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HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR NETWORK HAS BEEN BREACHED

Even with advances in cybersecurity technology, organizations still struggle to detect and resolve breaches. This article provides tips on detecting data breaches and mitigating their impact on your network.

COMPANIES SLOW TO DETECT BREACHES

The volume and sophistication of cyber threats is growing exponentially. So is the cybersecurity market, with experts predicting that growth in global cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion between 2017 to 2021.

Despite the heightened focus on cybersecurity, most organizations still fail to detect breaches on time. In 2015, the average gap between time to compromise and time to discovery was 77 percent. Recent research by Verizon shows that time to discover continues to be measured in weeks or even months—while time to compromise is gauged in minutes.

HOW CYBER CRIMINALS EXPLOIT VULNERABILITIES

Some of the top network vulnerabilities include outdated and un-patched systems, as well as old infrastructures that weren’t designed to handle modern-day cyber threats.

These vulnerabilities are at risk of exploitation by outsider threats like reconnaissance and social engineering attacks; as well as insider threats from employees’ inadvertent missteps, and bad actors who capitalize on loose authorization privileges to steal or compromise sensitive company data and IP.

Other risk factors included advanced forms of malware designed to remain dormant until it’s the right time to strike. Cyber criminals have started encrypting malware to keep it hidden. And security experts now know that most of the large organizations that recently reported data breaches—like Yahoo!, for example—were infiltrated as far back as 2013 or 2014.

RECOGNIZING INDICATORS OF COMPROMISE

Most organizations now accept the reality that data breaches are inevitable and the only realistic way forward is detecting and resolving irregularities as soon as possible to prevent or contain damage. This involves establishing a baseline for network access, traffic and operations and constantly monitoring for red flags including:

  1. Inferior network speed and performance
  2. AV or security software not functioning normally
  3. Login errors
  4. New open ports
  5. Failed patches
  6. New, unknown APIs
  7. Traffic to and from unknown IPs

PREVENTION IS THE BEST POLICY

Prevention is the best policy to protect your systems, data and business from the harms of network breaches. Performing regular cyber threat assessments provides visibility into your vulnerabilities and assets so you can target your cybersecurity, accordingly. It evaluates all the factors that impact network security and performance including weaknesses in your cybersecurity infrastructure and policies, peak network usage times, and the apps and devices connecting to your network.

Our partner, Fortinet, offers a free online cyber threat assessment including a risk reduction blueprint for maximizing network security and efficiency. It’s a great place to start. A managed security services provider, VLCM can monitor your network ongoing to detect breaches and prevent attacks from wreaking havoc in your environment. Contact us.

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