Organisations can experience cyber-attacks from time to time. It is crucial for businesses to find a balance of time, resources, and costs between mitigating current threats and implementing cybersecurity measures to protect the company from future threats. The consequences of ignoring either could be severe, with a successful cyber-attack damaging brand reputation and causing potential fines and significant resolution costs.
When the number of cyber threats is higher than usual, it is crucial that your business moves to a state of heightened alert. Focusing resources on current cybersecurity will allow your organisation to:
- Prioritise cybersecurity work focused on the present threat
- Temporarily boost cyber defences and increase the odds of defending against an attack
- Quickly recover, should a cyber-attack occur
This article will help you understand how cyber threats might change and the steps your business can take to respond to a heightened state of cyber threats.
Factors affecting a business's cybersecurity risk
A business’s view on their cybersecurity risk can and should change if information, data, or news suggest that threat severity is high. For example, there will be a high attack risk if a zero-day vulnerability occurs in a widely used service.
Zero-day vulnerabilities occur when attackers find a vulnerability, but a software or system supplier is unaware. A zero-day vulnerability can also occur when a weakness is known, but no security patch exists to remove the exposure.
The most professional and successful attacks use known vulnerabilities, such as misconfigurations and credential attacks, such as those using breached passwords.
SMEs and larger corporations must take the essential steps to protect their business from cyber-attacks. By removing the exploiters’ ability to use these techniques, you can reduce your cyber-attack risk.
What actions can you take?
The first step in ensuring effective cybersecurity is to focus on implementing or validating the fundamentals:
- Penetration testing – Book a test with OmniCyber, where we can find and report on any vulnerabilities in your organisation’s network.
- Cyber Essentials – Get your organisation up to standard with a Cyber Essentials certificate, and you will be protected from most cyber-attacks.
- Phishing response – Educate your staff, so they will recognise a phishing email attack and know the best practices and company policies for reporting them.
- Third-party access – Ensure any third-party organisation you authorise to use or access your IT systems has the correct privileges. Third-parties should only be able to access the service or information they need to use, and access should be removed as soon as it is no longer required.
- Backups – Check that you have a recent offline backup copy of your data and configurations. Then, run a test restoration to ensure you can quickly recover from a cyber-attack.