Cyber Security – A Prerequisite for the Organizations of Today

Individuals, governments, and corporations across the world are facing a constant risk of cyber attacks. These attacks involve phishing, malware, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cryptocurrency. Every year, the world at large is plagued with new forms of cyber attacks, while the cyber security industry suffers from an immense shortage of cyber security experts and professionals. Moreover, cyber crime is getting worse and worse each year with our increasing dependence upon technology.

Threat Horizon 2019, an annual study of the cyber security landscape carried out by Information Security Forum, warns of an increase in the potential of the following:

Distortion — The deliberate spreading of misinformation via bots and automated sources, which results in trust in the integrity of information that is likely to be compromised.

Disruption — Over-dependence on fragile internet connections results in the potential threat of internet outages. These are capable of disrupting trade and boosting the risk of the use of ransomware for cyber attacks. Different types of cyber security threats include ransomware, social engineering, phishing, and malware, to name a few.

Types of Cyber Attacks
Over the past decade, hackers have found new and innovative ways to attack the systems of governments, individuals, and various organizations across the world in an attempt to alter, steal, or even destroy data. They manage to pass all the firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware, and other layers of protection on systems and get away with their modus operandi. Let us take a look at some of the types of cyber attacks and the damage they inflict:

1) Malware
Malware is malicious software, such as ransomware, spyware, worms, and viruses, which breaches the security of a network through its vulnerability. It attacks mostly when a user either clicks on a dangerous email attachment or link, which results in the installation of this risky software. Malware gains access to a system and installs malware or other harmful software, disrupts certain components, steals & transmits data from the hard drive to an external source, and makes a system inoperable.

2) SQL Injection
In case of a Structured Query Language (SQL) injection, an attacker submits a malicious code into the search box of a vulnerable website, typically one which uses SQL. Due to this, the server reveals confidential information that it normally would not have.

3) Man-in-the-Middle Attack
In case of Man-in-the-Middle or MitM attacks, the attacker inserts himself/herself in the middle of a transaction between two parties. They are also known as an eavesdropping attacks. Upon interruption, the attackers can filter and steal the data. MitM attacks can be carried out successfully on public non-secure Wi-Fi networks, wherein attackers insert themselves between the network and the device of the visitor. Hence, all the information transmitted by visitors goes straight to the attackers. This enables them to install software that has the ability to process all the personal details of the victim.

4) Denial-of-Service Attack
This is a type of cyber attack that involves the flooding of service, networks, or systems with traffic with the aim of exhausting bandwidth and resources. It renders the system unable to handle legitimate requests. Attackers also launch a Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, wherein they launch this type of attack using several compromised devices.

5) Zero-Day Exploit
Attackers launch a zero-day exploit once the vulnerability of a network is announced and just before a solution for the same is implemented. Here, attackers target the vulnerability during this narrow window of time. The detection of a zero-day vulnerability needs constant monitoring and awareness.

6) Phishing
Phishing can be defined as the sending of fraudulent communications disguised as if they have come from a reliable or reputable source, usually via email. Phishing is aimed at installing malware on the system of the victim for stealing login & credit card information. It is one of the most common cyber threats.

Need for Cyber Security
As we can see, every year, cyber security threats and breaches on businesses as well as individuals are creating new records. The Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime global study conducted by Accenture indicates an increase of around 11% in security breaches over 2018. The same global study by Accenture found that cybercirme costs companies USD 13 million per year on an average. Cyber crime has become big business, and you will be surprised to know that cybercrime toolkits are available on online marketplaces and the Dark Web for as cheap as USD1, according to the report Cybersecurity Almanac 2019 released by Cybersecurity Ventures.

What's more, according to Global Market Insights, Inc., by 2024, the cyber security market is estimated to be valued at USD 300 billion. A study by Juniper Research in 2018 indicates that small businesses around the world spend over USD 500 per year only on cyber security products. The above-mentioned statistics indicate the gravity of the situation when it comes to cybercrime, and the importance of implementing adequate cyber security measures by companies around the world, especially those that keep a record of sensitive customer data.

Importance of Cyber Security Testing
Cyber security testing is the process of measuring the effectiveness of the strategies implemented by you for protection against potential cyber attacks. This is especially important because when hackers find that one door is locked, they continue to search for another window of opportunity that you may have overlooked.

Hence, cyber security testing needs to be carried out by a team of highly experienced analysts, such as those of Valency Networks, who have several years of experience in investigating, identifying, and overcoming the vulnerabilities of different types of organizations. These professionals analyse your digital infrastructure and carry out penetration testing, red team assessments, firewall configuration audit, system hardening services, etc. to identify the potential threats that are difficult to find as well as overlooked most of the times.

The cyber security testing services offered by Valency Networks includes the following:

  • Cyber security policy and standard operating procedures development.
  • Cyber security architecture design
  • Cyber security operations management
  • Website code security review
  • Computer security incident response
  • Vulnerability analysis and Penetration Testing
  • Security risk assessmentThe cyber security team at Valency Networks helps as well as encourages the company's customers to implement vulnerability assessment and penetration testing within the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) of their products and services. Throughout every consulting project, the company leverages its best practices and corporate knowledge to transfer its expertise to customers to provide them a secure and confidently managed network infrastructure.

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Jamie Larson