computing could crack current encryption methods like RSA and ECC in no time, putting many security systems at risk. This makes developing quantum-resistant encryption, or post-quantum cryptography, a very important initiative moving forward.

As 2024 unfolds, the cybersecurity world must adapt quickly to leverage quantum computing’s benefits while guarding against its threats. This means updating encryption methods and prepping systems to stand up to quantum technology’s advanced powers.

Cybersecurity Education

As we enter 2024 with rapid technology advancements, the cybersecurity sector is still wrestling with a big challenge: the skills gap. With cyber threats getting trickier, there is huge demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals. This gap is a risk not just to individual companies but to our global cyber-infrastructure as a whole.

To tackle this, there are some initiatives underway. Educational institutions are beefing up their cybersecurity courses, offering degrees and certs that arm students with the latest in cyber defence smarts. These programs are big on practical, hands-on learning, getting students ready for the real deal in cybersecurity.

Also, ongoing learning and professional development are key in a cybersecurity career. There are loads of training programs, workshops, and seminars offered by organizations and industry groups to keep current pros up to speed on the newest cybersecurity trends, tools, and tricks. These programs often focus on specific areas like network security or incident response.

Moreover, we’re seeing more teamwork between the public and private sectors in cybersecurity education. Businesses are teaming up with schools to create training programs that match the industry’s needs. This is great for students, who get spot-on skills for today’s market, and for the industry, which gets a workforce ready to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s cyber challenges.

Blockchain Adaptation

Blockchain technology is gaining traction as a powerful tool for boosting cybersecurity. Known for its decentralized nature, blockchain brings key security features like immutability, transparency, and tamper resistance to the table. These qualities are ideal for securing digital transactions and shielding data from cyber threats.

A major way blockchain is bolstering cybersecurity is by preventing data tampering. Once data is on a blockchain, changing it without network consensus is nearly impossible, thwarting hackers’ attempts to tamper with it. This is especially crucial for protecting sensitive information like personal IDs, financial records, and critical infrastructure data.

Additionally, blockchain is reshaping identity management systems, offering more secure and decentralized options. Storing identity data on a blockchain allows for tighter control over data access, lowering identity theft and fraud risks.

We expect blockchain to play a bigger role in safeguarding Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the coming year. Integrating blockchain enables each IoT device to become a secure, independent node, boosting the network’s resilience against attacks that exploit centralized weaknesses. Moreover, blockchain-based smart contracts are poised for increased adoption in securing digital agreements. These automated contracts promise enhanced security for online transactions, ensuring adherence to terms and reducing breach risks.

For the online gambling industry, blockchain-based cybersecurity presents a significant advantage. By integrating blockchain, online gambling companies can ensure the integrity and transparency of gaming outcomes, financial transactions, and player data. This also fortifies their platforms against cyber attacks and enhances trust among users by providing a verifiable and tamper-proof record of all transactions.

C8 Secure’s comprehensive, proactive cybersecurity approach

At C8 Secure, our comprehensive cybersecurity services are designed to address these evolving challenges. We provide innovative solutions that integrate the latest technology advancements to ensure your business stays secure against constantly evolving cyber threats.

With our proactive, layered security approach to cybersecurity, including continuous threat monitoring and comprehensive prevention technologies, we help safeguard your critical data and maintain your customers’ trust. Whether it’s combating sophisticated DDoS attacks, managing cloud security, or staying compliant with the latest regulations, our team’s expertise is your frontline defense ally in this ongoing cyber war.


A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

17 November, 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant evolution in the cybersecurity landscape as it adapted to an array of emerging digital threats.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

GambleForce: A new cyberthreat in online gambling

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GambleForce: A new cyberthreat in online gambling

Craig Lusher, Product Principal [Secure Solutions]

As identified by Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence unit, the recent discovery of GambleForce, a cybercriminal group targeting gambling websites globally, has underscored the urgent need to bolster cyber defenses, especially across Asia. Unlike their Western counterparts, many Asian companies operate with differing business attitudes and cybersecurity practices that render them more vulnerable to attacks.

Rapid expansion and innovation are often prioritized over cybersecurity by Asian corporations. Also, the range of regulatory standards in Asian countries can result in inconsistent cyber readiness. According to a 2023 IBM report, APAC was the most attacked region in 2022, with 31% of attacks globally. A 2023 Check Point report indicates that the weekly average number of attacks in APAC in Q2 2023 increased by 22% year-on-year.

GambleForce employs common yet dangerous techniques, namely SQL injection – injecting malicious SQL code into public web pages – exploiting vulnerabilities in content management systems. While simple, these methods let them bypass authentication and access sensitive data.

