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4 Cybersecurity Challenges that Could Be Placing Your Infrastructure at Risk

In today’s digital age, network availability and reliability are critical to businesses of every size and industry. A strong, secure infrastructure is the key to keeping customers happy, protecting your brand reputation and ensuring positive movement in terms of both revenue and profits. Achieving this type of maximum security, however, is becoming increasingly challenging in the face of escalating cyber-attacks.

Losing network access is no longer just a minor inconvenience for today’s businesses. Not only can it be incredibly costly from a financial standpoint, but it can also cause irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. And the cold, hard truth is, conventional methods for protection are no longer adequate, especially given the increase in frequency, intensity and size of cyber-attacks.

To achieve a secure infrastructure, IT leaders must address the four main challenges that are standing in their way. Those challenges are as follows.

Lack of Visibility

Maintaining a clear and accurate view of all devices and network assets across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure is critical to maximum protection. After all, you can’t protect what you cannot see. The challenge lies in the reliance on traditional security systems to track and monitor the network. These antiquated solutions do not provide a complete view of all devices and assets, leaving some vulnerable to compromise.

To address this, IT leaders should leverage solutions that allow them to centralize and automate network discovery, enhance visibility and quickly identify attack points, anomalies, patterns and other suspicious activity.

Poor Vulnerability Detection

As challenging as it is to obtain a consolidated view of devices and network assets using conventional methods, spotting and quickly addressing vulnerabilities in those assets can be just as difficult.

Vulnerability scans can be helpful, but since they aren’t capable of continuously monitoring every single device, virtual machine and end point across complex infrastructures, nor can they pinpoint threats generated from configuration errors, non-compliant devices and outdated components, they simply aren’t sufficient enough to keep organizations secure.4 Cyber Security Challenges that Could Be Placing Your Infrastructure at Risk

Without comprehensive insight on vulnerabilities, networks are no match for the sophisticated cyber-attacks of today.

DNS-Based Attack Protection

Exploiting DNS has proven to be a highly effective way to disrupt and disable networks. Attackers utilize DNS pathways to ravage networks in a variety of ways. For instance, hackers often use DDos attacks to flood DNS servers with bogus requests, swap out legitimate URLS for fake ones that cause websites to appear to be down when they’re not, and create diversions that allow them to hide other types of attack.

The reason DNS has become the method of choice for so many cyber-criminals is because conventional infrastructure security methods are incapable of protecting DNS. To overcome this risk, IT leaders should seek out advanced solutions that are specifically designed and developed to comprehensively and automatically protect DNS from would-be attacks.

Lack of Integration within Security Ecosystem

Many companies employ the use of a large number of disparate security solutions from a variety of different vendors. This results in silos that are incapable of working together and sharing critical information, which results in a significant challenge to security teams who are responsible to take action amidst a dynamic and ever-evolving security landscape.

To complicate matters further, security teams in this situation also find themselves drowning in a sea of increasing threats with little to no clear direction on which threat to act upon first and why.

The solution is to create a network that is made up of systems, software and applications that can be fully integrated with one another with the goal of enhancing the performance of the entire cybersecurity ecosystem. This type of setup enables security teams to gain greater visibility and remediate swiftly to mitigate risk.

Conclusion

A failure to adequately protect your network and infrastructure can result in much more than just a little bit of downtime. A sophisticated and complex cyber-attack can cripple your network and place the reputation as well as the careers of everyone involved in jeopardy. To ensure maximum protection and network availability, organizations must close the gaps and address the vulnerabilities that other solutions create.

Integratable solutions which involve automation and data-driven intelligence can effectively improve visibility and enhance threat detection across even the most complex infrastructures, thwarting attacks and optimizing the performance of the entire security ecosystem.

Don’t get caught on the bad end of a cyber-threat. Provide your network and infrastructure with maximum protection. Launch your free product demo of Ayehu today to get started.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Mitigating Damages with Automated Incident Response

Mitigate damages with automated incident response

2017 is coming to a close and if we’ve learned anything over the past 11 months, it’s that cyber-attackers are getting savvier and more relentless. Thankfully, we’ve also learned that having an automated incident response strategy could mean the difference between a mere blip on the radar and a potentially huge impact.

