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Cyber Security Threats and Controls

Technological changes have been happening worldwide at an ever-increasing rate, including advancements in data capture devices, signal processing, communication capabilities, and automated process control systems like the Internet of Things.

However, it is more challenging when production systems rely highly on automation and robotics. In addition, remote performance monitoring and controls are becoming progressively vulnerable due to cyber security and corporate espionage risks.

Below are the Top Cyber Security threats to your products and how to mitigate them.

Third Parties and Managed Service Providers: Third parties and MSPs also pose an entry point for a security threat. With the consistently high outsourcing today, third parties and MSPs are the most common and may attempt to exploit the trusted partnership.

Defence Method: Multi-Factor Authentication should be the first deployed in your environment to ensure only the right users access the right resources. Focus on using it to outline security requirements, and be careful who you trust.

Weak and Stolen Credentials: If you use soft or reused passwords, an attacker can easily access your environment by connecting to your network. The ease of this point is an entry for an attacker to puts your organization at risk and expose your confidential data.

Defence Method: Azure Active Directory Premium gives an organization advanced identity protection, detection and privileged identity management capabilities. Defender for identity provides on-premises protection. All entry points should be covered – including a strong password or going passwordless with biometrics.

Ransomware: This type of malware in which the data on a victim's computer is typically locked by encryption. Payment is required before the ransomed data is decrypted and access is released to the victim. The move for ransomware attacks is mainly monetary. Unlike other spells, the victim is usually notified that an exploit is booming and is given steps on how to recover from the attack. Payment is mainly demanded in a virtual currency, such as bitcoin, so the cybercriminal's identity is unknown.

Ransomware malware can be exploited through malicious attachments found in emails or infected malicious software apps, infected external storage devices and compromised websites. Attacks have also used Remote Desktop Protocol and other approaches that do not rely on user interaction.

Defence Method: The first priority should be reducing your organization's potential attack surface, which consists of the assets and equipment exposed to the outside world that a criminal can reach and easily exploit. The wider the attack surface is, the more opportunities you are providing to attackers to exploit.

Therefore, your organization's best interest is to minimize your attack surface. To start reducing the attack surface, you should first map the network. You cannot protect resources you do not know about. Over time undocumented assets can make their way onto your organization's network through company acquisitions, hardware and software updates and upgrades, and many other operations. It is crucial to identify these assets so that you can update them.

Likewise, work on removing unnecessary systems, hardware, software, and services, thereby reducing the complexity of the attack surface to defend. RDP is the first attack vector for Ransomware; disable it if you do not need it for business operations.

Software Vulnerabilities: Suppose your organization has gaps in its security or has any security weaknesses. In that case, cybercriminals can take advantage of those openings in any widely used software and gain control of your systems. Once they have power, they can make the procedure inaccessible and deploy Ransomware.

Defence Method: Software vulnerabilities are common. Implementing regular software updates is crucial to stay ahead of attackers. Defender for endpoint assesses vulnerabilities and will update you when a patch is needed to improve security.

Misconfiguration: Cyber-criminal can gain access to your data when an error in system configuration or setup/app server configuration is not disabled. As an easy point for hackers, misconfigured devices are an excellent way to gain even more of your organization's confidential information and exploit it.

Defence Method: Review your organization's configuration process, how you manage devices and identities, and utilize multi-factor authentication for accessing devices.

Drive-by Download: Malicious programs or files can be downloaded from the internet without the user's consent with a tactic known as "drive-by download". After download, malicious code can run without user input – infecting the computer with Ransomware.

Defence Method: Defender for Office 365 helps users not click on risky links, and if users do click on something dangerous, then Defender for Endpoint helps protect data and devices against threats. Regular security scans and monitoring of end-user devices, security education around best practices such as closing browser windows while not in use, and security software scanning for unsafe links and websites.

Cross-Site Scripting: Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a cyber threat in which an attacker inserts data into content from trusted websites, such as a malicious script in javascript format. The malicious code is then injected with dynamic content delivered to a victim's browser or app.

XSS is one of the common cyber threat types. Malicious scripts are often provided as bits of JavaScript code that the victim's browser executes. In addition, exploits can incorporate malicious executable code in many other languages, including Java, Ajax and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).

Although XSS attacks can be severe, preventing the vulnerabilities that enable them is relatively easy. XSS allows attackers to execute malicious scripts in another user's browser application.

However, instead of attacking the victim, the attacker exploits the script on websites the victim goes to and gets the website to deliver the malicious script.

Defense Method: The following are the best process to eliminate application security flaws that allow cross-site scripting. Sanitizing user input scrubs data clean of possible executable characters. It checks and changes unacceptable user input to an acceptable format and ensures the data received can't be executable as a code. This approach is constructive on web pages that allow HTML markup.

Escaping user input is another way to prevent XSS vulnerabilities in applications. Running means taking the data an application has received and ensuring it's secure before rendering it for the user.

This prevents critical characters in a web page's data from being interpreted as executable code. In addition, it contains the browser from cracking characters used to signal the start or end of executable code, and it translates them to escape. For example, quote characters, parentheses, brackets and other punctuation marks are sometimes used to set off executable code.

Running these characters means converting them from single characters that aren't displayed into strings format that the browser decodes as printable versions of the characters. The surest way to prevent XSS threats is to inspect user input. Therefore, all user input rendered as part of HTML output should be treated as untrusted, whether from an authenticated user or not.

Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS): Distributed denial of service attack is a threat to make a service unavailable to users, primarily by temporarily interrupting or suspending the benefits of its server.

A DDoS attack can be launched from numerous compromised devices, often distributed globally in what is referred to as a botnet. It is distinct from other denials of service (DoS) attacks in that it uses a single Internet-connected system to flood a target with malicious code.

Defense Method: Some several crucial strategies and techniques typically contribute to DDoS mitigation's ability to reduce the impact of these attacks. The foundation of DDoS mitigation indeed rests in building up robust infrastructure. Keeping resilience and redundancy top-of-mind through the following are all crucial first steps for DDoS mitigation: Strengthening bandwidth capabilities

Securely segmenting networks and data centres

Establishing mirroring and failover

Configuring applications and protocols for resiliency

Bolstering availability and performance through resources like content delivery networks (CDNs)

Cloud Access Management Threats: Cloud services have transformed how businesses store data and host applications while introducing new security challenges. Attackers have two ways of attacking to compromising cloud resources and data: The first involves bypassing all the above by simply compromising credentials from an administrator account with administrative capabilities or cloud services provider (CSP) administrative access.

The second is through traditional means, which involves accessing systems inside the enterprise network, followed by surveillance and privilege escalation to an administrative account with access to cloud resources.

Defence Method: As cloud builders get into the specifics of their requirements, some advantages should be taken, like the opportunity to design their cloud deployments well enough for security to be built at the beginning. I.T. teams can navigate current and future cloud deployments confidently with Network (Traffic Inspection, Virtual Patching), Cloud Instance (Workload Security at Runtime), and DevOps (Container Security)

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