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Cyber-threats in 2016: Evolution, Potential & Overcoming Them pt 3

The Dummy Malware Prevention Strategy for Everyone: Stay Awake!

Cybercrimes breed when business environments are not prepared for illicit intrusions. Vintage anti-virus versions, unstructured BYOD culture, confusing cyber-security policies, multiple unauthorized users and lack of security training add up to losing critical enterprise data. Latency in preparing for emerging malware threats means a slow response, leveraging malware with more time to make inroads into your data silos. We recommend being proactive:

  • Immediately report any irregularity in your data access paths or sharing platforms. Report any unwarranted network activity like new browsers, new toolbars, or search engines leading to suspicious webpages.
  • Any data sharing path that has not been initiated by you means pressing the panic button.
  • Be very concerned about any indicators on unsolicited users streaming through your files and folders.
  • Check for malware infiltration in your hard drive—regularly examining the storage space and frequency of hang-ups can work as prime indicators.

Troubleshoot Early!
Deterrence can be the best way to approach the problem—establish a perceptive, scalable and contemporary security network.

Detection tools and anti-virus software can protect repel malware trying to penetrate deeper into your network. Intrusion detection systems can be a great help if they can effectively analyze outbound and inbound networks for possible threats. Proactive response, in collaboration with effective anti-cybercrime tools, means malware attacks being contained, eliminated and compromised data being recovered. If you can proactively respond to malware, your chances of eliminating it and resuming normal operations are raised exponentially!

Strategize to Eliminate and Prevent Malware Attacks
Expect hackers to get increasingly sophisticated. Everything that is digital and relevant to your business can be attacked, including the basic IT infrastructure to devices being used to access networks.

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Malicious software can cripple your network to the core. A strategically planned malware strategy can rescue you at the time of crises and help you re-gain control over your network without losing too much. Battle emerging malware threats by:

Bring more Clarity in Planning – Introspection is Empowerment!

Commence by drafting a blueprint of potential malware threat sources. This phase involves identification of sources that are most likely to generate threats for your enterprise systems. This includes loopholes related to removable media and redundant network loops that allow malware codes to stay hidden. This also helps in employing relevant technology to identify what type of anti-malware solutions will actually make a difference to your network.

Get Selective & Generalized – You Need to Do it All!
We hardly come across decision-makers brainstorming creative measures to overcome present and foreseeable IT security challenges—this mindset of security being an afterthought has to change!

The diversity of business requirements has imposed a new challenge in cybersecurity—you no longer have the liberty to choose which method to safeguard your network, you need to do everything. There is always a variety of configurations of different ingredients in an IT ecosystem. You need to gauge data access & usage patterns across multiple (almost infinite) scenarios. Don't get restricted by time-bound cybersecurity services. Explore emerging security controls and keep a tab on those that have performed excellently in your industry or demographic. The challenges are greater for enterprises with global presence, those reaching out to new consumer landscapes beyond their own geographical regions. Thus, the onus on ensuring security-first approach without killing the productivity and spanning multiple systems is on the top hierarchy. They need to underline a fact—cybersecurity is not just about responding to cyber threats!

There is Nothing like Being Sufficiently Prepared!
Gearing-up for Combating Emerging Cyber Threats   

So you have applied additional coatings around the data to make it immune against penetrative cyberattacks but can you sleep in absolute bliss of knowing that your data is genuinely safe?

Perhaps NO! Why?

Cyber security is an evolving, elementary and omnipresent need. Your presence in the virtual world should be undefinable, ensuring you don't give away any hints at your security setup. Deeper insight reveals that cyber-attacks have transformed beyond expectations. Their nature and approaches are better and their intensity of causing damage is now more severe than ever.

  • Advanced Approach: Cyber criminals have developed new ways to initiate attacks. They use hi-tech exploit kits that work quietly and stay concealed for long until a triggered attack is initiated. From approach to pattern, everything has been re-coded by attackers to get through any system swiftly.
  • Aggressive Defense and Attack Methodology: Cyber criminals have also turned more aggressive. With every bit of business being transformed into a byte, cyberattacks are becoming universal. Cyber offenders pressurize, threaten and extort victims on their terms.

For Better Cybercrime Prevention, Create Resistance!
Why is the immediate future challenging businesses with CYBERSECURITY questions? Gartner predicts 6.8 billion connected devices in 2016—a 30% rise as compared to 2015.

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As an enterprise, you need to invest time and resources in creating a security network that can resist future malware attacks or at least, foresee them, providing your critical ‘prepare & fight back’ time. Being prepared definitely means better outcomes in cybercrime combat, but you don't need to re-build the entire infrastructure. Just seek the help of anti-virus or cyberthreat prevention specialists.

Ensure periodic network security checks to stop the malware on the verge of infiltrating further.

  • Limit the number of users for accessing an account.
  • Keep user privileges to a bare minimum, every data should be downloadable in a CSV format.
  • Data transmission should be protocoled—from removable media to plugging into the network, ensure eliminating all possible susceptible points of data leakage.
  • Have instant lockdown operating system configuration effortlessly available to activate.
  • Ensure you get performance reports of software that tend to misbehave but don't seem like a malware threat.
  • Explore the utility of Network Access Control (NAC) technologies that limit risks by not allowing easy, direct plug-in option for malware creators into your internal network.
  • Always insist on an updated, most contemporary anti-virus suite.
  • Don't be apprehensive about security patches—a patch is essentially fixing an issue before it becomes conduit to a cyber-threat.
  • Enforce security maintenance management practices—without exceptions!
  • Identify anomalies—record them for more investigation.
  • Create more authorization layers for inbound/outbound access to network.
  • Ensure web browsing, particularly by BYOD employees, is monitored and controlled.
  • Blacklist connections that seem like a risky IP proposition.
  • Restrict network access from offsite teams, remotely located employees and business associates. 

By 2020, expect 20 billion connected devices as a part of IoT ecosystem. Your business will benefit from this; but what about increased data vulnerability?

We call this the smartphone conundrum though this is not just about smartphones. The IoT landscape is about digital devices. However smartphones are symbolic of how a digital hardware can be used by cybercriminals to manipulate and penetrate protected networks and phish data due to the sheer volume of devices—there is just too much to control!

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However, the more progressive enterprise security providers are still enthusiastic about defeating the rising challenges. Whether it comes to decoding a threat using multiple vectors of investigation, simulating with malicious apps or analyzing web browsing patterns, they are ready for highly damaging and drive-by attacks. They understand the challenges of corporate espionage and perhaps, Prevention of Digital Corporate Espionage as a service is on the horizon!

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