2016 is barely off to its start and cyber-attackers are already proving what many believe to be the most dangerous year yet. Just a few days into the New Year, the signature Web Attack: Mass Injection Website 19 began registering significant spikes. This particular signature is used to detect incidents in which a hidden script is present within a compromised website. When a user browses said website, the script which redirects the user to a website that hosts malicious code is triggered. An automated cyber security incident response strategy could mean the difference between a mere blip and a potentially huge impact.
Nobody is Immune
One of the most disturbing revelations from this latest cyber security event is the fact that not only did it impact thousands of websites in multiple geographic locations, but that many of those sites were among those people believe to be the most secure. For instance, a number of websites that were found to have been injected with the malicious script code, many were government sites as well as those ending in .edu. Prominent business sites were also among the targets of the attack.
What this demonstrates is that nobody is 100% safe from a security threat. The key is having the right cyber security incident response plan in place to help identify incidents as soon as they occur, before they have time to wreak havoc.
The Potential for Damages
While in this specific case there do not appear to have been any malicious downloads associated with this particular injection attack, that’s not to say that it’s not of significant concern. That’s because the attack is believed to be a possible act of reconnaissance in an attempt to learn more about users. The information gathered could very well be used in a future attack, which could include anything from SEO poisoning and the delivery of malware to compromised and unprotected users.
Automation = Mitigation
It’s important to point out that there is no way to truly prevent or avoid every potential attack that could occur. As criminals are becoming savvier, their attempts are becoming equally sophisticated. The best course of action is to develop and implement a cyber security incident response strategy that is comprehensive enough to help identify potential attacks immediately. Automation is critical to this process, as it allows round-the-clock surveillance and instant, automatic remediation.
By incorporating tools like IT process automation into your cyber security incident response plan, every single incident that could potentially be a threat is immediately identified and assessed behind the scenes to determine its validity and severity. The information gleaned from this evaluation is then used to determine the next steps in the process, whether it’s to execute a particular response automatically or to escalate the issue to be handled by the appropriate party. Notification can be set up to go out via email or SMS.
Even though cyber-attacks cannot always be completely prevented, having such a robust strategy in place allows for a more swift and effective response. This reduces the impact of an attack and subsequently allows for the mitigation of damages. For instance, instead of having to track back and identify the cause of a system outage, a process that could take hours or even days, the right cyber security incident response strategy will pinpoint the problem and help you reduce downtime significantly.