In our previous blog in the “Cybersecurity Attacks Demystified” series, we gave you a glimpse of the most common cybersecurity threats and how they exploit the vulnerabilities in an IT network. Now that you’ve understood the common threats you are likely to face, it is time to explore some mitigation strategies that can help you avoid becoming a victim of one of these attacks.
Learn more about cyberthreats from our free “Cyberattacks Demystified for MSPs” infographic.
Employee awareness is key when it comes to protecting your organization against various malware. You need to train your employees to spot malicious links and pop-ups that may contain codes for malware. With proper training, you can significantly bring down the chances of hackers infecting your systems.
Besides employee awareness training, you also need to incorporate basic cybersecurity measures, like firewalls, antivirus solutions, patching tools, etc., to mitigate attacks.
Phishing attacks are social engineering attacks that prey on weak employees, enticing them to click a malicious link or share their personal information. This can be avoided only by providing regular security training to your staff. You need to help them understand how these social engineering attacks work and what needs to be done when they receive a suspicious email or text message.
You also need to incorporate strong email security measures to prevent phishing emails from reaching your employees’ inboxes.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
Most victims might find it overwhelming when on the receiving end of a DDoS attack. There aren’t many security solutions that identify fake traffic coming to a network. However, there are some effective mitigation tactics you can apply against a DDoS attack. For instance, IP Access Control, where you block traffic from certain suspicious sources, can be helpful.
If you are already facing an attack, you may try blocking all traffic for a short period of time, or rate-limiti traffic to a website to prevent the attack. You can also use a web application firewall to detect suspicious traffic patterns or scatter traffic across a network of servers to reduce the attack’s impact.
As a basic step, you need to encrypt all your enterprise applications including emails, voice traffic, etc. Your protection should not just be limited to sensitive information. This is essential because hackers can insert malware even in non-sensitive communication and infect your IT network. End-to-end encryption is one of the best ways to mitigate these attacks. For remote and hybrid work environments, it is better to use a VPN to access company networks.
Credential stuffing and password spraying
Using a strong password should be a basic requirement in organizational policies. You can use the NIST password guidelines to incorporate a strong password policy in your organization. While strong passwords can certainly help, they can only mitigate these threats to a certain extent. What’s even better is passwordless authentication and multifactor authentication.
There are sophisticated tools that use single sign-on to access various profiles without providing your password in every instance. Make sure you use these tools to avoid the security loopholes caused by weak passwords.
Mobile device attacks
Your mitigation strategies cannot be limited to your workstations and servers. Considering the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices, you need a strong enterprise mobility management (EMM) program as well as mobile device management (MDM) tools that help you protect any company data that may be on your employees’ personal or work devices.
You also need to use identity and access management tools like multifactor authentication to help secure any work applications that contain sensitive information from unauthorized access.
Cybercriminals can also exploit the vulnerabilities in your software and hardware to gain access to your network. You need to make sure your software tools are maintained and up to date with the latest patches. Also, take precautions and examine all permissions when installing new applications. Most importantly, you must enable native encryption features for all sensitive information.
In addition to security measures, you also need to back up your files to secure your data when an attack is inevitable. This helps you get up and running in no time when you eventually fall victim to an attack.
Best practices to boost security
The specific measures listed above can help against those specific attacks. However, there are also some general best practices you must follow to boost security in your organization. Incorporating these measures can help prevent cyberattacks to a great extent.
- Train your employees: Your employees are your first line of defense against various attacks. You must educate them properly about various cyberthreats and how to prevent them. Develop and implement cybersecurity programs designed to stop cyberattacks before they get out of hand. MSPs can use these programs to educate both employees and customers about cyberthreats as well.
- Identify the risks: To mitigate cybersecurity risks the right way, you need to first get an understanding of the different types of risks. Your risk varies based on various factors like the size of the MSP, third-party vendors, types of clients, etc. It is better to perform a comprehensive risk assessment based on the NIST framework to identify the different cyberattacks you are likely to experience.
- Use the right tools: When it comes to security tools, there are various options available in the market. You need to identify the right tools that suit your specific needs. MSPs can integrate cybersecurity tools into their everyday operations, teach employees how to utilize these tools, and minimize the risk of cyberattacks that can contribute to data breaches, downtime and outages.
Cybercrime is at an all-time high right now and the number of organizations affected by cyberattacks is growing every year. Getting an understanding of various threats is important. However, what’s even more important is the implementation of the right strategies to overcome the threats.
To know more about various cyberthreats and how to mitigate them, check out our “Cyberattacks Demystified for MSPs” webinar by clicking the button below.
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