Cyberattacks are a 21st century internet pandemic. Every day, despite the wide availability of information on the types of attacks and prevention, including phishing cyberattacks, a huge number of people become victims of cybercriminals. This happens because, firstly, they know little about how to properly protect themselves from online fraud, and secondly, attackers do not stand still and invent more and more new methods of stealing information. Moreover, the criminals are not limited to attacks on random users, they are targeting large-scale: state enterprises, large companies, because the larger the fish, the more financial profit from it for crackers. In this article, we will look at ways to protect against cyber attacks in more detail, both for an individual user and for different business segments.
Antivirus software is one of the elements of
information security (IS)
As practice shows, unfortunately, one installation of antivirus software on corporate devices is not enough to ensure adequate protection of confidential company data. However, this is already a significant step to ensure the user’s safety on the Internet. Licensed antivirus software is not cheap, however, even small companies can find a solution that suits them. Many well-known antivirus software companies offer various solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, designed for a relatively small number of corporate devices. These may include tools that prevent leakage of sensitive data, tools for automatic backups, and protection against viruses and spyware. With all this, the company only gets what it pays for.
Don’t fall for the tricks of the social engineering guru!
No antivirus will protect against the use of social engineering methods, because in this case, the attackers collect data about the victim, armed with knowledge of human psychology, and affect the human psyche, causing emotions. After collecting and analyzing the received data, the attacker composes a letter designed for a specific victim, or sends malicious links on social networks to download a new album of your favorite music group, or sends an email to the chief accountant of the enterprise with the “Quarterly Report” attachment, which actually contains virus. This also includes the Nigerian letters. Yes. We have not mentioned them before, but you probably came across them. These are letters asking for help in banking operations, allegedly subject to a large tax.
How to counter such attacks? The only method is to completely ignore such messages, because if you enter into a correspondence, thereby you will confirm your email address, which then attackers can use for more sophisticated mailings. In order to counter cyberattacks using social engineering methods, the management of companies must ensure that all employees are regularly trained to work safely on the Internet, and subordinates must be informed about the types of threats that exist today.
Digital literacy training for employees
The reason for most successful cyberattacks is not the insidious plans of cybercriminals, but the illiteracy of the company’s employees in the field of information security. Indeed, due to the ignorance and unintentional actions of subordinates, the likelihood of a cyberattack’s success increases significantly. In order to minimize the risk of confidential information theft and exclude possible financial and reputational damage to the organization, the management needs to organize regular training for subordinates on special anti-phishing platforms. These platforms provide:
-training in course and test format,
-testing students’ knowledge by conducting test phishing attacks , -reporting
in the form of a rating on employee training, action statistics, data on the vulnerability of software used on the organization’s work computers.
Skills training takes place in “real combat conditions” – at the workplace, in the postal system of the enterprise. System administrators track cyberattack examples and create mock attacks that match real-life examples. In this case, the learning environment will be as realistic as possible.
Network performance and security services
Despite the constant improvement of protection against cyber attacks, the number of powerful DDoS (“denial-of-service” attacks) is growing rapidly. This is due to the increase in smart devices like the Mirai botnet. The Mirai botnet is a botnet formed by compromised devices such as smart webcams, TVs, phones. It is designed to carry out DDoS attacks.
Providing protection against DDoS attacks on its own is a rather difficult task for both large and medium and small businesses. Companies need to have all the resources required for this: specialized specialists, expensive equipment, connection to high-speed communication channels. Denial-of-service attacks are a volatile threat, and therefore, from the point of view of the feasibility of spending the company’s financial resources, it will be much more effective to use the services of companies specializing in protecting against such attacks.
Protection against identity theft
As discussed earlier, attacks against businesses are becoming more sophisticated. Whereas previously an attacker could simply create a fake email inbox, now he can hack corporate email. The criminal introduces himself in the letter as a leading person and asks his subordinates to take some action, for example, transfer a certain amount of money to a bank account or the letter contains an attachment that is disguised as a ransomware virus. As you already know, such viruses are a huge threat to large, medium and small businesses. These malicious programs are famous for encrypting important data: documents, tables, images, video files, pdf documents, and it is impossible to decrypt them on their own, and distributors demand money to “restore” access to the files. The number of cases of compromised corporate mail, at the moment, is growing at an astonishing rate. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from this type of hacking is through strict email communication regulations. For example, subordinates should respond to the manager’s letters not with an answer to the letter that came, but with a separate message.
Administrators of the corporate network are required to configure the local network so that employees only visit sites with a verified SSL certificate (the “lock” icon in front of the address bar in the browser). In the case of an unsecured connection, there is a threat of interception by hackers of sensitive confidential data.
Summing up the above, it should be said that in modern conditions, organizations of both a large business segment and a medium and small segment need to use a set of measures that provide an acceptable level of protection of the organization’s infrastructure while maintaining the optimal efficiency of business processes. In addition, the management of the enterprises should organize regular training of the staff of the rules of safe work with corporate data.