The 4 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities You Need to Ensure Your Business Doesn’t Have

Nick Robilliard
Author
13th February 2022
Information Security

Cyber criminals can take advantage of various vulnerabilities in your company, easily putting a halt to your operations. Patching them up is crucial to protecting your reputation.

The importance of cyber security should never be underestimated, regardless of the size of your organisation. The University of Sunderland is an example. At first, it seemed like they were experiencing routine IT problem, but they soon realised that they had been the target of a cyber attack. As a result, the university had to cancel all its online classes, its employees had trouble accessing emails and their telephone lines and website also went down. It was a significant setback.

Your business may be vulnerable to a similar attack, which could cause disruptions to your operations. Such attacks and loss of access to emails can cost you thousands of pounds and entail legal ramifications. The purpose of this article is to provide insight into how you should spot weaknesses in your operations.

The Four Vulnerabilities

1. Lack of Endpoint Defences

Most organisations fail to implement or optimise endpoint defence mechanisms, such as antivirus tools, increasing their vulnerability to cyber attacks. Failing in this area allows cybercriminals to easily target your workstations and servers. Insecure endpoint configurations and defences can expose you to many different types of vulnerabilities.

The best way to address these issues is to configure endpoints properly to begin with and invest in cutting-edge endpoint defence tools such as next-generation antivirus / antimalware which integrates response and behavioural analysis capabilities.

If you’re operating a traditional antivirus platform, consider upgrading it to a version with in-depth behavioural inspections. If you have any questions surrounding your current antivirus program, or are considering upgrading or reevaluating your current defence methods, get in touch with a member of our Cyber Security Team for a quick chat. Their contact details can be found at the end of this article.

2. Compromised or Weak Credentials

Passwords and usernames can easily be compromised, in fact, according to a study conducted by Hive Systems, it only takes 0.27 milliseconds for hackers to crack a 7 letter password. Login credentials can also be hacked when an unsuspecting team member falls victim to a phishing attack and enters their login information to a fake website, giving an intruder inside access to their account, and thus, the entire business network.

Even though analysing and monitoring can help identify malicious activity, these credentials can bypass security and impede detection. The consequences vary, depending on the access they provide. For example, privileged credentials offer administrative access to systems and devices, posing a higher risk than consumer accounts. Keep in mind that humans aren’t the only ones who own credentials. 

Security tools, network devices, and servers generally have passwords to enable communication and integration between devices. Intruders can utilise them to activate movements throughout your enterprise both horizontally and vertically – their access is almost unlimited. 

To avoid this scenario, you should implement stringent password controls to ensure passwords are unique and complex. Consider using password management tools or passwordless alternatives. Multi-factor authentication, particularly for systems and logins exposed to the internet is also a must, this is something we all use at Resolution IT. You can read more about MFA and how we can help you implement it, here.

3. Lack of Network Segmentation

Cyber criminals can target inadequate network monitoring and segmentation to obtain full access to your system. This is a huge vulnerability as it enables attackers to maintain and elevate their unauthorised access to systems over long periods without being detected. 

One of the leading causes of this weakness is the failure to develop subnet monitoring or outbound activity control. Overcoming this obstacle in a large company can be challenging if hundreds of systems send outbound traffic and communicate with each other. Nevertheless, solving the problem is a must. 

Our team of Cyber Security experts are well versed in solutions to bolster the security of your business, from implementing firewalls and proxies to building robust detection strategies for lateral movements. 

4. Ransomware

Ransomware is cyber extortion that prevents users from accessing their data until the attacker receives a ransom. They instruct the victim to pay a certain fee to obtain a decryption key to unlock their data. The ransom amounts demanded can reach tens of thousands or even millions of pounds for larger firms, the transactions are usually conducted in cryptocurrency to protect the identities of the criminals.

Making sure your system and processes are ready to address a ransomware issue is integral to protecting your data. To do that, keep your system up to date, backup regularly, and follow good cyber hygiene practices as these steps will help mitigate the risk. In addition, you should also carefully vet software and service providers in your supply chain to avoid introducing unnecessary vulnerabilities. Finally, have an incident response plan ready should the worst happen.

Neutralise Threats for Peace of Mind

Successfully running a company with poor cyber security measures is virtually impossible. The risk of losing precious data and reputation is just too high. To ensure your organisation isn’t a sitting duck for cyber attackers, you must implement reliable defence strategies. 

If your IT provider can’t take appropriate precautions, know that you’re taking a gamble. At Resolution IT, we take cyber security seriously, which is why we are certified to Cyber Essentials Plus and IASME Gold standard. Our dedicated, expert team know exactly what to look out for when it comes to business defences. To find out more about your business security, or for a free, basic cyber security audit, contact our Cyber Security Team here.

Nick Robilliard

Nick is the lead trainer in the Information Security team. He works on providing services for our SecaaS and vCISO clients as well as completing Cyber Essentials and IASME assessments. In addition to this, Nick is also involved in one-off and tailored projects for our clients. Nick is ISC2 SSCP and ISACA CRISC certified.

Nick has experience in both the public and private sector within technical support and information security.

Nick says the best part of his job is providing user awareness training sessions for our clients. Ensuring a workforce understand information security risks is vital for preventing breaches, so it’s rewarding playing a part in making that happen.

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