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Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020


We’ve made it to October, and that means we’re in Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for Cybersecurity teams with the mandate of remote working, and the increase in cyber-attacks globally. Ransomware continues to impact companies across North America and accounts for 27% of malware-related breaches. 86% of the breaches were financially motivated, 37% of breaches stole or leveraged previously stolen credentials and 22% of breaches involved Phishing.

These alarming statistics overshadow the requirement for a better understanding of authentication and authorization, e-mail based phishing attacks, malware defences and overall vulnerability management to how to keep your workstation, laptop or mobile device secure. At Packetlabs, we’ve split each of these core areas into the four weeks of October and will do our best to be as informative as possible.

Week 1: Authentication and Authorization

Within the first week of October, we will discuss Authentication and Authorization. 37% of breaches made use of or stole credentials. This accounts for the massive amount of credential stuffing attacks we’ve seen last year, and those unfolding across the Canada Revenue Agency, Instacart and Sobeys. Key topics this week will include, two-factor authentication, the principle of least privilege, entitlement reviews, password managers, and common problems in web applications.

Week 2: E-mail based Phishing

The following week, we will discuss tips to avoid being phished. Phishing is often the easiest way for us to compromise an organization. We’ve found that if we target one hundred employees, between fifteen and fifty (15-50%) will click on the link and enter their password. There are controls that administrators can implement to make phishing more difficult, including warning messages, Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and a number of additional controls to make our e-mail more secure.

Week 3: Malware

In the third week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020, we will review the different types of malware and the emerging technologies that help protect against them including endpoint protection (EPP), antivirus protection, enterprise detection and response (EDR). We will also discuss layered defences, and planning for your malware detection to fail; because it will. The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 17% of breaches involved Malware. The most common tactic an attacker implements after compromising your organization is to deploy a payload enabling a revolving door of unauthorized access.

Week 4: Vulnerability Management

In the final week, we will discuss Vulnerability Management and how to keep your system up to date. 45% of breaches featured some type of Hacking. The majority of these involved exploiting insecure configurations and missing patches. The attacks across Australia mirror what we see in most corporate networks. Copy, paste, compromise refers to the relative ease that attackers are compromising organizations all over the world including a recent report that 71% of organizations can be compromised by unskilled attackers. Let’s patch our systems and make the attacker’s job much more difficult.


This year has been a rollercoaster, and while the statistics outline some alarming findings, this is only the tip of the iceberg. These statistics are based on 2019 breach data and we’re seeing a steep rise in cyber-attacks resulting in a breach across the world. Remote workers have made breach containment much more difficult, reduced our visibility and social interaction and have pushed the limits of IT Security Controls throughout organizations.

Our objective through Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020 is to help illustrate the attacks we’re up against and how to reduce risk. At Packetlabs, we specialize in real-world simulated cyber-attacks and can help your organization prepare for an attack, test their response plan, and prioritize your efforts to reduce risk. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.