Every year, cybercrime incidents cost companies millions of dollars. What are the main threats responsible for these immense damages? Which vulnerabilities are being exploited in attacks and how can companies better protect themselves? Here a short overview.
Which tactics do cybercriminals use when attacking a company?
- Social engineering: Social engineering is a technique where attackers seek to manipulate their victims in order to get to sensitive data.
- Banking Trojans: This type of malware infects victims’ computers via internet browsers and silently installs itself to spy on them when they log themselves into their e-banking.
- Ransomware: These encryption attacks are carried through by the use of Trojans. The malware encrypts all data of the infected system so that the victim can no longer read any of these.
- DDoS: These types of attacks aim to shut down a website by coordinating countless requests targeted at the server of the company under attack. This procedure eventually overloads the system and the website is no longer accessible.
Which security vulnerabilities are typically exploited?
- Unpatched systems: if a system has a security vulnerability, it must be fixed with a so-called patch. Otherwise, attackers will have a simplified way of access to the system of the company.
- Employees’ lack of risk awareness or negligence
- Falsely configured systems
- Inadequate protection mechanisms in the network of the corporation
Which technical defence measures can improve the protection?
- Firewalls and intrusion prevention systems: These protect a system against threats amongst others because they prevent certain types of content being sent or opened.
- Up to date antimalware programs to detect and remove threats.
- Backups: Through backups, you make sure that you can re-create data if the original data has been encrypted during an attack.
- Log files: these are automatized protocols which greatly help in the investigation of attacks.
- Principle of least privilege: you should only ever award a user of a system the minimal amount of user rights needed in order to better protect the system against misuse and theft of data.
- Encrypted communication that protects internal messages