In both cases, the cybersecurity threat was enabled by the organization’s failure to implement, test and retest technical safeguards such as encryption, authentication and firewalls. A denial of service is a type of cyberattack that floods a computer or network so that it cannot respond to requests. A distributed DoS does the same thing, but the attack originates from a computer network. Cyber attackers often use a flooding attack to disrupt the “handshake” process and execute a DoS. Other techniques may also be used, and some cyber attackers use the time a network is down to launch other attacks. A botnet is a type of DDoS in which millions of systems can be infected with malware and controlled by one hacker, said Jeff Melnick of Netwrix, a computer security software company.
These exercises are sure to uncover gaps in security, response plans, and employees’ familiarity with their own roles. While investing in external facilitators for these exercises often allows for more rigorous testing separate from internal dynamics, there is guidance for organizations that want to conduct internal exercises to better prepare for a cyberattack. With the right password, a cyberattacker has access to a wealth of information.
Robust security incident response plans and policies help an organization respond effectively to cyberattacks and security breaches, while ensuring that critical business systems remain online. A cyberattack, as mentioned above, is an attempt to compromise the security of a system. Attackers attempt to exploit the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of software or a network through various types of cyberattacks, as described in the previous section. A security breach, on the other hand, is an event or incident in which a cyberattack results in the disclosure of sensitive information, unauthorized access to IT systems, or disruption of services. Application security involves applying various protections against a variety of threats to all software and services used in an organization.
However, the average user can help by following procedures and precautions similar to those they would take to prevent malware. Malware, short for “malicious software,” is designed to gain access to or damage a computer. Malware is an umbrella term for a number of cyber threats such as Trojans, viruses and worms. It is often introduced into a system through email attachments, software downloads or vulnerabilities in the operating system. Without such testing, organizations are vulnerable to anything they can think of the moment their core systems are compromised, and that can lead to significant business disruption, as Santander Bank, Baltimore City, and recently the U.S. Telenor continuously analyzes risks and the global threat landscape and has established a global incident monitoring and response function.
A cybercriminal can steal, modify, or destroy a specific target by hacking into a vulnerable system. A common byproduct of a cyberattack is a data breach that exposes personal data or other sensitive information. If the right evidence is not collected, digital forensics is limited and no follow-up investigation can be conducted. This includes patching systems, disabling network access, and resetting passwords for compromised accounts. During the eradication step, a root cause investigation should be conducted to determine the attack path used so that security controls can be improved to prevent similar attacks in the future.
The goal is to meet the challenge of managing potential security breaches and protecting customer data. Cybersecurity is about protecting against threats that occur in or through cyberspace. These threats include unauthorized access to networks and systems, risk evaluations attacks aimed at destroying or altering sensitive information, or disrupting services delivered through cyberspace. As your business evolves, so must your cyber incident response plan to ensure it is in sync with your organization’s professionals.
Botnets, sometimes called zombie systems, target a system and overload its processing power. Botnets are located in multiple geographic locations and are difficult to track. Cyber attackers can use an individual’s or company’s sensitive data to steal information or gain access to their financial accounts, among other potentially damaging actions. Despite the headlines about cybersecurity and its threats, there is still a gap between companies’ awareness and their preparedness to deal with it. In a 2013 survey by the Ponemon Institute, 75% of respondents said they had no formal plan for responding to cybersecurity incidents. Sixty-six percent of respondents lacked confidence in their organization’s ability to recover from an attack.
Perform a vulnerability scan to determine if additional vulnerabilities exist. In recent years, numerous high-profile cyberattacks have resulted in the exposure of sensitive data. For example, the Equifax breach in 2017 compromised the personal data of approximately 143 million consumers, including birth dates, addresses and Social Security numbers. In 2018, Marriott International revealed that hackers had accessed its servers and stolen the data of some 500 million customers.