Spear phishing, targeted attacks, zero-day exploits. No matter what you call them, these are the worst, most harmful cyber attacks out there, causing bankruptcy, loss of credibility, and other serious damage. While you might have state‑of‑the‑art protection, there are still some steps that you can take to ensure that you are as safe as can be.
- Train your employees. At the end of the day, you and your team are the last line of defense. No matter how good your security is, one employee can unintentionally bring down your entire network. It can be a simple phishing email or, more worrying, a targeted attack. Train your employees on cybersecurity, and give them the tools to protect themselves and your company. Online seminars, team activities, cyber-safety questionnaires, and many other tools are available to help you train your staff.
- Stay well informed. New attacks are discovered every day, but even worse, hackers keep developing new evasion techniques to bypass your security. While you might have a team of experts dedicated to security, or just one employee, make sure that you are up to date on industry news. There are many forums, blogs, websites, and newsletters that will keep you on your toes when it comes to cybersecurity innovations.
- Watch what you post on social media. Months before a targeted attack is deployed, a team of highly trained hackers plans and designs the attack. For an attack to be successful, it must cause a specific user to open the infected email message and click the attachment. You probably wouldn’t open an attachment if the email message said, “Dear friend, please look at these files.” Attackers understand this degree of caution and therefore meticulously gather information on their target to make sure that the person will open the attachment. Most of the information that attackers gather is from social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Go over your friends list, and see how many of them are actually friends…
- Get those updates! A zero-day exploit focuses on a vulnerability in an application that allows an attacker to infiltrate your system and deploy malware. When a vendor realizes that the application has a vulnerability, the vendor will work on a patch to fix it. Then it’s your turn to update your software to the latest version so that the patch will be installed in your system and will neutralize the effects of the vulnerability. Updates increase your network’s protection.
- Choose the right tool for the job. You’ve spent so much money on your business, not counting the hours and hours that you put in to make it a success. Of course, when it came to protecting your network, you installed a state‑of‑the‑art firewall and numerous countermeasures. But did you put in the type of protection that is suitable for combating each kind of threat? Most companies know that they cannot rely on just a single or even dual security platform. Several tools must be combined to ensure complete protection. There are many threats out there, and you need to know which tool can keep you safe from which threat. A platform that specializes in antivirus protection most likely will not safeguard your company from targeted attacks and zero‑day exploits.