Cyber Security: The Growing Threats And The Need To Be Safe

As the world is transforming into a digitally-powered one, bringing accessibility, availability and convenience to every corner of the globe, threats to cyber security are on the rise too. The world is reeling with more and more data leaks and breaches, cyber attacks, phishing, ransomware and malware attacks happening now than ever before. In fact, the numbers paint a very alarming picture.

According to Barkly, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred every day since the beginning of 2016 and a company is hit with ransomware every 40 seconds. A research by Cyber Security Ventures predicts that cyber crime damage costs will hit $6 trillion annually by 2021 and that cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021. Ginni Rometty, IBM Corp.’s Chairman, President and CEO, summed up the gravity of the situation by stating that cybercrime is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.

Types of cyber attacks to watch out for

According to research analysts at Gartner, the cyberattack threats targeting Indian enterprises that are on the rise include:

  • Web application attacks

  • DDoS attacks

  • Advanced malware and ransomware attacks

  • Spear phishing attacks

So, with cybercrime threats looming large, what are the basic precautionary measures that can be taken to protect your business and data from being compromised? Here are a few actions that can be taken in every enterprise.

Perform threat modelling: This is is the first step to check how vulnerable your business is to an attack. Simulating threats at each security layer by running penetration tests on devices, gateways, and the cloud/ IT infrastructure will help you identify vulnerabilities that need to be fixed. There is a need to review common attack points such as communication protocol, endpoint authentication and the exposures associated with the hosting infrastructure. With the help of these simulated attacks, a business will be able to determine how prepared it is and if the defenses employed are sufficient.

Sound governance policy: Having a fool-proof governance policy is crucial to meet the security objective of the organization. A sound governance framework helps improve security policies, covers technical controls and focuses on emerging risk factors. Since cyber attacks can strike from anywhere, be it endpoints, applications or the interconnected cloud infrastructure, there is a stronger need to have a well-defined cybersecurity framework policy, which ensures that there is to create organization-wide accountability that can be monitored and measured in order to reduce risk.

Secure remote access points: Remote access points can often be the biggest vulnerabilities. Not having strong admin credentials, having open ports and operation systems that are unpatched can put your company at risk. When you permit or don’t regulate use of third-party storage services, they become a risk factor too. VPNS and other remote access methods can easily be exploited too. The focus should be on improving the security of these remote access points by enhancing communication and authentication protocols to avoid a security breach. It also helps to audit and map your network, keep it up to date, consider MAC address filtering, implement VLANs, VPNs and encryption measures.
Multi-layered defense systems: Apart from traditional data center security methods, it’s important to be equipped with multi-layered defense architecture to protect against large scale cyber threats. There is a need to adopt DDoS prevention measures at the application and network layer that can fight high volume attacks, apart from web applications that act as firewall services that can detect threats and protect applications against SSL security breaches or HTTP attacks.

Invest in security software: Anti-virus and anti-malware programs with anti-phishing features need to be installed across all devices , with automatic updates running at all times. It’s also important to run virus scans once a week and install ad/script-blocking browser plugins. Investing in a complete internet security suite will also help you manage usage and downloads, ensuring you are secure even when you are connected. It’s also important to keep updating operating system, browsers, anti-virus and anti-malware software as not doing so can make them more vulnerable to attacks.

Control access: One of the best security measures is to limit or segment access to the systems. Very few entities must be given administrative access and the privileges should be minimized to stay safe from cyber security attacks. It’s also important to configure your devices and apps to enable security settings and control information sharing.

Employ a backup strategy: While the primary goal is to prevent cyber security attacks, one must be prepared for the inevitability of a threat by having a backup and disaster recovery plan. Without such a plan, there’s a huge chance of losing data and business continuity, in case of an attack. Businesses should take inventory of all hardware, software applications and data, and have a strategy in place to ensure all critical information is backed up constantly.

Report threats: By sharing information about cyber threats, every business should play its part in being a responsible member of the digital community. In case of any malicious cyber threats or attempted attacks, the log reports should be shared with peers or cyber security organizations to help strengthen the collective resilience against future attacks.
Taking smart decisions and actions regarding cyber security can go a long way in preventing security threats and minimizing the damages incurred. Cloud4C offers security solutions that can fend off everything from DDoS attacks and port scans to backdoor attacks. It also offers effective and efficient backup & recovery solutions, so that your data and business continuity will always be protected, in case of a cyber security attack.

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