Even though the weak spots in the digital privacy of enterprises might not lead to immediate cyber attacks, the leakage of private data creates an opportunity for a later exploit in advanced persistent threat attacks ( APTs ). In the case of the LinkedIn hack event, this could mean company logins can be used by hackers to silently establish backdoors and steal valuable company information over time.
1. Password Complexity and Randomization
Creating a randomly generated password for different business profiles is one way to secure your company’s privacy online. The password’s complexity and the inclusion of both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as special symbols and numbers, is among the most trusted methods for creating a well-secured account. But despite being harder to guess, even the more complex passwords can sometimes be cracked with the use of a specialized software and a stronger GPU. This is where two-step authentication takes place.
2. Two-Step Authentication for Business Profiles
Adopting a multi-step verification process includes the use of an additional physical device. When the user, be it an employee or a CEO, tries to log in from an unauthorized source, he will be asked to confirm his identity through an additional verification step. Two-step authentication methods require an external source, such as a mobile device, a USB flash drive or a token which is then used to confirm the user’s identity. Large enterprises who opt for advanced data security might also take advantage of more unconventional, yet, highly reliable methods such as retina scanning, face recognition, fingerprint scanning, and even DNA sampling.
3. Secure Network Connection Services
This step is especially valuable for telecommute-friendly businesses. Remotely based employees who are constantly connecting to business systems and accounts through unsecured networks which pose a great danger to the companies’ data security. And while most external business platforms might provide a relatively reliable protection by service providers, internal business systems are often poorly surveillance. This created the need for a secured network connection that company employees can use to connect to important systems. The use of a virtual private network (VPN) for file sharing and company accounts decreases the risk of a potential data breach. Trusted network tools can protect critical company data by encrypting the connection and making it harder for hackers to trace and exploit.
4. Disaster Recovery and Data Loss Prevention Planning
Foreseeing the event of a data breach before it actually occurs is a step that can guarantee the safety of your business during a potential attack. Small businesses and large enterprises are advised to create a data loss prevention plan (DLP) to secure their business continuity (BC).
Relying on a disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) can ensure the DRP of the business is established and carries out correctly, although many SMBs don’t have resources necessary to rely on external B2B and SaaS solutions. Yet, setting up and continuously updating data backups on the cloud can guarantee them a much better security in case of a data loss.
5. Get Prepared For Backdoor Cyber Attacks
While most breaches aim at swiftness and service blocking there are those that will try to stay undetected for much longer. Not every attacker would want to go in and out as quickly as possible. Some attacks against your business might be focused on extracting valuable company data and to do so attackers would try to keep a low profile for an extended period of time. Such attacks are called advanced persistent threats (APT).
APTs usually start with a phishing email with information requests that’s sent out to company employees. Once one of your employees gets tricked into providing the required data the APT starts spreading. Attackers can expand their reach towards other company systems by getting employees to fill their company logins in a static fake website or making them download infected files. Once a breach has been made, the attacker creates a backdoor. Over a period of time, the attacker will extract company data and gradually expand the infection towards other valuable systems.
While APT attacks may be detected with specialized software the best preventive measure a company owner could take is educating his employees about the process of the attack. Setting examples with other phishing emails and explaining how the attacker gains access to company profiles will help employees detect and prevent these attacks from spreading without any professional understanding of cyber security.
6. Establishing a Disaster Recovery Site
Providing physical security for your company data is crucial to ensuring the complete digital security of your business. The establishment of a disaster recovery site needs to take place in proximity to the main data center to guarantee a quick response to potential threats and short recovery time. While cloud-based data storage provides a reliable solution for company data backups the case of potential natural and environmental disasters may require businesses to take an extra step in securing their digital data outside the cloud. It’s recommended that the disaster recovery site is positioned in a low-profile location with as less indication as possible to avoid unnecessary attention.
7. Prevent DDoS Attacks Against Your Business Network
When your business gets hit by a denial of service attack (DoS) this will limit users’ access to certain services and data by overwhelming your company’s servers with fake requests. Since the DoS attack comes from a single machine, terminating the attack can be done rather easily. Your IT team will simply have to block the attacker’s IP address once it’s being discovered. Preventing a DoS attack can be done with the help of specialized software and modern web servers which have a built-in protection system that detects and blocks suspicious IP addresses automatically.
Things get a lot more complicated when the requests come from a lot of machines and IP addresses. This server attack is called distributed denial of service (DDoS). It relies on a botnet of thousands of infected computers which, once activated, start sending fake requests to the target’s servers. The DDoS attack floods the servers much more quickly and it’s also extremely difficult to detect. Despite being quite an expensive attack, this doesn’t mean it targets only large companies. DDoS attacks can’t be prevented but they can be stopped more swiftly when an adequate disaster recovery plan (DRP) is in place. Yet, purchasing an expanded bandwidth and tracking connections via cookies can help in the fight against DDoS attacks.