Protect your business from a cyber attack with these cyber security measures.
Cyber Security can be daunting, we discuss the different cyber security measures you can implement to help protect your business from a cyber attack. Advice from a Managed Security Service Provider.
What is Cyber Security?
In the context of Australian businesses, cybersecurity encompasses all-encompassing measures aimed at safeguarding the organization, its employees, and its valuable assets against a diverse array of cyber threats. With the proliferation of increasingly common and sophisticated cyberattacks and the inherent complexity of corporate networks, a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity solutions becomes imperative to effectively mitigate cyber risks faced by Australian enterprises.
Understand the Types Of Cyber Security
Cyberattack incidents have skyrocketed over the past few years, making cybersecurity a crucial part of risk management in this digital era. As a result, maintaining continuity in the business regardless of what industry you’re in or how big or small your business is lies in the ability to protect your devices, data, and network from cyber criminals. (1)
To accomplish this effectively, you need a clear understanding of the different types of cyber security services and how they work to defend your business against threats and attacks. While there may be different types of cybersecurity measures, they all serve the same purpose: to protect your business’s digital assets and preserve integrity, confidentiality, and data availability.
That said, here are the most common types of cyber security and how they protect businesses against cyberattacks.
The Different Types of Cybersecurity
Cyber security is a wide field covering several disciplines. It can be divided into the following main pillars:
Network Security: Fortifying the Digital Perimeter
Network security continues to be a cornerstone of cybersecurity for Australian businesses in 2024. Attacks often target vulnerabilities in network infrastructure. Robust solutions, including Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), Next-Gen Antivirus (NGAV), and Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR), are essential to detect and thwart these threats. Automated Security Orchestration and Response (SOAR) technologies play a pivotal role in swift incident response.
This type of cybersecurity involves controls and measures designed to protect your networking infrastructure. This includes protective measures against unauthorized access to the network, security breaches, misuse of authorized accounts, and many other threats. Network security services come in three forms; physical, technical, and administrative.
- Physical: Involves protecting your network infrastructures such as data routers, data centres, and servers from unauthorized physical access, usually by housing the hardware in a secured location.
- Technical: Protecting network data in storage or during transmission in the form of data encryption and similar processes.
- Administrative: These are the security measures and practices that involve placing restrictions on certain accounts, file management, and other administrative functions.
There’s a variety of tools and technologies that help implement network security controls and best practices. These include:
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs),
- Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS),
- Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS).
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS)
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) are vital for network security, providing continuous monitoring for unauthorised access, suspicious activities, and potential breaches. IDPS consists of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) that passively monitor and alert on suspicious activities, and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) that proactively block or mitigate threats. It uses two primary methods for threat detection: anomaly-based, which looks for deviations from normal behaviour, and signature-based, which relies on known attack patterns. IDPS can be deployed in various forms (network-based, host-based, or cloud-based), creating multiple layers of protection against a wide range of cyber threats.
Firewalls are crucial for network security, acting as barriers that separate trusted internal networks from untrusted external ones, such as the internet. They come in hardware and software forms and enforce rules and policies for filtering incoming and outgoing traffic. Stateful inspection firewalls maintain awareness of active connections and can make context-based decisions. They also perform deep packet inspection to identify and block malicious traffic patterns. Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) enhance security with features like intrusion prevention, application control, and URL filtering, providing robust protection against modern threats and bolstering network security.
Web applications remain prime targets for cybercriminals. In 2024, Australian businesses must focus on application security to counter threats like injection attacks, authentication flaws, and misconfigurations. Continuous learning and robust protection against bot attacks are essential to keep applications and APIs secure.
Whether you’re using off-the-shelf or custom applications to handle business-related operations, you need to continuously take measures to ensure that they’re properly secured. Cybercriminals are known to prey on vulnerabilities in applications to bypass your company’s security.
For instance, hackers can target a weakness in your operating system, if you don’t install timely software updates. Aside from vulnerabilities, other issues in application security include misconfigurations, weak access control measures, poor or lack of encryption, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. (2)
Some of the best practices in ensuring application security include:
- Constant software updates
- Using reputable antivirus programs such as Optus internet security suite and other alternatives
- Regular risk assessment and patching
- Strict access control
- Software as a Service (SaaS) management
Access Control and Identity Management:
- Access control and identity management are fundamental to limiting access to sensitive systems and data.
- Implement strong authentication methods such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify the identity of users.
