Given the evolving nature of cyber-security threats, we can never let our guard down. It seems almost every day we hear news about a company being hacked or a new virus, malware, spyware, ransomware and other cyber threats. If you want your company to be defended, you have to implement the latest technologies and approaches. Let’s take a look at the first one.
When we hear the term “Predictive Analytics,” we usually do not think of cyber-security. However, making sense of all the information your IT department receives could be the key to fending off cyber attackers. That involves taking all the information about known breaches, phishing and malware attacks, and finding out their tell-tale signs. Think of it as any bank robber or any other human criminal. Once they struck the first time, their name is spread in the media to make it easy to spot them the next time.
The same concept applies to cybersecurity technologies. When the virus strikes one company, it is reported by organizations like OWASP and others. That allows businesses to study the methods that hackers use and identify their “signature” if they try to do it again. The most advanced cyber-security minds have shifted away from a descriptive approach to preventing cyber-attacks and using predictive analytics.
One of the most significant advantages of such an approach is that it lets you take a proactive approach. Instead of sitting around waiting to be hacked, you can try to determine patterns and anomalies in real-time, thus allowing you to fend off an attack or at least limit the damage. To exploit predictive analytics for digital security purposes, you will have to map out patterns within your own IT ecosystem, including the smallest of details, so you will be able to investigate an issue right away before it escalates.
Handling Large Volumes of Information
One of the biggest issues with any cybersecurity technologies is finding the information you need out of the tidal wave of data you have coming in. Furthermore, the information might be arriving from different sources such as programs, databases, applications and devices, which means that you will need powerful BI tools to synchronize all of these sources. The good news is that once you get such a tool in place, predictive analytics will thrive in such a data-filled environment. The extent of information will allow the program to present you with a more complete and accurate picture.
Furthermore, such automation will alleviate a lot of work off the shoulders of your IT department since it will produce the needed insights quickly. Even though you will still need people who can interpret the findings, a lot of the hard work has been done automatically. The IT department will no longer have to waste time on queries and reporting and focus its efforts on identifying potential threats. As the systems getting more and more advanced, they will allow taking action against the hazards they identified, which means that you will be able to counter the attacking bots with ones of your own.
Making Sure Your Data is Secure
We mentioned above how companies have lots of data coming in, and they need to make sense of it to identify cyber threats. One way organizations do this is by creating an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) that stores and organizes the information for further analysis. However, securing the EDW is also a challenge. If you have a large warehouse, it will be accessed by hundreds, maybe even thousands of employees from all over the world for analytics, business intelligence, data mining and other purposes. Therefore, organizations will have to balance offering their employees access to the data warehouse without sacrificing security in the process.
There are several ways to solve this problem from the technological perspective:
Data encryption is one of the essential security measures that need to be in place to prevent data theft. You should encrypt your data with algorithms such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or the FIPS 140-2. While some critics might contend that by encrypting the data, you are slowing down the data warehouse speed, it is necessary given the number of threats out there in today’s day and age.
Data Segmentation and Partitioning
In addition to encrypting your data, you should also segment and partition your data. Data segmentation involves categorizing your information into sensitive and non-sensitive. As soon as this process is complete, the sensitive data should be encrypted and placed into a separate table ready for consumption.
Securing the Data in Transit
While it might be a challenge to secure data in one place, it will be even more complicated when it is on the move. In other words, the data is being sent back and forth between the transactional database and the EDW in real-time. The transactional databases could be located anywhere worldwide, which means that you should use SSL and TSL protective protocols. Nowadays, cloud-based databases offer a high level of security and a reliable tunnel between cloud storage and the database.
In addition to securing the database, it is also important to secure your application’s front end.
Securing the Front-end of the App
A lot of people think that web security is the responsibility of back-end developers and DevOps engineers. Even though user data will be stored in the back-end, that exact same information is pulled from the database and displayed in the front-end. This gives would-be hackers an excellent opportunity to steal it. While the battleground between cybercriminals and security teams has shifted from “underground” to the framework level, front-end developers still have to realize potential security vulnerabilities.
Among the most common front-end security threats is cross-site scripting.
Broadened attack area
The number of operations, data and applications increases, creating more possibilities for hackers and other scammers to induce damage to your business. It becomes much more problematic for cyber-security professionals to control the situation due to more possible breaches.
Once hackers get access to one of the companies systems, the potential threat for all the company’s network arises. So the level of security in an organization is defined by its weakest point. The picture becomes even worse by implementing siloed security solutions that make the system less efficient.
High potential for losses
Today the potential of a data breach is higher than ever, and data is gaining value for businesses in various industries. Additionally, ever more devices become internet-connected, which means they may be compromised.
Many of these devices are used in crucial processes, and a crash of one of such processes could cause significant losses for the organization. Today we see even vehicles and hospital equipment connected to the global network. Just imagine possible casualties in the event of a hack in such a company. The more a business uses information technologies, the more damaging and significant an attack could be.
