Technology is ubiquitous and a regular, endearing part of our day-to-day lives. Most people would probably prefer the modern conveniences afforded by having a literal supercomputer in their pocket to our drab, tech-free existences of yesteryear. The same goes for businesses large and small. As businesses operate in a digital, tech-infused world, the risk of cyber threats—and damage to critical infrastructure—is only growing. So what can organizations do about this nightmare of epic proportions? It starts with knowledge and understanding. And in this article, we'll cover five common cyber infrastructure risks and how to manage them.
Everyone's heard of phishing and social engineering. These types of attacks occur when cyber criminals attempt to trick someone into revealing sensitive information ( passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account details, etc.). Phishing usually occurs via email but can happen through other communication methods that appear legitimate but are actually part of a scam.
To prevent falling victim to phishing scams, it's essential to educate your teams on what they look like and how to detect and avoid them. This can include things like checking the sender's email address carefully, avoiding clicking on suspicious links, and enabling two-factor authentication wherever possible. By taking these steps and staying vigilant, you can help protect your personal and professional data from cyber threats.
Phishing and Business email compromise leads to phishing and can cost millions of dollars over time. Ransomware attacks — one of the worst types of attacks that can affect an organization's data—often gain a foothold because of successful phishing attempts, underscoring the need to have some security measures in place to prevent it.
Another prevalent infrastructure issue, password security, is a major problem. Statistics say that many people still use weak passwords or reuse the same password across multiple accounts. This makes it easy for cyber criminals to access sensitive data and wreak havoc. Fortunately, password theft is easier to prevent than some of the other threats on this list. To prevent password theft, users must have strong, unique passwords. They must also change them regularly.
Lengthier passwords are better than complex ones, but using a combination of different methods to keep your passwords more secure is better. Using a password manager to keep track of passwords and ensure they're secure is also a good idea, although some organizations might not choose to go that route.
By taking these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of password theft and keep your personal and professional data safe. If passwords are easy to crack, intruders can infiltrate your systems and compromise your cybersecurity infrastructure before you even have time to react.
Another significant infrastructure threat is the DDoS attack. You've probably heard about these types of attacks in the context of gaming servers, but they're more far reaching than that. Better known as a Distributed Denial of Service attack, such attacks affect a number of compromised systems.
They impact organizations by overwhelming systems with a flood of traffic. That makes these systems no longer able to function properly. In recent memory, DDOS attacks have been for everything from political purposes to taking down a system someone disagrees with, to being used for hacktivism. Fortunately, businesses can monitor network traffic, implement DDOS mitigation methods, and ensure they have enough bandwidth to handle potential attack.
Keeping software of the date, having an incident response plan, and understanding why a tax happened in the first place and also be quite useful. The proper planning and resources, organizations can minimize the impact of a DDOS attack and keep their systems running smoothly.
Insider attacks can be devastating to organizations of any size. Such attacks happen when an individual within the organization or a contractor with organization credentials causes harm to the organization systems, data, and cyber security infrastructure. This can be intentional and malicious or it can be unintentional, largely due to incompetence.
Sometimes people fall victim to phishing scams or social engineering despite their best efforts. It happens unfortunately. Preventing insider attacks requires implementing strict access controls. Preventing accidents and negligence requires some diligence. It also requires monitoring user activity and establishing protocols for everyone to abide by.
This can help identify possible threats, prevent them from causing damage, and give insight into what's happening throughout an organization. Insider threats can be far more damaging when they're intentional. This can include corporate espionage, terrorism, and attackers looking to exploit a company for monetary gain.
Mitigating and Managing Infrastructure Risks
Managing and mitigating risk is a vital function of any security team. Businesses must take proactive measures to secure their cyber infrastructure and prevent it from becoming compromised. Implementing strong password policies, training programs on how to identify and avoid scams, regularly updating software, using firewall / antivirus come and monitoring network activity are only the tip of the iceberg.
Staying vigilant and informed can help you protect your critical infrastructure. But using powerful infrastructure security software can also help you prevent various users who might be connecting to your devices remotely or otherwise from becoming security problems.
Such software can help give you more visibility into what's happening on your network and more control when it comes to managing threats. That way, you can see and control what's happening with your devices to prevent yourself from becoming a victim in the ongoing cybersecurity threat landscape.