- Role-based access control (RBAC) defines access permissions based on job roles, ensuring that individuals have the necessary access rights but no more.
- Privileged access management (PAM) restricts and monitors access to critical systems and accounts, reducing the risk of insider threats.
Regular Software Updates and Patch Management:
- Keeping software up to date is vital for security. Many cyberattacks exploit known vulnerabilities in outdated software.
- Establish a patch management process to regularly apply security updates to operating systems, applications, and firmware.
- Automated patch management tools can help streamline this process and reduce the window of exposure to vulnerabilities.
- Testing patches in a controlled environment before deployment is important to ensure they don’t introduce new issues.
Cloud Security: Safeguarding Cloud Deployments
As the adoption of cloud computing skyrockets, securing the cloud environment is paramount. Australian businesses must implement comprehensive cloud security strategies encompassing third-party solutions, controls, and policies. These measures ensure that applications, data, and infrastructure in the cloud are resilient against attacks and data breaches.
Cloud computing is taking over the business landscape for its improved security, scalability, and flexibility for business data storage and applications. In fact, some experts believe that an on-premise environment is more prone to malware attacks, and that implementing cloud computing enhances security. (3)
Cloud security is a part of the IT security services that helps you monitor and protect your data on cloud-based resources. Services providers are constantly creating and updating security tools to offer better enterprise security services, improving protection for cloud users. Here are a few best practices for higher cloud security:
The vast majority of data breaches are caused by attacks carried out from outside the system, via the internet. In the early stages of a breach, hacking is the most common action. In the middle and late stages of the attack, it is the second most common action, with web-based applications being the most common hacking vectors. (4)
Internet security is distinct from other forms of cybersecurity simply because of the prevalence and sheer magnitude of internet threats. As a result, internet security encompasses far more than simply protecting data in transit over the internet. Internet cyber security solutions and practices to consider for your company also include the following, among many other cybersecurity measures:
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In today’s hybrid working environment, endpoint security has become a critical aspect to consider in business. With the increase of remote working setups, bring-your-own devices workplaces, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, there line between personal and company hardware has never been blurrier. More often than not, people can access corporate applications and processes using personal devices from anywhere.
Australian companies are urged to adopt a zero-trust security model that revolves around micro-segmentation. This approach secures desktops and laptops with advanced threat prevention mechanisms, including anti-phishing and anti-ransomware tools. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions provide invaluable insights for forensics.
Consequently, this has opened up many security threats and vulnerabilities, including theft of credentials, phishing, socially engineered scams, and crypto-jacking. Some of the best practices to consider when implementing endpoint security include the following:
Encryption is the process of securing data by making it unreadable without the correct decryption key. It is crucial for protecting sensitive information during transmission, such as online transactions, and when data is stored, whether on devices or in databases. Encryption can be categorized as symmetric (using a single key for both encryption and decryption) or asymmetric (using public and private keys). End-to-end encryption, an advanced form, ensures data remains secure during transit across untrusted networks and when stored in the cloud.
Employee Training and Awareness
Employee training and awareness are pivotal components of a robust cybersecurity strategy. Human error stands out as a significant contributor to cybersecurity incidents, underscoring the importance of educating employees about potential threats. Training programs are designed to empower staff to recognise and respond effectively to a spectrum of security risks, from phishing attacks to social engineering tactics.
Regular security awareness training sessions play a crucial role in keeping employees informed about the ever-evolving threat landscape. Beyond training, organizations should actively foster a culture of security, ensuring that employees comprehend the vital role they play in safeguarding sensitive information. This culture empowers individuals to be vigilant and responsible custodians of data. Moreover, it is essential to create incident response plans that include clear, actionable steps for employees to follow in the event of a security incident, ensuring a coordinated and effective response to any potential breach or threat.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM solutions are crucial components of a robust cybersecurity strategy. SIEM solutions collect, aggregate, and analyse data from various sources, including network devices, servers, and security logs, to provide a centralised view of security events.
They perform the essential functions of collecting, aggregating, and analysing data from diverse sources, including network devices, servers, and security logs, resulting in a centralized and comprehensive view of security events. SIEM systems play a critical role in detecting patterns that could signify a security incident, promptly triggering alerts and providing the necessary tools for efficient incident investigations. By incorporating machine learning and behavioural analytics, SIEM solutions can further enhance their capabilities by identifying anomalies and deviations from established patterns of normal behaviour. Additionally, SIEM is instrumental in meeting regulatory compliance requirements and strengthening an organisation’s ability to detect and respond to threats, making it an invaluable asset for modern cybersecurity operations.