Between September and December 2023, it is understood that GambleForce targeted 24 companies across 8 Asian countries, stealing user credentials and database contents. This demonstrates why strong web security is non-negotiable today. SQL injection and related injection attacks have remained highly popular vectors because they take advantage of insecure coding, misconfigurations, and outdated platforms. According to the 2022 Web application vulnerabilities report by Statista, SQL injection attacks constitute approximately 33% of all web application attacks. This statistic highlights the prevalence of such attacks and the necessity for robust defence mechanisms like those provided by C8 Secure.

C8 Secure’s WAAP (Web Application & API Protection) is a specialized web application firewall (WAF) designed specifically for the gambling sector’s regulatory and threat context. It actively blocks attacks like SQL injection by analyzing web traffic for anomalies indicating malicious behavior. Technically, WAAP works by only allowing pre-defined, legitimately formed and permitted code to run. It analyses all input/output data and database queries to detect and block anomalous activity indicating an attack. For example, WAAP would prevent the GambleForce group’s SQL injection attempts by identifying the malicious inputs and stopping them from reaching the database layer.

In addition to WAAP, C8 Secure offers a full suite of managed security services tailored to the online gambling industry’s regulatory and threat landscape:

  • MSOC & SIEM: Managed SIEM and 24/7 security monitoring provide early attack detection and rapid response by our cybersecurity experts.
  • EDR/ MDR: Managed Endpoint detection and response catches compromises on end-user devices, preventing threats from spreading laterally.
  • VAPT: Regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing proactively uncover configuration issues or software flaws before attackers can exploit them.
  • IDPS: Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems block known malware, suspicious network activity, and other threats at the network perimeter.

These capabilities work together to lock down security posture, maintain compliance, provide awareness and empower rapid response – giving operators the protection they need against threat groups like GambleForce.

For more information on how we can protect your online gambling platform from sophisticated threats like GambleForce, contact


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



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A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

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A year in review: Cybersecurity trends and challenges in 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant evolution in the cybersecurity landscape as it adapted to an array of emerging digital threats. The rise in cybercrime, data breaches, and hacking incidents has had a substantial impact on both individuals and businesses worldwide.

Reports indicate a stark 125% increase in global cyber attacks since 2021, a trend that persisted into 2022 and underscored the pressing demand for enhanced cybersecurity defenses. On average, it takes security professionals approximately 277 days to identify and neutralize a cyber attack, highlighting the complex nature of managing and mitigating these digital threats effectively.

As for the cybersecurity challenges this year, they have primarily arisen due to several key factors:

  • Geopolitical events

Geopolitical occurrences have had a profound impact on the cyber threat landscape. Notably, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in significant repercussions, leading to an eightfold increase in Russian-based phishing attacks targeting the email addresses of European and U.S.-based businesses. During the first quarter of 2022, there was an 11% increase in breaches affecting approximately 3.6 million Russian internet users.

  • Influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Regenerative AI is leveraged to create more sophisticated cyber threats in 2023, including deep fake phishing scams. This is compounded by a reported shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals worldwide.

AI adoption in the cybersecurity market is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.6%. By 2027, it is expected to reach a market value of $46.3 billion. However, smaller businesses, organizations, and particularly healthcare institutions that can’t afford substantial investments in cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies like AI find themselves at heightened risk.

  • Extortion via ransomware attacks

Extortion through ransomware attacks remains a persistent and evolving threat. Attackers frequently demand cryptocurrency payments, which makes it hard for law enforcement to trace the money.

These attacks not only disrupt businesses but also result in significant financial losses and potential damage to an organization’s reputation.

  • The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT)

The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) has also created numerous new targets for malicious actors to exploit. This presents an urgent need for both industry and government sectors to comprehend the implications of emerging cyber threat tools, including AI and machine learning, and to fortify defenses against potential attacks.

Cybercrime trends 2023

The Cybercrime Trends report for this year provides a clear look at today’s cybersecurity situation. Staying informed about the latest trends in cybercrime is important for individuals and businesses alike seeking to safeguard their digital assets and privacy.

Here are some of the key trends and developments in the world of cybercrime for 2023:

1. Escalating cybersecurity costs

With increasingly sophisticated attack methods, organizations and businesses worldwide are compelled to invest in advanced security measures, update training, and hire dedicated cybersecurity personnel.

Breaches can incur costs that spiral into millions when rectifying the breach and recovering from downtime. The 2022 average breach cost was $4.35 million, and it’s projected to reach $10.5 trillion in global economic impact by 2025.

IBM’s 2023 report reveals the U.S. data breach average cost at $9.48 million, up slightly from 2022. Globally, data breach costs averaged $4.45 million, marking a 2.4% increase. Smaller businesses face significant cost hikes, with estimated increases of 21.4% for organizations with 500-1,000 employees and 13.4% for companies with fewer than 500 employees.

