Prepare Now for Cyberattacks- Don’t Wait

Cyber Attack

In present times, you never know what you are going to wake up to. While the countries were slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic, the new socio-politico conflict between Russia and Ukraine has spurred new strain worldwide. Amidst the rising tension, some predict that the world is on the verge of World War III, while other experts are warning countries to prepare their tech front for possible cyber warfare.

Why are Cyber Attacks a Concern for Businesses?

While cyber security threats may seem unlikely in an armed conflict, it is not uncommon for technologically equipped countries like Russia to use these means for spying on and debilitating the enemy country’s intellectual property. For example, Ukraine is currently going through a volatile war-like situation from a potent adversary. While there may not be a full-fledged arms war between these two countries, there are possibilities of cyber-attacks to subdue the weaker nations by hostile opponents. 

Ukraine recently discovered an extraordinary ‘Wiper attack’ on several government banks and government websites. This was the third wave of the most sophisticated cyberattack in Ukraine that destroyed valuable data and disabled machines. ESET and Broadcom’s Symantec, two cybersecurity businesses with a substantial commercial presence in Ukraine, warned that computer networks in the nation have been struck by a fresh data-wiping attack.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is just one example of thousands that exists today. The USA is extremely wary of tech-savvy China and the potential threat to the state’s cyberspace. The country has repeatedly accused China of online espionage and phishing emails threatening American businesses and companies for intellectual property theft.

In such situations, one can either sit and hope that everything goes back to normal (which seems doubtful) or prepare themselves on all fronts to protect their interest. 

Cyber Crime and Crisis on the Rise

Ransomware assaults on small businesses are on the rise. Almost half of all cyber assaults now target firms with 250 or fewer employees. According to reports, there is a one-in-two risk that small companies will be victims of a cyberattack in the coming year. In addition, one out of every five small firms has already been infected by ransomware.

Regrettably, while most small companies pay the ransom, this does not guarantee anything. Many firms have completely cooperated with ransom requests, only to have the hacker raise the ransom demand—or simply flee with the cash and your data. It’s no surprise, however, that ransomware, phishing assaults, and other malware are ranked as the biggest danger to small company data by 41% of those polled.

A cybercrime occurs when a cybercriminal installs malware on a website or files and keeps your information and knowledge hostage till you pay the money. When ransomware strikes, the average small firm suffers two days of interruption. They pay anything between a few thousand and millions of dollars to recover their data. One-third of them lose real income, and all suffer brand and reputation loss that is considerably more difficult to measure and recuperate from.

How do Businesses Prepare for Such Attacks?

As the CISA issues a cyberattack alert amidst the Ukraine crisis, every business, MSMEs, and industry needs to gear up against potential threats. Being vigilant is not enough, every government and country needs to proactively take action and prepare themselves against these rapidly rising attacks. 

Incident Response Plan (IRP)

A cybersecurity incident response plan (or IR plan) is a collection of guidelines meant to assist businesses in preparing for, detecting, responding to, and recovering from network security problems. Most IR strategies are technology-focused, addressing concerns like malware detection, data theft, and service disruptions. However, any large cyber assault can have ramifications throughout an organization’s activities. Thus, the strategy should include HR, finance, customer relations, and other outside groups.

Organizations like NIST and SANS have industry-standard incident management structures that give broad instructions on how to respond to a live event. Your organization’s IR strategy, on the other hand, should be considerably more explicit and concrete, outlining who should do what and when.

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Catastrophe recovery is the process by which an organization regains access and functioning to its IT infrastructure following an event such as a natural disaster, a cyber assault, or even business interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A disaster recovery strategy might include a range of disaster recovery (DR) approaches. One facet of business continuity is disaster recovery.

Disaster recovery is based on reproducing information and computer operations in a non-disaster-affected area. When servers fail due to a natural disaster, equipment failure, or a cyber assault, a company must restore lost data from a secondary site where the data is backed up. To maintain operations, a company should ideally be able to shift its computer processing to that remote site as well.

