Tips on preventing future cyber attacks

Everyday there are organizations experiencing some form of cyberattack. Cybercrime is a constant threat and is not going away anytime soon. Cyberattacks continue to evolve daily, advanced tools and techniques continue to surface year after year, introducing new vulnerabilities and attack vectors. As the world battles Coronavirus, cyberattacks have seen a sharp increase as these criminals turn their focus to new and lucrative vulnerabilities.

Businesses need to protect sensitive data from criminals and the best way to start is with a well-thought-out and organized strategy.

Zero Trust Security

Attackers often wait for opportunities to exploit an organization’s infrastructure or applications, prodding every possible crack or hole. Zero Trust is a method to help reduce an attacker’s chances by having a default no-trust rule applied to all devices, inside or outside the security perimeter. No IP address, endpoint, host, or otherwise is granted access to the network, or service until it is known exactly where the connection originates and from who. This method abandons the idea that security is a perimeter of walls and gates, by segmenting everything and working under the assumption that the interior network is already at risk.

Threat Intelligence

As it can be derived from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, knowing the enemy is only half the battle. As stated previously, the attackers are constantly evolving, so security professionals and methods need to evolve to remain ahead of potential attacks. Establish a network of information and communication incorporating sources from as many locations as possible. Then to address the second half of the battle, knowing one’s self. Use this info to establish defined and planned approaches to security in each business sector, financial, personal, intellectual, and so on. This allows each individual network to be prepared for the challenges it will face.

Be Prepared for Failure

With so many users working from home, the average business has massively increased the number of potential attack vectors. Networks expand far beyond the internal domain and hosts to now include many users’ personal devices, phones, laptops, desktops, and tablets. This has opened hundreds of new avenues for potential attacks on top of the already near-impossible challenge of maintaining a secure and impervious network infrastructure. While defenders must cover an infinite number of possible avenues and opportunities, attackers only need to exploit one. An organization must prepare for possible breaches by developing Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) and Disaster Recovery Plans (DRPs) that include attacks and breaches as a scenario to minimize the damage and to recover quickly and efficiently.

Data backups are part of this process. Regular backups of operational, financial, and business data will help alleviate the worst-case scenario where all data is lost or unrecoverable.

Real-Time Prevention

Real-time prevention is simply an extension of threat intelligence. This method is the best way of avoiding attacks before they ever happen, such as zero-day attacks. Keep informed about what software updates and security patches are applicable to your applications and infrastructure. Be prepared to quickly roll back a vulnerable update on day one, or even avoid adopting new software and hardware until it's properly vetted by industry professionals. Be aware of new and emerging threats and adjust as needed.

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