2. Phishing: The most prevalent form of cybercrime

Phishing remains the top choice for hackers, involving the extraction of valuable data and malware propagation. Recent statistics show that more than half (53.2%) of criminal online activities are linked to this cybercrime.

Every day, around 3.4 billion spam emails are sent. Advancements in technology have made phishing more accessible and effective, often coupled with ransomware attacks. Although phishing through email has been a constant threat since the early days of the internet, hackers have developed specialized versions of phishing tailored to various communication channels.

For example, spear phishing targets specific groups or roles within a company, using more sophisticated language and terminology to deceive potential victims. On the other hand, whaling focuses on high-level executives, such as the C-suite.

During the initial quarter of 2023, nearly 60% of emails reported by employees were aimed at stealing login credentials. This resulted in downtime, disruptions to business operations, and the loss of sensitive data, which were widespread repercussions of cyber assaults for the majority of businesses.

3. Ransomware surge

Chainalysis has reported a significant increase in ransomware-related cryptocurrency crimes, resulting in earnings of $450 million in the first half of 2023. On a global scale, 64% of organizations targeted by ransomware have chosen to pay the ransom. If this trend continues, attackers could extort nearly $900 million in 2023, surpassing 2022’s figures.

However, Lindy Cameron, the head of the UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), and John Edwards, the Information Commissioner, discourage paying ransoms because it does not guarantee a positive outcome. Victims might not regain access to their data or computer systems, and the threat of lingering infections remains. Paying ransoms may make companies more vulnerable to future attacks.

4. Widespread cyber incidents and breaches

This year, Deloitte conducted a Global Cybersecurity Outlook Survey that takes into account both reported and potential undisclosed occurrences. The survey reveals a significant uptick in the number of organizations grappling with cyber incidents and breaches, marking a 3% escalation when contrasted with the figures from 2021.

5. Global cybercrime victimization

The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviours Report 2023 reveals that one in three Americans has fallen victim to cybercrimes. There is a 7% global increase in the perception of being potential cybercrime victims compared to 2022.

The survey further reveals that 50% of respondents from the surveyed nations perceive themselves as potential targets for cybercriminals. This underscores the imperative need for sustained efforts to fortify cybersecurity measures.

6. Concern over data compromise

This year, American adults have voiced heightened concerns about the possibility of their data being compromised and stolen from the companies they frequently engage with. The percentage of those expressing ‘very concerned’ sentiments has risen to 41% at present, up from an average of 36% in the final quarter of 2022.

Currently, nine out of ten Americans indicate at least ‘some level of concern’ regarding the security of their personal data from potential hacking.

Strategic cybersecurity measures for businesses

With the growing risks associated with interconnected devices, Forbes reports that businesses in these sectors need to adopt strong cybersecurity measures, including incident response plans, risk assessments, and regular security audits.

Advanced cybersecurity tools and techniques like machine learning and AI have been implemented to enhance threat detection and response. Services like C8 Secure, for instance, have embraced AI-driven anomaly detection and security analytics within their SIEM, MDR and Cloud WAAP solutions.

Here’s how these technologies help:

1. Assessing cybersecurity risks

This involves analyzing and evaluating cybersecurity risks associated with vital infrastructures like power grids or water treatment facilities. C8 Secure’s advanced systems can swiftly pinpoint unusual network or website activities that might signify a cyber attack. By doing this, organizations can focus their security efforts and resources where they matter most.

2. Analyzing threat intelligence

By studying data on potential threats, companies can detect patterns and trends that may indicate an imminent cyber attack. This helps organizations prioritize security actions and prepare their defenses before an attack occurs.

C8 Secure’s MDR (Managed Endpoint Protection and Response) Solution, powered by advanced behavioral anomaly detection capabilities aligned to the MITRE ATT&CK framework.  This next generation of endpoint security is supported by artificial intelligence and SOAR technologies designed to detect and prevent malware attacks targeting desktops, laptops and servers. Through the analysis of device behavior patterns in real time, the solution can swiftly identify potential threats and take preventive actions.

3. Detecting anomalies

Machine learning and AI can be used to spot unusual activity that may signal a cyber attack by recognizing normal system behaviors. This predictive approach combines data from various sources like networks, application logs, and threat feeds to foresee potential cyber threats.

4. Automating incident response

In today’s continually evolving digital environment, the importance of security process automation allows companies to swiftly respond to specific types of cyberattacks, such as malware infections, ransomware or DDoS attacks. This quick response helps contain and prevent the spread of attacks to other systems.

Learn more about C8 Secure here


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Spotting and understanding digital impersonation through deepfakes

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Spotting and understanding digital impersonation through deepfakes

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This year marks 20 years of the event, created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

This educational article has been created to support you in spotting and understanding deepfakes.

Ever stumbled upon the term “digital impersonation?” It’s an expansive field, encompassing everything from deceptive social media profiles to manipulated videos.

