Around the world, cyber threats are on the rise, with attackers increasingly targeting organisations’ most valued assets, necessitating businesses to ensure greater protection and smoother experiences for their users. ThreatLocker, a cybersecurity company developing tools for decades including programs for endpoint and network security, has outlined the best practices which organisations can implement when faced with common cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond.
As organisations take action to protect Internet-connected devices and services from malicious attacks by hackers and other cybercriminals, it is best to stay updated with the latest practices as they guard against phishing schemes, ransomware attacks, identity theft, data breaches and financial losses.
Here are three best practices for common cybersecurity threats in 2023:
Phishing is often defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails or text messages purporting to be from reputable companies or colleagues to induce individuals or organisations to reveal personal information like passwords and credit card numbers.
Most recently, cybercriminals have resorted to deceptive phishing, an easier means of tricking someone into clicking a malicious link in a seemingly legitimate email. Deceptive phishing is an easier means of misleading employees into revealing personal identities, passwords and credit card details compared to breaking through computer defences.
As a best practice, ThreatLocker recommends providing staff with cybersecurity and phishing awareness training so they can identify and react to possible scams or phishing attempts. Employees should also turn on Multi Factor Authentication which provides a crucial layer of protection against phishing attacks.
After a phishing-induced malware incident in a client’s organisation, Neal Juern, President and CEO of Juern Technology, realized that there are too many threats that anti-virus solutions and EDRs can’t stop. After implementing ThreatLocker’s zero trust protection platform, employees have less control, so threats can’t do as much damage as they used to within his organisation and that of his clients.
Simply put, malware is any software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorised access to a computer system.
Malware can spread when you install an infected program, click an infected link or open a malicious email attachment.
For example, trojan malware disguises itself as legitimate software to enter your system in a similar way that phishing emails impersonate trusted sources. It begins launching malicious agenda once it enters your systems.
With new reports revealing that over 30 million new malware threats occur each year and about 82,000 per day, it is likely that every organisation is at risk of being victimised.
As a best practice, ThreatLocker recommends that organisations first understand that the most frequent cause of malware is phishing. By implementing an e-mail filtering and protection system to reduce the number of phishing attempts that reach your mailbox, you can better protect yourself from phishing attempts and malware attacks.
To tackle this problem, ThreatLocker’s Allowlisting solution was built to block all unapproved software including malware from executing without approval from an administrative team.
On using Allowlisting, Joseph Undis, Senior Cloud Engineer at TechCon Consulting, said ‘it completely replaced the need for AppLocker’ and provided more control to automatically update policies leading to fewer management hours.
In line with malware, Ransomware is a type of malicious software purposely designed to block access to a computer system or threaten to release your confidential data online until a sum of money is paid.
In the case of lock-screen ransomware, computers or PCs can be frozen out completely with little or no access to files and systems. The code intrudes, encrypts and locks all data and files building a code wall until a sum of money is paid.
Ransomware attackers previously requested payments via Western Union or special text message but recently, attackers demand payments via cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Ransomware attacks are always disruptive and costly whether you pay the criminals to return access to locked systems or not. In 2021, the average cost of a ransomware attack to an organisation was estimated at US$1.85 million including loses from downtime, ransomware fees and other related costs.
As a best practice to prevent ransomware, ThreatLocker recommends that organisations train employees, customers and other end-users to never open attachments or links from untrusted sources. Organisations should also regularly filter mail content and implement a Zero Trust security posture.
ThreatLocker’s Allowlisting solution helps to secure systems by blocking the execution of all unapproved software including ransomware. The solution prevents ransomware from blocking access to a computer system or freezing PCs.
When ThreatLocker organised a live demonstration on what happens when ransomware runs in a Zero Trust environment, Zachary Kinder, President of Net-Tech Consulting, recalled having clients that became victims of ransomware. Kinder testified that working with the team ‘was a light bulb moment’ in protecting over 1,000 endpoints for his clients, helping him ‘sleep better at night.’
Digital Transformation has fundamentally changed the way modern businesses innovate and operate. Every day, new security solutions and deployment guides to expedite zero trust adoption are redefining the rules of IT security for the modern internet-driven, cloud-first businesses.
The continued evolution in the cybersecurity landscape is a clear indication that businesses need to develop a holistic approach to securing data and systems.
The solution, therefore, lies in finding security partners that will equip and proactively defend organisations against countless cyberthreats – IT professionals who can build Zero Trust security solutions with a unified approach to protecting users, devices and networks from cyber threats and have a goal to put organisations in complete control.
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