November 3, 2021
6 ways to prevent cyber attacks
Cyber-attacks are unwelcome attempts to steal, expose, alter, disable, or destroy information through unauthorized access to computer systems. An average of 2200 cyberattacks occur each day. That’s about one attack every 39 seconds. And, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, this rate has increased by 600%.
Cyber-attacks are like natural disasters. There’s no way to prevent a hurricane from hitting your city, but you can certainly prepare for it. This article lists out the best defence mechanism against cyber-attacks.
Strong data discovery and governance
In order to protect against threats, organizations need to know what data to protect and how to help keep it protected. So, managing the data in a structured, responsible, and law-abiding way will make it more efficient for security professionals to protect it. Organizations must locate and identify the presence of sensitive data within the data store and classify them according to the level of risk associated.
Limit access to data
It’s essential to control who has access to your data. Somebody can simply walk into your office or enterprise and plug in a USB key containing infected files into one of your computers allowing them access to your entire network or infect it. Hence, organizations must ensure data access is restricted to everyone except only those who need that information.
Continuous monitoring of data
Recent events related to personal data and security have given rise to the increasing need to continuously monitor business processes and the entire data life cycle. As such, it is a best practice to develop and adhere to a continuous monitoring strategy. Organizations must monitor all activities on the datastore, irrespective of level of authorization.
Security awareness training
One of the most common ways cyber criminals get access to your data is through your employees. Over 65% of organizations in the United States fell victim to a phishing attack in 2021. They’ll send fraudulent emails impersonating someone in your organisation and will either ask for personal details or for access to certain files. Links often seem legitimate to an untrained eye and it’s easy to fall into the trap and this is why employee awareness is vital. Organizations must ensure employees and vendors are sensitized to the needs of effective data security practices. The effectiveness of security awareness training has been well documented with over 78% organizations stating that such a training has resulted in measurably lower susceptibility to phishing.
Multi factor authentication for all systems
With the growth in popularity of SaaS, even the very smallest businesses can have dozens of different accounts, each holding access to sensitive company or customer data which needs to be protected. This can become extremely difficult for users to manage, especially as the average user now has over 100 different accounts. This causes employees to use easily guessed, or reuse passwords across accounts, which leaves gaps in the overall security of an organization. To counteract this, organizations must add an extra layer of protection through multi factor authentication to confirm the identify of individuals accessing the data
Keep your software and systems fully up to date
Often cyber-attacks happen because your systems or software aren’t fully up to date, leaving weaknesses. Hackers exploit these weaknesses to gain access to your network. Once they are in – it’s often too late to take preventative action. To counteract this, organizations must maintain periodic updates to software and systems and ensure protection to the most recent threats.
Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that cybercrime will result in a total loss of $6 trillion worldwide by the end of 2021, growing by 15% per year until it reaches $10.5 trillion by 2025. Data breaches continue to dominate the headlines, and the Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for improved cyber security practices to defend against evolving threats. Scammers and social engineers regularly use influencing tactics to deceive employees, threatening the value and reputation of your organization. The above six recommendations are few of the effective ways for information security leaders to counteract those risks.