A decade ago, phishing sites and image spams were the top internet security threats. Although the situation then sounded like hackers had not advanced since the early 2000s, it was a point wherein they were getting more organized in causing trouble.
Fast forward to 2017. Cybercriminals have spread terror in the digital space. They have performed data breaches with a touch of sophistication. And they have gone from being sources of frustration and nuisance to masters of identify theft and extortion. Their victims: mostly enterprises.
Further, they do not discriminate based on the size of the business. The attacks on HBO, Equifax, and Yahoo were much publicized. But as 48% of cyber attacks target small companies, any enterprise connected to the internet is at risk. No matter how many computers and servers you run, or how much sensitive information you must protect, you need to develop a cybersecurity plan.
In developing a strategy, study the following advances in enterprise security:
Defense against advanced persistent threats
An advanced persistent threat (APT) attack comprises six steps. First, the threat actor uses multiple malware techniques to gain entry to an organization’s network. The network gets compromised, but it has not yet reached the level of a breach. The actor will continue to establish points in case one gets blocked. The ultimate objective is for cybercriminals to have full control of the network and “exfiltrate” data off it.
Unfortunately, a threat actor can go undetected by an organization for a long time. Traditional methods of protection, such as firewalls and antiviruses, are not enough to defend you against APTs. Instead, deploy tactics and technologies that will help you detect intrusion early on. It is also important to know what you are up against, so start reading more about APTs here.
According to this TechCrunch article, the application of predictive analytics in internet security will help forecast potential threats, though it does not come with guarantees. But coupled with machine learning, it is still a more advanced strategy than blacklisting. In order to detect suspicious patterns, you need to partner with a provider that can analyze and investigate probable attacks.
Predictive analytics involves working on large-scale or scattered data sets. It also bears the promise of pinning down malicious threats in real time. Among the techniques applied are self-learning analytics and anomaly detection. In this case, “activity across multiple network assets and real-time data streams” is monitored “in order to identify threats as they occur without specific knowledge of the exact (threat) signature.”
VPN remote access policy
Simply put, you need to assume that every employee will have to access company data over a public network at some point. With that in mind, you can factor in the freeware that exists to intercept emails and web traffic. Anyone with the tool can log into, say, a coffee shop WiFi network where one of your people is working remotely. Without a certain level of privacy and security protection, you will be opening the door to your private servers and sensitive data to cybercriminals.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) service in such situations will help you mitigate the risk. Also, set a VPN remote access policy for your staff. When researching providers, check not only their price but also their flexibility, server network size, and support quality. Read the review on one of the top VPN clients for enterprises to get an idea of what features to shop.
While this activity occurs in the wake of a cyber attack, it is still a crucial part of your defense. It entails deriving any useful information from security incidents so stakeholders can reinforce their system or vulnerability mitigation. In case your network suffers a data breach, it is important to work with a forensics analyst who will collect digital evidence and investigate the case.
Forensics also involves working hand-in-hand with a community or a partner. Remember that cybersecurity is a threat not only to individual enterprises but also to the world of business as a whole. Having peers in this battle is also going to further the advances. Entrepreneurs need one another to get more organized than the professional hackers of the times.