Here’s a recap of what the past year has taught us about cybersecurity.

Nobody is Immune

One of the most disturbing revelations from the growing cybersecurity events over the past year is the fact that not only did they impact tens of thousands of websites across the globe, 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 attacks. And, of course, we can’t forget small to mid-sized businesses that are also targets.

What this demonstrates is that nobody is 100% safe from a security threat. The key is having the right automated incident response plan in place to help identify threats as soon as they occur, before they have time to wreak havoc.

The Potential for Damages

While in some cases the attacks were rendered ineffective for one reason or another, that’s not to say that they’re not of significant concern. That’s because many attacks that occurred over the past year were launched as acts of reconnaissance in an attempt to learn more about users. The information gathered could very well be used in future attacks, 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 totally prevent or completely avoid every potential attack that could occur. As criminals are becoming more sophisticated, their attempts are becoming equally complex. The best course of action is to develop and implement an automated 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 cybersecurity incident response plan, every single incident that could potentially be a threat is immediately identified and assessed behind the scenes (and without human intervention) 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.

Even though cyber-attacks cannot always be completely prevented, having 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 the cause of a system outage that has been allowed to perpetuate undetected for a long period of time (and a process that could take additional man hours, days, weeks or even months), automated incident response can quickly pinpoint the problem, helping you reduce downtime.

As we prepare to head into a new year, it’s important to ask yourself this question: does your security plan have what it takes to address the changing landscape of cybersecurity? Don’t become the next victim. Protect your business and your sensitive data by investing in automation. Take a test drive and experience it for yourself by clicking here.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Two Key Ways Intelligent Automation is Changing the Face of Cybersecurity

Two Key Ways Intelligent Automation is Changing the Face of CybersecurityArtificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are being integrated into many aspects of our everyday lives. If you use Siri or Amazon Echo, you’ve already been touched by AI to some degree. One area where this so-called “smart” technology has become particularly valuable is in the realm of cybersecurity. But despite the buzz, it’s important to understand the real capabilities of intelligent automation in security.

Better Detection

Many are surprised to learn that artificial intelligence in cybersecurity isn’t a new concept. In fact, machine learning has been used to detect unwanted traffic for many years, including in such common tools as spam filters. So why all the hype today? Because that technology has continued to evolve and improve. Where it really shines today, specifically in terms of network security, is in its ability to pinpoint attacks that are outside the norm.

In other words, intelligent automation can detect a pattern or anomaly and recognize that something is suspicious entirely on its own. Not only is this incredibly effective, but it’s something human agents simply cannot do. That’s where an AI powered cybersecurity platform becomes what we like to call a force multiplier.

Volume Control

Another way intelligent automation is revolutionizing the way organizations handle their cybersecurity is in the sheer volume of threats. With the relentless onslaught of increasingly sophisticated attacks operating around the clock, even the most competent and diligent security team cannot keep up. AI technology, on the other hand, can handle an immense amount of data, continuously monitoring, instantly analyzing and immediately reacting to address potential incidents.

Again, like its intuitive ability to read patterns and detect anomalies, machine learning in cybersecurity can also become a force multiplier by augmenting human capability. This is particularly true in instances for which human decision making is still necessary. AI technology can monitor and assess enormous amounts of raw data looking for problems and pass them on to human analysts for closer examination. Furthermore, the interaction with humans allows the intelligent automation platform to continuously refine and improve its search algorithms (hence, the “learning” in machine learning).

When it boils down to it, the hype about AI and machine learning in security is turning out to be all that it’s cracked up to be. With the right platform, intelligent automation can bring your cybersecurity strategy to an entirely new level, providing enhanced protection and keeping your organization a few steps ahead of potential attacks.