Among these, deepfakes stand out as a particularly alarming player in internet risks. Not just for harmless pranks, deepfakes can be weaponized in scams, identity theft, and even international espionage.

That’s why learning to identify a deepfake transcends being a mere intriguing skill set. It emerges as an essential layer of self-defense for any individual exploring the intricate and often deceptive terrain of today’s internet.

What are deepfakes?

Simply put, deepfakes are synthetic or fabricated media created using machine learning algorithms. These algorithms are designed to produce hyper-realistic representations of real people saying or doing things they never actually said or did. By doing so, deepfakes can trick viewers, listeners, and even experts, thereby creating a distortion of reality.

The science behind deepfakes leverages neural networks, an offshoot of artificial intelligence. These algorithms can mimic anyone with enough data, such as photos, voice recordings, or videos. While there’s an undeniable “wow” factor to this, the technology also harbors the potential for misuse, notably in spreading misinformation or sowing discord.

How are they made?

In the realm of entertainment, deepfakes can replace actors in scenes or even revive deceased celebrities. Special effects teams utilize machine learning models to achieve these results.

However, deepfakes have a darker side. Imagine a manipulated video where a political leader seemingly declares war. Such deepfakes are typically created by collecting numerous images and audio clips and then using deep learning algorithms to synthesize them into a new, false context.

Creating a deepfake involves using two neural networks—generative and discriminative. The generative network produces the fake media, while the discriminative network evaluates its authenticity. They work together, essentially “teaching” each other until the generative network can produce a convincing deepfake.

Illicit examples of deepfakes

Can deepfakes cause a problem? The short answer is yes. They have the potential for far-reaching, damaging consequences.

Imagine a deepfake video portraying you committing a crime you never committed. The video goes viral before you even have a chance to defend yourself. Your reputation, painstakingly built over years, could be destroyed in mere minutes. Now extend that risk to everyone you know – family, friends, colleagues – the potential for personal life disruption is vast and scary.

Deepfakes don’t just stop at causing personal turmoil. They have the potency to wreak havoc on an entire nation’s political landscape. Imagine manipulated videos of politicians making false promises or engaging in scandalous behavior circulated widely right before an election.

This is no longer about mere mudslinging. It’s an advanced form of electoral manipulation that can misinform voters and significantly skew public sentiment. False narratives could be propagated at unprecedented scales, leading to electoral misconduct and even political instability.

In a business context, deepfakes also pose an alarming risk. Consider a fabricated video where a CEO falsely announces a corporate merger or a significant financial downturn that isn’t real. The video goes public, and before fact-checkers can catch up, the company’s stock takes a nosedive. Investors panic, pull out their funds, and the entire market fluctuates based on a lie. Not only does the targeted corporation suffer, but the ripple effect could lead to sector-wide downturns and even impact national economies.

What is the solution?

Deepfakes have moved from being a fascinating display of technology to a pressing concern that threatens our personal, political, and economic security. As these digitally manipulated videos become increasingly realistic and accessible, how do we counteract the potentially catastrophic impact of deepfakes? It requires a multi-layered approach that involves legal action, technological innovation, and collective vigilance.

Regulatory frameworks

The first line of defense against the deepfake epidemic starts in the courtroom. Laws must evolve to meet the complex challenges posed by deepfakes. Legal systems worldwide need to incorporate comprehensive penalties for the malicious creation and distribution of deepfakes.

Legislation should focus not only on the culprits behind these creations but also penalize platforms that willingly or negligently allow the distribution of such content. These laws would serve as a deterrent, signaling a zero-tolerance stance on using deceptive media to harm individuals or disrupt societal structures.

Public awareness campaigns

While laws can control the after-effects, prevention starts with education. Widespread public awareness campaigns are crucial to inform people about the existence of deepfakes and the risks associated with them. Schools, universities, and public institutions should offer seminars, workshops, and courses on digital literacy that cover the recognition of deepfakes.

Public service announcements can be aired on television and social media platforms to reach a broader audience. The ultimate goal is to arm the public with the knowledge to discern real content from manipulated media.

Advanced detection algorithms

In the ongoing battle against deepfakes, technology fights fire with fire, making it imperative for detection methods to advance at a similar pace. Several companies are developing advanced software solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect deepfakes. These algorithms scrutinize various aspects of a media file, such as inconsistencies in lighting, facial movements, and audio, to determine its authenticity.

While not foolproof, these technologies are continually evolving to improve accuracy. Incorporating such algorithms into social media platforms and news websites can serve as an additional layer of protection against the dissemination of false information.

Community vigilance

No solution is entirely effective without community involvement. Crowdsourced reporting platforms can play a pivotal role in identifying and removing deepfakes, especially on social media. These platforms allow users to flag suspicious content for review.

