The tactics and techniques of how modern cybercriminals attack and how data breaches affect organizations is commonly used to bypass cybersecurity defenses and it catches organizations off guard.

Cybercriminals are for the most part smart and the successful ones are constantly altering their hacking techniques to bypass increasingly advanced cyber security technical controls.  This allows them to deliver credential phishing attacks, business email compromise, and different forms of malware to unsuspecting corporate users.  The unfortunate part is most employees click with rarely thinking twice about it.

How Data Breaches Affect Organizations?

An organization can suffer in many ways when it falls victim to a data breach, one of which is dealing with the huge potential financial repercussions coming down the pipe.

With the recent change to the Canadian Privacy Act, there is a wide range of different costs associated with a data breach, such as paying back any money taken as a result of the data breach, compensating affected clients or consumers, share value plummeting as well as having to pay for the right protection to ensure a data breach does not happen again.

After the business pays off all the fines, the data breached organization also must deal with reputational damage. Data breaches have a massive negative impact on an organization’s client base, particularly if the breach involved sensitive personal data.  Clients lose confidence in the brand as they do not feel that their data is secure.  Another negative note is that a public data breach will also put off potential new clients.

The impact of a data breach is tied to the type of data involved. If confidential data has been exposed, it can have catastrophic effects in many ways.  If personal and financial details of staff and customers are breached, those people are left open to the risk of identity theft, financial loss, and much more.

Many managed IT services providers and IT department continue to actively make simple adjustments to their cyber security measures, but the real question is will it work?

Credential-phishing emails use fake log-in pages therefore they are tough to stop at the gateway because often associated infrastructure does not look malicious.  Some phishing or malware campaigns have a good disguise as well as send emails from genuine Microsoft Office 365 or Gsuite email tenants that have already had compromised credentials or even sometime legitimate accounts.  The fake login page is hosted on Microsoft infrastructure is “nearly impossible” to distinguish for most users, even some tech savvy ones.

Cyber security researchers have reported that many secure email gateways do not scan every URL. Many of them focus on the type of URLs users actually click.  As more phishing attacks leverage single-use URLs, the organizational risk grows.  Cyber criminals only need one set of legitimate credentials to break into a network, which is why credential phishing attacks is a popular cyberattack technique.

Cloud adoption and cloud service are changing the game for cyber attackers hunting for employee login data. Businesses are shifting the location of their login pages and, consequently, access to network credentials. This adds a layer of protection, but it does not mean cyber criminals have given up.

It is important to understand that as organizations continue to move to cloud services, cyber criminals are constantly going after their cloud credentials.  Cyber criminals are also using popular cloud services such as SharePoint, OneDrive, and Windows.net to host phishing kits.  Once they obtain the user credentials, they are then able to log into the hosted service as a legitimate user.  Many times, they stay there watching for opportunity.

It is not simple task for organizations to stay ahead of these cyberattacks. The ability for IT departments and managed IT services providers to defend against cloud-based threats is difficult since visibility to logs in the cloud is different than onsite infrastructure.  Many organizations engage cloud providers however they fail to review security details in order to ensure their monitoring and visibility needs are met.

For all organizations, IT is becoming ever more complex.  Technology ecosystem are growing at rapid pace as well as the evolving landscape of cyber threats.  As employees are granted more trust, organizations need to accept that the way to mitigate risks is by managing privileged accounts through integrated technology and automated processes that not only save time, but also provide visibility across the network.

The goal is a proper cyber security policy and practice.  By implementing cybersecurity policies and solutions, organizations will also increase business performance while eliminating roadblocks in an employee’s way.

Cyber security strategy, cyber security planning, and cyber security procedures are effective for protection.

An effective web protection strategy requires policies to reduce the surface area of attack, appropriate tools and technology to enforce those policies, and protection to block attacks at every layer.

Establish the following best-practice policies and educate your user population about why they are important for the security of your organization.

Solutions To Reduce Risk of Data breach

Security comes down to a multi staged approach and proactive security employee training.

You must ensure your managed IT services provider or IT department are keeping your perimeter secure as well as other protective measures. Look at security services as well as two-factor authentication, encryption, next-gen firewalls and anti-virus with built-in learning AI services.

Encryption is great because this kind of control, but it must be the right kind of encryption. If a specific file or email is encrypted properly, you can control who can read it.  Even if your organization experiences a data breach of your IT system and cyber criminals gain access to sensitive data, they will not be able to read it.

This will reduce your data breach risks and protect your organization from cyber criminal’s high data breach costs.

This is one of a few security measure an organization can put in place to protect themselves.