To see this innovative technology in action, simply click here and request a free product demo.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

5 Cybersecurity Mistakes That Could Be Placing Your Company in Danger

5 Cybersecurity Mistakes That Could Be Placing Your Company in DangerWhen it comes to keeping your organization and all the data you maintain secure from potential breaches, you may believe you know the basics. You may even think you’ve got it all together, with all the right strategies, tools and technologies in place to ensure maximum protection. But there are a few mistakes that many companies make without even realizing they’re doing so. And the consequences of those errors could be incredibly costly, both financially and reputation-wise. If you or your cybersecurity team are committing any of the following blunders, your business could be at risk.

Being overconfident.

Some IT leaders make the egregious mistake of believing that cybersecurity isn’t really that much to be concerned about. For instance, some think that because they’re a small business, cyber criminals aren’t interested in the information they possess. Others, such as end-users, believe that their IT team will handle everything. The fact is, cybersecurity is something companies of every size and all employees absolutely must account for. Otherwise, your firm will become a sitting target.

Neglecting the power of email.

Many companies invest tons of money, time and resources into protecting their network and infrastructure, yet somehow forget to secure email communications. The fact is, email remains one of the most effective tools used by cyber criminals to gain access to the sensitive data they’re after and if you’re not using the right kind of protection – namely two-step verification and encryption – you’re placing your company at risk. It’s equally important to educate all users about how to spot phishing and other social engineering attempts.

Inadequate password policies.

Weak passwords are a hacker’s dream come true. Despite this fact, it’s alarming how many people still use passwords like ‘12345’ or ‘admin’. Not only do people use these easy-to-guess passwords, but they often reuse them on multiple systems, making it simple for a cyber-criminal to gain access to any number of systems and applications. This is a huge problem for companies that must be addressed through the development and implementation of strong password policies.

Thinking anti-virus is enough.

Many otherwise savvy individuals make the costly error of believing that anti-virus software is enough to keep their sensitive data secure. The fact is, today’s hackers are becoming more sophisticated and persistent by the day, which means they’re identifying newer vulnerabilities to exploit – vulnerabilities that cannot be detected with traditional malware prevention methods. To truly be safe, the use of automated cybersecurity incident response powered by machine learning is strongly recommended.

Not backing up data.

The fact is, even the strongest cybersecurity strategy can be infiltrated by a dedicated enough hacker. It’s no longer a question of IF you’ll be attacked, but rather WHEN. As such, engaging in regular data backup activities can ensure that should your infrastructure be compromised, you can get back up and running quickly and with minimal impact. For instance, when your data is backed up, a ransomware attack can be neutralized since there will be no need to pay the fee in order to regain access to files. Instead, the infected files can be isolated and eradicated and data restored from your backup.

These five cybersecurity mistakes are surprisingly common. Thankfully, correcting them isn’t impossible. If you recognize any of the above occurring within your organization, the time to take action is now. Start by implementing the right policies, educating employees and investing in the right technology to keep your information as secure as possible.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

If Only HBO Had Automation…

If Only HBO Had Automation

Photo: HBO

A few days ago, cable television network HBO confirmed that someone had hacked into their servers and gained access to a significant amount of data. Among other things, the cyber sleuths appear to have gotten their hands on scripts for upcoming episodes of the wildly popular series Game of Thrones. Unfortunately for network (and its droves of faithful followers), details of never-before-seen footage has now been published all over the internet.

“HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information,” the company said in a statement.“We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.”

The total extent of the damage has yet to be discovered, but according to the hackers, the amount of data stolen is upwards of 1.5 terabytes. This would indicate that the Game of Thrones script isn’t all the company has to worry about. Chances are these criminals also got ahold of other sensitive data, including that associated with employees and other financials. So far, those behind the attack have been leaking the data online in dribs and drabs. It also appears they’re taunting the network in the process:

“Hi to all mankind. The greatest leak of cyber space era is happening. What’s its name? Oh I forget to tell. Its HBO and Game of Thrones……!!!!!! You are lucky to be the first pioneers to witness and download the leak. Enjoy it & spread the words. Whoever spreads well, we will have an interview with him. HBO is falling.”

