Security vulnerabilities tend to stick around. SQL injection, for instance, has been a popular means of exploiting databases for years and remains a significant cyber threat.
As we respond by adapting and fortifying our security defenses, however, cyberattack targets tend to shift — so it’s essential to understand the ever-changing nature of your clients’ risk landscape .
These days, your clients need to be aware of several ways that cybercriminals are likely to threaten their operations:
1 App attacks
Since many applications now include references to code from third-party libraries as well as code developed in-house, a whole new kind of application security vigilance is required. Both in-house and third-party application code is vulnerable to attack . After all, those conducting cyberattacks eagerly exploit any hole, regardless of origin, to access the applications at the heart of your business data and processes .
That’s not all. App attackers don’t need to be expert hackers, since it’s easy to access application exploit toolkits capable of circumventing perimeter, network, and traditional application defenses. No longer do cyberattacks focus on just servers and operating systems; now applications are fair game, too, and are seen as one of the easiest ways to steal sensitive enterprise data.
2 Web attacks
Many websites are vulnerable because they’re not patched and updated in a timely manner. Websites are also made susceptible to attack by insecure plugins, often because these, too, haven’t been updated. Other common web attack vectors include SQL injection, poorly configured PHP scripts, zero-day malware for which no patches or updates exist, “malvertising,” and ransomware.
3 Social engineering
It’s said that your defenses are only as strong as your weakest link. As digital technology becomes universal, the number of people using it is exploding. And all those users of technology have become digital security’s weakest link.
Your clients’ employees, customers, and suppliers are all profoundly susceptible to social engineering exploits: as-a-service malware campaigns, spear-phishing that targets certain individuals with important access privileges, point-of-sale skimming, online banking Trojans, compromised websites that redirect visitors to still different types of exploits, and tricks no one’s yet recognized. And, of course, ransomware.
There are important moves your clients can make to protect against a ransomware attack — chief among them are data backups (including offsite/offline), always-on encryption, software patching/updating, and employee training.
But once a client suffers a ransomware infection, they’re in a race against time.
Those who understand what’s happening may benefit from disconnecting the affected devices from the network, then disconnecting any external storage devices (say, attached hard drives) and disabling any cloud storage services.
After that, your client needs immediate technical assistance from a trusted digital security consultant. If ransomware isn’t your forte, call Quest. We can help.