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Cyber Security for Dummies

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Cyber Security for Dummies

In February, this year, CloudFlare, a global internet infrastructure enterprise, released a note about a bug that is causing random leakages from its cloud platform.

The bug, identified as CloudBleed, was drawing out tiny snippets of potentially sensitive data from Cloudflare’s customer websites, which include global heavyweights like OKCupid and Fitbit.

WannaCry

May 12, 2017.  A new breed of ransomware, WannaCry, crippled large corporations and public utilities around the world.

WannaCry practically paralyzed hundreds of targets, including high-profile healthcare facilities of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

The ransomware, demanding ransom in Bitcoin, stalled the emergency units and delayed vital medical processes of NHS, creating utter chaos among several British patients and their well-wishers.

NotPetya/Petya/Goldeneye/Nyetya

Just a month after WannaCry destabilized major infrastructure across the globe, a new ransomware infection broke out, hitting sensitive targets with Windows systems.

The malware, with various names like Nyetya, Goldeneye, Petya, and NotPetya, fortunately, had some glitches and was arrested before spreading rampantly.

Prykarpattya Oblenergo Shut Down

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Another classic hack case, almost unprecedented, is Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region power grid hack.

It was December 23, 3:30 pm. The station in charge at Prykarpattya Oblenergo control centre astonishingly watched the computer cursor skittering on its own! The cursor automatically navigated towards the circuit breaker button, first clicking on it, and then checking the box to completely take out the power station offline.

The deadly ransomware also targetted two more power distribution substations almost at the same time, leaving close to two hundred and thirty thousand residents in complete darkness for several hours.  

These are just a few instances of security breaches that made global headlines.

If you are under the impression that these malware only target big institutions, you are highly mistaken.

This document, cybersecurity for dummies, explores a variety of cybersecurity perspectives, so read on to keep your data safe.

Getting Started With Businesses And Their Risks

With the exponential rise of connected devices, cybersecurity, today, is a top priority for businesses around the world.

Cybersecurity itself is quite complex, however, its core essence is pretty simple. It is all about thwarting and reducing the risks so that enterprises can carry on their everyday business without interruptions.

To make cybersecurity efficient and effective, security officers will have to recognize the business model in the first place. Looking at things only from an Information Technology (IT) perspective is not a feasible solution.

When initiating cybersecurity for businesses, security professionals will have to initially identify, categorize, and map the potential risks associated with the particular business.

After mapping the risks, security officers will have to prioritize the threats related to the business, and then, formulate a robust strategy to counter them effectively.

Once that is done, people responsible for cybersecurity will need to put in place the security strategy across the organizational levels.

Doing so will give a clear picture about the goals and their execution deadlines.

Ideally, cybersecurity is a step by step process, and it shouldn’t wrap all projects at the same time.

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Defining The Security Roadmap

Determining the security roadmap or security approach is absolutely essential.

Counter approach against security breaches should be extensively discussed with everyone involved, including the board of directors.

This will enable effective adjustments and modifications, as and when required.

During the development of the execution roadmap, all senior and junior level employees should be taken on board so that they can contribute in driving the fulfilment of end goals.

Keeping an eye on business goals is crucially important as well, because, the adopted security measures can restrict business processes if the business goals are not clearly defined.

The development of security plans should be in the line of the business, and not like something that imposes restrictions on the core business policies.

It should also be simple enough for everyone to understand, even if they don't have any technical or IT skills.

Cover The Security Basics Before Deploying Critical Security Solutions

In several surveys conducted by premier research agencies, it has been seen that many organizations have implemented advanced software and security solutions without having the cybersecurity basics in place.

Companies need to understand that those complex security solutions won’t serve any purpose if the fundamentals of cybersecurity are absent.

Moreover, it has been also observed that the security technologies and solutions implemented in most enterprises are stunning, but they are too advanced as compared to their business needs.

Enterprises need to realize that about 90% of the hacks target the basic framework and vulnerabilities, using simple methods like malware attachments, phishing emails, etc.

Organizations will first have to develop basic cybersecurity solutions to counter these simple threats before turning their focus on complex technologies and solutions.

Sophisticated solutions, of course, are also crucially important to fight Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), but before its implementation, the basics have to be fortified.

Build Right Partnerships

Malicious groups rapidly come up with advanced and varied attack tactics with a surprise element, to deliver an impactful blow to public infrastructure and enterprises.

To fight these ever growing threats, state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, with time, will increasingly become inextricable for corporations.

However, these advanced security blocks will have to be built on a solid foundation to serve specific goals. It has to be a joint effort with active participation and intensive cooperation between all members of the organization, the security professionals, associates, and vendors.

No single cybersecurity company can have the perfect solution for every kind of security threat, which is why working together and forging the right partnerships are immensely vital.

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Selecting the right security vendor is also equally important to meet your security goals and business needs. Choosing a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be a cost-effective solution, as they charge on a 'pay-as-you-go' model, where you pay only for the services you use.

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the tools of the trade as these MSPs provide comprehensive security solutions with automatic updates and upgrades to the IT infrastructure, which ensure total safety of your business-critical data.


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