Large-scale cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common, and organizations large and small are feeling the heat as they rapidly try to shore up defense against known vulnerabilities.
However, for many cybersecurity specialists, it is the unknown vulnerabilities that provoke the most stress. How can you defend against something you cannot notice until its too late?
Mitigating Known Threats Helps Build Defenses Against Unknown Ones
When you take the exotic technological element of sophisticated cybercriminal attacks on large organizations out of the equation, you typically get a run-of-the-mill scenario for the vast majority of cases. In 60 percent of cases, employees are the root cause of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and rarely because of malice.
In fact, in most of these cases, it is simply human error or laziness that gets in the way of maintaining a powerful and resilient cybersecurity defense. Often, cyber attackers fool employees into thinking they are speaking with an authority figure within the company – their supervisor’s boss, or an executive board member – and are afraid to ask for credentials or proof before sending off vital data through unprotected channels.
These social engineering threat vectors largely remain the same no matter how sophisticated the resulting attack may be. This is the reason building defenses against known threats can also help create robust defenses against unknown ones.
How to Defend Your Company Against Social Engineering
Social engineering is an element of cybercrime that often remains understated in official reports and documentation. Generally, tech-savvy security operations technicians are more interested in the ways hackers use employee data to breach systems and gain access to sensitive systems than in the ways those cybercriminals got the employee data in the first place.
Social engineering is the means by which cybercriminals do this. A simple example would be a cybercriminal looking up the name and email address of a company CEO, creating a false email address that matches that individual’s business address almost perfectly, and then posing as the CEO asking an employee for immediate access to sensitive customer data.
If the cybercriminal is particularly daring, he or she may even call that employee directly on the telephone, relying on the fact that the employee probably never heard the CEOs voice before and will simply acquiesce to any request made if it seems legitimate enough.
Several seconds later, the unwitting employee will have handed over the keys to the entire kingdom – sensitive data, access to financial applications, anything you can think of – and the cybercriminal is free to act on that data with impunity.
It is only through the implementation of a security-oriented office culture that you can inspire employees to protect themselves against social engineering attacks. If the hypothetical employee mentioned above were to simply ask for third-party verification – such as through their supervisor – before responding to the impostor CEO, the whole plan would falter.
Managed Network Services Can Generate Security-Oriented Culture
Implementing cultural changes in the office is not easy. Most of these leadership-oriented training programs ultimately fail to produce lasting change. The key reason is that people are used to operating within a specific organizational structure, and once they are used to doing things a certain way, they will simply continue to do things that way as long as it remains feasible or comfortable.
Bringing in a third party managed network solutions company addresses this issue. Since it focuses on adjusting the organizational structures of the business itself rather than on the personalities of individual employees, your managed network company can produce lasting solutions that deliver results.
In some cases, this means consistently pestering employees to follow basic security protocol. In other cases, it means simply adjusting existing hierarchies so that business continuity is assured even in spite of human error.
With a team dedicated to ensuring that security protocols are in place and consistently met, you will be able to take some of this burden off of your existing employees. This improves technical productivity while offering a resilient defense against cybercriminal threats capitalizing on both known and unknown vulnerabilities.
To learn more about the full suite of managed network services DME offers, contact us today!