Hacks often happen from end-users in your company being careless. However, the consequences can be for their company can be detrimental.
A series of large-scale ransomware incursions have prompted the U.S. to ramp up its cybersecurity measures. The Biden administration has also contacted dozens of countries to partner with American intelligence agencies to prevent evasive cybercriminals from acting around the globe.
Security is a weakest-link kind of game.
Defenders must defend all items in the physical realm and the cyber world. If you miss one item like the creation of an easy password to guess, an employee clicks on a phishing email, or you forget to update one application, an intruder can enter to attack your data storage.
To help you not become the weakest link, we will discuss the dark web of cybercrime and the behavioral component of security tasks. There are systematic ways you may avoid data breaches. However, many companies must also focus on how they can fortify their human-run systems from within.
Security violations to computer networks are a prominent threat. However, we often see frequent reports of companies and institutions experiencing severe data leaks. Twitch’s live-video site is one example of content creators’ earnings, among posting other details online.
Here we will observe the issues in cyber security and describe the best practices to avoid being your company’s weakest security link.
Why are Companies Getting Caught Flat-footed?
In some cases, the weakest link in your company is a lack of awareness. Therefore it is essential to make these individuals aware of some of the threats that companies might face. The people running these sites, especially those less technologically savvy, are unaware of the dangers, or all the things necessary to be secure are a secondary priority.
It’s not what the teams are building. It is about providing a well-trained security staff that knows what to look for and has the authority to implement the security protocols.
However, sometimes this authority can cause problems.
Data security requires effort and forethought; stuff falls through the cracks without a systematic and carefully architected approach. You will miss things if you don’t have a process from the beginning to monitor all the threats actively.
Safeguarding data is a weakest-link type of game. As we all know, defenders must defend everything. If you miss one item like the creation of an easy password to guess, an employee clicks on a phishing email, or you forget to update one application, an intruder can enter to attack your data storage.
All the training in the world is not going to prevent one of your employees from accidentally clicking on a phishing email. So, organizations need to consider those weak points, too, and what impact they can have.
From a security researcher’s perspective, though, we want to think about this:
- How can we make these security roles easier?
- How can we reduce what administrators need to know?
- How can we make security tools to utilize the computer system?
What is Considered Good Cyber Hygiene?
Some fundamentals are common to securing any system, including your accounts. These fundamentals include two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and making sure you update your plans.
Companies with large networks must add threat modeling or identify probable threats with their security protocols. Therefore you will need to design the network to address the potential vulnerabilities.
Security expert and founder of K3 Technology, Kelly Kercher, reminds us, “Since email is so common today, it’s the most popular way cyber attacks occur. So having the proper procedures and email security protocols in place is critical. Using email security is the set of methods used for keeping email correspondence and accounts safe from these types of attacks.”
What Else Can Businesses and Organizations Do?
Companies must be very cautious about using additional layers of security to protect the files that need protection. The New York City Cyber Command is an organization that functions to protect any website, any municipality-related portal, and any data that New York City collects.
They found that the planning for additional protection helped security professionals prioritize what they should focus on. The extra security gave them an understanding of the prioritization of specific security projects. Therefore, they had a structure to help them push for improvements.
So if you do not want to be the weakest link, be the person to push for additional security.
Typically, city organizations hire younger tech staff with security expertise. However, they might possess less understanding of how government works. The younger staff observe the power of enabling communications across these different groups.
Understanding how your network establishes a shared grid connection will give you a sense of how to provide security better. Therefore you will have an idea of how you will defend each of those pieces and then practice how you will respond to an incident—all those steps are very beneficial for organizations.
Ransomware Attacks Hold Computer Systems Hostage.
Attackers tend to utilize something like Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency with encryptions that prevent organizations from seeing money transfers.
Hackers offer this effective mechanism for extorting funds from organizations. Therefore they are targeting companies or organizations that are not necessarily the most protected.
So, in addition to not necessarily having the most secure networks, you have organizations with critically important work and digital creation.
Hospitals are often filled with Internet-connected devices. Therefore, there is a reliance on these networks to conduct life-saving functions. Add in the fact that many do not possess the highest security controls.
Therefore if you do not want to be the weakest link, you need to provide these security controls. Businesses create a target on their backs for cyber attackers to take advantage of these vulnerabilities.
What are the Developments to Address Cybergangs and Their Malicious Activities?
The National Security Agency recently announced they would work more closely with the private sector. Therefore, they will quickly declassify some of what they have gleaned from their intelligence collection.
The U.S. government has significant experience in this area; they have defended their networks since they created the internet.
Hackers often operate in countries outside of the U.S. They operate here because they know there are no extradition treaties. Therefore, the U.S. can not demand these governments arrest the hacker even if we could identify them.
However, providing support to businesses will help you from becoming the weakest link. These organizations might not necessarily possess the needed expertise to implement security protocols from the start.
Are All Hackers Malicious?
There are two kinds of hackers. Some attackers are trying to break into a system to steal data for ransomware or other destructive purposes.
Believe it or not, there are ethical hackers. These individuals’ intent is not to harm but to go in and identify problems that they can report back to someone else. They can say, “Here’s a bug. You should fix the issue, so a hacker does not come along and take advantage.”
The people who act on the ethical side would typically be “security researchers.” They operate in a responsible disclosure ethos method. The process includes where they address an issue.
However, the problem today is it does not become public until after a patch is in effect.
Therefore, the organization has usually been under bug bounty programs. These companies will offer a small payout to incentivize people to come and look at a specific network component. Whatever vulnerabilities participants find can then be addressed.
There is a need for a legal safe harbor for people trying to operate within these ethical settings. These individuals help guide authorities into these bug bounty programs.
The White House has recommended a directive that all organizations, especially the government, begin to share breached data. Therefore they can create a more responsible disclosure program.
If one existed in the St. Louis matter, the journalist could have reported the bug safely within a formal process.
You must have people with security expertise willing to provide their time and energy to help identify vulnerabilities. It’s essential to have many eyes, not just those of the people who built the system, but other people from the outside. That’s the only way you’ll find some profound, critical flaws that need fixing.
The Bottom Line
Nobody wants to be the weakest link in their company. Ultimately when a security breach occurs, it is not just the fault of one single person. We all have a role to play in providing the security of data.
However, hopefully, this article provides you with the tools necessary to empower the possible weakest link in your company.
The weakest link in your company could be you. The awareness provided here should help you further research ways to be a better cybersecurity advocate.