Unrestrained corporate networks
Erenow companies used to work in restrained corporate networks with all IT tools inside. Some large companies and companies with very sensitive information do this even now. But most businesses today host their IT solutions in the cloud. Thus, these companies have uncontained networks connected to the public internet. Although such networks have the protection of information, the usage of IT tools creates an ability for hackers to break through the network’s security.
Nowadays, digital solutions boosted the speed of software updating that provides benefits as well as difficulties of data protection.
Faster changes make it much easier to hit weak spots in cybersecurity technologies. Cybercrime constantly improves its schemes that drive companies to improve their cybersecurity technology accordingly.
Attacks became more sophisticated
Today cybercriminals resort to advanced techniques like AI, making their attacks very sophisticated. Not every security professional can beat off such an attack. One of the most considerable problems is an attack using artificial intelligence known as a polymorphic attack. These types of attacks can shape themselves, not allowing traditional security systems to detect them.
It is crucial to encrypt all the information that is shared and stored. As hackers continuously improve their methods, making them more sophisticated, data encryption will serve you as an additional level of protection.
Times when login and password were enough to make your data secured are in the past. Nowadays, a password is considered the weakest type of security. We all heard about countless stolen passwords when social engineering or special software (called keyloggers) were used.
Information as a Weapon
To cause significant damage to a business, organization or even government, cybercriminals and hackers publish stolen information on public display and information will continue to be used as a weapon against corporations, individuals and public entities. Are you still thinking about why cybersecurity technologies are necessary for long-term safety?
Data manipulation instead of a regular theft
The new methodology of hackers is different from pure data theft and consists of attacking data integrity. Unlike habitual attacks, this one causes long-term losses and reputational damage.
Higher demand for security skills
Today many companies have realized that their current information security strategy is not satisfactory. This situation has been increasing the demand for cybersecurity expertise, and the market is expecting it to continue the growth. It is also vital to ensure internal training and skill development inside the company.
Cyber Security Technologies in Internet-of-things (IoT)
With the arrival of the 5G network, the amount of internet-connected devices that we use every day dashingly increases day by day. The hacking of such devices’ networks is considered one of the most dangerous types of cybercrime. It can harm individual people as well as companies, institutions and governments. As Internet-of-Things devices will be deeply integrated into our lives, societies and businesses, it is becoming crucial to secure ourselves from threats that can come from where we expect assistance.
Regular security practices and policies have not yet been overtaken by widespread products like “smart home” or “consumer wearables.” A threat may even come from an employee’s HVAC system. Security gaps may cause using voice recognition technology by malefactors, stealing information, and even conducting corporate espionage.
Consumer devices under attack
Ransomware is a threat concerning both small and large companies. An example of such an attack is the WannaCry attack that hit organizations all over the world. Today it is obvious that consumers will be attacked through a network of connected objects. And now we have frightening examples when toys designed for children targeted IoT devices.
Thus, cyber-security systems’ demands will include implementing of Zero-Trust security policy. It is a new approach to conduct cyber-security strategies that appeared with the spread of cloud services and requires storing each application in a separate container and requesting independent authentication for each one of them. This security principle allows organizations’ security strategies to meet the challenges of the modern digital world.
Hackers are getting more and more organized, which provides them with more significant resources. Today some cybercrime gangs have their call centers – we have already faced something familiar in rascally dating platforms.
We can see that cybercriminals easily avoid proper punishment by basing in jurisdictions where their activities are barely considered as a crime by local law.
Unfortunately, attackers’ skills to write custom code will develop quicker than the skill of security professionals to counteract or foresee it.
A small part of a Deep Web called DarkNet will not stop being used by villains to shelter and cooperate.
Sophistication of breaches
Cybercriminals will enhance their malevolent intentions by applying their malicious code in more non-obvious approaches.
We have already seen an inventive approach to increase the number of infected victims when ransomware turns its victims into attackers applying a pyramid chain. This cynical scheme allows the victim to get its files back undamaged and decrypted without paying a dollar if the sufferer makes the other two or more persons install the virus and pay the ransom.
Insurance from Cyber Risks will become a popular option
Cyber risk kind of insurance will be considered a must-have part of sterling long-term risk management strategy in the nearest future. It is one of the latest solutions that emerged to meet the industry’s challenges that loses $600 billion annually due to cybercrimes.
The market requires plans covering for losses of reputation and trust, loss of subsequent profits and unfavourable image in media and additional advancement costs to upgrade the cyber-security base.
New Positions are coming
Today we hear about some companies’ Boards requiring to hire CCO (Chief Cybercrime Officer). That is a new job title that appeared after the latest data breaches and consists of day-to-day protection of the company’s information from various attacks, preventing breaches and ensuring that the organization is cyber-ready.
We can conclude that today the digital environment has very high requirements for businesses, organizations and even individuals regarding information protection. We highly recommend you think about your business’s digital security and provide it with up-to-date cybersecurity technologies. Retrenchment on IT security today may cause imminent consequences tomorrow.
Read also our article about innovations in the airline industry.