We see security as one of the four integral key pillars to any IT strategy success.  Our unique approach and forward-thinking looks to support and deliver ‘outstanding’ around those 4 pillars, which also include performance, resilience, and compliance plans.

Just like adequate business insurance, network security is often reviewed after a significant security breach has already occurred. Businesses face constant threats from cybercriminals in the forms of phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks.

With sweeping privacy regulations such as GDPR that are now in full effect, the actual cost of inadequate network security for businesses is twofold. The financial cost of stolen data is compounded by severe fines of up to €10 million for non-compliance with GDPR data privacy regulations.

How Secure Is Your Network?

Rather than feeling vulnerable to the ever-increasing security threats and the impact that a cyber-attack could have on your business, you can make a difference; today. The first step is to understand how to take control of your network security operations; this is where Think Connect offers incredible value.

We have a specialist security team who can expertly assess your current network security model, report on any issues, and offer recommendations. We also provide professional penetration testing to identify any network security gaps and vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

6 Cyber Attacks That Business Should Prepare For

The types of security threats can be broad. Some are highly apparent using brute-force tactics, while others are far more discreet and almost hidden from view. Both have the potential to cause chaos with both your business operations and reputation.

In this article, we review the six main types of cyber-attack that criminal gangs use to target any size of business. As with most things, preparation is critical.

1.    Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware that cybercriminals use to completely encrypt your data and extort a ransom from you for its safe return. Most ransomware attacks come via innocent-looking emails where a user clicks a malicious link.

The problem with ransomware is that once your network is compromised and your data is encrypted, little can be done. Even when businesses choose to pay the ransom, often, the data recovered is partially or fully corrupt.

To prevent potential ransomware attacks, Think Connect offers a modular solution that provides protection in several key areas. Firstly, our advanced antivirus solution that can cope with the latest cyber threats. Even devices with limited security protection, such as BYOD and IoT, can be protected. 

Our Next-Generation firewalls solution can protect the perimeter of your network. We ensure that our security platform is always running the latest security patches and cyber-threat signatures. These devices can even be part of a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) design model.

Even if your company has a local or cloud-based backup solution in place, you still may not be able to recover your data from a ransomware attack. A professional attacker will ensure that they encrypt all of your backup data too. 

Think Connect can help your organisation introduce a secure backup strategy for disaster recovery. Using diverse cloud backup, edge backup, and air-gap backup technologies will significantly reduce your risk.

2.    Phishing, Virus, and Malware

Although simple destructive viruses are decreasing, 1 in every 99 emails an organisation receives is a phishing attack, and up to 30% of those phishing emails manage to make it past lacklustre security. Cybercriminals have discovered that phishing attacks can be almost as profitable as ransomware.

These phishing attacks arrive via innocent-looking emails, texts, or websites that trick your users into providing login credentials, passwords, business bank details, and company credit card information. 

Think Connect can work with you to help safeguard your business against such phishing attacks. We can implement a reliable, always-on, anti-phishing solution to identify and block fraudulent emails and links.

Furthermore, we can help you train your IT team and general staff to boost security awareness. For example, we have found that training employees to recognise the most common security threats significantly reduces network data breaches.

3.    Hacking

Cybercriminals use hacking to gain access to your organisation’s IT systems. The majority of hacking attempts are initiated outside of your network, usually via the public internet. 

It is worth noting that ‘inside jobs’ are on the rise, where an employee will help a hacker gain access, either accidentally due to lack of security training, or on purpose. Hackers often use social engineering techniques to trick employees into revealing usernames and passwords.

Once your network is compromised, the hacker can steal sensitive business data for their financial gain. Information such as intellectual property, customer information, suppliers lists, business contacts, bank account and credit card information is extremely valuable.

Think Connect can help you defend against network breach attempts and strongly recommend several layers of security. Next-generation firewalls, encrypted VPN’s, 2-factor authentication, the latest antivirus signatures, and hardened WiFi protocols such as WPA2-AES are just a few examples.

We can also help you define security protocols and policies, implement security reporting procedures, security alerting and response, plus train your employees on security awareness.

4.    DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a type of cyber-attack that floods your network with multiple connection attempts or invalid requests. This type of attack can easily disable the target application or system and prevent it from processing genuine user requests.

Think Connect has a dedicated team of cybersecurity specialists experienced in volume-based, protocol-based and application-layer DDoS attacks. Our experts have broad knowledge about the different types of approaches attackers use.

We can quickly counter volume-based attacks by providing additional bandwidth to handle the initial flood of requests while we blacklist the offending IP addresses. We use specialist enhanced DDoS services to thwart protocol-based and application-layer attacks.

Producing a disaster recovery plan that will reduce the impact of a DDoS attack is also something we can assist you with. Disaster recovery can allow additional services to be spun up and be ready to deal with valid user requests whilst the DDoS attack is mitigated.

5.    Cloud Security Weaknesses

Because enterprises are increasingly using the cloud for centralised applications and sensitive data storage, attackers aggressively target cloud services. We find that cloud vulnerability is a growing cybersecurity challenge for many businesses.

Hackers are breaching cloud based systems through vulnerabilities introduced by poor architecture design and insecure APIs. Attacks such as man-in-the-middle, data hijacking, malicious insider threats, and DDoS are all on the rise.

The best form of defence is to invest in a robust cloud security strategy. We utilise cloud security technologies such as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) combined with Secure Web Gateway (SWG) that protect and monitor cloud services from security threats.

6.    Insider Threats

Insider threats are another security area that needs to be covered. Although not necessarily deliberate, staff can accidentally cause sensitive data to be damaged, deleted or leaked. Other times, this act can be intentional.

We recommend that you limit data access, so staff can only access information specifically relevant for them to perform their duties. USB memory sticks and portable hard drives should also be prohibited to keep sensitive data secure. Automatically revoking network access from users on the day they leave your employment is often overlooked.

To further reduce the likelihood of suffering an insider threat incident, Think Connect can help educate your IT team and staff on proper security processes for handling sensitive data and error reduction best practices.

Conclusion

Data analytics has become an incredibly valuable business commodity, creating exceptional growth and productivity for businesses. Unfortunately, this value has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals.

With hackers using increasingly sophisticated methods to breach network security and steal sensitive data, businesses must remain on constant alert. When it comes to protecting against ransomware, malware, and other forms of cyberattack, Think Connect have several solutions available to help you stay one step ahead.