Enterprises face cybersecurity threats from varied sources these days. While threats emerge from seemingly everywhere, the methods attackers use to penetrate your systems remain the same. Methods like phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and credential stuffing continue to occupy the top spots in lists of enterprise cybersecurity threats.
Undoubtedly, these attack methods have grown more sophisticated than before. However, enterprises can continue to protect themselves by following a few tried and tested security principles.
Here’s how you can guard your enterprise from the 5 most prevalent security threats.
Malware And Ransomware
Legacy malware used to infect its targets through Trojans and other undesirable files. Ransomeware took it up a notch by holding companies hostage in exchange for payments (usually in cryptocurrency.) Ransomware attacks are increasing, and most companies fall victim to them due to a lack of flexibility in their cybersecurity posture.
For starters, examine the basics. How strong is your firewall security? Are your employees aware of the most common ways malware infects your systems? Cybersecurity training often lets enterprises down since these programs are not designed to change employee behavior, focusing on awareness building instead.
Examine your security systems’ basics, and you’ll manage to avoid many potential ransomware attacks. No number of sophisticated systems can present them if your security foundations are shaky.
Phishing is one of the oldest ways of delivering malware into a system and remains disappointingly effective. One of the reasons for this is the sophistication within such emails. For instance, one of your suppliers receives a legitimate email from your AP department, only for a malicious actor to inject themselves in between and use the vendor’s credentials to access your systems.
Security awareness training, instead of sophisticated cybersecurity systems, is the best way to reduce phishing effectiveness. Design sessions that simulate security fire drills and real-world scenarios. For instance, have your employees walk through an actual phishing email, so they understand the ramifications of their actions.
Seminar-like training usually leads nowhere since employees fail to understand that security is a central pillar of business, not an add-on. Instead, build a culture of security by focusing on behavioral change.
Stealing user credentials to penetrate a system is a tried-and-tested malicious tactic. The rise of sophisticated security systems like MFA doesn’t protect against it. Typically, attackers bombard users with credential requests, leading to MFA fatigue, and manage to retrieve their credentials.
Also, many users employ the same credentials to access multiple sites and accounts. Despite this, MFA is a basic protection tactic you must employ. If you can do away with the need for a password and use authenticator apps and device-based verification, MFA becomes a lot stronger.
Set strict password control policies for your employees if doing away with them is not an option. This method is not foolproof since employees will reuse passwords or choose patterns that hackers can break. Using password managers is a good option in this scenario.
Mandating credential-sharing protocols is also a good move. Some people might unknowingly share credentials with malicious actors. Letting them know what common procedures are will reduce the risk of an incident.
Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) Attacks
MITM attacks occur when a malicious actor intercepts a line of communication, inserts themselves in the middle, and penetrates your systems. Email hijacking, Wi-Fi, and IP spoofing are common examples of MITM attacks.
These attacks are tough to stop once they begin, so the best way to prepare is to ensure you aren’t committing any mistakes with your security posture. For starters, avoid all Wi-Fi connections that might be potentially insecure. With employees working remotely, mandating VPN use makes a lot of sense.
Educate employees about safe web-behavior. For instance, avoiding websites that lack an SSL certificate and teaching them how to spot these is critical.
Lastly, conduct regular audits of your security licenses and configurations. Expired licenses and misconfigurations open your network up to harmful consequences. Nipping these issues in the bud will leave you well-protected.
As the name suggests, this security breach occurs when users accidentally reveal sensitive information over an insecure channel. The challenge here is to monitor user actions instead of worrying about what an attacker might do to compromise your systems.
Accidental data exposure often occurs through email, social media messaging, and other IM platforms. Your security focus when preventing these incidents must be internal. Therefore, ensuring good security training and monitoring user activity are the best ways of protecting yourself.
Create messaging standards and norms for your employees. For instance, when communicating with an outside contractor, what information can they share? Do they need approvals before sending any information? Should they mark emails in a certain way to assist auditors?
Creating these processes will help your employees understand how critical cybersecurity is to their jobs. You can build a culture of security this way, ensuring your data is always safe.
Many Attack Vectors, A Few Time-Tested Measures
While attack vectors constantly evolve and change, the basics of cybersecurity remain the same. No matter how sophisticated attackers become, the best way to protect your enterprise is to secure your systems, train your employees, and use the right tools.