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War on cyber crime has been ‘lost’

'Trying to eradicate the problem is no longer a viable option,' says Jeff Orr 

9 May 2014

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

The war against computer viruses and cyber attacks has been lost, a business technology specialist has said.

Jeff Orr, CEO of Stack Group, said the digital world is now so polluted with viruses, ransomware, malware and other malicious code that it is impossible to clean up.

He argued that the focus of business investment and industry research should instead be on managing and defending against such threats.

"The problem is that there are so many people out there spending all their time creating new ways to infiltrate systems, find back doors in the code of programmes or just attack networks," said Orr.

"Trying to eradicate the problem is no longer a viable option."

Orr noted that, with resources available online that enable people to build their own viruses, the problem is only going to grow.

"Once viruses are released, they never go away. They hang around, either lying dormant in files or being passed between cyber attackers, either being updated and modified or simply used to target systems that are not up to date."

Another challenge is that, even with the best security systems in place, organisations are regularly placed at risk of cyber attacks by their staff.

"Even if it were possible to keep on top of every new threat, there is one inherent weakness in all systems which can never be truly eliminated - people," said Orr.

"There is always the risk that a user can be tricked into opening an attachment which unleashes one of these programmes, causing critical data to be lost, stolen or destroyed."

He argued that the focus of the digital industry, global governments and businesses now needs to shift to managing and containing threats.

"As more firms migrate to the cloud and outsource their data storage and networking, they need to prioritise the ability to protect their data alongside functionality and cost."



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