2021 was marked by some of the most devastating cybersecurity attacks. Attackers have not only become more intelligent and cohesive; they have also become bolder. Public services, private companies and federal agencies were all hit with attacks that cost millions. But many experts believe that the worse is yet to come. This blog outlines six basic methods to prevent security breaches.
How to prevent cybersecurity attacks?
1. Improve employee awareness
An IBM study states that 60% of all cyberattacks are due to insider actions. Training employees on basic cyber hygiene, apart from taking precautions, like identifying and reporting suspicious emails, mitigate many risks. Employees should also be informed of their chain of command in the event of an attack.
2. Keep all software updated with the latest patch releases
The WannaCry ransomware attack crippled thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries. The hackers exploited a Windows networking protocol to spread within the networks and infect everyone's computers. However, Microsoft had already released a security patch to fix this issue two months prior. Proper patch management and regular syndicated updates can keep devices and networks safe from most attacks.
3. Implement multi-factor authorization
The most common initial attack vector is compromised credentials. The Cost of a Data Breach report by IBM attests to this fact. Compromised credentials were responsible for more than 20% of all data breaches in 2021. Because of the risk this type of assault poses, multi-factor or two-factor authorization (MFA or 2FA) is an essential precaution. MFA helps keep attackers at bay, even after these hackers gain access to credentials such as email ids and passwords. Since MFA requires a one-time password (OTP) for certain critical transactions, hackers will be unable to access any data without knowing the secret code or OTP delivered to your phone via a text message. Moreover, many applications and software come with trigger warnings when the login process is attempted but not completed.
4. Secure all networks and endpoints
Remote work is here to stay, and it's no secret that it has increased security risks. Home Wi-Fi networks are generally not as secure as office networks. Using strong router passwords and WPA2/WPA3 encryption for wireless connections can help secure home networks. Furthermore, personal devices are often used for work purposes, which blurs the line between work and home life. As a result, it's important to have a comprehensive security strategy that takes into account all endpoints, including mobile devices, laptops, and desktops.
5. Back up all the data and systems
Backing up data in safe, off-network storage is a simple but frequently neglected step, especially in smaller businesses. Data breaches can become more expensive for the company if it's forced into downtime because of data inaccessibility. With backups ready, even a successful attack won't cripple your business processes.
6. Conduct penetration testing to identify security gaps
Even after implementing security measures, many companies fall prey to cybercrime because they are unaware of potential gaps in their security perimeter. One way to identify these gaps is to conduct a penetration test. Pentest experts will not only identify the gaps but also recommend solutions. In addition, they can help you design security policies that address threats related to your company and industry.
There is no silver bullet for cybersecurity. Companies need to take a comprehensive and proactive approach to protect themselves from cyberattacks. By taking the necessary precautions and being aware of the latest threats, companies can keep their data and systems safe.
Packetlabs can help identify vulnerabilities in your networks and systems by conducting a thorough penetration test. Our penetration tests are conducted by OSCP certified ethical hackers and are 95% manually done.