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Who are Cyber Criminals Targeting and How?

Who are Cyber Criminals Targeting and How?Verizon recently released its annual Data Breach Investigations Report, a comprehensive resource that is based on analysis of over 40,000 incidents, including 1,935 confirmed data breaches. As one might imagine, with this much data, the report itself can be somewhat overwhelming. We thought it would be helpful to summarize what we feel is one of the most critical messages, at least from a cybersecurity in business perspective. That is – defining who is most likely to be targeted by cyber criminals and what tactics they’re using to achieve their malicious goals. Here’s what you need to know.

Who are the most common victims of cybersecurity attacks?

The Verizon report uncovered that the industries most frequently targeted by hackers were as follows:

  • 24% of breaches affected financial organizations
  • 15% of breaches involved healthcare organizations
  • 12% Public sector entities
  • 15% Retail and Accommodation combined

It’s pretty obvious why cyber criminals would target financial and healthcare institutions, since these organizations deal very heavily in confidential information. Not surprisingly, the report found that 73% of breaches were financially motivated. Public sector is a rather interesting area, though some of this could be related to hacktivism, a type of cyber-crime that’s been steadily on the rise. Retail and other types of accommodation organizations also handle a good deal of customer data, particularly as it relates to financial and personal identification material.

What methods are cyber-attackers using?

There are a wide variety of techniques a cyber-criminal might use to access the information he or she is after. According to the report, here are the most common:

  • 62% of breaches featured hacking (81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords)
  • 51% over half of breaches included malware
  • 43% were social attacks
  • 14% were due to errors
  • 14% as a result of privilege misuse
  • 8% were caused by physical actions

The truly alarming fact here is that hacking can come in many different forms. There are basic hacks and then there are those orchestrated by highly sophisticated cyber criminals. These are more commonly referred to as Advanced Persistent Threats, or APTs. In these instances, the actors behind the attacks are absolutely relentless. They also strategically target their victims to increase the odds of achieving the end result they’re after.

It should also be noted that the number of social engineering attacks is also on the rise. This can be tied into malware, as techniques like phishing scams typically involve the deployment of some type of malicious code. In fact, the report also found that 66% of malware was installed via malicious email attachments.

What you need to know…

The most important thing we’d like to point out is that even those organizations that fall outside the main categories of cybersecurity targets should operate under the assumption and expectation that they will likely also become a victim at some point. In other words, no company is safe. Small businesses to enterprise level, and organizations in every industry across the globe are all at risk of becoming a target of cyber-criminals.

The best way to defend against these threats is to leverage the power of technology that is available to you. Remember – attacks are coming in at an alarming rate and increasing in both volume and complexity. Likewise, tools like anti-virus software and firewalls are no match for sophisticated social engineering campaigns. A combination of employee education and automated cybersecurity incident response can provide an extra barrier of protection. It can also help with the most important step – remediation – getting critical systems back up and running quickly and mitigating damages.

Want to avoid becoming a part of the disturbing statistics listed above? Arm your company with the right technology. Launch your free 30 day trial of eyeShare and start beefing up your protection today.

 

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Organization’s Cybersecurity Risk Posture

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Organization’s Cybersecurity Risk PostureA company’s risk posture refers to its overarching cybersecurity plan – that is, its approach to keeping sensitive data safe from internal and external threats. This includes everything from proactive planning and prevention to implementation, management and remediation strategy. No company – large or small – is immune to a potential security breach, which means every single organization in business today should develop and maintain a strong, comprehensive risk posture. Could your strategy use a little help?

Here are five simple ways you can beef up your protection and improve where your company stands against cyber threats.

Lead by Example – Business owners and managers must take the topic of cybersecurity very serious if they want frontline employees to follow suit. The fact is, keeping data safe is everyone’s job, but leading by example is an important way to ensure that everyone across the board views security as the top priority it truly is.

Invest in Education – When we discuss the topic of cybersecurity, the vision most often conjured up is that of a sophisticated hacker, but in reality, internal parties are often the greatest risk to a company’s data security. That’s why it’s so important to invest in ongoing training to ensure that all employees understand how to keep information safe, how to spot and avoid potential incidents and what their role is in the company’s overall approach.

Close the Loop – One of the biggest problems with many companies’ risk postures today is that they are incomplete. That is, they may have invested heavily into monitoring, but have forgotten the other side of the coin, which is response and remediation. Much of the damage from a successful breach comes in the time it takes to identify and resolve the problem. Technology, like automated cybersecurity incident response, ensures you cover all your bases, reducing resolution time and mitigating damages.

Learn from the Past – A great indicator of future events is what has happened in the past. Successful breaches can become valuable learning tools to help identify and address vulnerabilities and develop stronger security practices for the future.

Test and Optimize – Cybersecurity is not a ‘set it and forget it’ task. Hackers and other sophisticated criminals are constantly honing their craft and leveraging newer and better tools and technology to achieve their unsavory goals. The only way to keep up is to adopt an agile approach to security. Testing analyzing and implementing improvements on an ongoing basis will make you better armed to go toe-to-toe with would be attackers.

Is your risk posture strong enough to prevent potentially devastating losses? If not, the time to take action is now. To try Ayehu’s cybersecurity automation platform FREE for 30 days, simply click here.

 

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Managing Cybersecurity in a Multi-Generational Workplace

While Millennials are slowly but surely beginning to take over the workplace, there are still plenty of workers from older generations infiltrating modern offices across the globe. In fact, many of the higher-up positions, such as c-suite executive roles, are currently held by individuals from Gen-X and even a few Baby Boomers still hanging on. Likewise, generation Z will slowly begin to make their way into the workforce over the coming years.

Managing operations across multiple generations can be difficult in and of itself, and the topic of cybersecurity is no exception. It’s especially challenging given the fact that each group of workers has their own experience, beliefs and opinions surrounding how to keep data secure. If your organization happens to be home to a diverse age range of employees, here are a few tips for making cybersecurity something everyone can universally maintain.

Bridging the Gap

One of the biggest issues with developing a multi-generational cybersecurity policy is the different experiences each group brings to the table. For instance, while it may be easy to incorporate security training into the new employee onboarding process, getting older workers – particularly those who are less tech-savvy – on board and supportive of cybersecurity initiatives isn’t always so easy. As a result, different types of training and educational programs might be needed based on each demographic.

A Glaring IssueManaging Cybersecurity in a Multi-Generational Workplace

To further illustrate the challenge security professionals face when dealing with a workforce from various age groups, a joint study was conducted by Citrix and the Ponemon Institute, which revealed the following:

  • 55% of respondents said that Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997) pose the greatest risk of circumventing IT security policies and use of unapproved apps in the workplace.
  • 33% said Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are the most susceptible to phishing and social engineering scams.
  • 30% said Gen Xers (born from 1965 to 1980) were most likely to exhibit carelessness in following an organization’s security policies.

Each of these eye-opening facts must be taken into account when developing cybersecurity training and implementing organizational policies.

Tapping into Technology

Another great way to help bring different generations together to support the common goal of enhanced cybersecurity is to leverage as much technology as possible. For instance, by deploying monitoring software and integrating it with an automation and orchestration platform for enhanced incident response, technology can do much of the heavy lifting, alleviating the burden on human workers. This can help reluctant individuals to view the importance of security in a more positive light.

Universal Education is Key

It’s important to point out that while each generation may have its own mindset about security issues, there are also certain universal truths that should be taught regardless of age group. Keep in mind that hackers rarely know precisely who they are targeting. Their goal is to simply achieve their end result as quickly and easily as possible, regardless of who might be on the receiving end. Likewise, it’s important not to assume that an employee is inherently aware that they are putting the organization at risk simply because he or she is from a particular generation. As such, universal education must be a priority.

Communicate Clearly and Often

As a more tech-savvy generation makes its way into the workplace, security professionals will have the additional challenge of bringing new employees up to speed and ensuring that they fully comprehend the implications of keeping sensitive data secure. While these younger workers may be more comfortable with technology, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a realistic understanding of how to protect the information they’re accessing and sharing. Expectations should be clearly communicated early and often to ensure optimum compliance.

What challenges has your organization had to deal with in terms of maintaining maximum cybersecurity across multiple generations of workers? Please share in the comments below!

