World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a daily press briefing on the COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. The WHO has been a consistent target of attackers looking to gain sensitive health information during COVID-19. Today’s columnist, Tom Kellermann of VMware Carbon Black, writes that security teams can only stop these attacks when they understand what motivates cybercriminals. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

While organizations spend enormous amounts of their cybers budget on preparing for a data breach and determining how a breach occurred, there’s an important element they need to take into account – understanding the actual minds and motivations of the attackers.

A clear understanding of attacker motivation lets organizations better anticipate, prepare for and build a proactive advantage against threats. VMware Carbon Black's recent 2020 Cybersecurity Outlook Report found that attacker behavior continues to become more evasive, and organizations must respond accordingly. Offense should inform defense, and it’s important to uncover ground truth. Once organizations have the full picture, they can effectively shift thinking, people, processes and technologies to account for new attacker behaviors. Let’s consider the security practices that can help better understand the motivations of these attackers.

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