Discover common cyber security threats and how to prevent them.

Discover common cyber security threats and how to prevent them.

Security breaches are every day in the cyber news, and without proper security controls in place, your company could be the next! Often, employees are the source of security breaches when they don’t follow protocol or educate themselves on best cybersecurity practices. Avoiding internal threats inside companies helps organizations to prevent cyber threats from external factors. Cybercriminals try to find vulnerabilities to become threat actors and penetrate companies’ networks due to employees’ ignorance.

Companies must implement a plan to prevent cyber threats and ensure digital security. In this article, you will find all the necessary information to guide organizations to prevent cyber threats. This cybersecurity plan also will help enterprises to identify when happens authentic and fake hacking to avoid extortion.

Top cyber security threats between 2020 and 2021

Phishing scams

On the authority of the FBI, phishing scams were the most common type of cyber-attack in 2020. It increased from 114,702 incidents in 2019 to 241,342 in 2020, with adjusted losses of over $54 million. Phishing scams are when you receive a message that looks like it’s from a legitimate source to try to get your personal information. It can be sent as an email, a text message, or through social media. Avoid messages from someone you don’t know asking for your username and password or credit card information.

Do not reply or click on any links in the messages.

Ransomware attacks

As claimed by the FBI, ransomware incidents continue to rise, with 2,474 incidents reported in 2020. According to the Coveware report, data exfiltration extortion frequently occurs between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. The average ransom payment increased 43% from $154,108 in Q4 2020 to $220,298 in Q1 2021. The 70% of ransomware attacks that included a threat to release stolen data in Q4 increased 10% in Q1. The top vectors for attacks included remote desktop protocol compromise, phishing emails, software vulnerability, and vulnerabilities in VPN appliances.

However, a recent report by Coveware informs that median ransomware payment down 40% in Q2 2021. Ransomware attacks are cyber-attacks that lock users out of their system by encrypting files and records on the device. They are typically carried out through email attachments, fake software updates, or malware downloads. The attacker then demands payment in return for giving back access to the hacked device. It can also be delivered via an infected USB drive.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

According to the FBI, BEC schemes continued to be the costliest in 2020: 19,369 complaints with an adjusted loss of approximately $1.8 billion. BEC is a social engineering and fraud technique where hackers spoof or compromise the employees’ emails through keyloggers or phishing attacks to do fraudulent transfers. Usually, emails belong to someone who has access to the company’s wire transfer information. Many of these attacks are successful because they follow many of the same steps as real business emails.

DDoS attacks.

As believed by the article made by SOC and SIRT team from F5, DDoS attacks increased by 55% between January 2020 and March 2021. Also, they are becoming up more complex, with 54% of incidents using multiple attack vectors. Over the past 15 months, the biggest attack measured 500 Gbps and used no fewer than five different attack vectors. A DDoS can be directed at a specific website or service on the internet. It can also affect an entire network by targeting its infrastructure like DNS servers or routers that helps to connect to the internet.

Hackers can carry it out by using many compromised devices simultaneously to send traffic to the target website. The cybercriminal sends floods of requests from each device so that the server cannot respond to them. It can also use a botnet which consists of infected devices, all controlled from one central point. This attack causes connection failure and makes it difficult for users to access sites on the internet.

Guide to prevent cyber security threats in your company

Hires qualified IT security staff

Technology changes, the techniques of cybercriminals change, and the way to protect companies must also do it. Simple antivirus and firewalls went down in history, appearing new ways of cybersecurity management. Therefore, organizations need to hire Information Technology engineers or technicals capable of managing advanced cybersecurity tools. Those experts also must know about the network monitoring process to detect in real-time any suspicious activity. Large companies generally have their responsible IT team for handling all cybersecurity concerns and advanced tools like SIEMs.

Nevertheless, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) do not face the same fate and become attacks target. Today, a good solution is to hire cyber-security services that include the whole package (security, highly qualified personnel, and profitability).

Implements advanced technologies

Companies should ensure they use the most sophisticated software and hardware to reduce the risk of any outside threats. In this age, the best tools to prevent cyber threats are SIEMs that include cyber threats intelligence technology, vulnerabilities assessment, incident response, Unified Threat Management, etc. SIEM tools comply with many compliance requirements that enrich an incident response plan, supporting to detection and eradication of threats. Generally, SIEMs are expensive for small and medium-sized businesses. However, UTMStack went explicitly developed to protect them cost-effectively.

Configures cybersecurity policies and protocols

Cybersecurity protocols ensure the data’s security and integrity as they travel through the network. Organizations must configure them to prevent unauthorized external persons from accessing, manipulating, or destroying the information. Also, they must use them to restrict employee access to business networks, data servers, and cloud storage systems. If you handle the network protocols (TCP / IP) and authentication protocols, together with the company’s security policies, you will be helping minimize the risk of threats.

In addition, it is recommended to encrypt sensitive files, have a backup ready for all essential data, use VPN, use strong passwords and renew them periodically. However, if your organization cannot have a SIEM tool, antivirus and antimalware software installation are always options.

Of course, remember to update each of the applications and software you use.

Trains employees

Cyber threats are more sophisticated and complex than ever before. Employees need a constant training process to identify when they are being threatened by Phishing, Ransomware, DDoS, or other cyber-attacks. Businesses need to implement a strong cybersecurity culture that starts with the CEO and filters down through the organization. Free cybersecurity training is crucial to avoid that employees being ignorantly spreading malicious software. Also, it helps to security team be updated with the latest attacks, hacking techniques, and procedures to identify and remove them.

Follow up

Consistently IT managers must implement controls to check that employees are following computer security policies. The role varies depending on the company-sized; however, the control must never be lacking. When you monitor the behavior of employees, their access, and network configurations, the organization is less exposed to external or internal cyber threats.

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