While many businesses are facing constrained security budgets, cybersecurity attacks are on the rise. Without an influx of big bucks, how can a company face off against the latest threats in the cyber security landscape?
Here are some low-cost security solutions that you can quickly implement to amp up your protective game.
The ISACA's State of Cyber Security 2020 found that 62% of respondents say their cybersecurity team is understaffed. Respondents with fully staffed teams reported a higher degree of confidence in their ability to respond to cyber threats.
In the 2019 Ponemon Institute Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization, 77% of respondents admit they don't have a formal incident response plan applied consistently across their organization. Nearly half say their plan is informal or nonexistent.
And why wouldn't they? The sprawling damage done in May by the WannaCry cryptoworm (and the subsequent media attention it garnered) highlighted that ransomware is on the rise. In that May attack, cybercriminals encrypted data on more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries to extort payment to regain access to business data and systems.
It looks like Symantec is now Broadcom, update to the 2019 Broadcom report, and update text and year to refer to Broadcom and 2019.
Then there's the Internet of Things (IoT) replacing mobile as a top area of concern as it emerges further into the mainstream. As traditional methods may not cover IoT devices, securing the estimated billions of connected things represents a new challenge.
Further, the IoT environment is only as secure as its weakest link, while the enterprise is connecting to a much larger environment than it can control independently.
Meanwhile, tight budgets are coupled with hiring freezes or reductions in headcount. The cyber skills gap impacted business at 70% of organizations surveyed by the Information Systems Security Association and Enterprise Strategy Group.
Not to mention that even those enterprises with the economic wherewithal to hire new talent are facing a shortage of skilled individuals. In fact, according to the Information Audit and Control Association (IACA), about a quarter of all cybersecurity positions remain unfilled for about six months.
Finally, there's the ongoing issue of attrition as overworked IT staff find they are forced to address increasing attacks without fresh investment in their personal development or security skills training. For 35% of the ISSA survey respondents, the lack of skilled workers left security teams unable to familiarize themselves fully with the security tools they were using.
Sound like an uphill battle? It is—that's why it's more important than ever to place a priority on your team's readiness for an attack.
Unless this is the first RedTeam Security blog you've read, you're going to feel like we're a broken record on this one. Backup. Backup today!
Making sure vital systems files are backed up to a computer that isn't connected to any network can decrease a malware's ability to spread and wipe your configuration files. Yet fewer than half of the respondents in Ponemon's 2016 Cost of Cyber Crime study reported advance backup and recovery operations.
We'll stop making this suggestion a top priority when we know we're preaching to a compliant choir, deal?
Pullout: Backing up vital system files can reduce the average cost of a cyber attack by nearly $2 million — Ponemon
In ISACA's study, 50% of respondents had executed an incident response plan in 2020 while 17% didn't even know if they had done so. Well, at least they had a response plan in place to implement!
Identify security vulnerabilities and develop policies to address them. Having determined in advance the criticality of different incidents, you can determine what actions should be taken to apply counter measures and act quickly to contain damage. Having already outlined your process for monitoring and tracking activity following an attack can further both remediation and forensic efforts.
If you already have a plan in place, congratulations. However, if the Incident Response Plan is the cybersecurity equivalent of a fire drill, make sure you pull that lever once in awhile to make sure that everyone still knows what to do.
Implementing a plan and then letting it sit in a file cabinet somewhere isn't going to do you much good in the immediate aftermath of an attack. It's possibly your plan might:
Some 95% of security breaches were avoidable, according to the 2018 Online Trust Alliance report. The OTA noted, "Just like first responders, employees must be regularly trained, equipped and empowered to deal with a data loss or other cyber incident."
Educate employees about the many ways they can avoid making your business vulnerable to attack. Steps they can take include:
"Even in a high tech sector, your weakest point is your users. Ensure that all employees are being careful or train them to be better." — Spiceworks
Ensure your business is keeping up to date with evolving technology. Cybercriminals are highly motivated to adapt and find new ways to breach networks. Keep your infrastructure security current:
Meanwhile, don't overlook the importance of securing the physical environment too.
Those who are spearheading cybersecurity efforts for your enterprise need to remain educated about the latest security trends and threats.
The online landscape and data breach environment evolves rapidly. Fortunately, it's also becoming easier to follow and share information about threat channels, classifying attacks, and knowing what next steps to take.
Major breaches will make the general news, and you may also have access to industry-specific community news sources. Other good resources to follow security alerts and advisories about vulnerabilities include:
Although the prevalence of ransomware is increasing, only 53% of the ISACA respondents had a formal process in place to deal with this type of attack.
Assemble key stakeholders around a table in a conference room today and hash out the implications of payment vs. non-payment. Considering your options as a proactive exercise, rather than under the pressure of a ticking clock deadline, may lead to more level-headed thinking about the proper response.
"70% of business ransomware targets paid the ransom." — IBM
While these low-cost solutions can make an immediate difference, there's nothing like the input of seasoned security experts. RedTeam Security application, network, and physical penetration testing measure existing controls and uncover weaknesses in your systems. Once we identify the weaknesses, we offer actionable insights to help you better protect your enterprise from attack.