March is finally coming to a close, and throughout the month we have seen a variety of updates in the world of cybersecurity. Ranging all the way from White House legislation to the source code your weather app might use, keeping up to date with all the developments is crucial to running a safe and secure business. Here are some of the highlights over the past month.
Biden Reveals New Cybersecurity Plan
In the first week of March, the White House unveiled its revitalized cybersecurity strategy to be implemented over the course of the coming years. This strategy will increase the regulation of critical industries by having them adopt at least basic cybersecurity practices. The unfortunate reality is that many critical pillars of our infrastructure, like the water sanitation industry, are managed by tens of thousands of individual plants, often having only a small team to manage their computing systems. While understaffing this department might help the company’s bottom line, they are inadvertently making themselves a target for a cyber-attack.
Biden’s strategy also detailed increased liability for software companies that fail to build security into their products. As the instances of cybercrime have increased over the past few years, so have the calls for software liability reform, shifting the pressure onto tech companies to increase security measures. Software tends to be written hastily with security being pushed aside for later updates, which increases the risk of hackers taking advantage of any cracks in the code. Cybersecurity is quickly becoming a leading talking point for the highest form of public office, indicating that these issues are going to be present for the foreseeable future.
2023’s Most Recent, and Most Dangerous Cyber Attack Techniques
Each day 450,000 new instances of malware are detected, and 3.4 billion phishing emails are sent to inboxes across the world. Keeping up to date with some of the newest, and fastest-growing techniques hackers use to bypass your security is crucial to maintain online protection. Let’s take a look at some of the new strategies and tools being used to breach your network in 2023.
Bypassing Multi-Factored Authentication
Multi-Factored Authentication (MFA) is a security technique that a plethora of companies have implemented to bolster another line of defense against bad actors. MFA works by only allowing you to log into a secure network with the verification of an additional source, like an external application or keychain. With the increase in this type of defense also comes the increase of hackers trying to work their way around it. Some of these attacks could come in the form of stalkerware, which can take advantage of company phones and record keystrokes, allowing a hacker to know what log-in verification code was used. To combat this, Companies like Google and Apple have been developing their own authentication token systems to make it harder for hackers to fake their way in. Just because there will come an increase in these attacks does not mean we should stop using MFA altogether, as it has proven itself to be an effective tool in the fight against cybercrime.
Ghost Back-up Attack
While the name might give the impression of a supernatural element, there is nothing far-fetched about this technique. A ghost back-up attack occurs when a hacker breaches a back-up system or controller, adding a malicious back-up job that copies the company’s data into their own storage. Backing up data is a routine procedure, but now doing so has the risk of a malicious actor stealing all your data. One solution to prevent the loss of sensitive information would be to implement end-to-end encryption on your files. This way, even if a hacker has access to the data, they will not be able to gather any information from it.
As mentioned previously, stalkerware is a technique hackers use to gain access to your personal accounts. There are two aspects of this strategy, implementing both social engineering and the use of software. The social component is realized when a hacker chooses an employee to ‘stalk’, researching their social media accounts and daily routines. So much of what we post online gives hackers access to our personal lives, which might hint at any passwords or answers to security questions, such as a pet’s name or your street address. Along with this, hackers are creating apps that can silently install themselves on your devices, tracking keystrokes and routine behavior. With access to all this information combined, cyber-criminals have a sizeable chance of breaking into your network and causing irreparable harm.
Employees Might be the Greatest Threat to Firms
Experts have warned that the greatest threat to your cybersecurity might be your own employees. As the world of cybersecurity and cybercrime develops daily, it’s reasonable to assume that, without the proper training, employees might not be aware of all the risks associated with a data breach. Hackers understand this and have been known to go after employees by identifying their weaknesses, such as how they handle their company’s property, and recognizing patterns in their day-to-day lives. After a weakness is spotted, all the hackers must do is wait for the right time to attack. One simple way to protect your business is to train your employees on the importance of maintaining a safe and secure online presence. This does not just go for employees, as CEOs and department heads will also find value in educating themselves on avoiding a cyber-attack. Another strategy companies should implement to minimize the risk brought on by the human element is to implement technical security policies. One example would be not allowing anyone in the company to log on after 6:00 PM. If a device does activate after the specified time, your team will be able to investigate and defend themselves against a potential attack. In the modern world, global digitalization has led to a massive amount of data being shared and stored online, so companies must make sure that their employees know how to spot and adapt to threats in a digital world.
Contact Us for Help
Cyber criminals become more and more advanced with each passing day, and there will constantly be new avenues to protect yourself and your business. Keeping up with the news is essential to stay on top of potential threats, strategies, and techniques hackers are using to attack your network. Fortunately, SWK can help with any cybersecurity needs. To take the first step in protecting your business from online threats, Contact SWK today.