Companies stand to lose a lot if they are hacked. They risk lawsuits, loss of brand equity, theft of intellectual property, and more. Among other dangers, there are three especially common cybersecurity threats that may bring this nightmare to life for any organization and can haunt those charged with protecting the company if they don't have the resources to do so. Those threats are ransomware, insiders, and vulnerability hacks—and here's what IT teams can take to defend against them.
What was once an obscure threat has now become a widespread crime wave. Ransomware—where attackers encrypt a victim's data and extort a ransom to give it back—has hit police departments, schools, and even multiple hospitals. Usually, the criminals' chief tactic is phishing: sending a deceptive email that tricks employees into clicking a link that will compromise their cybersecurity. Fortunately, solutions to phishing exist. They include training sessions, configuring security tools, and email verification techniques, among others.
However, even well-educated and well-prepared employees can still fall for well-designed phishing attacks. That is why other approaches are necessary to use too. IT teams should create disaster recovery plans, deploy whitelisting technologies, and employ network security monitoring. Once these advanced measures are in place, the threat of ransomware won't loom so heavily.
According to a 2013 survey, 58% of information security incidents are due to insiders. Whether it's a disgruntled former employee bent on taking revenge or a happy but inexperienced employee who simply has different expectations about what professional security means, the risk companies face from their own staff is real. It's already challenging for companies to protect against criminals and competitors, but they must also face the threat of their own employees.
With cybersecurity solutions such as network security monitoring, IT teams can achieve full visibility into what is happening on their system, with filtering to ensure that they are not overloaded by irrelevant details. This means that when an insider attempts a WikiLeaks-style hack—using a flash drive with the Tails live system to swipe proprietary documents from a company machine—his or her employer's IT team is alerted to the unusual amount of Tor traffic flowing out of that device and can take action fast. This reduces worry and the need to hover over employees—you know your bases are covered.
Although phishing and insiders are probably the most common vectors for attacks, traditional hacks still happen frequently. In these cases, hackers find or buy “vulns” (vulnerabilities) for various systems on the black market. If an organization suffers from that weakness, then the intruders can break in by exploiting the security flaw.
A robust, proactive security posture is the best way to defend against vulnerability hacks. In the vulnerability management approach, scanning technologies seek out flaws in a system and repair them before hackers are aware of the problems in the first place. Vulnerability management is part of SOCVue, EiQ's managed security service that provides network security monitoring, a powerful way to detect anomalous activity that might indicate a cyber attack. With both network security monitoring and vulnerability management deployed, organizations can stay safe from cyber risks.
How to Assess IT Vulnerabilities for Free
If you have ever wondered what software flaws and vulnerabilities are hiding in your network, now is the time to find out. For a limited time only, EiQ Networks will offer a FREE scan of up to 10 external IP addresses to identify vulnerabilities. You’ll receive an in-depth report that identifies:
- The number of vulnerabilities detected and their severity level
- The number of assets affected and which ones they are
- A detailed description of the threat, its impact, and remediation guidance