Fully Patched Servers

Patch management is the process of delivering and installing software updates. These patches are frequently required to remedy mistakes in software, sometimes known as “vulnerabilities” or “bugs.”

Patches are commonly required for operating systems, software, and embedded devices such as network equipment. When a vulnerability is discovered after a piece of software has been released, a security patch secures it. This helps to guarantee that the resources in your ecosystem are not vulnerable to abuse.

Patching is critical for cybersecurity. When a new patch is deployed, attackers employ software that examines the fundamental vulnerability in the patched program. Unfortunately, it is something that hackers do fast, allowing them to distribute malware to exploit weakness within hours of a patch being released.

Security patches keep hackers and fraudsters from abusing flaws that may bring a system to a halt. For example, consider what would happen if a hacker encrypted all of your data, servers, and computers and demanded a ransom.

Offline Backups

When it comes to company IT, there are few assurances. However, the significance of offline data backup cannot be overstated since it solves both of the aforementioned problems. Without offline backups, your company might lose crucial data, causing substantial harm to its performance, productivity, and overall reputation. Fortunately, these potential concerns may be avoided by using an offline data backup and recovery method.

Offline data backup allows you to safeguard your data on a physical disc. This gear is typically housed in a remote location to secure data from onsite dangers like harsh weather, power failures, and theft. Offline data backup can take a variety of forms. Traditionally, it entailed transferring files onto detachable hard drives, which were then stored somewhere else. Businesses, on the other hand, have lately turned to invest in cloud backup, which stores data on remote servers. This strategy adds an extra layer of protection while also providing significant peace of mind to business owners.

Firewall Protection

A firewall is a type of security equipment that can be hardware or software. It can assist safeguard your system by acting as a bridge across your corporate network and external traffic. It monitors attempted accessibility to your operating system and prevents undesired incoming traffic from unknown sources. A firewall functions as a gatekeeper or barrier between your computer and another network, such as the internet. It acts as a dispatcher, detecting and filtering traffic attempting to enter your operating system.

By regulating network traffic, a firewall can help safeguard your computer and data. It accomplishes this by filtering unsolicited and undesirable network traffic. In addition, a firewall validates access by scanning incoming traffic for dangerous elements such as hackers and viruses that might infect your machine.

Proactive Threat Hunting

Cyber threat hunting is a proactive security scan of networks, endpoints, and datasets for malicious, suspicious, or harmful actions that have eluded detection by existing techniques. As a result, there is a distinction to be made between cyber threat detection and cyber threat hunting. Threat detection is a more passive technique of analyzing data and systems for possible security vulnerabilities, but it is still required to help a threat hunter. Proactive cyber threat hunting strategies have emerged to identify and categorize possible threats before an attack by combining fresh threat information with previously obtained data.

Security guards cannot afford to assume that their security system is impregnable. They must always be on the lookout for another threat or weakness. Rather than sitting back and waiting for threats to hit, cyber threat hunting creates hypotheses based on threat actor behavior and validates those ideas by actively searching in the environment.

Cybersecurity Insurance

Cybersecurity insurance, often known as cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is an agreement that a company may buy to decrease the financial risks of an online business. The insurance policy distributes part of the risk to the policyholder in return for the payment or quarterly charge. Cybersecurity insurance is a very new and developing market. 

Companies that get cybersecurity insurance today are seen as pioneers. Given the evolving and shifting nature of the linked cyber-risks, cybersecurity policies can vary from one month to the next. Institutional investors of cybersecurity insurance plans, in contrast to well-established insurance plans, have little data to construct risk analysis to predict insurance policy coverage options, rates, and premiums.

Conclusion

A tweet by Disclose.tv informed that the CISA had issued warnings amid the Ukraine crisis. The release by CISA warns that every USA firm, small and big, is at risk of cybersecurity threats that can disrupt essential services. 

The spectrum of war is no longer a matter of two countries; it goes beyond borders. Add cybercrime to the mix, and the scope of this looming threat becomes twice as great as it may seem. Hence, in this case, it becomes imperative that businesses start taking proactive measures to protect their data as best as they can. 

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