Less Spending, More Cyber Immunity ...
ENISA's new report "Return On Security Investment" initiates a discussion among the ‘Digital Fire Brigades’ or Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to create the basic tools and best practices to calculate their Return on Security Investment (ROSI) while it can operate as a tool to justify their business need and existence through their financial added value.
Published on December 12, 2012 - Read on ENISA's website.
Our story with phishing
Last Friday evening, just as I was leaving the office, I received an email which claimed to be from one of our customers requesting for the recipient to download an attachment with an URGENT order request.
I suspected something fishy – firstly, as the IT manager, customers rarely write to me, and secondly, we have an established an online ordering platform, and our customers put in their order requests there.
I quickly checked with my colleagues who were still in the office and discovered that several of them had also received this email, even SMEc, my boss had one in his inbox. I quickly swung into action.
I sent a company-wide message to everyone on their mobiles that they should immediately report and then delete this phishing email if they had received it. We ducked a cyber bullet this time. If anyone clicked on the attachment, I asked to reach out to me ASAP.
It is estimated that more than 90% of cyber-attacks begin with a ‘phishing email’. Cyber criminals send phishing emails to trick recipients to give out confidential information (such as credit card details or password information) or perform an action (like downloading a file or clicking on a hyperlink).
Had any of us in the organization downloaded the file as instructed, it would most certainly lead to some form of malware being released to infect our network. I shudder to think of the consequences if proper action is not taken on time.
After this incident, SMEc and I decided to send an email educating our colleagues on phishing emails. Following is the email we sent which you might also find useful to send to your team. To ensure that the message gets across, we are also engaging CyberDan to conduct a cyber awareness training session and conduct a phishing simulation exercise.
What is an attack surface?
Attack surface refers to all the points in your digital ecosystem that allow cybercriminals to gain access to your network or to your sensitive information. We can broadly classify these as physical, digital, and human surfaces.
Your physical attack surface refers to all the physical devices you have connected to the network.
These include laptops, mobiles, USB ports and IoT devices. If these get stolen, or if you discard them without ensuring that all sensitive information within is properly deleted, cybercriminals can use these to access your information. Always ensure that your devices are secure and never write passwords on paper as these can easily end up in the wrong hands.
Your digital attack surface includes all your applications, code, software, ports, severs and websites.
Weakness in coding, poorly maintained software and other technical issues left unresolved allow criminals access into the network or to confidential data. It is therefore critical these are constantly monitored for vulnerabilities, with remediating actions taken. There are always cybercriminals on the lookout for opportunities to strike.
If your organization does not have its own cybersecurity team to monitor this, you may wish to consider the IMMUNE Platform. IMMUNE identifies your digital attack surface, monitors, identifies weaknesses and even advises corrective actions to be taken.
The human attack surface is often referred to as the weakest link in cybersecurity. Human error could result in coding errors leading to digital vulnerabilities, but it is the lack of cyber awareness within an organization that is often the largest cause of concern. It is commonly acknowledged that over 90% of successful cyber-attacks began with a phishing email – it only takes one employee unknowingly clicking on a file or hyperlink from a phishing email to give cybercriminals entry into your network.
Your company might be as well the target of a ‘spear phishing’ email. Spear phishing targets specific individuals or groups of individuals in an organization. In our case, several of my colleagues received named emails, including some historical exchanges, titled ‘URGENT ORDER’, where the sender instructed the recipient to click on an attached file, which would certainly have been malware to fulfill the order. Thankfully, I was one of the first to spot the email and managed to send out a warning to all my colleagues before anyone downloaded the malware.
We were lucky this time. I told SMEc my boss that cybercriminals always find novel ways to trick/fool/cheat victims and our best defense would be a well-trained team.
We approached CyberDan for a solution that is within our budget. We have now signed up for a training package to ensure that our team is trained in cyber awareness and receives regular updates on the latest methods of attack.
Get in touch
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Cybersecurity is not something you can chill about ...
Now I’m chill. I wasn’t always chill. I know that if anything is happening, Immunity will tell me. Now I’ve got time to sit back kick back wear my Hawaiian shirt and go snooze. Pina colada.
Cybersecurity is not something you can chill about.
You can chill like me because Immune has got your back. (cannot be totally chill, but can afford to a little because he has alerts)
Hey guys, I’m chill because IMMUNE does the work for me, but can you afford to be?
Isaac the IT bear works in an SME.
He heads the small IT team and whilst 'nothing has happened yet', he is aware that US$1 trillion was lost to cyber criminals last year and that even as a small organisation, his company is not IMMUNE.
He is constantly worried that his company could be attacked as he does not know where their vulnerabilities lie. Isaac signed up and received his FREE IR and later scheduled a very useful couch session with CyberDan.
Now Isaac can trad his worry glasses for a Hawaiian shirt and pina colada whilst IMMUNE gives him the confidence to take an occasional break.