How To Prepare Your Organization For The Future Of Cybercrime

David Carmiel, KELA’s CEO

To be prepared for the future of cybercrime, security teams must remain vigilant, as the threat of malicious actors continues to evolve. Businesses and institutions must understand the cybercrime underground and develop strategies to mitigate threats to stay ahead of criminals.

Organizations must research past security incidents and consider what victims could have done differently. They should then take this knowledge and assess their attack surface, identifying the areas where a malicious actor can exploit weak points or gain access.

Once an organization has identified its attack surface, it must ensure that security teams have access to relevant threat intelligence. Threat intelligence helps teams avoid malicious actors by providing up-to-date data on existing or emerging threats.

Companies should educate their staff about the latest trends in cybercrime so they are aware of potential risks associated with their day-to-day activities online. Training programs should be conducted regularly and cover phishing scams, malware attacks, steps for spotting suspicious emails or websites and proper data handling practices when dealing with customer information or business records.

The future of cybercrime is uncertain, but organizations can help protect themselves from becoming the next victim by preparing for the worst.

Here are five actionable tips to prepare for the future:

1. Understand that getting ahead of criminals is doable.

It’s possible to stay ahead of cybercriminals, but it requires knowledge and effort. Defenders must make it harder for criminals to succeed by making their attacks more expensive and less profitable—and impose consequences on them when they do prevail.

Many intelligent people are motivated by money, power and ideology. As long as those motivations remain, there will always be cybercriminals. But security professionals also need to be realistic. Practitioners can never completely eliminate them; they can only make criminals less successful.

The goal should be to make it so hard for cyber criminals to succeed that they give up.

Organizations should have policies related to cybersecurity best practices that every employee is expected to follow. These include using strong, unique passwords, avoiding clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown attachments and avoiding using public Wi-Fi networks when conducting sensitive activities such as banking or uploading confidential documents.

Establishing robust user authentication methods such as two-factor authentication can also help protect company systems and employees’ personal accounts from unauthorized access attempts from outside sources, such as criminals looking to obtain financial information or trade secrets.

Knowing what threats are out there and being prepared for them is essential in protecting your organization from becoming the next victim.

2. Understand how the cybercrime underground works.

The cybercrime underground is an ever-evolving landscape of malicious actors seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in networks and systems. It is inhabited by hackers, malware authors and other criminals who are constantly finding new ways to access confidential data or disrupt operations for personal gain.

Cybercriminals work together to share information about potential targets, develop tools and strategies for attacks and even buy and sell stolen data on dark web marketplaces. As such, it can be difficult for organizations to stay ahead of the threat that these actors pose without staying up-to-date with the latest trends in cybercrime.

Understanding how the cybercrime underground works can better protect your organization against potential attacks. You will be able to see the signs of an attack before it happens, and you will be better prepared to deal with the aftermath.

3. Learn from past breaches.

When it comes to cybercrime, there is no such thing as being too prepared. In order to help protect your organization from becoming the next victim, it’s essential to learn from past breaches.

By understanding how previous attacks were executed, you can better understand the types of vulnerabilities your organization may be susceptible to. You can also learn about the different kinds of malware and hacking tools criminals use.

If, for example, you learn that an unsecured API resulted in a breach for another company, learn all you can about what weaknesses contributed to the attack and compare those vulnerabilities to APIs your organization uses. Often, victim organizations are willing to share details of an attack to help the security industry protect against future similar incidences.

4. Learn what comprises your attack surface.

A company’s cyberattack surface is the totality of its digital assets and infrastructure that could be attacked by an adversary and, consequently, expose the company to risk. We usually talk in terms of networked computers and devices, but it can also include non-networked assets such as industrial control systems. Reducing a company’s attack surface is a general strategy for reducing its cybersecurity risk.

There are two basic ways to reduce attack surface: technical and organizational. Technical measures might include better firewall configuration, least privilege access controls and application whitelisting. Organizational measures include separating duties, so no one person has too much power, providing security training to employees and building your security plan around sound and accurate threat intelligence data.

Ideally, a company would take both technical and organizational measures to reduce its attack surface. In practice, though, companies often focus on one or the other. In particular, they tend to view technical measures as more critical than organizational ones. This mindset is understandable: organizational measures are more challenging to get right. But it’s a mistake. Technical measures can only do so much; ultimately, the people in an organization and the information they are armed with make a real difference in an organization’s security posture.

5. Consider partnering with a threat intelligence provider.

Partnering with a good threat intelligence provider can be an invaluable asset in the fight against cybercrime. The provider should equip your organization with the latest tools and technologies that can help protect you from becoming a victim, and importantly, provide timely, actionable and reliable insights so you’ll know precisely what to do with the data.

The future of cybersecurity is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: organizations need to be adaptable to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

The article was published on on Feb, 6th, 2023

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