The University That Was Hit by a Cybersecurity Attack (and the 6 Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities You Need to Check)

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VULNERABILITY 1 – LACK OF ENDPOINT DEFENCES

Many enterprises fail to set up defence mechanisms. This means their organisation is more susceptible to cyberattacks, allowing targets to easily access their servers.

Inadequate endpoint defences can turn them into vulnerabilities, including the use of signature-based antivirus platforms. They’re no longer efficient since many tech-savvy criminals can quickly bypass them.

Additionally, many programs don’t monitor unexpected or unusual behaviour. They may also be unable to investigate or respond to endpoints, especially on larger scale.

The best way to address these issues is to invest in cutting-edge endpoint defence tools that involve next-generation antivirus, response, and behavioural analysis capabilities. They provide a comprehensive evaluation of malicious actions and flexible prevention options.

If you’re operating a traditional antivirus platform, consider upgrading it to a version with in-depth behavioural inspections. You could also use detailed compromise indicators, forensic details, and real-time response functionality.

VULNERABILITY 2 – POOR ACCOUNT PRIVILEGE CONTROL

Limiting the access privileges of your software users is the hub of controlling vulnerabilities. The less information they can access, the less harm they can do if they have a compromised account.

The problem comes if your company doesn’t control your user account access, enabling practically any user to have administrator-level privileges. It gets even worse if your configuration allows unprivileged members to set up admin-level accounts.

Therefore, you should grant access only to those team members who can’t carry out their duties without the access.

You also need to ensure new accounts don’t have administrator-level access. This helps prevent less-privileged users from creating additional privileged accounts.

VULNERABILITY 3 – COMPROMISED OR WEAK CREDENTIALS

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Your password and username may be the most widely used access credential. And cybercriminals can easily compromise them, exposing your user credentials.

This usually happens when an unsuspecting team member falls victim to phishing and enters their login information on a fake website. And with compromised credentials, an intruder gains insider access.

Even though analysing and monitoring can help identify malicious activity, these credentials can bypass security and impede detection. The consequences vary, depending on the access they provide.

For example, privileged credentials offer administrative access to systems and devices, posing a higher risk than consumer accounts.

Keep in mind that humans aren’t the only ones who own credentials.

Security tools, network devices, and servers generally have passwords to enable communication and integration between devices. Intruders can utilise them to activate movements throughout your enterprise – their access is almost unlimited.

To avoid this scenario, you should implement stringent password controls. Another great idea is to include longer and complex passwords, as well as frequent changes. Combining these principles is another effective method to prevent compromised credentials.

VULNERABILITY 4 – LACK OF NETWORK SEGMENTATION

Cybercriminals can target inadequate network monitoring and segmentation to obtain full access to your system. This is a huge vulnerability as it enables attackers to maintain their access longer.

One of the leading causes of this weakness is the failure to develop subnet monitoring or outbound activity control

Overcoming this obstacle in a large company can be challenging if hundreds of systems send outbound traffic and communicate with each other. Nevertheless, solving the problem is a must.

To do that, you should primarily focus on controlling your network access in systems within your subnets and building robust detection strategies for lateral movements. Plus, make sure to pinpoint strange DNS lookups, behavioural traffic trends, and system-to-system communication.

Also, segmentation, firewalls, and proxies can help create restrictive policies for system communications and traffic.

VULNERABILITY 5 – MISCONFIGURATION

Misconfiguration refers to errors in your system configuration. For instance, enabled setup pages and default usernames or passwords can result in breaches.

If you don’t disable setup or application server configuration, hackers can recognize hidden vulnerabilities, giving them extra information. It’s because misconfigured apps and devices are an easy gateway for cybercriminals to exploit.

To prevent this, establish systems and procedures to tighten the configuration process and employ automation whenever possible. Monitoring device and application settings and comparing them to the best practices also reveal potential threats across the network.

VULNERABILITY 6 – RANSOMWARE

Ransomware is cyber extortion that prevents users from accessing their data until the attacker receives a ransom. They instruct the victim to pay a certain fee to obtain their decryption key. The costs can reach thousands, but many criminals also opt for Bitcoin payments.

Making sure your system is ready to address a ransomware issue is integral to protecting your data. To do that, keep your system up to date with the latest security standards as it reduces the number of vulnerabilities. Another recommended defence mechanism is to stick to trusted software providers.

NEUTRALISE THREATS FOR PEACE OF MIND

Successfully running a company with poor cybersecurity measures is virtually impossible. The risk of losing precious data and reputation is just too high.

To ensure your organisation isn’t a sitting duck for cyberattacks, you must implement reliable defence strategies.

To figure out the problem with your IT, reach out to us for a quick, obligation-free chat. We’ll see if we can help you boost performance and set up an impregnable system for your business. Take a look at our services page here: https://www.cirrusits.co.uk/human-risk/

This blog article by Cirrus IT Service is adapted with permission from The Technology Press.

Featured Image Credit: Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay