There is a quote by the renowned scientist Albert Einstein that says, ‘In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.’ To our disadvantage, cyber criminals seem to have taken this notion to heart, and the number of cyber-attacks has soared during COVID.
Maintaining cybersecurity infrastructure is a multi-layered task in which every layer needs attention to detail and proper inspection. Applications of cybersecurity are spread over all industries. One of the most prominent applications is the healthcare industry, where regulatory authorities ensure that cybersecurity is integrated into the network, such as in the HIPAA compliance checklist.
What is Cyber Security?
The global wave of the COVID-19 pandemic put an unplanned stop to all traditional businesses and day-to-day activities. At first, businesses did not have any plan of action but then decided to move forward with a remote working environment. Cybersecurity refers to implementing tools, methods, and good practices to defend servers, networks, electronic systems, computers, and business data from digital attacks. There are three main layers of cybersecurity:
- Prevention of unauthorized access from running on your network. This layer includes firewalls, antivirus, software patching, password management, and cybersecurity awareness training.
- Detection of any suspicious file changes or user behaviors. The second layer consists of threat intelligence, log monitoring, IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems), and SIEM.
- Responding to threats by process termination and modifying access. It consists of a 24/7 security team, forensic investigation, and Automated threat remediation.
The increase in the number of devices and users in the modern enterprise, along with the exorbitant volumes of data, demand an impeccable cybersecurity infrastructure. Cybersecurity is a very extensive field in terms of applications, it can be broken down into smaller segments, including:
- Information Security
This segment is dedicated to the protection of privacy and integrity of confidential and personal information
- Network Security
With network security, computer networks are protected against malware and intruders.
- Operational Security
This category encompasses user permissions, decisions, and processes for data handling.
- Application Security
The main focus is on the safety of device applications and softwares, as a compromised application can serve as a backdoor for malicious actors.
- Disaster Recovery
This section is dedicated to determining what will be the plan of action of a firm that has unfortunately experienced a cyber attack.
- End-user Awareness
This cybersecurity segment is designed for otherwise secure systems to avoid accidental virus introduction. This approach is centered on creating awareness among users about how they can avoid becoming hosts for a digital invasion by implementing some key best practices, for example, avoiding using unknown USBs, etc.
The Cyber Attack Landscape
You must understand the cyber attack framework to better tackle the underlying potential problems. The following points summarise the four key sectors of a cyber threat landscape.
- Potential attackers: Your enterprise could be a possible host for various threat actors, which mainly include the following three:
- Traditional hackers attack individuals and/or firms to steal data (mostly personal information) for monetary gains.
- Nation-state threat actors indulge in cyber attacks for crafting targetted for corporate espionage.
- Hacktivists or disrupters target enterprises looking to sabotage their networks. It could be a personal vendetta behind their acts or because they are anarchists.
- Targetted systems: The attackers will take anything that they find of some value. It can be industrial control systems, critical network infrastructure or cloud environments and code repositories
- Attack vectors: The most common methods to gain unauthorized access used by hackers are phishing, insiders, suppliers, and vendors. Suppliers, vendors, and insiders are not necessarily the main attackers. However, they are often used as pivots by attackers.
- Recent Trends: Ransomware, doxing, and cyber extortion are the ultimate goals of a digital attacker. Doxing may not strike as important as cyber extortion or ransomware. In fact, it poses an equal level of stress to the person who is attacked because the attacker threatens the victim with his personal information and security.
Need for Cybersecurity best practices
A properly regulated cybersecurity landscape is essential to protect your organization from potential digital attacks. Following guidelines can be quite useful to guard your business and yourself against cyber threats.
- Use trusted anti-virus software. Anti-viruses detect and remove potential malware that tries to gain access to your network
- Maintain your operating system and softwares regularly. Check and install new updates regularly to have an up-to-date network that is not vulnerable to any threats that could harm a previous version.
- Maintain your passwords and authentication methods. It is advised to opt for a passphrase rather than a password, as a passphrase is quite hard to crack given the high volume of characters.
- Never directly open or access a file or an email from an unknown account. It is possible that the email/document is virus infected or a phishing scam.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks on your devices. It is possible that a potential hacker is already waiting on that network once your device/application connects to the network. The attacker can access your network traffic and eavesdrop to steal valuable information.
The quality of cybersecurity protocols in your business is the key to earning maximum reward on your investments. It is of imperative value to know and understand the cybersecurity framework and threat landscape.
This ensures that you integrate an unmatched security network that protects your business against digital attacks. It is always commendable to seek guidance and help from a certified cybersecurity specialist and deploy the best available security softwares.