Obviously HBO executives aren’t thrilled about having the plot line of one of their biggest shows leaked for all to see, but in reality the real problem they’re facing is what will happen should things like internal emails and personal information of employees and possibly even customers also end up being leveraged. A similar situation occurred just a few years ago when Sony was hacked, and the company is still cleaning up the mess. If HBO’s hackers are telling the truth, this breach could be much more significant.

Had HBO employed the use of automated cybersecurity incident response, there’s a good chance that we wouldn’t be writing about this situation right now. The fact is, as many big name corporations have learned the hard way, monitoring systems simply aren’t enough. And while the details of exactly how the hackers were able to gain access haven’t yet been released, if the network had a more sophisticated defense in place, chances are they would have been discovered and stopped right away – possibly before they had the opportunity to grab the data and go.

With a cybersecurity strategy that’s powered by intelligent automation, HBO could have deployed an army of robots, standing watch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This technology is capable of fielding hundreds of thousands of incidents with speed and precision, quickly detecting potential attacks and automatically responding to eradicate the problem and mitigate damages. Savvy hackers who manage to find their way in are stopped in their tracks, before they have the chance to wreak havoc.

These situations serve as an important reminder that nobody is safe from cyber-attacks. They also serve as a great opportunity for business leaders to reevaluate the current state of their cybersecurity posture.

If you aren’t 100% positive that your defense is strong enough to withstand an attack like the one that HBO has suffered, the time to take action is now – before you end up becoming a victim. You can start by laying a strong foundation and using technology to fight fire with fire. Click here to launch your free 30 day trial of Ayehu and be proactive about keeping your organization safe.

How to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Resilience

How to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity ResilienceOrganizations in every industry and across the entire world are deeply entrenched in the battle to prevent a security breach. Thankfully there are specific steps security teams can take that will improve their cybersecurity resilience so they can better manage the barrage of threats that are inevitably going to continue. Let’s take a closer look at what this so-called resilience really is and how you can strengthen yours to improve your ability to manage, mitigate and recover from cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity Resilience Defined

The Ponemon Institute defines cybersecurity resilience as “the capacity of an enterprise to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of cyber-attacks.” More specifically, a company’s cybersecurity resilience can be viewed as the place where prevention, detection and response to cyber incidents align. A resilient organization is one that is capable of preventing, detecting, containing and – most importantly – recovering from various threats against its data, network and IT infrastructure.

Why Cybersecurity Resilience is Critically Important

These days, there is no company that is safe from becoming a victim of a cyber-attack. It’s no longer a question of “if” a security incident will occur, but rather “when.” As such, it’s of critical importance that IT personnel (and, frankly, everyone else within an organization) be well prepared to battle against these inevitable attacks. And as cyber-attacks continue to increase in number and complexity, boasting solid cybersecurity resilience will become more important than ever before.

Bringing Things Together

Unfortunately, the increasing complexity of IT and general business processes has created a new barrier to effective cybersecurity resilience. In fact, according to recent studies, this complexity has become the second largest obstacle to cyber resilience, with insufficient planning and lack of adequate preparedness being first.

One of the main causes of these so-called complexities is the fact that many organizations have a multitude of individual IT and security tools, applications and processes in place, each operating independently. With so many fragmented tools and processes but no actual standardized system to manage it all, these companies are left vulnerable to the risk of cyber-attacks.

What’s needed is a universal platform that leverages advanced automation and orchestration technology to bring everything together, create a unified system and effectively fight fire with fire.

Keys to Improving Cybersecurity Resilience

Improving your organization’s cybersecurity resilience requires buy-in and cooperation from the top down. It’s much more than just getting the approval to invest in the right tool or implementing the appropriate technology. Cybersecurity is everyone’s job, and it starts at the top. To be effective, security must become more than just a topic or something IT handles. It must become ingrained as part of the company’s underlying culture.

Becoming cybersecurity resilient isn’t an easy task. It takes a true effort to bring together the necessary technology with the people at the helm. Provided the executives of the company are committed and the appropriate tools are put in place, the organization will ultimately develop the strength and resiliency it needs to withstand any attack that comes its way.

Ready to leverage technology to strengthen your enterprise’s cybersecurity resiliency? Start today by downloading your free 30 day trial of Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform.

 

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes