Cyberattacks can ruin your business!

One cyberattack every 39 seconds: is your business one click away from disaster?

Cybercrime rates have increased by 300% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Exploding Topics research in 2023.

In 2022, AAG IT Support reported that businesses lost $4.35 million as a result of data breaches; in between, ransomware attacks cost them an average of $2 million per incident!

66% of small businesses have experienced these cyberattacks in the past 12 months, and only
14% of small businesses are prepared to face these cyberattacks.

Figure 1. Lockbit hacker group targeting a lot of companies around the world
Figure 1. Lockbit hacker group targeting a lot of companies around the world
Figure 2. Attackers are coming for your company

In this blog post, we will discuss essential strategies for securing your IT infrastructure and protecting your organization from cyber threats.

The time to act is now!

Know Your EnemyIn this section, you will understand your business nature and requirements
Build Your DefensesIn this section, you will learn what the basic security solutions are that you need to apply
Always WatchingIn this section, we will get familiar with monitoring and response
The Best Defense is a Good OffenseImportance of Red Teaming for your company
Human > FirewallHumans are the weakest link (and also potentially one of the strongest) in cybersecurity
Your Ultimate Peace of MindGet to know your partner who can help you get peace of mind

| Seeing the problem is half the battle

Before you can effectively defend your IT infrastructure, you need a clear understanding of its vulnerabilities and overall security posture. This self-awareness is crucial in determining the most appropriate and effective cybersecurity solutions for your unique business needs.

The initial step in this process is analyzing your environment and assets. This involves understanding your business nature and requirements, identifying the information and systems critical to your operations, and assessing their potential vulnerabilities. Here are some key questions to guide you:

  • What information and systems are critical to your business? Consider financial data, customer records, and any other sensitive information.
  • Are there any vulnerabilities in your current security setup? This includes outdated software, weak passwords, insecure network configurations, etc.
  • What are the common cyberattacks targeting businesses like yours? Staying informed about the latest cyber threats allows you to defend against potential attacks.

This phase of self-assessment, often called risk assessment, is crucial for understanding your current security posture. By identifying your critical assets and vulnerabilities, you gain valuable insights into the areas that require the most attention and resources.

Once you have a clear understanding of your business needs, you are ready to move on to the next step!

Now is the time to build your defenses based on your needs. Of course, there are basic security solutions you must deploy, no matter what; consider them your first line of defense, like locking the doors and windows of your home.

So what are these basic security solutions?

The first one is deploying a firewall and IPS/IDS. The reason for that is to protect your network from unauthorized access and malicious threats. This step is akin to locking the doors and windows of your business’s virtual space, creating a barrier against potential cyber threats.

| No firewall can lead to an easy cyber compromise on your business

The second security solution depends on whether your business primarily operates a website. If the answer is yes, you will deploy a Web Application Firewall (WAF). By doing that, you will shield your web applications from vulnerabilities and attacks.

A WAF acts as a sophisticated gatekeeper, meticulously analyzing every request and allowing only legitimate activity to enter.

What does a WAF do?

  • Blocks malicious traffic: This includes attempts at SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other common web application attacks.
  • Filters suspicious activity: Even if a request doesn’t appear overtly malicious, the WAF can flag suspicious behavior patterns, protecting your website from potential harm.

| Investing in a WAF is an investment in your website’s security and your business’s reputation.

The next security you should look at is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR).

EDR is a cybersecurity solution that monitors your devices (endpoints) for suspicious activity, like malware and viruses.

EDR is like antivirus software but more advanced and proactive because it stops attacks before they happen, unlike antivirus, which only waits for threats to appear.

You might be thinking and saying, “I think this solution is not that important, and I can run my business without it.”

Well, in 2017, a ransomware named “WannaCry” hit the whole world. Thousands of companies globally, small and large alike were hit ! One of the key reasons, was they lacked an EDR as part of their cyberdefenses. This allowed the ransomware to spread quickly and cost these companies hundreds of millions of dollars.

Don’t allow this to happen to you !

Figure 3. The Security Operations Center is watching for you

What is the next step we need to take after deploying the security solutions?

It is keeping an eye on the perimeter!

Imagine a sentinel watching over your business day and night, guarding against any potential threats using the security solution that you implement.

That’s exactly what a Managed Security Operations Center (MSOC) provides for you. By hiring a team of skilled analysts, you will enjoy 24/7 monitoring, threat detection, and incident response services for your business.

The main functionality of this team is that when a threat is detected, the team springs into action, investigating the incident quickly and efficiently. Working to contain the damage, minimize impact, and restore your systems to normal operation as quickly as possible.

This team is using a solution called SIEM, which collects data and logs from all the sources you have, like firewalls, IPS, IDS, and EDR. then analyzes this data and correlates it together, alerting the team if any incident happens.

Good MSOC’s also have a wonderful capability to monitor the leakage of sensitive data from your business in the open (normal) and Dark web (where cybercriminals operate. If such data is found, the MOSC team will notify you and take swift action to remove that and protect your organization.

Figure 4. The red team is covering your back.

One of the best ways to help test your company’s existing defenses is to apply Red Teaming concepts. The most common of this is known as VA/PT – Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing.

Good penetration testing simulates the attacks and methods, tools and techniques a hacker would use to enter your environment. Typically a penetration test would start with you external infrastructure such as a web application, mobile application etc. The outcome of such an exercise is typically a detailed report identifying various vulnerabilities, or “holes” in your environment and the recommendations of how these can be remediated or rectified.

Such tests need to be conducted on a regular basis as there are always new vulnerabilities and changes that happen in your infrastructure.

This process also validates the security controls that you implemented in the first step. By testing them against simulated attacks, you gain confidence in their effectiveness and enhance what they leak.

Red teaming shifts your security strategy from reactive to proactive, empowering you to address security risks before they can be exploited.

| Waiting for a real attack to happen is like waiting for a fire to start before you install smoke detectors.

So maybe you ask, What are the types of pen testing? We mentioned above the web application and mobile application, but there are many more:

  • Networks: focuses on identifying vulnerabilities in your network infrastructure, including routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless networks.
  • Cloud: Identifying vulnerabilities in your cloud environment, such as misconfigured storage buckets, insecure APIs, and unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  • Embedded devices (IoT): Identify weaknesses in smart devices (TV screens, watches, and lamps), such as insecure firmware, weak passwords, and a lack of encryption.
  • Industrial control system: This kind of system must be secure because the impact will be the loss of human life, so ICS pen testing helps identify vulnerabilities such as weak authentication protocols and insufficient network segmentation.

Of course, you will not choose all of these types; you will just use what is suitable for your business.

Moreover, for better comprehension, the penetration test has three main methodologies:

  1. Black-box test: Pen testers develop a real-world attack on the company and have no information about it.
  2. White-box test: Pen testers develop real-world attacks on the company, and they have details about the company like network diagrams, source codes, credentials, and more.
  3. Gray-box test: Pen testers get some information but not much (maybe the public IPs for your company).

No matter which method the pen test team uses, you need this team in your company!

Now you’ve set up all these security measure to protect your business, but along comes an employee and clicks on a suspicious link in an email!

What good is having all that security if someone on the inside might be accidentally letting the bad guys in?

This is the most important factor in cybersecurity, but the sad fact is that many companies do not care about it :/

You need to train your troops. Educate your employees about cyberattacks, especially phishing.
Show them real-world attacks on phishing emails and teach them to identify suspicious emails, attachments, and links.

Train your employees to be wary of social engineering to protect them from revealing sensitive information that can harass your business. because well-educated and trained employees can reduce the risk of cybersecurity attacks and help prevent data breaches.

The education does not stop with e-mail security; you also want to teach them about browsing security because not all websites they will visit online are safe!

One of the main things to teach them is password security by having a strong password and using multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Also, do not forget about physical security, such as plugging a USB drive into a computer. The risks involved with that can compromise the whole environment.

| It’s not enough to have fancy technology; you need your people to be your first line of defense.

Partner with Paratus Cyber to defend your company!

From what you have read so far, you might be feeling overwhelmed thinking “How are we supposed to do ALL of this in cybersecurity when our core business is something else!”

Enter Paratus Cyber Team as we are a niche solutions provided laser-focused on Cybersecurity. We will partner with you to formulate a strategy to bolster your defenses, select the right tools and services that will put you solidly on a path to cyber maturity. Our combined decades of Cyber experience, innovative and often uniqe product and service offerings deliver value-for-money benefits without the operational burden and long term hidden cost of many “well known” solutions in the market.

Our consultative approach means we tailor make a journey for your organisation’s size, budget and cyber capabilities in terms of resources.

Together, we help bring peace of mind to you, so you can focus on making your core business successful in this competitive world!

We have many packages that are suitable for your business, whether you are a start-up or an old company.

Helping clients achieve the foundational and critical measures to protect their digital assets and overall cyber operations from security threats.

Our Cyber Advisory Services are designed to provide you with expert guidance, strategic insights, and actionable recommendations to navigate cyber risk and challenges effectively.

We understand cybersecurity is not just about technology—it’s about understanding risk, implementing robust strategies, and ensuring your organization’s resilience.

Helping clients with high-level and specialized offerings to address complex and sophisticated cyber threats. These services go beyond the basics and cater to organizations that require advanced techniques, technologies, and expertise to defend against evolving cyber risks.

In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, off-the-shelf solutions might not always fit the unique contours of your organization. We understand that your security challenges demand personalized attention and innovation. Our expert team crafts bespoke security strategies that align perfectly with your business, ensuring a robust defense against even the most intricate threats.

And remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing journey, not a destination!

Corporate cyber threats

Order an express audit of your company's security systems

Order an express audit of your company's security systems