Seeing your business gain consistent momentum feels great. The journey from a simple business to a conglomerate is a fascinating one with cybersecurity being an integral part of it. At every stage of development, the businesses must level up their cybersecurity posture. The mid-market stage of the business is crucial; at this stage, the business has already embraced rapid digitalization but their cybersecurity plans and techniques lag. Most often, it is the most common yet disastrous security flaws that prevent mid-markets from achieving optimal cybersecurity. They are the following —
#1 Lack of training and awareness:
Employees are the weakest link between the organization and the cyber-attackers. Employees who are unaware of cyber-security threats and best practices will unknowingly become the point of entry for cyber attackers. You may also read our blog on Social Engineering and understand how bad actors take advantage of human psychology to break into essential systems. According to a report, Negligence-based insider threat incidents cost organizations an average of $3.8 million per year! So, it is imperative to ensure employees are provided regular, and interactive sessions about the importance of achieving optimal cybersecurity and what should their inputs be. For instance, when an employee works remotely, he may connect to public wi-fi. However, if training about how vulnerable data being shared on public wi-fi to cyberattacks is given to him, he will automatically make a conscious choice of connecting on a VPN and here it is! One cyber-security aware employee making a significant contribution to the organization’s security.
#2 No encryption:
For a moment, imagine the worst has happened. A vital account was breached, and sensitive business information landed in the wrong hands. But, if you have encrypted your data, you have nothing to worry about. The celebrated hotel chain, J.W Marriot experienced a massive data breach where more than 5 million unencrypted passport numbers were exposed. The hotel chain also experienced another breach where approximately 8.6 million ‘encrypted’ payment cards were exposed; in this case, however, Marriot added there was no evidence of hackers having the master key access to decrypt the encrypted data. So, encryption is the key (literally!) to security. Ideally, organizations should opt for the 256 bit or often called as military-grade encryption to code their data. Military-grade encryption takes billions of years to get decoded. Your data becomes highly secure. Even if the attacker has access to your data, there is nothing he can really do about what he can’t read or decode.
#3 Unattended computer networks:
Attending to the computer network is just as important as securing the computer or devices that operate on the network. We must not forget; we live in an age where cyberattacks have become sophisticated. You close one entry point and the attacker is ready to strike a cyberattack from the other. Take an Eavesdropping attack, for instance. The attacker will silently spy on the networks and keep a close eye on the data being transmitted via the network. They don’t even have to hack any system or device, just by using ‘sniffers’ in the network pathway they will steal, modify or delete the data. So, manage the corporate network by enforcing stringent and relevant policies and procedures that ensure your security network denies all sorts of unauthorized access and remains accessible only to the apt and right users. It is also advised to opt for network segmenting, which prevents traffic decongestion to improve network management and security.
#4 Absence of anti-virus and anti-malware:
“Malware” is the oldest (and still, the hacker’s favorite) cyber-attacking method. According to a report, in 2015, the global cost of malware was $500 billion and in a short time, the economic toll of cybercrime has grown fourfold, to $2 trillion USD. It is estimated that the total cost will reach $6 trillion by 2021! Also, infecting a device with malware that will expose all the vital data and credentials is incredibly easy. According to James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, “A single spear-phishing email carrying a slightly altered malware can bypass multi-million dollar enterprise security solutions if an adversary deceives a cyber-hygienically apathetic employee into opening the attachment or clicking a malicious link and thereby compromising the entire network.” So, this clearly calls for the need to install good anti-virus and anti-malware software and ensure it is up to date.
#5 Weak Authentication Methods:
This possibly is the worst security flaw. The basic objective of authentication is to secure accesses, ensuring unauthorized parties are always denied access. During the formative years of the web, “passwords” were the main method of authentication. Clearly, passwords don’t work now! At least not the weak and similar ones. Say, a user has privileged access to a critical system that contains sensitive business information. Now, imagine such an account is secured with just one password. Also, given how tech-savvy hackers have become, cracking the most complex passwords isn’t very daunting for them. It is time to go beyond passwords and opt for stronger authentication techniques such as biometrics, SMS authentication, MFA, etc. Securing crucial business accounts with weak authentication methods is as good as leaving doors for cyberattacks wide open.
Once you’ve remedied the above-mentioned security flaws, you may want to go one step ahead in achieving optimal security for your business with a comprehensive Identity and Access Management solution.
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Drop-in a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with us to understand more on how our comprehensive solution with help in building a brilliant cybersecurity posture for your organization.