Lately it seems data breaches are becoming more commonplace. Hardly a week goes by without the media reporting about a nation’s government or another business suffering major data breaches. Why is this happening so often? What is contributing to all these data breaches? There are many “would be” hackers out there with varied motivation. Out in the world wide web, you have various nation states, organized criminals, hacktivists, malicious insiders, foreign agencies, and green hat hobbyists potentially trying to breach your systems. Whether they’re trying to influence an election or stealing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for profit, they are breaking into your network. The why and the how of these breaches is that it is now, more than ever, easier to hack. Both on the dark web and surface web, there are a proliferation of tools that can be used to create viruses and malware. In addition to the proliferation of hacker tools out there, our lives are becoming more intertwined with Internet technology than ever before. The Internet of Things is everywhere! A study by Comscore suggests that over 1/3 of US smartphone users download at least 1 app/month. Couple the proliferation of all this tech, with the fact that the same e-mail and passwords are being re-used across platforms, makes it easier for hackers to break in. Once hackers get a hold of one password for one app, they get them all! According to Kevin Lancaster of ID Agent, 81% of US adults re-use the same password on multiple sites! Considering the average number of accounts registered to a single email address is 85, that is a lot of accounts someone can access with one email and password. It seems inevitable that at some point in time, a breach of your network will occur. There are some things you can do to try to help mitigate the risks. Don’t Re-use Passwords and Consider Two-Factor Authentication Obviously not re-using passwords will help. With all the account information we’re expected to remember, the task is hard. To make long passwords easier to remember, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advises that people use passphrases. Think of a phrase you would easily remember. An even better solution is two-factor authentication. “Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) is a type (subset) of multi-factor authentication. It is a method of confirming a user’s claimed identity by utilizing a combination of two different factors: 1) something they know, 2) something they have, or 3) something they are.” Beware of Phishing Email Scams Phishing is a cyber-attack where web pages are made to mimic trusted sources to gain users’ trust and have them enter their personal information. In most cases, users click on a link in an email, which will redirect them to a false website that is only intended to capture their information. Learn to spot phishing scams. Look at email headers to verify senders, or simply highlight links to show the true domain name. Cyber insurance Just like you would have business insurance in the event of theft or fire, cyber insurance is becoming more prevalent to help protect you in the event of a breach. While the insurance itself does not guarantee that you will be free of hacks, it can help lessen the financial liability that comes with a breach. Many businesses are also looking at cyber insurance to further protect themselves from financial risk in the event of a breach. Vulnerability and Remediation Management Vulnerability monitoring requires companies to perform scans of their systems to validate its security environment. These scans, often performed annually, can identify critical, high, medium, and low-risk vulnerabilities. Some vulnerabilities will need to be resolved before a company can be considered compliant with a standard; others may not need to be resolved immediately if the risk is considered low enough. Taking steps to eliminate a risk is vulnerability remediation. In addition to running these types of scans more often, a risk-based approach makes use of contextual information about your systems and networks, such as the device type, the applications and services running on it, and its status as a critical or confidential asset on the network. Using this information can help you make informed decisions about which reported vulnerabilities need to be fixed immediately — and which ones can wait. By prioritizing the vulnerabilities, you can change a daunting task of remediating thousands of items to a much more manageable and rewarding task. By employing a risk-based approach, you know that the items you’re addressing will have a real impact on security. And when a risk-based approach to remediation is incorporated into continuous vulnerability management, your security infrastructure will be automatically augmented. Breach Readiness as a Service (BRaaS) What would your organization do in the event of a data breach? Would your organization be prepared to answer questions from government and the general public? BRaaS (Breach Readiness as a Service) will help your organization mitigate the effects of a breach and reduce the turnaround time in informing the authorities and the public. Uzado’s BRaaS offers customers a proven proactive approach to prepare for a breach. The service forces organizations to set up goals, including protective, deterrent and preventative measures. From setting up policies and procedures, response teams where individuals will be assigned specific roles, and establishing the required channels of communications are things to look for in a breach response service. Dark Web Services Is your Personal Identifiable information available for sale on the dark web? What about your business’s top-secret credentials? Using a Dark Web Monitoring Service can help you find out if your domain (.com) credentials are available on the dark web. You may even discover that there are “Zombie accounts” out there from legacy employees that have not been disabled. Uzado’s Dark Web Finder monitoring service can help your organization identify compromises, provide reports on compromised data, monitor logs, to allow for tracking and triaging of any incidents, create effective policies and procedures to minimize risk, detect patterns before turning into trends – using the intelligence to keep your organization more protected, and proactively monitoring networks to catch and respond to threats immediately. Are you worried about a phishing attempt breaching your business, Train your employees to spot phishing attempts and protect your data.