Businesses are getting more and more vulnerable to data attacks and ransomware. Here are some ways you can protect your business in the new year.
Business and data protection is the biggest worry moving forward to 2022. Hackers are becoming smarter and more innovative than ever before. According to estimation by SonicWall, the reported attacks of ransomware in 2021 were 78.4 million. It comes down to 9.4 ransomware attempts per customer for every business day.
Ransomware is a type of malware. It is designed to take over a whole or section of attacked company’s computer network. The idea is to steal sensitive data and to take control over the entire or a large section of the computer network. For instance, paying bills online either directly through the bank or a 3rd party could be dangerous if attacked by hackers. That’s why many feel comfortable using the Spectrum billing feature on the provider’s website not to mention it’s more convenient.
What Can a Ransomware Do?
Once the attack is successful, the company loses its control over the hacked portion of the network. The system is then held hostage till the company pays up the demanded ransom. In 2021, big companies like Acer, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn were hacked. These companies had to pay ransom amounts to the hackers to get back control of their systems.
The most vulnerable sites are the ones where customers’ sensitive information lies, for example, personal information such as social security number, bank details, date of birth, etc. So going forward into 2022, the biggest worry of the companies is cyber security. In this article, we will discuss methods by which you can secure your businesses from such attacks.
Cyber Policies and Procedures
It is very important to develop policies and procedures regarding the protection of data, Information Technology (IT), machinery, or operational technology. This means that policies and procedures should be in place for observations and authorization of every device that is attached to the system even for a short period of time.
In present work conditions when due to the epidemic, most people are working from home. It would be hard to develop and monitor as during the covid pandemic, most people are working from home.
Aim for Zero Trust Architecture
Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA)
Since cyberattacks are on a rise and end up being very expensive for the attacked company. In the USA an executive order was issued laying down some directives for the companies to follow, in order to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
Therefore one of the directives is to build a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA). The first tier of ZTA means that every person given access to the system must be observed and analyzed for relevance all the time. This tier is called Zero Trust.
This becomes an ongoing duty of the company to keep adjusting access or level of access of each internal or external partner or employee. As soon as a person does not fall within the trusted parameters, their access to the systems is denied.
Zero Trust Access (ZTA)
This includes that along with the people, all internet-based equipment, including office or remote or personal equipment that must be authorized to access the system, this also includes smart wearable technology and smart devices. Unauthorized equipment or devices must not be allowed access.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
This deals with the VPN. These are more secure VPNs. Access to these can be authorized remotely, but the access must be monitored and assessed continually.
Build a Task Force
Organizations build a task force within the organization with the aim to improve cyber security. This should ideally be a cross-functional team including members from each department. So that observations and vulnerabilities are brought to the table from all departments. Processes are audited to highlight vulnerable areas or high-risk areas. These weaknesses must then be addressed under the guidelines of Zero Trust Architecture.
The task force is encouraged to as ‘what if’ questions such as ‘What if a certain service is unavailable for a week, month, or longer? ‘What if the services are attacked by Ransomware, and services and data are lost?’
Answers to these questions are then determined keeping the following in mind
- Confidentiality – To check if the security of the service is sufficient
- Contingency Plan – In case of a malware attack, can the data be recovered? Can an organization work without the service or if there is an alternate route to continue providing the service.
Invest in automation or Cyber Security Solutions
There are certain areas of cyber security that can only be done by human beings. Having said that there are still areas where automation or cyber security solutions can provide better protection. These cyber security solutions can be employed in collaboration with an internal team.
Most of the companies that offer cyber solutions work on 3 wire monitoring and compliance tools. These 3 wire monitoring tools are superior in providing security to blind spots or compliance breaches. They are faster in highlighting any unauthorized system, vendor, or machine trying to access the system.