TechChoice Cyber Security

This Is Your Year to Get Ahead of Cybersecurity Threats

If 2021 wasn’t your year to make cybersecurity moves, you’re already behind. 

Threats have been steadily mounting in recent years, and with some companies still using outdated security measures and relying on faulty failsafe, cybercriminals are ramping up in confidence and in their demands. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, hackers have been quick to exploit the growth in home working practices. Small businesses also reported an increase in attacks, and with 60% closing within six months of falling victim to a data breach, establishing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy has never been more important.

 With hybrid working policies expanding companies’ cyber risk, it’s vital to be aware of what the threats are, and how to prevent attackers gaining access.”

Troy Gill, senior manager of threat intelligence with Zix, states, “As we have seen with the evolution of malware-as-a-service and phishing-as-a-service, threat actors are willing to join forces for mutual success.”  Cyber attacks cost the global economy an estimated $6 trillion USD in 20211, and the costs are predicted to increase by 2022.  By 2025 – $10.5 Trillion! Typically, cybersecurity providers specialize in specific verticals, forcing customers to secure their data using a patchwork of different providers. This dynamic can lead to costly delays and other potentially damaging inefficiencies; indeed, the average data breach took 287 days to identify and contain in 20212.  You know the facts by now: ransoms are becoming multi-layered, and it seems like every year, more zeroes are added to the ends of the ransom checks, paid out by companies of all sizes across the globe.

Don’t become part of the expense or the stats. Your company doesn’t have to be one of the unlucky ones. 

There’s still time to make 2022 the year that puts you ahead of cybercriminals who want access to your network and data. Here are your top priorities.

Protect the Perimeter 

Does your cyber security strategy include a perimeter defense? You may have secured the perimeter pre-pandemic, but after work-from-home made its home in our day-to-day operations, the perimeter expanded, and some companies are still left looking for its edge. 

We ask our clients a multitude of questions when planning and implementing a secure system: Where is your organization’s perimeter? Have you raised awareness among employees? Have you mapped out sensitivity levels? Who and how has someone considered a security risk? 

Investing in an external security assessment is the most reliable way to discover your vulnerabilities. Premier Team can then configure your security tools to protect you from the latest methods of attack.

As we mentioned in our last blog post, SASE is one solution. By combining network connectivity with security and delivering through the cloud, SASE keeps the edges of your security perimeter tight and protected. SASE can help users from anywhere, from traditional offices to remote. It also offers easy WAN deployments, improved security, and greater efficiency.

How is SASE different from SD-WAN?

SD-WAN and cloud-based security3 are core components of the SASE architecture to deliver on the vision of a secure access service edge.

SASE aims at securing end-user devices and endpoints; on the other hand, SD-WAN is used to connect branch offices to a data center. SASE is a cloud-based platform with PoPs, while SD-WAN is a branch-office overlay network. At-home work favors the SASE model than branch-office work, which is inclined more to SD-WAN. It’s because at-home networks tend to be more mobile and have less standardized designs, so they pair well with SASE’s more flexible deployment options.

Looking at the true shape of your network as it’s warped and changed over 2021 will help you assess the distance your security must go to keep you fully covered. If your security falls short, all of your vulnerabilities out there on the edge are just waiting for the wrong person to come along and exploit them. 

Be sure to hold the barricade. Your data depends on it.

Be Ready for Ransomware

5 Key Ransomware Statistics: Ransomware cost the world $20 billion in 2021. That number is expected to rise to $265 billion by 2031. In 2021, 37 percent of all businesses and organizations were hit by ransomware. Recovering from a ransomware attack costs businesses $1.85 million on average in 2021. Out of all ransomware victims, 32 percent pay the ransom, but they only get 65 percent of their data back. Only 57 percent of businesses are successful in recovering their data using a backup4.

If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what does?! Now is the time to get serious about asset management, cyber hygiene, and astute security solutions. 

Organizations should embrace a new architectural approach to security that helps to mitigate risk. This involves applying the principles of zero trust — least privilege access, isolation, mandatory access control, and strong identity management. Zero trust architecture (ZTA), limiting internal lateral movement and working with an evaluative model based on identities, endpoints, and credentials, among other factors, that grants the bare minimum permissions to users. Ransomware will continue to be a major risk in 2022, with victims potentially being hit more than once.  With the tactics Premier Team will help procure against ransomware, like ZTA, your company will be safe from threat one – infinity.  

If someone gets in, they won’t get far. Relying on user and device authentication keeps outsiders out, and helps you, as we just mentioned, to keep the perimeter tight. Data backup and recovery plans are equally important, so that, should you face an attack, your data is able to be restored quickly and efficiently. And, be sure to educate all members of your organization about cyber hygiene and the ways that they can take responsibility for their own network usage and keep outsiders out because social engineering is a huge, wide-open back door to your network.

Prepare for Remediation 

Top cyber threats that need remediation Include:

  1. Malware
  2. Ransomware
  3. Phishing attacks
  4. Computer viruses
  5. Advanced persistent threats (APT)

Though proactivity and preparation are the ideal way to deal with cybersecurity concerns, sometimes, despite best efforts, companies become the victims of a successful attack. Successful remediation limits the detriment in the aftermath of an event. 

Unlike others, Premier Team is here to help you mitigate risk and protect your data. We work with some of the world’s leading companies, institutions, and governments to ensure their information safety and compliance with applicable regulations.

Our Incident Response Planning puts a roadmap in place for what a company will do in the immediate and mid-to-long-term interim post-breach. In the event of a malware breach, best remediation practices identify the cause of the attack, contain the damage by cordoning off the affected system and potentially disabling others, and “flush” the attacker out of the system by repairing vulnerabilities or, if necessary, shutting down the system for good. Then, you’ll need to recover or delete files and conduct a final review to check for remaining viruses. The average cost of a malware attack on a company is $2.6 million5.  Can you cough that up?

In the event of phishing, a company-wide reporting practice can help to keep a careful eye on incidents and give valuable information to help prevent future issues. Otherwise, the process is relatively similar. To prevent future attacks, automated software that scans for malware and viruses can be helpful, as well as automated spam removal to protect employees’ inboxes from incoming threats. 

Phishing attackers use social engineering to target people rather than targeting vulnerabilities in the network.  The CSO estimates phishing attacks cause more than 80 percent of reported security incidents6 – 80%! 

How Premier Team Can Help with your Cyber Security

While the time for cybersecurity emphasis arrived long ago, it has certainly not passed, and there’s still an opportunity for your company to get ahead. You can leverage a trusted advisor like Premier Team to help you. We specialize in building layered security architectures with real-time threat assessment and mitigation technologies, protecting clients from evolving and sophisticated cyber threats. Together, we can help you find, fix, and maintain all of your cybersecurity solutions, keeping you out of harm’s way and in safe hands at the time when it’s most vital. 

To learn more about how Premier Team keeps you safe, get in touch here.

  1. Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025
  2. IBM Report: Cost of a Data Breach Hits Record High During Pandemic
  3. 5 Cloud-based IT Security Asset Monitoring and Inventory Solutions
  4. Ransomware Statistics, Trends and Facts for 2022 and Beyond
  5. Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study
  6. Top cybersecurity statistics, trends, and facts