You’re no stranger to security threats. But by gaining a deeper understanding of the issues, and which technologies are best at preventing cybersecurity threats, you can make more informed decisions about your cyber defense.
The Top Threats to Cybersecurity
Here is a look at the common types of cybersecurity threats and what they can do to your technology.
Malware is a broad term for code snippets that become embedded within your technology and can then spread, infecting devices and systems. Often, malware is deployed when an employee clicks on an email attachment or link.
Malware types include computer viruses, trojans, worms, bots, rootkits, and spyware. Other major threats, such as ransomware, are often delivered via malware.
Ransomware is an increasingly prevalent form of cyberattack. In ransomware attacks, criminals gain access to your technologies and lock you out, preventing anyone else from controlling or accessing data. Hackers then hold the systems until a ransom is paid.
Phishing attacks use emails and text messages to convince people to share confidential information, whether it’s passwords, account information, or other sensitive people. Phishing attempts are becoming more accurate and persuasive, appearing to come from colleagues, financial institutions, or government officials. With information at hand, hackers can then access technologies and cause damage, initiate ransomware attacks, or steal data and proprietary information.
Applications inevitably have flaws that can be exploited. A zero-day threat is when hackers discover these flaws and work quickly to take advantage of them before app developers can deliver updates that close the gap.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
A DDoS occurs when a cyberattack brings down a network, overwhelming it with traffic so it cannot respond to requests for things like access to a web page. A business DDoS can bring a business to a halt, stopping all systems and making it challenging to reboot and reset.
Unfortunately, not all attacks are due to an outside hacker. Unhappy employees or contractors can cause significant damage, especially those with access to systems, networks and passwords. Even your most honest and dependable employees can be duped into revealing information via phishing or other cyberattack tactics.
Tools to Curb Common Cyberattacks
Fortunately, there are powerful technologies available that can detect suspicious activity, detect threats and neutralize them. Speed matters in many cases and tools that detect and stop activity quickly mean less chance that significant damage is done.
Here are some of the top ways you can protect your organization from successful cyberattacks.
The first step is to have well-defined and communicated security policies. These policies should indicate how technologies at the organization can and cannot be used (such as forbidding using computers for personal use).
Policies should also discuss the use of, access to, and management of data. The policy should detail how investigations will be conducted and the consequences of failing to comply with the policies.
Endpoint security protects the devices used by end users – computers, tablets, and smartphones. Endpoint security is even more critical given the rise of remote work in recent years.
Endpoint protection begins with antivirus software that can block malware and phishing attempts. However, today, you need much more. Today’s solutions use machine learning, artificial intelligence, and behavioral analysis to automate and detect threats. Known attack detection compares potentially malicious activity against known threats.
A domain name system (DNS) filter is an essential component of your cybersecurity solution. When someone types in your website, their computer pings a DNS server, which tells the computer where to access the site.
Using a filter helps protect users on your network from accessing websites known to be unsafe. Strong DNS filters prevent web-related cyber threats, including phishing and DDoS attacks.
Your data is vulnerable all the time, whether it’s being sent to an employee or vendor via email or sitting on a server at your location or in the cloud.
The solution is to encrypt your data when it’s in transit and at rest. With encryption technologies, the data is unreadable and unusable unless the recipient or user has a solution that decrypts the data. Consider the amount of data your organization may have on customers and employees – bank information, Social Security numbers, passwords, addresses, and contact information. Keeping that data protected is a major responsibility.
Multifactor authentication uses more than one method of verifying identity. It’s an increasingly common approach to accessing email accounts, online servers, and other sensitive information. With multifactor authentication, users provide a known authentication factor, such as their password, with an unknown one, such as a one-time access code that’s texted or emailed to them. Biometric authentication, such as the face or fingerprint ID verification, is another way to protect systems and data.
Increasingly, governing entities are passing regulations that require organizations to protect data and carefully manage its use. Among the best-known regulations are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), covering users in the European Union, and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Both require strict compliance and monitoring; failing to comply can result in costly penalties. Other regulations govern financial, patient, and student data and can carry steep penalties.
Measuring yourself against various compliance assessments is a good way to ensure that you are in step with the law and also have robust protections in place.
At SightGain, we help organizations with solutions that analyze cybersecurity risk, provide staff training, and manage threat exposure. To learn more about SightGain’s solutions and how they can help your organization remain vigilant in cybersecurity, contact us today for a free demo