The digital transformation is in full swing. All companies and industries, small and large, must digitize to compete. But digitization is not without risks. With digitization comes the increased importance of cybersecurity. This is especially true in the early stages of digitization when the workforce must learn to leverage and effectively integrate digitization into their workflow. However, all organizations, digitized or not, should be aware of their cyberattack vulnerabilities. In this blog post, we cover some of the most common cyberattack vulnerabilities and explain how you can patch those holes up.
1. Errors in alert prioritization
Let’s start with a particularly important one. We have already hinted at it. Can you guess it? We are talking about human errors in threat response. In particular, an inability to prioritize alerts.
Human error is a major cause of cyber breaches. Research shows that up to 90% percent of cyber breaches have a human component involved, indicating just how consequential human error can be.
Let’s look at a prominent example. In 2013, malicious malware infiltrated Target’s digital infrastructure even though the threat alert had been flagged as a high priority. Target’s security team made the error of not prioritizing the alert and did not act. Failure to act on high-level alerts can have devastating consequences. The breach resulted in 40 million stolen credit card records and 70 million customer records. There’s really no faster way to lose customer faith. Thankfully, Target’s clean-up efforts were on point and they quickly recovered.
The lack of awareness and alert fatigue within the security team turned out to be a major security vulnerability. With too many alerts on their hands, they lost sight of what alerts to prioritize and overlooked a major threat. So the solution to avoid a terrible mistake like this from happening again? Automation.
In hindsight, Target could have utilized technology that automatically flags an incident and then automatically wipes it out too. Such technology can be integrated into SIEM for an advanced solution to identify vulnerabilities and then minutely respond to the threats.
2. Lack of Training and Awareness
A common vulnerability is a lack of cybersecurity awareness and training among employees. Employees that are not directly involved in cybersecurity commonly engage in insecure cybersecurity practices, creating increased vulnerabilities.
Human-centricity is increasingly important with cyberattackers noticing that, just like the errors in Target’s case, the “human factor” is an uncovered vulnerability. But you can cover the security vulnerability with more training, awareness, and user-friendly, supportive tools. A human-centered cybersecurity approach is a solution.
Human-centered cybersecurity focuses on awareness, training, and increasing employee skills. The approach prioritizes the individual and security teams to reduce security risk and vulnerability. Workplace training focuses on adapting employees to new technology and procedures. More support for employees also helps retain talent, as workplace burnout continues to be a major challenge for the cybersecurity industry.
Another way to provide support is to utilize user-friendly technological tools to make cybersecurity more intuitive. With overly complex cybersecurity increasing the likelihood of errors, intuitive tools are a must-have. For example, there are user-friendly SaaS platforms that integrate into SIEMs to make them easier to operate and configure.
Another all too common cybersecurity vulnerability is what are “zero-day vulnerabilities”. The 0 in “zero-day” indicates an unawareness of the vulnerabilities, meaning that the security team has “zero days” to prepare for the attack; they have no advance notice to patch the vulnerabilities. Because they are unaware of the attack, detection is especially difficult. You can guess the result.
But there are solutions. It is recommended to adopt end-to-end cybersecurity solutions like SIEM. SIEMs provide rapid threat detection and incident response – two essential capabilities needed to stop zero-day attacks. For an even more effective security defense, consider adding integrated SaaS to SIEM to enhance its capabilities such as alert enrichment and tuning. The upgraded capabilities make it easier to identify threats and then respond.
4. System misconfigurations and out-of-date software
The global digital transformation has led to more and more network and system vulnerabilities as organizations rush to digitize. In the heat of the rush, security systems are often misconfigured. Cybercriminals prey on these kinds of system misconfigurations. In a similar vein, out-of-date software is a huge vulnerability and infiltration point for cyberattacks.
We recommend two solutions.
First, employees should be trained and aware of the risk of outdated software. Software on work computers and other commonly used technology should be updated frequently for the best security defense.
Second, cybersecurity professionals may struggle to configure and keep complex security systems like SIEMs up to date. Common SIEM configuration struggles include data collection and normalization, fine-tuning alert rules, and keeping up with the many updates a fast-changing threat landscape requires. More training is required to help cybersecurity professionals deal with complex configurations. We can also recommend adopting integrated SIEM add-ons to automate SIEM configuration and upkeep. Many organizations have found such tools useful in reducing costs and freeing up time so that cybersecurity professionals, analysts in particular, can focus on more pressing tasks like preventing major breaches.
Seculyze consultancy and software can help
If you want to know more about how you can strengthen your internal security team and patch security vulnerabilities, our consulting team is always ready to help. You may also visit our webpage to learn how Seculyze simplifies cybersecurity to decrease the risk of cyberattacks.