The importance of defending your organisation against cyber-attacks
Cyber security is a collective term used to describe the protection of electronic and computer networks, programs and data against criminal or unauthorised access.
Cyber security is essential for the financial and reputational wellbeing of all organisations. With today’s cyber threats more evasive and complex than ever, businesses are finding it ever more challenging to defend themselves.
It is therefore necessary for businesses to approach cyber security as a journey of continual improvement, requiring dedicated expertise, tried and tested processes and regular configuration and maintenance of technologies.
With so many threats, rapid detection is essential
The proliferation of cloud services, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and remote working means that the latest cyber security threats have an even wider surface to attack your business. With new attack vectors capable of evading traditional preventative security such as firewalls and antivirus software, being able to detect early sign of attack is vital.
Common threats to your cyber security include:
Malicious code designed to compromise a user’s privacy by stealing and destroying personal data can be introduced via a wide variety of sources including email attachments, downloads, bogus advertisements and webpages. It's essential to identify the latest attacks before they spread.
Brute force is a common method used by criminals to gain access to user accounts. By adopting common methods of password cracking, including the use of automated applications that enter thousands of common word and number combinations in sequence, hackers are able to crack weak accounts in a matter of seconds.
Posing as trusted contacts or businesses, social engineering scams trick users into clicking infected links or divulging personal information like passwords. Highly personalised spear phishing attacks are designed to target high privilege network users and can be highly damaging.
By flooding a network with high volumes of useless requests and data, DoS attacks overload vital services until they no long function. A distributed DoS attack is conducted by many, often thousands, of sources so if not detected early can be very difficult to stop.
Impersonating endpoints in online information exchange enables criminals to intercept sensitive information such as bank account details. These difficult to detect attacks target key communication channels such as Wi-Fi, meaning that close monitoring is required.
Here to help defend your business from attack
Redscan is an award-winning provider of managed cyber security services that help businesses defend against hackers and advanced online threats.
By adopting the mindset of the adversary, utilising leading detection technology and offering clear advice, Redscan’s cyber security experts help organisations of all sizes to defend against the latest tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) used by cybercriminals.
We take pride in delivering the highest level of service, enabling our customers to make real improvements to their cyber security posture.
Who is responsible for an organisation’s cyber security?
In a large enterprise, a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Security Officer (CSO) is the employee tasked with managing and improving cybersecurity.
The reality for small and medium-sized organisations operating on a tighter budget is that the responsibility falls on Heads of IT or IT Managers, many of whom are faced with competing priorities and may lack specialist security training.
Regardless of organisation size, no one person or team should shoulder the entire burden of ensuring an organisation’s cyber security. Indeed, all employees have a responsibility to raise awareness and follow recommended procedures and practices.
Who needs cyber security?
In a constantly evolving cyber threat landscape, with attacks growing in frequency and sophistication, no organisation is immune to cyber-attack.
Regardless of size or sector, all businesses need cybersecurity to protect their employees, customers and partners, and any organisation that neglects security is exposing themselves as an easy target for cybercriminals.
Why is cyber security necessary?
Cyber security protects critical assets and confidential data from being compromised. A cyber security breach can be hugely damaging for any organisation, both financially and reputationally.
Legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places further scrutiny on organisations that fail to take adequate steps to maintain and improve cyber security, including significant fines for organisations that fail to comply.
How to improve cyber security
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to protect organisations against all cyber threats. To make genuine, lasting improvements to cybersecurity, a strong blend of technology, expertise and processes is required.
While preventative security controls such as firewalls and antivirus are a solid first line of defence, proactive network and endpoint monitoring is increasingly important to improve visibility of threats that bypass traditional defences.
Regular security assessments such as vulnerability scanning and pen testing and are also important in helping to detect and eliminate weaknesses before they can be exploited by attackers.
Where to start with cyber security
With a huge range of disconnected cyber security products on the market, it can be difficult to know which solutions offer the best protection.
Organisations looking to gauge their security posture should look to commission a vulnerability scan or penetration test to identify weaknesses affecting technology, people and processes. It is recommended the tests should be conducted at least quarterly to defend against evolving threats and attack techniques.
The Cyber Essentials certification scheme is a useful mechanism to help businesses achieve a base level of information security assurance and demonstrate to employees, partners, customers and investors that cyber security is taken seriously.
What are cyber security vulnerabilities?
Cyber security vulnerabilities are weaknesses in an organisation’s technology, people and processes that could allow hackers to gain access to critical assets and data. Vulnerabilities can include flaws in unpatched software, weak passwords, insecure system configurations, and poor email security protocols.
What are the types of cyber security threats?
As attackers become increasingly persistent and well-funded, and the workplace is transformed by cloud services, remote working and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the number of threats targeting organisations is multiplying.
Common cyber security threats include malware such as viruses, trojans, worms, spyware and adware and ransomware, social engineering techniques such as phishing, vishing and spear phishing, brute-force attacks and denial-of service attacks, including DDoS.