As news headlines over the past decade can attest, cybercrime is rapidly increasing throughout the global marketplace; both in frequency of attacks, and the financial impact it has on business owners.
What few realize however, is how these attacks are actually carried out.
Most imagine cyber-attacks as an immediate system shut down and rapid compromise of company-wide files; initiated from a senseless file download from a suspicious webpage. While this is sometimes true, the vast majority of attacks today are far more meticulously disguised and well-planned, allowing cyber criminals to repeatedly access the infected system in the weeks or even months before they actually launch the attack.
This careful planning and systematic implementation prevent companies from knowing they have been compromised, and gives attackers extended time and opportunity to access their systems and construct a thorough, devastating attack across the network.
There are ways to protect a business from falling prey to these attacks by better understanding key strategies cyber attackers use to access company systems, as well as their process for laying a strategic foundation of attack in the weeks prior to implementing a full take-over.
Below is a breakdown of key strategies for safeguarding a company's digital network and its private data to reduce its risk of falling victim to an attack, or even, how to halt one already in progress.
One of the best ways to protect a business from a cyber-attack is, of course, to prevent access into the system’s networks. This can be done through regular, targeted training for employees so they can learn how to spot even the most well-disguised phishing schemes.
While most employees today are aware of the threat of cyber-crime, digital attackers are becoming increasingly tactful in the ways they target specific employees of a company. With modern, evolving attacks it is crucial that workforces receive regular, up-to-date training from a social engineering expert who can share the modern methods of attack that they will likely encounter.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of an employee falling prey to a scheme targeting their system login details, there is a chance to stop attacks that have already begun. While digital attacks appear sudden, wiping out hundreds of employee computers and encrypting thousands of company data files in an instant; the truth is these attacks are carefully plotted, often weeks or even months in advance.
Through post incident investigation, it is common to find unauthorized visits from attackers occurring frequently in the weeks, or months, prior to any major attacks being carried out. This leaves opportunity for early detection and prevention, before an attack has the chance to devastate the company’s systems.
If the business is effectively prepared with security alert systems in place, and a security partner who can flag and defend against these breaches, they may be able to halt the unauthorized system access before a devastating, and costly, attack is carried out.
With a thorough cyber-attack prevention protocol in place, businesses can prevent fatal compromises to their networks and data, and can terminate active attacks that may already be underway. To structure a regular training plan for your workforce, conduct a security gap analysis, or setup periodic system reviews to detect any unauthorized access into your systems, reach out to Exhibit A Forensics here.