Also: SIEM Security
Zero Trust: A Paradigm Shift in Security
The concept of Zero Trust represents a profound shift in how we approach security. Traditional models that rely on perimeter-based defences have become inadequate in the face of evolving cyber threats. Zero Trust offers a new paradigm, underscoring the need for a more granular and adaptive security approach. This includes concepts like micro-segmentation, where network segments are isolated and secured individually, and role-based access controls, which ensure that individuals have access only to what is necessary for their roles. In an era where Australian organisations are increasingly embracing cloud solutions and remote work arrangements, Zero Trust principles have become indispensable. They provide the necessary framework to protect individual resources and data, regardless of where they are accessed or stored, making cybersecurity more resilient and agile in an ever-changing digital landscape.
Cybersecurity Attacks: Ransomware
With Ransomware, the victim’s system is held hostage until they agree to pay a ransom to the attacker. After the payment has been sent, the attacker then provides instructions regarding how the target can regain control of their computer. The name “ransomware” is appropriate because the malware demands a ransom from the victim.
In a ransomware attack, the target downloads ransomware, either from a website or from within an email attachment. The malware is written to exploit vulnerabilities that have not been addressed by either the system’s manufacturer or the IT team. The ransomware then encrypts the target’s workstation. At times, ransomware can be used to attack multiple parties by denying access to either several computers or a central server essential to business operations.
Affecting multiple computers is often accomplished by not initiating systems captivation until days or even weeks after the malware’s initial penetration. The malware can send AUTORUN files that go from one system to another via the internal network or Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives that connect to multiple computers. Then, when the attacker initiates the encryption, it works on all the infected systems simultaneously.
In some cases, ransomware authors design the code to evade traditional antivirus software. It is therefore important for users to remain vigilant regarding which sites they visit and which links they click. You can also prevent many ransomware attacks by using a next-generation firewall (NGFW) that can perform deep data packet inspections using artificial intelligence (AI) that looks for the characteristics of ransomware.
In conclusion, the cybersecurity landscape in Australia for 2024 demands a comprehensive and adaptive approach. To stay ahead of the evolving risks, businesses must invest in a multi-faceted cybersecurity strategy that encompasses network security, cloud security, endpoint and mobile security, IoT security, and application security, and embraces the principles of zero trust.
By proactively addressing these areas, Australian businesses can fortify their defenses against emerging threats and protect their digital assets in an increasingly connected world. While the industry lacks a standard definition for specific cybersecurity business types and some categories overlap, it’s crucial to recognize that most, if not all, cybersecurity solutions fall under the aforementioned pillars. Ultimately, ensuring the protection of everything from your network to personal hardware is of paramount importance, as it equips you to guard your business effectively against the ever-present threat of cybercriminals.
Working with a trusted Managed Security Service Provider can help protect your business
Kaine Mathrick Tech, as a trusted managed security service provider (MSSP), offers a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to safeguard your business from the ever-growing threat of cyberattacks. With their expert team of cybersecurity professionals, they work diligently to assess, monitor, and strengthen your organisation’s digital defences. Their proactive approach includes implementing robust firewall systems, continuous network monitoring, and timely software updates to mitigate vulnerabilities. Kaine Mathrick Tech also conducts regular employee training and awareness programs to foster a culture of cybersecurity within your workforce, reducing the risk of human error. In the event of an attack, their rapid incident response capabilities ensure swift containment and recovery, minimising downtime and potential data loss. Partnering with Kaine Mathrick Tech means entrusting your business’s cybersecurity to a team dedicated to keeping your operations secure, resilient, and ahead of emerging threats.
Also: Cyber Security with KMT
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- “CSC Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21”, Source: https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/reports-and-statistics/acsc-annual-cyber-threat-report-2020-21
- “Unpatched Windows 10 vulnerability exploited by hackers as working from home rises”, Source: https://www.verdict.co.uk/unpatched-windows-10-vulnerability/
- “Why your data is safer in the cloud than on premises”, Source: https://techbeacon.com/security/why-your-data-safer-cloud-premises
- “Website Hacking Statistics You Should Know in 2022”, Source: https://patchstack.com/articles/website-hacking-statistics/