Cyber intelligence has always been of vital importance, but recent developments have made it even more urgent to have accurate and timely information about potential cybersecurity threats.
Grow your business
Not your inbox
Stay informed and subscribe to our daily newsletter now!
July 23, 2021
Read for 5 minutes
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Although there have been many positive developments in work practices over the past year – such as the rise in home working guidelines and other flexible work arrangements – one of the biggest drawbacks has been the rise in hacks, ransomware attacks, and other cybersecurity issues. It affects companies of all sizes.
There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most important is the inaccessibility of traditional IT teams. Employees have resorted to DIY approaches to troubleshoot safety issues and maintain their work equipment. This opens up security loopholes on the Internet for hackers that can be exploited. The rise in cryptocurrencies has also made it easier for ransomware attackers to go away with payments. Even though victims paid more than $ 406 million in cryptocurrency to attackers in 2020 – and the number will likely be that high this year, according to Bloomberg – this is not all hope. With the right cyber intelligence strategy and implementation, you can minimize the damage to your business.
Related: Every small business owner should know how to ward off cyber attacks
Employee / partner engagement
Work has to start here. Cyber Threat Intelligence is the information companies collect about cybersecurity threats, attempts and successful attacks that can help them improve the company’s situational awareness and response to all types of cybersecurity threats including malware, ransomware attacks, insider exploits, espionage , Hacktivism, cybercrime and other emerging threats. Although the word “cybercrime” conjures up images of a man in a dark hoodie and sunglasses angrily typing on a computer to defeat software defenses, most attacks result in exploiting human behavior in so-called social engineering.
This can range from phishing emails to fake customer service calls. The bottom line is to ensure that anyone with any kind of access to your company’s computer systems is thoroughly trained to identify, document, escalate, and neutralize cybersecurity threats. This can be achieved through training and testing for staff, including providing a detailed manual of what to do in each situation. For vendors and other businesses, you need to conduct a thorough cybersecurity due diligence to ensure they have adequate safeguards in place to prevent attacks that could compromise your systems.
Related: How To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks
Collect and analyze data
Often times, a seemingly harmless anomaly can precede a widespread attack that can result in your business being held for ransom. It could even be such a small suspicious email with an attachment that an employee checked and then deleted. To ensure that you cover all of your basics, the manual and training you give your staff must require them to report any anomalies they find so that you can have a full view so you can take the corrective action required.
In addition to getting information from your employees, it is important to leverage other sources of information such as government and private organization cybersecurity databases. Do your homework when choosing a cybersecurity provider. Make sure that the provider will assist you in recovering from losses such as As mentioned earlier, cyber criminals today are extremely clever at hiding their identities and stolen assets. Still, vendors like CNC Intelligence have developed techniques to use the data gathered from customers and other sources to identify the beneficial owners of the criminal system and to locate recoverable assets with high accuracy.
Related: Fighting Ransomware in the Age of Covid
Cooperation with other players in the industry
Today, most economic sectors have ISACs (Information Sharing and Analysis Centers), where those responsible for the cybersecurity of their companies interact and share information and strategies to mitigate common threats. It is crucial to be an active participant in these forums as they essentially multiply your chances of becoming aware of an emerging threat or pattern of attack before it reaches you. The criminals also cooperate, as the “malware supermarkets” and tutorials in black hat forums show. Cybersecurity experts who share tactics can access a collective pool of knowledge when countering a threat, increasing the chances of success.
If your company operates in an industry or location that doesn’t have thriving forums to share cyber intelligence, you should take the lead to establish one. Collaborate with representatives from other companies and agree on parameters for exchanging information so that everyone benefits without compromising proprietary information. The benefit for everyone involved justifies the effort.