With millions of eyes scrutinizing content, the chances of a deepfake going unnoticed decrease dramatically. Community vigilance complements technological solutions, adding a human element to detection efforts.

Key indicators for spotting deepfakes

As deepfakes blur the line between reality and digital fabrication, the need for discerning the genuine from the manipulated becomes increasingly urgent. Fortunately, these digital deceptions often leave behind subtle clues, such as:

  • Audiovisual mismatch: Deepfakes often display incongruities between audio and visuals. A careful viewer might spot lip-syncing errors or awkward facial expressions that don’t match the tone of speech.
  • Blinking anomalies: One tell-tale sign is unnatural blinking. Human blinking is subtle yet consistent, something deepfakes often fail to replicate.
  • Inconsistencies in lighting and shadows: Deepfakes frequently exhibit errors in lighting and shadows, providing clues to their artificial nature.
  • Pixelation and image distortions: Look for sudden blurs, pixelation, or strange distortions around facial features. These are often clues that you’re viewing a deepfake.
  • Audio glitches: Static noise or unnatural modulation in voice can also indicate a deepfake.
  • Metadata analysis: Although easily modified or omitted, examining the file’s metadata can offer insights into whether the file has undergone deepfake manipulations.

Expert tools for Deepfake detection

There are specialized software tools for those who want to rely on something other than human analysis. These solutions use AI algorithms to identify inconsistencies in framerate, audio, and even the direction of light and shadows.

Platforms like Deepware Scanner offer free, open-source tools for deepfake detection. These programs analyze videos frame-by-frame to ascertain their legitimacy.

There are also commercial solutions for corporate or governmental use. Businesses and governments can work with cybersecurity firms to analyze and get a detailed breakdown of potential manipulation techniques in the media file.


In an age where digital technologies are both awe-inspiring and potentially perilous, the rise of deepfakes underscores the importance of vigilance, education, and innovative solutions. As these sophisticated fabrications continue to challenge our perception of reality, individuals, communities, and industries must collaborate to ensure the digital realm remains trustworthy. Arm yourself with knowledge, stay updated on the latest detection methods, and remember that a discerning eye is one of the most valuable tools. Embrace the advancements, but always proceed with informed caution.


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Safeguard your business against cyber attacks caused by human error

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Safeguard your business against cyber attacks caused by human error

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This year’s theme is how to keep yourself cyber safe.

As the world becomes more reliant on digital technology, businesses, both large and small, face a growing risk of cyber attacks. A frequent weak point that attackers target is mistakes made by employees. This blog will outline effective strategies to keep your business safe.

Human error is an ever-present risk in cybersecurity. Whether it’s clicking on a suspicious link, falling victim to a phishing scam, or inadvertently sharing sensitive information, employees can unintentionally open the door to cyber threats.

IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023 revealed that attempts to hijack threads in emails doubled in 2022 from the 2021 data, which highlights that cybercriminals are exploiting the human error factor within a system. The research also showed that ransomware was the most common attack, accounting for 17% of all incidents. Phishing emerged as the preferred choice for cybercriminals, with over 40% of all attacks employing this deceptive tactic.

Cyber attack cases due to human error

Victims felt the pressure in 27% of cyber attacks. This is why cybercriminals often focus on their extortion efforts. One notable example of such extortion tactics was demonstrated by the digital extortion gang Lapsus$ in early 2022. This group, which had surfaced in December, launched an extensive hacking spree, targeting high-profile and sensitive companies like Nvidia, Samsung, and Ubisoft.

They stole valuable source code and data and leaked it as part of their apparent extortion schemes. Their spree peaked in March when Lapsus$ announced its successful breaches of Microsoft Bing and Cortana source code. The group also compromised a contractor who had access to the widely used authentication service Okta. These attackers, suspected to be based in the United Kingdom and South America, primarily relied on phishing attacks to gain entry into their targets’ systems.

In February 2021, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest and renowned venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital, was hacked. This occurred due to human error. The hackers were able to access the company’s investors’ financial and personal information. The attack succeeded after one of the company’s employees was victim to a phishing email.

In August 2019, Toyota Boshoku Corporation, a subsidiary of Toyota Group in Europe, suffered a massive attack that cost the company almost $40 million. The attackers used a fraudulent fund transfer to steal from the company. They were able to use the funds after posing as a business partner. The hackers then sent phishing emails to the finance and accounting departments of the company.

Effective strategies to combat cyber attacks and human error

Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated. As IBM’s report showed, human error remains a significant vulnerability. To safeguard your company’s sensitive data and maintain your reputation, it’s imperative to implement robust cybersecurity measures such as:

1. Comprehensive employee training

The first line of defense against cyber threats is a well-informed workforce. Provide your employees with thorough training on cybersecurity best practices. This should encompass recognizing phishing attempts, understanding password hygiene, and staying updated on the latest threats. Regular workshops and seminars can go a long way in keeping your staff vigilant.

