Ransomware attacks have witnessed a staggering surge of nearly 500% since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the urgent need for Australian businesses to reassess their IT infrastructure and bolster their security measures. This will enable them to enhance their defences against meticulously targeted cyber-attacks. To determine whether your business requires a security reassessment, here are seven indicators that your IT infrastructure is susceptible to a cyber-attack:
Outdated software and hardware
Organizations must prioritize and proactively manage their software and hardware upgrades. It is imperative to have a dedicated IT team that remains vigilant in conducting regular compliance checks to ensure the company remains ahead of the curve.
It is crucial for passwords to be complex, incorporating uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers, while avoiding dictionary words. Additionally, it is important to encourage employees not to reuse passwords across multiple sites. Here are some steps that businesses can take to ensure their employees use strong and secure passwords:
- Employee education
- Don’t share passwords
- Get a password manager
- Change password regularly through business wide policies
- Make passwords stronger
- Use two factor authentication
Lack of employee training
In 2020, Marriott Hotels & Resort experienced an internal compromise where hackers accessed two employee passwords, resulting in unauthorized access to 5.2 million private records. Unfortunately, it took two months for Marriott’s cybersecurity systems to detect the breach, highlighting the importance of regular regulatory compliance and cyber security training to prevent such incidents from occurring. With third-party assessments and consultation such as Oreta’s Cyber Training and Awareness solution, Marriott Hotel & Resorts could have reduced the chances of the breach overall.
Insufficient network segmentation
However, by dividing a large network into smaller sub-networks through network segmentation, the attack surface is reduced. This segmentation isolates network traffic within the sub-networks, impeding lateral movement. If a network perimeter is breached, the sub-networks act as barriers, preventing attackers from spreading laterally throughout the entire network. With cyber-attacks growing increasingly sophisticated, network segmentation becomes a vital measure to limit the impact of an attack by making it more challenging for cyber criminals to navigate through your network.
Lack of patching
Lack of back-up and recovery plans
Without a backup and recovery plan, organizations lack a clear understanding of recovery times (recovery time objective or RTO) and recovery points (recovery point objective or RPO), both of which are crucial in the event of an attack. RTO represents the maximum acceptable downtime for an application, computer, network, or system following an unforeseen disaster, failure, or similar event. On the other hand, RPO defines the acceptable period within which an enterprise’s operations must be restored following a disruptive event.
Failing to proactively plan for these contingencies exposes businesses to greater losses and long-term consequences, including diminished customer loyalty and damage to brand reputation. Therefore, having a backup and recovery plan in place is essential for safeguarding against potential disruptions and minimizing the impact on the organization.
Cyber-attacks pose a significant threat to businesses and organizations of all sizes, with cybercriminals showing no discrimination. Recognizing the signs of vulnerability in your IT infrastructure can help you take proactive measures to protect your systems and sensitive data. By identifying weaknesses, implementing robust security measures, and training employees in security best practices, you can reduce the risk of a cyber-attack and mitigate potential damages. It is essential to stay informed about the latest threats and security trends, regularly review, test, and update security plans such as Incident Response Plans (IRP), Business Continuity Plans (BCP), and Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP). Remaining vigilant is key to ensuring the ongoing protection of your IT infrastructure.
If you want to be proactive rather than risking on having to be reactive with your security, contact us now and have a no obligation chat with out security team.
Find out more on Oreta’s cyber security services here.