Cybercriminals continuously evolve their techniques to malevolently use data for destructive purposes. At the crosshairs of attack is your business: your company’s financial assets and secure information such as business transactions and customer information. Even your computers and servers can be hijacked to serve their destructive means. It takes a multifaceted approach to reduce risk.
Cyber Attack 101
While some cyber hackers use information to protest the status quo (like WikiLeaks), or for white hat purposes, such as to expose security weaknesses, the majority of information cyber-attacks and information leaks are for more nefarious purposes. Credit card fraud is a multi-billion dollar industry. An estimated $21 billion in fraudulent tax returns have been paid out to date. Cyber terrorism has been used for power both financially and politically. Governments are scrambling to react, with fewer cyber professionals in the field than the demand.
With cybercriminals targeting such large organizations and businesses, it can seem that your personal information and small business information might be too small to target. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each piece of information you store has a value, and the more cyber criminals gather the bigger the payout. Your social media network might include hundreds of contacts. Your business servers likely store thousands of pieces of contact information and emails, both internal and external. Login information, credit card information, tax ID’s and more might all exist in the digital world of your business, and all are worth a price on the black market.
Effective threat mitigation has layers of preventative tactics. As cybercriminals advance, security professionals evolve additional technology to reduce your company’s risk. The most effective threat mitigation techniques involve the following:
• Firewalls to permit or deny access to your data.
• Anti-virus protection to prevent malware and worm access, that can quickly spread across your entire system if access is inadvertently granted.
• Data scrubbing to track where in your system sensitive information resides and limit access to it.
• Deep packet inspection (DPI) as additional security checkpoints on information transfers. DPI’s are particularly effective against denial of service attacks (DoS), a favorite of hackers.
• IP Traceback, data marking to reliably determine the source of electronic information
Emerging products on the market are designed to work together, creating a security ecosystem that functions cohesively for your data protection. Cyber security professionals also study cyber-attacks to learn about security weaknesses and prevent future attacks.