Security breaches are every day in the cyber news, and without proper security controls in place, your company could be the next! Often, employees are the source of security breaches when they don’t follow protocol or educate themselves on best cybersecurity practices. Avoid internal threats inside companies helps organizations to prevent cyber threats from external factors. Cybercriminals try to find vulnerabilities to become threat actors and penetrate companies’ networks due to employees’ ignorance.
Companies must implement a plan to prevent cyber threats and ensure digital security. In this article, you will find all the necessary information to guide organizations to prevent cyber threats. This cybersecurity plan also will help enterprises to identify when happens authentic and fake hacking to avoid extortion.
Top cyber security threats between 2020 and 2021
On the authority of the FBI, phishing scams were the most common type of cyber-attack in 2020. It increased from 114,702 incidents in 2019 to 241,342 in 2020, with adjusted losses of over $54 million. Phishing scams are when you receive a message that looks like it’s from a legitimate source to try to get your personal information. It can be sent as an email, a text message, or through social media. Avoid messages from someone you don’t know asking for your username and password or credit card information.
Do not reply or click on any links in the messages.
As claimed by the FBI, ransomware incidents continue to rise, with 2,474 incidents reported in 2020. According to the Coveware report, data exfiltration extortion frequently occurs between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. The average ransom payment increased 43% from $154,108 in Q4 2020 to $220,298 in Q1 2021. The 70% of ransomware attacks that included a threat to release stolen data in Q4 increased 10% in Q1. The top vectors for attacks included remote desktop protocol compromise, phishing emails, software vulnerability, and vulnerabilities in VPN appliances.
However, a recent report by Coveware informs that median ransomware payment down 40% in Q2 2021. Ransomware attacks are cyber-attacks that lock users out of their system by encrypting files and records on the device. They are typically carried out through email attachments, fake software updates, or malware downloads. The attacker then demands payment in return for giving back access to the hacked device. It can also be delivered via an infected USB drive.
Business Email Compromise (BEC)
According to the FBI, BEC schemes continued to be the costliest in 2020: 19,369 complaints with an adjusted loss of approximately $1.8 billion. BEC is a social engineering and fraud technique where hackers spoof or compromise the employees’ emails through keyloggers or phishing attacks to do fraudulent transfers. Usually, emails belong to someone who has access to the company’s wire transfer information. Many of these attacks are successful because they follow many of the same steps as real business emails.
As believed by the article makes by SOC and SIRT team from F5, DDoS attacks increased by 55% between January 2020 and March 2021. Also, they are becoming up more complex, with 54% of incidents using multiple attack vectors. Over the past 15 months, the biggest attack measured 500 Gbps and used no fewer than five different attack vectors.
A DDoS can be directed at a specific website or service on the internet. It can also affect an entire network by targeting its infrastructure like DNS servers or routers that helps to connect to the internet.
Hackers can carry it out by using many compromised devices simultaneously to send traffic to the target website. The cybercriminal sends floods of requests from each device so that the server cannot respond to them. It can also use a botnet which consists of infected devices, all controlled from one central point. This attack causes connection failure and makes it difficult for users to access sites on the internet.
Best Guide step by step to prevent cyber threats
Create a cybersecurity strategy to collect information.
- Which employees are responsible for which tasks.
- What data is sensitive and needs protection.
- How and when employees should share that data.
Develop a plan that details how to implement the strategy.
What technologies to need?
Companies should make sure they use the most up-to-date software and hardware providers to reduce the risk of any outside threats. The best tools to prevent cyber threats include cyber threats intelligence technology and a digital attack map. SIEM tools like UTMStack facilitate compliance with many standard regulatory requirements, including HIPAA, GPDR, ISO, SOC, and GLBA. Also, it delivers the essentials cyber security services to protect proactively and cost-effective small and medium-sized businesses.
What qualified IT security staff to hire?
Companies also need to hire experts who can identify threats and help prevent them from happening. If they are already happening, these experts need to have skills to stop them as soon as possible. They need to build an inventory of all possible threats that might affect the organization and its systems. They also need to use that software to monitor activity logs in real-time for suspicious activities easily.
What cybersecurity policies and protocols to implement?
Organizations should implement cybersecurity policies and protocols that safeguard against external and internal threats. The protocols guide the employees on the steps to follow not to break the policies. The policies should ensure that the company can detect and respond in the event of a cyber-attack.
What training will employees need in different departments?
Businesses also need to implement a strong cybersecurity culture that starts with the CEO and filters down through the organization. Free cyber-security training is crucial to avoid that employees unwittingly spread malicious software.
How often will this training need to be done?
Cyber threats are more sophisticated and complex than ever before. Employees will need a constant training process to prevent them because there is no one-time solution to ensure that cybercriminals do not target a company.
Implement and follow up to plan
Implementing a plan to prevent cybersecurity threats requires constant vigilance and updating. It is the responsibility of the organization’s leadership to make sure that there is constant monitoring of the current threats and that they are prepared to take action if necessary.
Organizations need to implement controls to check that employees are following cybersecurity protocols to complying with its policies. By controlling access and configurations, organizations can reduce their exposure to potential attacks or breaches within or outside their networks.