2. Strong password policies

Weak or easily guessable passwords are an open invitation to cybercriminals. Encourage the use of complex passwords with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible to add an extra layer of security.

3. Regular software updates

Neglecting software updates can leave your organization vulnerable to cyber threats. Outdated software often contains known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. To mitigate this risk, make it a standard practice to ensure that all your applications and systems have the latest security patches. Whenever possible, automate this process to reduce the chance of human error or oversight. By staying up-to-date, you not only enhance security but also benefit from improved software performance and functionality.

4. Robust Firewall and EDR/MDR

A reputable firewall paired with an EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) or MDR (Managed Detection and Response) solution can help strengthen your prevention and response posture . These tools provide continuous monitoring of network traffic, detecting, and promptly addressing malicious activities. Utilize behavioral anomaly detection to identify unusual user behaviors, which can indicate compromised accounts. It’s crucial to maintain and regularly update these security solutions to adapt to your organization’s evolving needs and the ever-changing threat landscape.

5. Data encryption

Sensitive data is cybercriminals’ favorite target, and data breaches can have severe consequences. To protect your critical information, implement encryption protocols. Encryption ensures that data remains indecipherable to unauthorized individuals without the appropriate decryption keys. By applying encryption both in transit (when data is being transmitted between systems) and at rest (when data is stored), you add an extra layer of security.

6. Incident response plan

No organization is immune to security breaches, so it’s vital to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Developing a comprehensive incident response plan helps you outline the steps to take in the event of a security breach. This plan should encompass communication protocols, strategies for containing the incident, and procedures for recovering from it. Being well-prepared minimizes the impact of a breach and demonstrates your commitment to cybersecurity, instilling trust among stakeholders.

7. Regular security audits

Proactive measures are essential to maintain a secure environment. Regularly conducting security audits and penetration testing helps identify vulnerabilities in your systems before cybercriminals can exploit them. Stay ahead of potential threats by identifying weaknesses and addressing them promptly. This proactive approach enhances your overall security posture. This also makes it more difficult for attackers to find and exploit vulnerabilities.

8. Employee accountability

Employees play a crucial role in your organization’s cybersecurity efforts. Hold them accountable for their actions within the digital landscape. Implement user activity monitoring and enforce strict access controls to prevent unauthorized data access. By doing so, you not only reduce the risk of insider threats but also foster a culture of responsibility and security awareness among your workforce. Employees who understand their role in protecting digital assets become valuable allies in the ongoing battle against cyber threats.

9. Vendor security assessment

If your business relies on third-party vendors or cloud services, like Continent 8, assess their security measures rigorously. Ensure they adhere to high cybersecurity standards to prevent potential vulnerabilities throughout your supply chain.

10. Cybersecurity culture

Building a cybersecurity-conscious culture is essential in safeguarding your organization’s digital assets. It involves instilling a sense of vigilance and responsibility in every employee. Encourage all team members to proactively identify and report any suspicious activities they encounter. Recognize and reward those who diligently follow security protocols, as this reinforces the importance of cybersecurity throughout the organization.

11. Continuous education

Cyber threats evolve rapidly, so it’s crucial to stay informed. Encourage your IT team to prioritize continuous education. This means keeping up-to-date with emerging threats and staying informed about the latest cybersecurity technologies. Investing in ongoing training and professional development empowers your IT professionals to effectively combat new and sophisticated cyberattacks. Knowledge is a powerful defense, and a well-informed team can proactively adapt and strengthen your organization’s security measures.

12. Incident documentation and analysis

When a security incident occurs, responding swiftly and methodically is important. After a security incident, document the event and conduct a thorough analysis. This analysis is a valuable learning tool, enabling your organization to make informed decisions about strengthening its security posture. Implement necessary measures to prevent similar incidents in the future, turning each security breach into an opportunity for growth and improved resilience.


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Rise of AI/ML-driven cyber attacks: New era of cybercrime

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Rise of AI/ML-driven cyber attacks: New era of cybercrime

Patrick Gardner, Managing Partner at C8 Secure, a Continent 8 company

The rise of AI/ML-driven cyber attacks is changing the face of cybersecurity, posing new challenges for governments, companies and users.

Cyber attacks have evolved and become more sophisticated over time. At first, they focused on exploiting software and network vulnerabilities for unauthorized access or causing disruptions.

One notable example is the Morris worm, created in 1989 by Robert Morris, which was the first-ever denial-of-service (DoS) attack. While its purpose was to gauge the size of the internet, it significantly slowed down every computer it infected and caused some to crash.

This incident led to the creation of Computer Emergency Response Teams or CERTs to respond to future cyber emergencies. The Morris worm also resulted in the first conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act 1986.

