How to be protected from cyber-attacks in 2024

To learn how to be prepared against cyber-attacks, it is primarily necessary to understand and contextualize this phenomenon. As far back as 2015, cyber-attacks stole approximately $3 trillion from companies, a monetary amount that will, according to a GlobeNewswire report, be far exceeded by 2025, ending up with a total of $10.5 trillion. It constitutes a huge sum, due to the number of cyber-attacks rising exponentially year by year. Nevertheless, it is not just a question of numbers, but also of the type of attacks, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective. In this case, the defense passes through a study of vulnerabilities and the new weapons available to cybercrime.

How to be protected against cyber-attacks: the main threats

There are hundreds of different techniques and methodologies used by cyber criminals to achieve their goals. Therefore, how can we protect businesses from cyber-attacks? Firstly, to get started and master defensive strategies, it is necessary to consider industry trends. In recent years, cyber-attacks on companies have mainly been of three types.

1. Ransomware

One of the most common attacks is ransomware, a malware capable of encrypting corporate data to force the victim to pay a ransom for decryption. interestingly, this cyber threat has been further developed: now, through ransomware attacks, hackers are able to exfiltrate data before the encryption phase. This specific method constitutes a greater threat for businesses, as hackers are able to make the data public and sell them to the highest bidder if the agreed sum is not paid.

2. Attacks to Cloud systems and Supply Chain

Similarly to the one explained above, another category of attacks involves the supply chain. This methodology became particularly popular when a famous victim fell into this cybercrime trap: Kaseya. The company – headquartered in Miami, which developed software for network monitoring, system monitoring, and other information technology applications – was tricked by a very fearsome cyber threat. Kaseya exploits authenticated resources to deliver ad-hoc packaged malware, allowing cyber criminals to penetrate computer systems undisturbed.

Another type of cyber-attack that has to be taken seriously targets Cloud infrastructures. In recent years, several techniques have been discovered to perpetrate such attacks:

  • malicious intrusion into control consoles;
  • exploiting containers;
  • compromise of access systems.

3. Vulnerabilities, the never-ending threats

One of the main threats to consider when developing strategies to defend against cyber-attacks is the exploitation of vulnerabilities, especially 0-day once. To adequately protect, it is necessary to develop an appropriate combination of technologies and tools to be deployed in this specific context. 

The management of the vulnerabilities and systems updates, constitutes one of the most effective actions that must be part of a proper protection plan on the infrastructure. It consists of a continuous assessment that highlights the status of possible weaknesses along with the flaws in the system, and that establishes all the techniques and tools that allow updates to be configured in a way that adheres to corporate practices. 

How to protected against cyber-attacks: 5 tips

Cybersecurity is therefore an essential requirement for companies to protect their data, their business continuity and sensitive information from all external and internal threats. To get started, here are some practical tips:

  • keep software and devices up-to-date, including anti-virus and firewalls;
  • implement secure system access policies, such as multifactor authentication;
  • use data encryption, in transit and at-rest;
  • make regular backups of data and keep them in a safe place;
  • sensitize employees on the importance of security through security awareness courses.

Threat Intelligence, Managed Detection & Response Services

In defending against cyber-attacks, the most effective choice often falls on Threat Intelligence and Managed Detection & Response services: the only activities capable of preventing the most fearsome threats far in advance or able to mitigate them when the system of interest is attacked. In some cases, when the attack is unavoidable and it is not possible to shield a portion of the infrastructure for reasons of efficiency, it is essential to count on an incident response service that is ready to rapidly enter in action to guarantee the company's business continuity. This is something that only a partner specialized in cybersecurity, with a very high degree of expertise, can ensure.

The common thread running through all these strategies is just one: company's protection activities, to be truly effective, should be managed by dedicated and competent teams. Since it takes specific, up-to-date and too costly trainings to manage these activities in-house, in most cases it is better to rely on companies that make cybersecurity their mission. In this way, the company can concentrate on its business, while there are people protecting them 24 hours a day,7 days a week and 365 days a year.

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