“Today, more often than not, adversaries find their way into your network and execute code at the system’s endpoints to steal crucial data”.
Having prior knowledge of the blunders that can cause disastrous cybersecurity incidents, you will be better able to implement effective recovery solutions.
For instance, the massive spear-phishing attack on Twitter in 2020 taught us that having cybersecurity policies in place is significant.
But here’s what is equally important to do:
1. Regularly train employees to be more cyber aware
2. Additional protection to privileged accounts
3. Continuous monitoring of malicious activities
4. Multi-factor authentication
5. Behavioral analytics
Let’s dive deeper into the top ten common mistakes every organization should avoid making.
Blunder #1 – Weak Passwords
Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access. The stronger the password, the more protected a business network is from malicious attacks.
Unfortunately, most users today aren’t fully aware of the appropriate use of passwords and security controls. Hence, leave room for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities.
While creating strong passwords is a way to avoid cyber breaches, organizations can implement additional security measures as a response to poor password management.
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) can be administered for remote access solutions, sensitive data repositories, and internet-facing applications.
Blunder #2 – Falling for ‘Phishing’
We’re in the age of cyber uncertainty where phishing attacks occur in an attempt to impersonate a trusted party to barge into your business network and exploit it.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack where the attacker is disguised as a legitimate source to lure the target.
The target(s) is contacted via email, phone, or a text message, and requested to share personally identifiable information. If this sensitive information is leaked, the attacker can access important accounts, leading to massive identity theft. Lack of awareness or even using public WiFi networks can lead to phishing attacks.
Thus, organizations must ensure that their employees are well-informed about the phishing techniques and the masquerade pop-ups posed as legitimate sources.
Blunder #3 – Focus on Reactive Strategies
The goal of using reactive cybersecurity strategies is to diagnose your system and identify intruding activities.
Remember, cyberattacks can even circumvent firewalls and/or anti-virus software.
Businesses should also stay wary of hostile emails that can pose a major adversary to their network. Email is a huge attack vector here that can infiltrate your inbox with malicious attachments.
Therefore, organizations should ensure that they immediately block files with .exe extension and enable email security solutions. They must also train their employees not to click on suspicious links and avoid public WiFi or public systems.
Blunder #4 – Inadequate Firewalls
Using high-performing firewall software is one way to protect your organization against constant cyber threats. A firewall is effective in keeping confidential data safe by preventing threat actors from breaking into your system.
Every packet of information first passes through the firewall before it is allowed to enter the network.
However, for a firewall to work efficiently and to avoid becoming a potential victim, you must ensure that the firewall protection performs adequately.
Moreover, it’s also crucial to continually work towards improving your firewall security.
Here are some ways to prevent firewall failures:
1. Constantly monitor your firewall for vulnerabilities
2. Keep your firewall hardware updated at all times
3. Limit the VPN access
4. Control what users can see on your server
5. Secure the user and guest access to your network
Blunder #5 – Incompetent Data Backups
Your enterprise data is vulnerable to ransomware, user errors, malicious insiders, system crashes, etc.
Data backup is the bedrock of your disaster recovery plan. It is a practice that combines techniques and solutions for efficient and cost-effective backup.
Backing up your devices will help you maintain a secure repository of your confidential data that can later be restored in the event of data loss. Therefore, a good backup regime can enable your organization to reduce the risks associated with data loss.
However, it is equally important to ensure data health and safety during backups. Ensure that you know your environment well for successful data recovery, and monitor security configurations regularly.
Using cloud backup can provide greater flexibility and security while lowering your capital expenditure.
Blunder #6 – No Dedicated Team for Cyber Response
A skilled cybersecurity team will help you with quick risk detection, stay compliant with the security standards, and efficiently handle any information received about cybersecurity threats and new cyber technologies.
Therefore, organizations should focus on creating a qualified team of cybersecurity experts that adds a trust value and prioritizes keeping sensitive information safe. These experts can also plan and execute stringent backup cybersecurity plans to manage the rapid surge in sophisticated cybercrimes.
Blunder #7 – Ineffective Layered Security
Given the threat landscape in the age of digital transformation, a layered security approach is a must for protecting your data.
You can defend your business network with cybersecurity layers like Patch Management. Patches help you address functionality errors, boost performance, and fill security holes that might make your system vulnerable.
Endpoint Protection helps you verify if the entry points for all your devices being used for business purposes are protected and included in the cybersecurity plan.
The Web Content Filtering software blocks access to inappropriate web content, sites, and sources that can pose malware or phishing risks.
Filtering emails at the gateway minimizes the risk of malware infestation, ransomware, phishing attacks, etc.
Blunder #8 – Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a grave cyberattack that involves multiple malware-infected computers targeting a single system.
Such an attack is meant to block the server and make it hostile to legitimate users.
You can prevent your system from DDoS attacks by understanding the symptoms of these attacks, deploying hardware and software firewalls, and purchasing more bandwidth.
You can also build redundancy into your infrastructure, conduct a network vulnerability assessment, and review security configurations regularly to ward off such attacks.
Blunder #9 – Overconfidence in Cybersecurity Solutions
A proactive approach and maintaining a culture of cybersecurity awareness instead of overconfidence works best when you want to build a robust cybersecurity infrastructure.
Your workforce should be aware of the response plan to implement in case of a cybersecurity breach.
Also, cyber attackers often have plenty of ways to suddenly interrupt your critical business infrastructure. This is why it’s important to train employees on how they immediately implement an incident response plan to limit the financial, reputational, and informational damage.
These actions will show how resilient and strong your cybersecurity infrastructure is to face high-intensity cyber attacks.
Blunder #10 – Not Embracing the Next-gen IoT Technology
This is the day and age of evolving cyber threats.
Holding on to a legacy SIEM or any cybersecurity solution with a traditional framework gives attackers an open invitation to invade your IT infrastructure.
Such an old infrastructure will interrupt your business growth with limited functionality, weak analytics, and deployment delays.
Therefore, it is important for organizations to understand that the success mantra lies in deploying agile solutions.
You need to ensure that:
1. Your legacy Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is upgraded to a next-generation solution.
2. You integrate your Security Operations Center (SOC) with the latest network solutions and save your cybersecurity infrastructure from falling apart.
Cybersecurity protects your company from fatal cyber threats. Hence, it cannot be overlooked.
Therefore, make sure you stay abreast of the blunders that might prove detrimental to your organization’s cyber health and look for security solutions and cyber-defense tactics to protect your data and organization.
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