 

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How to Land a Skilled CISO

In today’s ever-evolving threat landscape, the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has never been more critical – especially for larger enterprises. As such, these in-demand executives have become a hot commodity, with companies clamoring to attract, hire – and most importantly – retain a skilled cybersecurity leader of their own. What’s the secret to success? Well, while there’s certainly no magic formula, there are a few key considerations that might just help your firm stand out as the ideal option for landing that talented security expert you’ve been after.

Breaking it all down…

Hiring a great CISO is a two-part process. First, your organization is tasked with locating the ideal person for the job. This part is relatively easy, because it’s something that you can control to some degree. Your hiring manager (CEO, board of directors – or whoever is tasked with filling executive roles) can search sites like LinkedIn and any of the selection of career boards to locate candidates that possess the skillsets and experience you’re seeking.

The second part of the process isn’t quite as straightforward because it involves a decision on the part of the candidates you’re courting. As mentioned, CISOs and other skilled cybersecurity professionals are in high demand today, which meanHow to Land a Skilled CISOs it’s a job seekers marketplace and probably will be for some time now. These experts have their pick of employers from which to choose. It’s up to you to demonstrate effectively why your organization is the right choice, and this is no easy feat.

One of the biggest challenges companies seeking to hire a CISO face is showing candidates that they’re approaching the hiring decision from the right perspective. Unfortunately, many companies don’t jump at bringing in a cybersecurity expert unless and until they’ve experienced some type of crisis – usually a major security breach. If you are among these organizations looking for a quick fix to your security woes, don’t expect the industries top talent to be chomping at the bit to join your team.

The best way to win over a qualified candidate for the job is to do so during normal business operations, as this is a long-term strategy that will benefit both parties. The key is to view this hire as filling an overarching need within your company. After all, effective cybersecurity isn’t something reactive, but rather a proactive and ongoing function within the business. Just as a CFO is there to oversee the continuous accounting activities of the company, the CISO should be a part of managing everyday operations of your security team, not just put out fires that already occurred.

Different strokes for different folks…

An important thing to consider when searching for a CISO to bring onboard is the current status of your company’s cybersecurity program. Different things may appeal to various candidates, and certain strengths may be more beneficial to focus on when finding the right match. For instance, if your security strategy is still in its infancy, seeking a leader who is particularly adept at the planning phase might make more sense. The other two areas to consider include execution and optimization.

Becoming a frontrunner…

Once you’ve got a better idea of what type of CISO would be best suited for your needs and you’ve begun to map out your strategy for the long-term, versus finding a quick-fix, the last step is making your organization stand out as a frontrunner amongst all the other employers vying for your ideal candidate’s attention.

The more established and equipped you are in terms of the value you place on cybersecurity (i.e. showing commitment to investing in the best tools and technology, such as automated incident response, etc.), the more attractive your offer will become and the more likely you’ll be to win over the expert you’ve got in your crosshairs.EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

5 Signs You’re About to Become a Victim of a Cybersecurity Breach

5 Signs You’re About to Become a Victim of a Cybersecurity BreachIt doesn’t take a whole lot of digging to uncover the disturbing number of successful cybersecurity breaches that are occurring (and at a mind-boggling rate). In fact, it seems there’s news breaking almost daily indicating that a high-profile organization has once again fallen victim to savvy criminals to the detriment of clients, employees, partners and other stakeholders. The best way to avoid becoming the latest headline is to be proactive, and knowing what to watch for can help you stay a step ahead of the curve. That being said, here are five signs your organization is at risk of experiencing a cybersecurity incident.

You don’t have buy-in across the board.

We’ve said it time and time again, but it’s so important that it’s worth repeating yet again: cybersecurity is everyone’s job. It’ s not just the IT team who should be concerned about keeping sensitive company data out of the hands of hackers. Thankfully making cybersecurity a company-wide initiative isn’t a huge ordeal, provided you take the right approach. (Here are a few tips that might help.)

You don’t fully understand your company’s cybersecurity risk posture.

The risk posture of your organization refers to its overall cybersecurity strength. In other words, how vulnerable are you to outside threats? Whether it’s that you’re failing to perform ongoing assessments, you’re not examining the right areas, you’re taking the wrong approaches or you’re simply not using the right cybersecurity tools, if you are discounting the amount of this risk, you are leaving yourself much more open to potential attacks.

Your policies are well-documented but lack true substance.

