Wednesday, 30 June 2021 13:50

Identifying Cyberattacks Early and Protecting Your Business 101

The Danger of Cyberattacks

Not all catastrophic events are evident, with their impacts promptly unmistakable. COVID-19, Hurricane Laura, and the Australian Bushfire are examples of recent events that caused a substantial crash to business operations and even community operations. However, they do not require any effort to detect. The average person can see the cause of damage.

Cyber-attacks may fall under the category of "catastrophic event with detectable signs", such as the recent cyber-attack on the US oil and gas pipeline, which has been one of the most expensive attacks on an economy. Not all attacks are apparent; the leakage of over 500 million Facebook user information is a perfect example of an attack that extracted sensitive customer information. This type of attack is less likely to have an early warning due to people not being aware of it.

The first step in reacting to a security breach is to analyze that a violation has occurred; recognizing a breach is crucial to continuity.

Most victims of cyber-attacks don't even realize they have a breach until after half a year has passed since the attack. According to the IBM breach report (2020), it takes, on average, 207 days to identify a breach for victimized companies. Cybercriminals tend to repeatedly take advantage of their victims after an initial violation, allowing for the damage to accumulate over time. 

The amount of damage a cyber-attack may cause is indicated by how soon the attack is detected and denied. Therefore, prompt incursion detection is the most crucial action to reduce the impairment and increase continuity after the breach. 

We'll discuss ways you and your company can determine jurisdiction that grant a prompt alert of cybersecurity incursions. 

 

1. Develop a Plan to Manage Cybersecurity Risks

How do we reduce the harmful risks within our business? First, we develop a plan that mitigates the jeopardizing determents of cyber-attacks. Then, instead of disregarding risks and jeopardizing everything you've built, you can manage the risks to reduce the likely hood of your company succumbing to a cyber-attack. The amount of effort and careful thinking you put into your plans will determine the probability of the success of their prevention. 

Business Impact Analysis

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is where you should start to withstand cyber-attacks. It summarizes your processes and determines the minimum functions you need to operate your organization to stay in business.

Critical Business Functions are the core functions of your business sustainability. After identifying these CBFs, you now know what needs to be protected. Any suspension on your CBFs will be detrimental to your business.

The last step of BIA is to understand the risks to each CBF and rank them by priority of likely hood of happening and severity of the breach. The results will paint a picture of what you need to do to stay in business and the risks that threaten your organization. 

Business Continuity Plan

After identifying a BIA, the following plan will determine the contingency plans for any identified risks to your CBFs if they occur. It should include the procedure your organization will follow to ensure your CBFs are not disrupted or are, at a minimum, not disrupted for an extended period.  

Disaster Recovery Plan

Last but not least, the Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is the final piece of managing cybersecurity risks. The BCP covers primarily short-term breaches, and the DRP covers situations where large portions of the supporting framework have been impaired or lost. A DRP can utilize parts of a BCP, but only after recovering the operational state of the framework. 

To effectively manage to jeopardize risks, you need to implement all three plans and keep them up to date, with your organization at the ready to put them into action when needed.

 

2. Implement Early Warning Controls

Despite developing plans being crucial for sustaining cyberattacks, it is only a portion of the solution. Many organizations may have plans already in place to enact when security breaches happen, but the problem is how long it takes for those plans to be activated. A program is useless if not used on time. 

To reduce the catastrophe of any cyber breach, you need controls, a way to communicate that an incursion has happened. 

Organizations should utilize controls that sound an alert when unusual or alarming activity occurs. These prompt alerts allow the organization to intercept speedily in a breach, likely preventing further exposure. 

An adequate warning control can alert the organization of a breach. A timely response can stop the violation, analyze the damage so far, and provide data to rebound to normal functions with little change to your organization's daily procedures. For example, the Keyes Recon Unit can continuously monitor your networks and send alerts to the user about any significant activity on their networks. Check it out on our homepage!

 

3. React to Events

Incident Response Plan (IRP) is the finishing touch to the handful of readiness planning. Without it, early warning controls are rendered almost useless. IRP implements a precise and resolute reaction to those early warning controls. 

Not all security incidents fall under every organization. So it is imperative to devise one that aligns with your organization's security policy. 

That is where the IRP becomes prominent. It is the hands-on guide to identify breaches, resolve what is occurring, and determine the most effective steps in reacting to the incursion. In addition, it should include directives for developing and training the team that responds to the incident, also known as the Incident Response Team (IRT).

The IRT typically implements parts of the BCP and sometimes the DRP in critical conditions in response to breaches in security. Therefore, the plans discussed intertwine and work with each other and are crucial to protect your business infrastructure. 

After developing a BIA, BCP, and DRP, then, you may create your IRP. It should fall within the constraints within the following:

  • Preparation - Integrate the Cybersecurity Risk Management plans and ready and develop the IRT.

 

  • Identification - React to prompt warning alerts and analyze whether it is a false alarm. 

 

  • Containment - After identifying the threat, take action (Previously planned ahead of time) to limit the impairment and limit the impact. 

 

  • Elimination - Find the origin of the threat and remove it promptly.

 

  • Recovery - Get CBFs back on track so that your business can fully operate.

 

  • Review - Analyze the threat response process to understand the sustains and improvements to prepare for future threats.

 

Overall, if you establish effective plans, are weary of the prompt warnings, and are ready to act before the threat becomes catastrophic. Then, you will be able to prevent the imminent danger of cyber-attacks. 

 

 

Sources

IBM Breach Report, 2020. 

https://www.ibm.com/security/digital-assets/cost-data-breach-report/#/

Kiuwan.com, 2021.

https://www.kiuwan.com/canary-coal-mine-detecting-cyberattacks-early/

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 26 July 2021 17:27