Ransomware is widespread in today’s digital landscape, and there is virtually no way to eliminate the threat completely. Companies should operate under the assumption that hackers are already in their systems or could easily access them at any point. Sophisticated cybercriminals have been able to outsmart even the best frontline security — and for a while now.
These cybercriminals may know your systems and infrastructure better than anyone else. Once they have gained access, their strategy is to remain hidden until they learn as much as they can and then strike at the optimal time. Fortunately, some practices and technologies can help you detect threats before they inflict significant damage on your business. Below we have outlined three steps your organization should take immediately to reduce cyber attack fallout in 2022.
1. Implement tools for Infrastructure Awareness
Hackers look for your weakest links and the dark corners of your IT environment that may have limited security or oversight. According to the 2021 Vulnerability Gap Report by Veritas, respondents believe that, on average, only 65% of their organization’s stored data is secure. That leaves 35% of “dark” data in their network. There is a lack of clarity around what needs to be protected and whose responsibility it is, especially when it comes to data visibility. So, it’s vital to implement tools that provide full infrastructure awareness and have clear documentation on the details of your environment, like procedures and configurations — including IP addresses, passwords, etc. — to help aid with recovery.
2. Automate Alerts for Unusual Behavior
Next, you should implement tools that provide detection of unusual behaviors or activities associated with data and user activity across your network. The detection capabilities must be able to run autonomously, without the need for manual steps. Alerting your teams to anything out of the ordinary will give you the upper hand and a chance to act before the cybercriminals’ attack. This could be things like unusual file-write activity that could indicate an infiltration, but it could also be detecting known ransomware file extensions or even an irregular jump in activity compared to individuals’ typical patterns. Conduct regular cyber-threat hunts and take them seriously. You may consider hiring a third party agency to audit your strategy, check your work, and find vulnerabilities.
3. Limit Access & Build Security Barriers
After gaining access to your environment, cybercriminals often search for sensitive information or login credentials that will allow them to move laterally. This means that they can also get into your backup systems and attempt to eliminate recovery options. However, your organization can build a variety of barriers to keep hackers contained and prevented from moving around your environment. Set up a system unique to your needs and security requirements based on the following:
- Limit what and where credentials can operate, and have different passwords for every domain
- Make sure there is not one admin that can do everything — spread authority across multiple people within your organization to reduce risk
- Lockdown or limit executives’ access to systems, networks, and data, as they are often easy targets for hackers
- Along with senior management, limit admin access and privileges, especially to backups
- Implement Zero Trust security practices with multi-factor authentication (MFA) and role-based access control
- Segment or microsegment your network into multiple zones of smaller networks
- Grant access to your most crucial data on an as-needed basis or for a predetermined time
Enhance Your Cyber Security with Mindcore
At Mindcore, we provide companies in New Jersey and Florida with leading cyber security services, such as penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, to help you stay protected against the latest cyber threats. Our team of experts will work closely with you to develop a personalized IT strategy based on your specific needs and budget. Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation today!