Because of today’s landscape, organizations are hesitant about reporting cyber incidents because they fear it could impact their reputation, making it difficult to determine the speed at which cyber incidents occur. It also fuels the industry’s lack of transparency and accountability; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the industry is unethical. The problem lies in the fact that most cyberattacks happen without any public knowledge or awareness. This makes it hard for an organization to get a clear picture of what happened and who was responsible.
The problem with this situation is that there is no way to know if the reported attack occurred. In addition, many times when an attack does take place, it can be attributed to someone else. For example, if an attacker uses a phishing email to gain access to your system, you may not even realize that it was done by another user. If you do discover that an attack took place, you have little information on how long ago it occurred. This means that you cannot accurately track the number of days since the last time the attack took place.
The best method to combat this issue is to make sure that all users are educated on the risks associated with using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Educating employees will help them understand the importance of keeping personal information private, especially when posting it online. Employees should also be trained on how to recognize suspicious emails and websites.
Cyber incidents occur by taking advantage of vulnerable systems. These include unpatched operating systems, outdated software applications, and weak passwords. Organizations can reduce the risk of becoming victims of a cyber incident by ensuring that all computers and mobile devices are up-to-date with patches and security updates. They should also educate employees on the risks involved with using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms.
It is important to remember that while these steps can help prevent cyber incidents from occurring, they don’t guarantee that they won’t. As technology continues to advance at lightning speeds, so too must our ability to protect ourselves against new threats. To stay ahead of the game, we need to continually improve our cybersecurity capabilities.
Securing open-source systems
Cyber incidents also happen from open-source systems. Open source refers to computer programs that are freely available to anyone to modify and distribute. While this has its benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks. One of the biggest problems is that open-source code is often poorly written. Hackers can easily find bugs in open-source code and exploit them to gain access to sensitive data.
To avoid being exploited, organizations can ensure that all open-source systems are well maintained. They can also install additional security measures to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to sensitive data. For instance, organizations can implement firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems (IDS).
To secure open-source systems, organizations should follow these guidelines:
- Use only trusted sources for open-source code.
- Install security updates immediately after they become available.
- Implement strong password policies.
Attack detection and exploit prevention
Once you find a cyber incident, you need to quickly detect and stop attacks before they escalate. Attack detection involves monitoring network traffic and identifying malicious activity. Once detected, exploits should be stopped or blocked before any damage occurs.
There are two ways to identify and block exploits.
First, you can deploy an IDS. An IDS monitors network traffic and alerts you if it detects anything suspicious. This includes detecting malware, viruses, spam email, phishing attempts, denial-of-service attacks, etc.
In addition to blocking attacks, you can also prevent them from spreading. You can do this by implementing patch management. Patch management ensures that your organization installs the latest patches as soon as possible.
Ransomware is one of the most common types of cyberattacks today. Ransomware encrypts files on your system and then demands payment to decrypt them. The encrypted files cannot be accessed until the ransom is paid. Organizations that haven’t implemented proper patch management practices are especially vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks usually start with spearphishing emails. These emails contain links to websites that look legitimate but actually lead to malicious sites. When users visit these sites, their computers are infected with ransomware. As a result, users lose control over their machines and their files are locked. Users must pay the ransom to regain control of their files.
Organizations can prevent ransomware attacks by following these best practices:
- Make sure your employees know how to spot and report phishing emails.
- Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
- Always update operating system patches.
- Be wary of unsolicited emails containing attachments.
- Never click on links in emails unless you trust the sender.
- Do not download executable programs from untrusted websites.
- Avoid opening attachments from unknown senders.
- Perform regular backups of critical data.
- Use encryption for sensitive information stored online.
- Encrypt hard drives using BitLocker or FileVault.
- Store passwords in a secure location.
Protecting against targeted threats
Targeted threats are those that specifically target individuals or organizations. They include social engineering, insider threat, credential theft, phishing, and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. Social engineering is a type of attack where someone tries to trick another person into giving away personal information or performing actions that could put the victim at risk. Insider threat refers to people within an organization trying to steal confidential information or cause damage to the company. Credential theft occurs when someone steals credentials such as user names and passwords.
Phishing involves sending out fake emails that appear to come from trusted sources. Finally, DDoS attacks involve flooding networks with so much junk data that it overwhelms servers and makes them unavailable.
Targeted threats are difficult to detect because they often rely on human interaction. For example, attackers may try to gain access to your network by pretending to be a colleague or friend.