Your IT team may have spent hours, days or weeks developing cybersecurity policies and best practices, but if those plans are not robust enough, they won’t do you much good in the event of a security incident. A strong, effective infosec policy should be comprehensive and properly supported by the right technology, tools and technology.

You’re approach to cybersecurity is reactive rather than proactive.

If you are waiting until a breach occurs before addressing it, you are already behind the eight ball in terms of risk and potential losses. To the contrary, organizations that take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity by implementing tools like automation for better incident management are able to stay a few steps ahead of their adversaries and therefore avoid becoming a victim.

You’re not placing a strong enough emphasis on remediation and recovery.

Effective incident management emphasizes the critical importance of remediation after the fact. Like it or not, the occasional cybersecurity threat will make its way into your network undetected. The speed and effectiveness with which your organization responds to that threat could mean the difference between a minor setback and a devastating loss. This is another reason having the right tools and technology in place is so important. The faster you can isolate a breach, the better you will be able to mitigate damages. Likewise, the more you invest in the remediation process, the more effective you can make your future cybersecurity policies and procedures.

Is your organization at a greater risk of becoming a victim of a security breach? Start turning things around today by launching your free trial of Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform. The more proactive you are, the safer your company will become.How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Want to Know How to Keep Your Best Cybersecurity Employees? Automate

Want to Know How to Keep Your Best Cybersecurity Employees? AutomateThere’s much talk about the so-called skills gap in the cybersecurity realm, particularly as it pertains to a lack of qualified staff. What isn’t mentioned quite so often is the fact that because those who are skilled enough to handle the daunting task of enterprise security are in such high demand, the essentially hold all the cards. For IT leaders, it’s not just about attracting the best talent. It’s about keeping them on for the long haul. Given the competitive landscape, this is no easy task. The one ace you can hold in your pocket, however, is automation.

A recent survey revealed that almost half of today’s cybersecurity professionals receive contact from a recruiter or another party regarding a job opening. Those who hold the title of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) receive five or more such solicitations each and every week. Even more concerning? The same survey indicated that 44% of security professionals are satisfied in their current job. 15% said they aren’t satisfied at all.

This means that if you’ve got even a few employees who are currently unhappy and a plethora of recruiters knocking down their doors on a regular basis, it’s pretty easy to understand why retention in the cybersecurity sector is one of the biggest challenges organizations face today.

Thankfully, you have the ability to turn things around. It starts with providing your IT team with the tools and technologies they need to do their jobs better and more efficiently – in particular, leveraging automation to streamline manual processes like incident response.

Consider for a moment that 92 percent of organizations field 500 or more cyber alerts each and every day. That adds up to around 15,000 alerts per month. This volume of incoming incidents, coupled with inevitable false positives, can easily lead to alert fatigue, especially considering that the average cybersecurity analyst is only capable of accurately handling around ten alerts per day. In other words, without the right tools, your IT team is drowning and you’re probably going to lose them as a result.

To improve employee satisfaction and retention, IT leaders must take the initiative to automate the many manual, tedious tasks and workflows currently bogging down cybersecurity analysts. This significantly lightens the workload while allowing skilled security professionals to apply their expertise to more strategic projects and perform more interesting and meaningful work. These things can dramatically improve morale and satisfaction, which will make it easier for you to keep your best employees.

With the right cybersecurity orchestration and automation platform, your IT analysts could focus on such initiatives as:

  • Proactive threat management. While automation handles incidents that have already occurred, your IT pros can spend their time hunting down potential threats and preparing for them in advance. Being proactive rather than reactive is better for the employee as well as for the organization as a whole.
  • Optimize processes and policies. By eliminating the need for manual incident management, security professionals can work on improving existing policies and developing best practices.
  • Perform routine system and process audits. With the free time automation affords, your IT team can work on reviewing and analyzing other tools, systems, applications and programs that are currently in use and make necessary changes to improve operations.
  • Conduct risk assessments. Automated incident response provides the IT team with the ability to go back to basics, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities and closing any existing gaps in policies and processes.

When it comes to running the most secure, efficient and effective enterprise, retaining top cybersecurity talent is key. The tips and tools listed above should help you keep your IT team happier, more productive and on-board for the long haul so that when recruiters come calling, your employees will gladly send them packing.

To try our next-generation cybersecurity orchestration and automation platform for yourself, simply click here.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response