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Why Cybersecurity Should be Your All-Time Priority

2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced every day (that’s 2.5 followed by a staggering 18 zeros!). We can confidently say that nowadays almost every company is a data company that creates a big amount of data that needs to be managed – to be classified, stored, and protected. While creating every bit (1/8 byte) of information you need to be able to secure its privacy since some of the data that one company is accumulating is not their own. Some of it is customer data like personal information or payment details that are being regulated by the government. Let’s also mention that users have to give you consent to collect their private info.


Are cyber-attacks unpredictable?


In today’s data or data-driven handling, the security of one company's asset-like data is at most important every single day of the year. If you make it a priority this will give you a sense of confidence when hearing that cyber-attacks are happening in your competitor. This means that cyber breaches are not unpredictable when you have security measures in place.


How remote working is alarming for the organization?


In recent years remote working caused organizations a little bit of headache in terms of making cyber-attacks risk-free. WiFi and VPN connections are vulnerable so it is a good idea to double protect them – in other words: use 2-factor authentication. This and other organizations’ pains will be discussed in detail in this article.


Prevention is better than the cure


Finding the way into your data storage is cyber thieves’ specialty. Your job is to do regular tests where some of these breaches might occur. Evaluating risks early is the key to prevention. Recognize the danger that might come from outside or within the company to prevent it from happening. With the first bit of data produced high-security barriers have to be integrated. It can happen with the help of a cyber security expert in-house or outsource this task to a company specialized in cyber security.


Educating to Prevent Error


In the same way, employees are being onboarded with training on the tasks they need to perform – it is also as important to educate them about data security online. Teaching the world of cyber threats to your coworkers will help with preventing them from happening. Clear instructional steps need to be given in case of a cyber security emergency. A good practice is to simulate and role play critical situations with cyber-breaches to practically explain the importance of the cyber security measures that have been installed.


Hacking techniques that attack vulnerable spots


Further education in recognizing hackers’ types of cyber-attacks can be beneficial for preventing them from happening. Here is a list of them:


A. Malware – cybercriminals create malicious software that is being distributed on the internet masked as helpful software to be installed on someone else's device without their knowledge or with the intent to resolve one user’s issue. Different types of malware include viruses, spyware, ransomware, and Trojan horses;

B. Phishing – a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message;

C. Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) – hacker gains access to networks for a long period to continuously gain confidential information;

D. Denial-of-service (DoS) attack – service/website/app is not responsive and it leaves legitimate service requests unattended;

E. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) – multiple systems are used to launch the attack;

F. SQL injection attack - hacker manipulates a standard SQL query in a database-driven website which results in hackers viewing, editing, and deleting tables from databases.


The Cost of Breaches


It is important to indicate that USA is the country where most of the cyber-attacks take place. According to an IBM research from 2019 a staggering amount of $8.19 Million is the average estimated cost of data breach for a company. The most affected industries are as follows (in million US dollars):


- Health ($6.45);

- Financial ($5.86);

- Energy and Utilities ($5.6);

- Industrial ($5.2);

- Pharma ($5.2);

- Technology ($5.05);

- Education ($4.77);

- Service Providers ($4.62);

- Entertainment ($4.32);

- Transpiration ($3.77);

- Communication ($3.45);

- Consumer products ($2.59);

- Media ($2.24);

- Hospitality ($1.99);

- Retail ($1.84);

- Research ($1.65);

- Public sector ($1.29).


Is your Organization Protected from Cyber Attacks?


Online computing systems evolve and alongside them – cyber risks are also growing. Unwanted redirects, malware, phishing or data security issues are just a few of the potentially negative attacks. They may cause loss of customers, decreased brand reputation, and will inevitably impact the profits. Where are you in the cybersecurity spectrum from lava red to a forest green?


1. Lava Red – no cyber protection at all (do we even need to discuss this?!)

2. Orange Orange:

- Anti-Virus Programs (protect your machine) – computers connected to the internet could experience virus infections within minutes. This is why even before handing it to an employee to use – you should install antivirus software to protect important information from leaking. Antivirus tools help with detecting, blocking, and removing viruses; it warns the user of dangerous websites and even links. Properly installed antivirus programs run in the background when the machine is being started.

- VPN (Encrypt your connection) – stands for Virtual Private Network. Thanks to it your connection to the internet is being encrypted and respectively secured from cyber-attacks. VPN enables its users to browse safely on the internet and to send & receive data across different networks.

- Password Manager (find a safe place for your passwords) – a mostly online-based computer program that helps with generating, storing, and managing your passwords across different platforms. It suggests strong unbreakable passwords that will keep your accounts secure.

3. Honey Yellow:

- Gap Analysis (make an audit of your cyber security wall) – it shows the real state of information security in one organization in comparison to the specific market requirements during the time it is being made. By conducting a cybersecurity gap analysis, you need to identify how far away you stand from the regulated standards like ISO, GDPR (in the EU), FIPS, and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) (in the USA). This type of protection process requires a cybersecurity professional who is familiar with the types of standards and regional regulations that you need to fulfill.

- API Security (eliminate API weaknesses) – APIs protect your connection but you need to protect the API itself. Since API development has increased dramatically over the years it is a common practice to add a layer of protection to your companies’ APIs. By analyzing API traffic, you will be able to unveil valuable insights where you might spot potential cybersecurity breaches.

- Backup DAILY! + Disaster Recovery Planning (prepare for, prevent, and recover from potential technology threats affecting your organization) – daily backups are self-explained. Disaster recovery plans (DRP) in information security refers to a formal document that includes exact steps that need to be undertaken when a certain cybersecurity disaster occurs. It is of most importance for organizations to keep their workflow an ongoing process so knowing how to recover all technologies in time to meet the needs of the business recovery is crucial. The impact of data loss is critical not only for large corporations but also for small and medium businesses.

4. Forest Green:

- External CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) Go all in for your organization’s security – appointing a trained CISO is not an easy task. But to stay compliant and secure, the best thing you can do for your organization is hire a professional. Information security experts overlook and support your IT staff to help you have a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS) that is legally compliant. By having such an expert on your C-suit team you will be able to define your security goals, estimate your cyber risks, evaluate your business impact, etc.

- Managed Detection & Response (security operations center ready to prevent treads immediately) – MDR is an outsourced service that helps organizations with deploying complex endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions to maximize the detection, analysis, and response of the cyber security system. MDR also offers advanced and proactive 24/7 security control over all of your data assets. This type of security system is the most sophisticated one and requires outsourcing highly skilled security professionals. (Spoiler alert: we at Panaton Inc have a few of them.)


Are your cybersecurity systems ready to face today's cyber threats?


After learning about the current state of cybersecurity dangers, costs, and protective measures – do you think your organization is safe in today’s online environment? To keep employees still worworkingom home – the need for constant monitoring of their online safety requires appointing a dedicated cyber security specialist. Not only this but considering the increasing amount of the cost of breaches is concerning. Data that is being stolen can cause expensive government fines and trials.


The good news is that the consequences of potential cyber-attacks can be prevented from happening by implementing cyber defensive good practices that we mentioned above. If you need a consultation about any aspect of enterprise cyber security – please do not hesitate to contact us here.


Until then – stay safe and secure online!