The 90s saw a significant rise in communication technologies, especially the internet. However, these technologies’ lack of trust and safety controls has made them vulnerable to cyber attacks. At that time, cybercrime expanded rapidly. Attackers also developed more complex forms of viruses, and the Internet became saturated with them, as well unwanted ads and pop-ups. This, in turn, led to the development of more sophisticated antivirus software.

The new millennium witnessed more sophisticated cyber attacks, including advanced persistent threat actors (APTs) sponsored by nation-states. It caused significant damage to critical sectors of the global digital economy.

Cybersecurity has become a concern for government agencies and large corporations. There were notable cyber crimes such as the DDoS attacks by “Mafiaboy” on major commercial websites in 2000 and the data leak of 1.4 million HSBC Bank MasterCard users in 2005.

In the present, the rise of AI has influenced the evolution of cyber attacks. While AI and machine learning (ML) have revolutionized cybersecurity by providing advanced tools and techniques for threat detection and prevention, cybercriminals also leverage these technologies to launch sophisticated attacks. According to NATO, this makes AI a “huge challenge” and a “double-edged sword” for the cybersecurity industry.

Cybercriminals can exploit AI to identify weaknesses in software and security systems, generate phishing emails, design changing malware and observe user behavior undetected.

AI-powered cyber attacks

AI cyber-attacks involve cybercriminals using AI algorithms, models or tools to carry out complex and hard-to-detect cyber attacks. These attacks can be categorized into phases, including access and penetration, exploitation, command and control, surveillance and delivery, all of which may involve AI-driven techniques.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, cybersecurity firms have noticed a substantial surge in cybercrime specifically in the gaming and gambling industries. With the prevalence of AI technologies, it is possible that cybercriminals are using or will use AI-powered phishing attacks to trick players into sharing their login credentials, personal information or financial details.

Malicious actors also can develop AI-powered cheat programs or hacking tools that give players unfair game advantages, bypass security measures, manipulate in-game mechanics or exploit vulnerabilities.

This industry is not the only target of cyber attacks. In April 2018, hackers orchestrated a cyber attack on an online marketplace for freelance labor TaskRabbit, using an AI-controlled botnet. The attack targeted the website’s servers and involved a distributed DDoS technique.

The personal information of approximately 3.75 million users, including their Social Security numbers and bank account details, was compromised. The severity of the attack led to the temporary shutdown of the website until security measures could be reinstated. During this period, the breach affected an additional 141 million users.

In 2019, the popular social media platform Instagram experienced two cyber attacks. In August, numerous users discovered that their account details had been altered by hackers, denying them access to their profiles. Then, in November, a flaw in Instagram’s code resulted in a data breach. It exposed users’ passwords in the URL of their web browsers.

While Instagram has not provided extensive information regarding the hacks, there have been speculations that hackers might be utilizing AI systems to analyze Instagram user data for potential weaknesses.

Cybercriminals also have been utilizing AI voice technology to create fake audio clips that mimic a person’s voice, leading to identity theft, fraudulent phone calls and phishing emails. In March 2019, an unnamed CEO became the first reported victim of this fraud when he was scammed out of €220,000 by an AI-powered deepfake of his boss’s voice.

The Economic Times recently reported that a work-from-home scam targeted people with false job opportunities. Using AI, the scammers contact victims through missed calls on platforms like WhatsApp and pose as HR personnel from reputable Indian companies. They offer easy tasks and attractive earnings, requiring victims to click on YouTube video links, like the videos and send screenshots.

Initially, victims receive a small reward to build trust. Eventually, the scammers would then convince them to deposit larger sums with promises of higher returns and ultimately scam them out of their money.

Role of regulations in mitigating AI and ML cyber threats

Regulations play a crucial role in mitigating AI and ML cyber threats, especially in light of the increasing use of AI in cyber attacks. They set rules and standards for users, organizations and AI systems. They create boundaries that define what is legally and ethically acceptable when using AI and ML technologies. It also promotes responsible and secure practices while holding those involved accountable for their actions.

To ensure the safety of AI systems and protect fundamental rights, the European Union is working on a new law called the EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, which is expected to start in the second half of 2023. It will have a transitional period of 36 months before it becomes fully effective.

The Act will apply primarily to providers and users of AI systems. It introduces regulations for different categories of AI systems, including prohibited, high-risk, general-purpose, limited-risk, and non-high-risk systems.

Companies that create high-risk AI systems will have specific responsibilities, such as conducting impact assessments, implementing risk management plans, and reporting serious issues. The users of these systems will also be required to assign human oversight and report any significant incidents.

The UK has no comparable comprehensive law like the EU AI Act. In March 2023, the UK released a White Paper outlining its proposed strategy for AI regulation. The White Paper was open for consultation until June 21, 2023.

