With the majority of the current workforce working from home these days, there has been a rise in cyberattacks. While working from home, employees are constantly connecting digitally, thus increasing the attack surface. Bitdefender’s Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 found there was a “seven-fold year-on-year increase in ransomware reports.” Furthermore, it reported that “a defining characteristic of the first half of 2020 in terms of threats and malware is that they all played on the same theme: the pandemic. A spike in scams, phishing and malware across all platforms and attack vectors seems to have been a direct result of cybercriminals leveraging issues related to Covid-19 to exploit fear and misinformation,” further confirming the rising cyber risks.
This raises the question: “How can organizations improve their cybersecurity?” First of all, they can implement the best user access courses of action. These best practices include developing a policy that involves a periodic audit of access rights to networks and systems and the users who have access permissions. In addition, companies should create a formalized procedure for regular employee permission checks to ensure they’re appropriate. Furthermore, they can implement role-based access control and least privileged access.
Most organizations invest in cybersecurity as part of their regular security budget, but even then, many organizations are compromised yearly. Most notably, the bookstore giant Barnes and Noble experienced a data breach. It was suspected that the breach was the result of a malware infection.
A successful cyberattack damages the reputation of the organization brings down customer trust in its products and services and incurs more losses due to legal liabilities. Luckily for Barnes and Noble, they encrypted payment information and therefore were able to reduce the amount of damage done.
There are many cybersecurity products in the market, and any organization uses a combination of them to create and maintain their cybersecurity posture. The goal is to use effective cybersecurity tools to create hardened defenses.
What are some effective cybersecurity tools to bolster your organization’s cybersecurity toolkit?
OSSEC is a free and open-source yet powerful host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS). It assists in detecting intrusions in live systems, i.e., it is part of the cybersecurity posture that helps to detect, block, and filter intruders, unlike the below tools that help to assess and test the security posture.
Its list of features includes alerting, checking file integrity, monitoring registry and/or system configuration, performing log analysis, and auto-responding to intruders by blocking or filtering them automatically per the defined rules. That is why OSSEC has become a standard part of any cybersecurity toolkit.
Its centralized, cross-platform dashboard assists in managing and monitoring multiple systems. Its superb log analysis engine can analyze and correlate logs from multiple sources in different log formats, providing a complete analysis under a single roof. It also integrates with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), providing actionable details to the organization’s Security Operations Center (SOC) and reducing the clutter for the security teams.
Atomicorp — the company behind OSSEC — also provides Atomic Enterprise OSSEC, which is the enterprise offering of OSSEC. It provides a refined product for large or mission-critical environments with features like a solid management console, thousands of built-in rules, compliance reporting and support, etc.
OpenVAS is a free and open-source, comprehensive vulnerability scanner that finds loopholes in the security posture of organizations. It comes accompanied by a vulnerability tests feed named the Greenbone Community Feed, which includes more than 50,000 vulnerability tests for zero cost.
OpenVAS is capable of performing a wide range of vulnerability tests from authenticated and unauthenticated testing to testing low- and/or high-level Internet and industry protocols. It also tunes the performance of large-scale tests and avails its own programming language for adding new tests.
Also, it provides a simple web interface for configuring and running vulnerability scans. As stated earlier, it tests for thousands of vulnerabilities across a multitude of products. When done, it shows a report of found vulnerabilities, and you can click on any one of them to check its detailed information.
Greenbone — the company backing OpenVAS — also provides the Greenbone Security Feed having more than 85,000 vulnerability tests. OpenVAS along with this feed can be availed under the Greenbone Professional Edition (GPE) and the Greenbone Cloud Services (GCS) — the enterprise offerings of OpenVAS.
Cymulate is one of the leading breach and attack simulation platforms. It is a SaaS-based cybersecurity platform that features one-click threat protection for organizations. With the mission to “empower organizations worldwide and make advanced cyber security as simple and familiar as sending an e-mail,” Cymulate simplifies the process of assessing and optimizing the security posture.
Cymulate assists in testing and validating an organization’s security controls by simulating potential cyberattacks on its security posture. Its goal is to expose available security gaps (configuration errors or vulnerabilities) and suggest potential mitigation plans to close those gaps before hackers find them.
Its centralized platform is intuitive and user-friendly, making its usage as easy as reading or sending emails. It allows testing browsing sessions, data exfiltration, email, internal networks, web application firewall, and SOC simulation. And its range of automated and diversified tests help perform complete testing.
Using its powerful platform, organizations can launch an individual, group of, or complete test(s) at scheduled times, performing continuous security validation of their cybersecurity posture. It also eliminates false positives, unlike various free or less-efficient tools, delivering only the actionable results, which further improves the efficiency of the security teams and reduces expenditure.
With the large increase in targeted cyberattacks on businesses, having a defense system in place is key to protecting yours. Moreover, you should know where your vulnerabilities lie. To ensure that your organization is fully covered, choosing a continuous cyberattack simulation platform is recommended so that you can feel secure each day.