Time to be cyber ready

Over the last year and a half, security professionals have faced a slew of problems that have pushed organizations into unfamiliar territory. Due to the rising adoption of cloud infrastructure, employees using home networks and moving to personal devices, rapid adoption of third-party software applications and risk exposure to an attack has increased as organizations continue to rely on a remote workforce. Organizations must take the appropriate actions to protect an increased attack surface now more than ever. Security validation is a critical component of protection by enabling organisations to understand business risk and adapt their defences.

Everything that is going on in the globe today—the worldwide pandemic, continuing digital change, and the expansion of linked devices—is giving cybercriminals new possibilities. We are all connected by and to technology and it is an ever-evolving sector. Cybercriminals are aware of this, and they are making use of these new technologies to conduct increasingly sophisticated attacks against the growing number of connected devices. They’re also conducting more sophisticated phishing attempts on unwary employees, playing on public fears about the epidemic or other recent news stories.

Cyber-attacks and APT Groups are targeting regions, nations, verticals, and even particular businesses and they may cost their victims billions of dollars in direct losses, as well as the loss of crucial data, consumer reputation, public confidence, and other factors. A new wave of cyberattacks is the sophisticated ransomware attack mode.

Gordon Love, Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, FireEye

“Our understanding of ransomware has also evolved of late. The way ransomware attacks are conducted today has changed, resulting in different business consequences and different protections must be put in place. And while the problem is fundamentally different, we still refer to it as ransomware. To better confront and mitigate these incidents, Mandiant has adopted the term “multifaceted extortion” to characterise this evolved form of ransomware,” said Gordon Love, Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, FireEye.

He further added that in the last year, there has been a significant reduction in the global median dwell time. Ransomware has evolved into multifaceted extortion where actors deploy ransomware encryptors across victim environments and employ a variety of other extortion tactics to coerce victims into complying with demands. The damage ransomware attacks cause to a company is talked about now and again to emphasise the importance of awareness and precaution.

Though statistics and news may show enterprise-level business under cyber attacks, it doesn’t safeguard any small or medium-level industries. Any business with an online presence is under the watchful eyes of a hacker and is prone to attacks. The financial, physical, and legal ramifications of an attack on any firm can be catastrophic.

When businesses have an awareness of the implications and are well-equipped and prepared, they can more efficiently deal with a threat in the unfortunate event. Whether yours is a multinational corporation, a mid-size company or a local business, you can never be too prepared for a potential cybersecurity breach.

Sameh Ahmed, Senior Solution Architect at Infoblox

“Organizations need to leverage a comprehensive, optimized and efficient cyber-security architecture and solutions to be able to tackle ever-growing cyber threats in the wild,” said Sameh Ahmed, Senior Solution Architect at Infoblox. He also said, “You simply need to know your sensitive data and assets, who is authorized to access it and how to continuously protect it, no matter the location. Cybersecurity assessment should be a continuous process.”

To remain ahead of cyber threats, intelligence is a crucial component of an organization’s strategy. Information on cyber threat intelligence is used to better anticipate potential risks and avoid security breaches in the future. Threat intelligence may be used to proactively monitor activities both within and outside the network to detect risks and patterns in cyber assaults. In a reactive mode, it offers practical actions for patching and fixing vulnerabilities, reducing harm or loss, and determining the identity of the attacker.

“Mandiant believes the combined improvements in detections from internal teams and also the continued reduction in median global dwell times indicate improvements on the organisation side. While some of these trends are likely due to ransomware, these progress areas are also highly likely due to maturing clients, continued innovations across the cybersecurity industry, and government/partnership efforts,” said Love.

Modern-day attackers have evolved sophisticated tactics that necessitate a comprehensive security risk mitigation plan that spans the boardroom to the field. Employing a single integrated team of industry-recognized specialists to secure an organization’s vital assets and program processes is the fastest and most effective defence against targeted ransomware assaults. “It’s important to continuously assess your risks, provide cybersecurity trainings and awareness, integrate your security solution as a single eco-system to avoid siloed operations, consider cyber insurance and an insider threat program and tracker, incident response plan, as well as business continuity plan and secure assets and users no matter where they are,” said Ahmed. He rightly added, “There is no silver bullet for cybersecurity but it should be efficient, proactive and ever-evolving.”

Times are not favourable for anyone in terms of cyber security and with the increased number of attacks, it looks like a trip down the hill. Hence, it is important for every organisation, every corporation, every business, and every enterprise of any size to get their act together and be cyber ready.