Unlike the EU Act, the UK’s approach is described as “pro-innovation.” Rather than introducing new AI legislation, the White Paper suggests implementing a principles-based framework that regulators in all sectors can adopt. This framework aims to offer flexibility in regulating AI while promoting innovation.

The future of AI

While there are significant benefits to using AI and ML in cybersecurity from a detection and prevention point of view, there are also drawbacks and challenges in the development of AI, and the concern that it will be used in an irresponsible and unethical manner. This ultimately puts companies at risk.

C8 Secure is dedicated to assisting the industry in addressing the challenges posed by AI cyberattacks. It offers essential tools and expertise to create a secure and reliable environment.

Through a comprehensive understanding of the ever-changing realm of AI cyberattacks and the tactics employed by cybercriminals, we can anticipate future threats and develop resilient safeguards.

With C8 Secure, you can confidently move forward, assured that your operations are protected against the risks posed by AI-driven cyber threats.

Learn more here


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started

Canadian Gaming Summit – Panel Q&A

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Canadian Gaming Summit – Panel Q&A

In June, Continent 8’s Innovation Director, David Brace, participated in a panel at the Canadian Gaming Summit.

The panel ‘Cybersecurity: managing risk in a brand new market’, delved into the lack of strategy new iGaming operators have in tackling cybercriminals and hackers. He was joined by Sunil Chand (VP Cyber & Information Security, OLG), Jarvis Pelletier (VP IT & Gaming Systems, SIGA) and Carmi Levy (Director of Comms, Step Software) as they explored lessons learned from land-based operators and outside industries in safeguarding revenue, reputation and most importantly, the customer.

The interactive and popular session included questions from the audience. Unfortunately, time ran out to answer all of these, so David has provided answers to some of the questions below.

If you had to focus and invest on only one of the following, which would you prioritize on educating and managing: Players, Staff, Device/Hardware, Other?

Staff are your biggest strength and biggest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, human error accounts for almost 90% of all cyber incidents. No matter how advanced the technology or how detailed the processes are, they are rendered ineffective if the people using them are not adequately trained and aware. This is why cybersecurity training and awareness programs for employees are crucial.

Employees need to understand the importance of following security protocols and be aware of the potential risks, such as phishing attempts or suspicious links. In addition, the cybersecurity team itself needs to be well-trained, up-to-date with the latest threats and countermeasures, and capable of responding quickly and effectively to incidents.

What are some examples of ransomware attacks, and what was the outcome?

One of the highest-profile attacks recently was the Kaseya VSA ransomware attack, which is part of a larger trend of supply chain ransomware attacks where bad actors target software or managed service providers. In this instance, the organisation REvil used an exploit in Kaseya’s remote monitoring agent to install ransomware on devices belonging to between 800 – 3,000 different organizations. A ransom of $70m in Bitcoin was demanded for the master key to decrypt all those affected devices, it is understood that the ransom was not paid, and that Kaseya engaged a number of cybersecurity forensic organisations to assist with mitigation and decryption of the systems. It took a substantial amount of time for some organisations to fully restore their systems, indicating that those organizations did not have up-to-date or complete cybersecurity protection and playbooks.

What’s rationally more realistic in a fast-paced gaming market? Planning for the worst or trying to avoid it, which could be perceived as friction?

All organisations must find a balance when it comes to cybersecurity, if you plan for and mitigate against every eventuality, you can’t operate as a customer-facing business. This is where risk management becomes a key part of a cybersecurity strategy; organizations should be in a continuous cycle of: Identify -> Assess -> Mitigate -> Monitor -> Review.

Risk management is a key part of Assess and Mitigate phases as all organizations will hit a point where the mitigation has such an impact on business services that the risk is accepted as part of operating a successful business. Instead, as part of this acceptance of risk, many organizations will choose heightened Monitoring and Reviewing in place of full mitigation, enabling them to still operate whilst being aware of the potential risk.

With AI evolving and phishing schemes getting more authentic how can should we adapt and become more agile to minimize risk? 

As Phishing attacks are a form of social engineering, your primary method of dealing with them will always be a rolling education program for both your internal users and your external customers. Internal users should be regularly trained to identify suspicious emails and engage with the security team to validate such items. External users should be educated on your policies for handling PII, especially on the information you will not ask them to share via email or other electronic messaging.

Technology will play a part in monitoring incoming traffic and communications for suspicious activity, as with all aspects of security, it should be regularly updated and reviewed as part of the cybersecurity regimen.

Learn more about C8 Secure here.


ChattyGoblin: A new threat to iGaming and how C8 Secure can help

19 Jul, 2023

The iGaming industry is under a new threat. A malicious campaign, dubbed “ChattyGoblin,” has been targeting Southeast Asian gambling operations since October 2021.



For more information, please download our solutions brochure

Let’s Get Started