Times Have Changed. Why Hasn’t Your Cybersecurity?

man looking at computerChances are, if you have a newer vehicle, you start your car with an electronic key fob these days. And you may also unlock your garage or front door with an electronic keypad. You use these updated security systems for your home and auto… yet your computer networks still utilize ancient firewalls. Why? Hackers and cyber thieves learned to breach outdated anti-virus software and web gateways long ago. In light of evolving threats and advanced network attacks, those old technologies are no longer effective.

Your cybersecurity philosophy now needs to be as evolutionary and revolutionary as the ways that hackers use to breach it. Consider just a few of the newer generations of cyberattacks and alternative defenses to those attacks:

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks Overwhelm Traditional Network Defenses

Malicious actors and “hacktivists” launch DDoS attacks to create hundreds of thousands of network calls per second on a network login. Even worse, these attacks usually feature strategic timing. For example, a hacker may disable an ecommerce retailer’s website on the biggest shopping day of the year. DDoS attacks also serve as distractions; while administrators are dealing with that inconvenience, hackers install malware or other viruses. Unfortunately, firewalls do nothing to stem their tide. Network administrators need tools to handle these attacks. Options include load balancers that channel traffic across multiple servers and cloud-based filters that divert DDoS traffic.

Hackers Are Increasingly Adept at Disguising Data Breaches

Network attacks are becoming subtler and more difficult to detect. Why? Hackers have learned how to install malware into systems to draw data out slowly with a lower likelihood of detection. Luckily, a handful of artificial intelligence technologies have been developed to recognize and flag malicious activity from its outset. These technologies teach themselves to recognize regular data traffic patterns over a network. They can flag deviations from those patterns and distinguish between normal and malicious deviations using game theory and other techniques. These technologies are as different from traditional firewalls as advanced calculus is from basic arithmetic.

Sometimes the best offense against attacks of this nature is actually a good defense. Keeping in mind that no organization is perfect, it’s worthwhile to have a backup plan in place before a cyberattack. At the very least, you can protect yourself from financial decimation in the aftermath of a data breach. What is liability insurance? This coverage provides financial reimbursement for direct losses and third-party liabilities arising from a successful data breach. If a cyberattack on your system compromises your clients’ and customers’ records, your policy will pay the damages. Just like home and auto insurance protect hard assets against theft loss and damage, cyber insurance pays for electronic losses.

Browser – Based Attacks

Most successful cyberattacks originate from a public internet access point. One way to stop these attacks is to isolate the malicious endpoint browsing session with secure remote browsing tools. These tools create virtual containers for remote browser sessions that access an enterprise network. When a remote user logs off, the tools discard everything that was placed in that virtual container. This includes malware, key loggers, and anything else that can facilitate a continuing malware attack.

Large – Scale Infrastructure Attacks

The recent “WannaCry” ransomware attack targeted hundreds of thousands of networks in more than 150 different countries. Cybersecurity experts are looking to new strategies such as a dynamic software-defined perimeter approach to stem these types of attacks. This strategy is a network security architecture solution that enables different levels of access to a network on a need-to-know basis. The theory in this approach is to contain the spread and scope of a large-scale attack, rather than to prevent it altogether.

Determined car thieves or home invaders will be able to get past locks in cars and houses. Similarly, some cyberattacks will always get past whatever technology and other defenses that an enterprise might erect. But your organization should still stay up to date on advances, implement up-to-date solutions, and carry cyber insurance.

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