Thanks to the proliferation and advancement of modern technology, every company can do business on a global scale. Unfortunately, that does come with a downside. The more a business expands, the more network resources it uses, and the more digital they become, increasing the number of attack surfaces they have to contend with everyday.
Attack surfaces, or vulnerable points where an attacker can access the system are significant problems today. In this article, we’ll teach you how to protect your businesses from some common attack surface issues. Check it out below.
Employees are one of the most common vulnerability points at an organization. Lazy or uninformed employees can become significant attack vectors as well. Unfortunately, employees with access to sensitive information might also choose to exploit it for profit or their own benefit. This can lead to what’s known as an insider attack—a threat that comes from someone inside an organization.
Another way employees can increase a company’s attack service is by working remotely. Although remote work can be convenient and just as productive as standard work, when employees use personal devices to access company resources, they might not have the same level of security. That can lead to vulnerabilities or breaches that can be difficult to recover from.
Third-party suppliers and vendors and a vital part of any company. But they can also become an attack surface where attackers can gain access to an organization’s resources, network, and data. Vendors might not always prioritize security and could be using insecure software or hardware. This creates additional vulnerabilities. It’s essential for businesses to assess and monitor vendor security practices.
Strict and stringent security requirements for your vendors, along with everyone’s favorite security audits, are great ways to prevent risk. It’s also wise to limit access to the amount of sensitive data you share with a third party so you can further protect your business from potential issues that could arise from a vendor related attack surface.
Software, Hardware, and Endpoints
Software and hardware are another area where attacks can occur quite frequently. Cybercriminals always look for an exploit or vulnerability to access systems. An unpatched, non-updated, older version of software can provide just the entry point an attacker needs to get into a network.
To minimize these risks, businesses should regularly test for vulnerabilities, regularly update their systems, update firmware, and ensure they’re up to date with the latest security patches. This also applies to hardware used by the organization. Regularly monitoring for and addressing potential vulnerabilities is crucial to maintaining a secure digital environment. This also applies to securing and testing endpoints to ensure they don’t become attack services that can be exploited by attackers.
Phishing and Vishing
When discussing common attack surfaces, phishing is always going to be near the top of the list. Phishing is a scam where someone attempts to trick you into giving them sensitive information (mostly passwords or credit card numbers/bank details). It’s pretty common, too. And while you’ve probably heard of phishing, vishing isn’t as well known.
In vishing, attackers try to use a telephone or a voicemail message to trick people into devolving personal/sensitive information. They typically use a familiar voice or a recorded message that appears to be from a legitimate source. This could be a bank, like a government agency, a healthcare place, or other seemingly legitimate source.
The purpose of these calls is to compromise the victim’s identity and can be a vector for significant financial loss or identity theft. Protect your organization from such tax, educate your employees. Remind them not to click on any links in an email that seems suspicious.
They also shouldn’t provide personal financial information to anyone calling or emailing them. The best way to avoid these risks is with the layered security approach that can include endpoint protection, cloud security, and educating employees about common scamming attacks.
Public-facing Websites and Applications
A corporation’s public facing websites and applications, its cloud infrastructure, and its various endpoints are often prime targets for cyber attackers. It’s pretty easy for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications and engage in techniques like SQL injection or cross-site scripting to gain on authorized access to sensitive data. They can also take control of the entire system. Safeguarding against these threats means exploring different cyber risk management solutions for identifying, mitigating, and preventing cybersecurity issues.
In addition to using software and utilities, companies should also adopt a comprehensive approach to their own cybersecurity. Companies can use vulnerability testing, penetration testing, secure coding practices, employee education, web application firewalls, and more to protect their assets from the most common attack surfaces. Ultimately, security comes down to common sense, employee education, and taking a multi pronged approach to ensuring using tools your business doesn’t fall victim to a cyberattack.