Cyber​​security, Everyone’s Problem In 2020

Cyber​​security, Everyone’s Problem In 2020

Continuous cyber attacks show that such an incident can have catastrophic consequences, from interruption of production to closure of sites, loss of vital data or negative impact on reputation and brand. Every month we witness increasingly sophisticated attacks that highlight how vulnerable companies and countries are to these new threats.

Although at the moment it is unrealistic to think that we could end these cyberattacks, the truth is that companies need to get out of line and start playing seriously. For many, cybersecurity job represents a cost – technological, human or organizational – that, unfortunately, is often in the background. As a result, more than half of the companies still spend less than 3% of their IT budget on security (Clusif 2016).

Of course, protection and equipment come at a price, but they are just as necessary as taking out insurance. Therefore, cybersecurity must be positioned as a strategic area of governance, and its technological and organizational aspects taken into account. Similarly, companies must understand and shoulder their responsibilities to prevent legislators from imposing ever stricter cybersecurity regulations. As for the decisions of investment, this issue is no longer just a concern for the IT department, also extends to the executive board.

Let the whole world know!

One of the main changes taking place in current attacks is the hackers’ deliberate decision to make them visible . In reality, it is just the opposite of what happens with APTs (Advance Persistent Threat), whose objective is to remain hidden as much as possible. These new massive attacks aim to be particularly evident. In this way, they expose the vulnerabilities of large-scale companies. However, these attacks could be a hacker’s attempt to probe a company’s defenses. Make no mistake: it is only the beginning, and these threats are going to be more and more virulent and dangerous.

Everyone on board, for the common good

Cybersecurity is therefore a collective concern. The continuous attacks in recent months should alert companies to this general trend, in addition to the serious consequences they have for their business activities.

Finally, and beyond protecting your data, organizations also have a role to play with respect to their employees, partners, and customers. As line between personal and professional life becomes increasingly blurred, companies begin to take responsibility for the digital lives of their employees and customers. If everyone realizes this situation and takes action, perhaps we can avoid the worst and create a secure digital space for the well-being of all.

Many organizations try to maintain business continuity by allowing all or much of their staff to work remotely. Inevitably, this implies a noticeable increase in the attack surface. The different resources of the company are now directly exposed to the Internet, or are accessible through a terminal server or jumpbox. And because of the pandemic, the demand for public and private services of all kinds and for online services is increasing significantly. Organizations in these sectors need to review and tighten the security of their critical infrastructure and protect their core assets by separating them from the rest.

Therefore, organizations must, as an essential measure, protect all their critical assets by limiting access to only the necessary people, something that can be done by managing user access rights. And it is also essential to segment critical areas to isolate them from the rest of the organization’s network. Network segmentation means that even if attackers enter, regardless of how they do it, the damage will be contained and the gap detected earlier. Segmentation is difficult, but thanks to the use of third-party tools that visualize and secure the network regardless of its current topology, it will be possible to reduce the attack surface as much as possible and more easily detect the lateral movement that can be so harmful.

Cryptocurrency boom attracts cybercriminals

Numerous incidents and vulnerabilities have starred in the month of November, which, added to the large number of events and conferences on cybersecurity, have made this month one of the most exciting of the year.

With bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies hitting all-time highs, it’s no wonder that criminals have stepped up their attacks to steal as many of these electronic currencies as possible. In fact, over the past few weeks,  massive scans have been observed from ESET’s laboratory looking for the wallets where users store their cryptocurrencies.

But not only users are the target of these attacks. Criminals are also targeting applications that are used as electronic wallets and cryptocurrency exchange services. An example we have in CoinPouch , which last month was the victim of an attack that caused losses of around $ 655,000 in the Verge cryptocurrency due to a security flaw in the application. That amount pales before the $ 280 million in Ether that was accidentally blocked by a user in early November. As a result of removing a critical library from the code, the funds were blocked, preventing their owners from accessing them.

“But what is really becoming a plague are those web pages that mine cryptocurrencies taking advantage of users’ resources without asking their permission,” says Albors. Until a few months ago, this technique had only been seen on a handful of websites, but currently it is a real problem since it significantly reduces the performance of the system while browsing.

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