Cybersecurity for corporates. The right way

In this modern, technologically advanced world, as the size of networks and computer systems have been growing rapidly, securing those systems and the information they store, has become even more necessary for companies to secure their confidential and worthwhile data from malicious actors. Over the years, organizations have exposed some very juicy information for threat actors to benefit from, due the organization's lack of proper cyber security strategies and policies. 

We see and read a lot about companies around the world facing cyber attacks, their systems and data breached, credentials stolen etc. This blog is aimed towards setting up, and employing counter measures and defense mechanisms against such cyber attacks which many organizations become victims of.

Why do organizations become cyberattack victims?

When threat actors or cybercrime organizations attack an organization, they hunt the following kinds of data:
  • An organization's financial details
  • Customer's financial / personal details
  • Client lists
  • Customer's / staff member's login credentials and email addresses
  • Intellectual property such as trade secrets, product designs, source code (if it's not open source) etc.
  • IT services & infrastructure
Cyberattacks on organizations are deliberated and often motivated towards some financial gain. Some of the other motivations or intentions might include :
  • Espionage
  • To make a social statement or for some other political reasons
  • Intellectual challenge

How to protect your organization from cyberattacks?

Now that we have discussed how an organization can be under risk of cyberattacks, let's shift our focus towards the various ways an organization can employ to protect itself from the various cyberattacks existing out there.

Regular data back-up offsite : In order to protect the valuable information an organization or a business holds, consistent data backups can help a lot at times of a ransomware attack. An off-site system would be of great help, which creates new versions of all the company's data.

Learn how to detect a potential social engineering attack : Social engineering are one of the most dangerous cyberattacks and often difficult to pin-point. Hence, it is important for an organization to detect a potential social engineering attack as early as possible. Every employee of any organization should be given proper training on what social engineering attacks are, the various ways in which they can be performed and also how to detect one.

Implement a multi-factor authentication & password management : Password management policies and multifactor authentication are essential to protect an organizations devices/systems. Everybody knows a password's role, but it's equally important to use strong passwords, should be kept rotating and randomized. Default passwords should never be used, as they are a vulnerability often exploited by threat actors. 

Keep up hardware & software best practices : Software and hardware physical security best practices help to ensure that you’re doing all you can to secure your organization, whether it be choosing systems with built-in defense functions or regularly updating your software and hardware. Choosing systems with built-in layers of defense, strengthens an organizations cybersecurity the minute they are up and running. With many solutions containing built-in security functions like data encryption, endpoint protection etc., it'll become much more difficult for malicious actors to attack an organization's systems.

Access management : One of the major concerns any organization might have is that, its employees may install software on company-owned devices that may compromise the systems. Hence, it is crucial to have controlled admin permissions to prevent installation of certain software or access to certain files on the organization's network. 

When we think of big names in the corporate world or in the IT/software industry, we usually presume such organizations to have highly secure systems, strong security mechanisms etc., but like people say, things may look or sound too good to be true. Organizations which have employees in huge numbers, do business or operate in multiple locations across the world, often attract cyber criminals with the amount of data and assets they have in store for them. One such instance is the Twitter Celebrities Attack. 

In July  2020, Twitter was breached by a group of three hackers who took over popular Twitter accounts. They made used of social engineering attacks to gain access to employee credentials, gain access to company's internal systems. Twitter later identified it as vishing (phone phishing). Accounts of notable personalities such as Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk's accounts were hacked and taken over. The attackers posted bitcoin scams using those accounts, and earned more than $100,000. Two weeks later, the three suspects were charged by US Justice Department, one of the suspects being a 17 year old boy. 

There's a lot going on out there in the cyberspace. While there's so much of data to look after, there is a massive crowd too, who wishes to have a taste of all that data. Thinking about where to start when it comes to protecting your organization from such threats, might seem a little overwhelming. Hence, it is important that the right people, the right experts must be contacted, the most appropriate methodologies must be opted for and implemented. Pick the right mechanisms, strengthen your defenses, and then simply watch cybercriminals fail at anything/everything they try and do.   

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