With cybercriminals, you might feel as if you’re always one step behind. They seem to be hunched over their computers 24/7, continually discovering new methods to attack or lurking for vulnerable spots in your security to breach your organization.
Hacking threats are tricky, even for businesses that have all the tools that protect them from different types of cybercriminals, as well as layered cybersecurity.
Regular evaluation and testing is a start, but as businesses scale and add new tools that have to be managed, they adopt a more holistic approach to cybersecurity, Extended Security Posture Management.
Testing Your Security Points and People
To be one step ahead of the cybercriminals, the first step is to test people who might cause vulnerabilities in your system and tools (security points) that protect your company, such as firewall and antivirus.
Assessment of your security has to include evaluations of the software, protocols, and people that use your systems and networks. That kind of testing has to be continual and regular to keep you up to date with all the latest changes in the security posture.
There are many tools that test the current posture of your security. Some of them include:
- Breach and attack simulation that simulates common and new cyberattacks to test if your security tools work
- Penetration testing, that is conducted by cybersecurity experts to determine if parts of your system can hold their own against likely threats
- Attack surface management that reveals whether there is any intelligence data about your company available online
- Purple teaming that offers a collaborative approach to testing your security teams, teaches them to think like an adversary and reveals their biases
IT teams usually use more than one tool to test security and manage your security posture.
Therefore, they might use the Breach and Attack Simulation to simulate attacks on their networks and utilize tools such as attack surface management to discover leaked intelligence of the company.
To avoid overwhelming their IT teams, companies have also used all-encompassing tools such as Extended Security Posture Management that allow a bird’s-eye view of security and facilitate the management of the security for the scaling companies.
Discovering What Should Be Tested
You might be wondering what should be tested exactly. All parts of your system need evaluation, and they have to be tested against common threats such as phishing, malware, and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service).
New threats are concerning as well, and it’s important to test your system against the new hacking methods that might sneak under the radar.
Nowadays, data on new techniques that hackers have been using in the latest attack can be found online. For example, tools such as Breach and Attack Simulation are linked to the database MITRE ATT&CK Framework.
The MITRE Framework describes all the latest methods that cybercriminals have been using to breach systems and exploit vulnerabilities that organizations have in their security.
New types of threats that appear for which cybersecurity teams didn’t have readily available solutions include the CaddyWiper Malware and the new “Nerbian” Trojan virus. Both have been discovered recently.
Figuring Out if Your Teams Need Cybersecurity Training
Both your IT teams that manage cybersecurity tools and other employees that work within the systems can take precautions to improve your security posture.
While IT teams that manage security tools have more responsibility to guard your systems from cyberattacks, hackers might try to get into your system exploiting vulnerable employees.
Social engineering attacks such as phishing have existed since the beginning of the internet, and they’re not getting away soon.
For example, hackers might send out phishing emails to your coworkers, misrepresenting themselves as executives within the company, the bank or trusted medical institutions.
Employees that lack basic cybersecurity training might not think twice and make a wire transfer to a person who is claiming to be their boss. Or they might click the link in an email or open attachments that download malware to your computer.
Besides your IT team, your other employees don’t have to be cybersecurity experts. However, your company and its employees might benefit from basic cybersecurity training.
The training on key cybersecurity hygiene teaches them to recognize phishing emails. It reminds them not to click links from an unknown sender or log into your network while they work remotely from devices that aren’t secure.
Other parts of cybersecurity training might include learning how to set up strong passwords that can’t be easily hacked and enable cybercriminals to enter your system.
Your IT team might require additional training too. Testing such as Purple Teaming can show you whether your team knows how to use the security tool and analytics that they have at their disposal, and if they can react quickly during the attack when every second counts.
Be Faster Than Hackers
The key to being at least one step ahead of the cybercriminals is in discovering any vulnerabilities that your security has early — whether those weaknesses are a lack of training or flaws in the system that haven’t been patched up.
Having layered security is also important. This includes having a variety of tools that secure your security posture and having a trained team and employees that know the basics of cybersecurity.
Protocols are important too. Your employees should know that they can report if they have been targeted with a phishing email or even already sent sensitive data to hackers.
After the testing, it’s important to patch up any flaws in the system and continually work on improving the security posture, i.e. to manage the security in the ever-changing system of the company.
Organizations and their teams can’t predict new ways that hackers might exploit systems to attack, but they can continually test and manage their security posture to make sure they have done all they could at that moment in time.