6 ways to defend against the next wave of global cyber attacks
Ensure your organization is prepared for increased cyberwarfare attacks, no matter where you conduct your business

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As the conflict in Ukraine continues, Western governments impose sanctions, commercial organizations withdraw from the Russian market, and hacking groups like Anonymous step up their attacks on Russian institutions and media, it seems inevitable that cyberwarfare between the East and West will only intensify.

Of course, the nature of cyberwarfare is often covert, so it’s incredibly difficult to get an accurate picture of how many attacks Western organizations and governments are facing, and how severe (or in security terms, ‘credible’) these risks are.

But we only need to look back as far as the last two years to see how devastating security breaches can be.

Cybersecurity experts from SHI and our subsidiary, Stratascale*, are encouraging businesses in the United States and abroad to learn from recent attacks to better defend against future threats.

“While the current technical attacks to date are variants of what we have seen before, including DDOS attacks, phishing – SMS text, website defacement, and more specifically a new drive wiper malware variant [called] HermeticWiper…we should not underplay the seriousness of this world event and the nefarious nation-state capabilities.”

–David O’Leary, Senior Director of Cybersecurity

With this in mind, public and private organizations should focus on at least six key areas to secure and prepare their compute environments.

1. Test and update your incident response plans

To the chagrin of CISOs and IT security staff, too many organizations can’t recall the last time they assessed their incident response solutions – or at the very least, haven’t tested or reviewed their plans in many years.

It is never too late to take a step back and get a holistic view of your current cybersecurity posture. SHI helps to create a workable plan of action against evolving threats.

2. Raise user awareness of ongoing threats

Phishing is as common with state-sponsored hackers as it is with individual black hat criminals. Without an aware userbase diligent against suspicious content, phishing can be an efficient and damaging way to infiltrate organizations.

Continuous security awareness trainings help keep employees up to date on your organization’s security policies and features as well as the latest security best practices. This could be as simple as regular advice emails from Infosecurity helping users identify the telltale signs of an attack or formal training courses, especially for staff with access to sensitive systems and data.

3. Validate backup and recovery plans for key business components

If a breach does happen, quickly restoring mission-critical data from a secure backup location can make the difference between brushing off an attack and becoming the next cybersecurity headline. Protect your data and reputation with an agile strategy to access, safeguard, and restore key assets.

SHI’s security specialists can help develop backup and recovery plans that minimize the negative impact of a data breach.

4. Secure your edge infrastructure

With hundreds or thousands of devices connected to your network, your edge infrastructure is a prime target for bad actors looking to disrupt operations with DDOS attacks or steal valuable and private data with phishing and ransomware.

As if managing remote/hybrid workforces didn’t already add complexity to your edge’s security, unprecedented disruptions to the global marketplace are leaving users vulnerable to hacking while your IT staff work to establish guardrails within your device and application security.

Turn complexity into simplicity and spot the security gaps in your infrastructure with holistic readiness assessments of your environment.

5. Enhance your automation efficiency

Manual security operations can have configuration errors and incorrect policy application, leaving an open door for cyberattacks and data breaches. Introduce and enhance automation to streamline daily operations and integrate high-level security across your processes, applications, and infrastructure.

Use automation to reduce your mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) so you can prevent, detect, and respond to attacks faster. Reduce your MTTD and MTTR even further by consolidating data sources into a central console for easy analysis.

6. Evaluate third-party risks, data sharing requirements, and approach

While third parties can increase organizational efficiency, this relationship poses a security risk as data is shared, collected, and processed off-site at varying standards. Consider employing vendor access management policies to handle and organize the various levels of access your third-party partners need.

When housing or backing up critical assets to the cloud, ensure you have maximum visibility within your cloud platform so you can identify and address security gaps before data is lost. Reduce potential vulnerabilities by having a strong cloud strategy before rushing assets to the cloud.

A trusted cybersecurity advisor can work with you to implement best practices and add additional controls to privileged credentials and data to reduce the risk of being compromised.

 

At a time when state-sponsored hackers and rogue black hats threaten business operations at an increased ferocity, it’s important to ensure all aspects of your environment are secured. SHI’s Security Solutions practice is built around six critical elements of effective security.

Learn more about our holistic approach to:

Contact us today to stay ahead of evolving cybersecurity threats.

*Stratascale is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SHI providing a consultancy-first approach to helping organizations rapidly adapt in response to business changes and challenges through technology innovation.