Presented by Secureworks

Be your own enemy – 3 keys to cybersecurity success

By Taariq Gaffoor, Territory Manager at Secureworks, South Africa.

As you pursue success in the digital economy, you inherently increase your exposure to cybercrime.

That’s why the estimated cost of ransomware to organisations globally was $20 billion USD in 2021 according to Cybercrime Ventures.

Those costs will only continue to climb in the foreseeable future.

Therefore, every organisation must determine how to best defend themselves against our adversaries —given real-world limitations on cybersecurity budgets and headcount.

Cybersecurity solutions and practices are many, but there’s one common thread that weaves through the best practices of cyber defense.

The best way to stop our adversaries, it turns out, is to be one yourself.

Here’s how:

1 – Subject yourself to adversarial testing

We make lots of assumptions about how well our cyber defenses work.

But until those assumptions are tested by a live attack, we can’t be sure that they’re valid.

That’s why adversarial testing is essential. The right adversarial testing partner will use the same tactics as a criminal to probe your defenses and pinpoint your weaknesses.

Just as important, adversarial testing reveals what kind of damage an actual cybercriminal could do once they get past your perimeter defenses—and how long they can move laterally through your environment before you detect them.

2 – Translate your adversarial learnings into prioritised cyber defenses

Adversarial testing does more than just demonstrate that your environment can be breached.

The right testing partner will also reveal exactly how you can be breached and what specific actions you need to take to address your existing vulnerabilities.

Many weaknesses require inexpensive solutions. You may, for example, have an issue with administrative credentials fixed by simple permission changes.

Others may require judicious investment—such as implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) – so that you don’t entirely depend on singular passwords, which rarely offer sufficient protection.

Given your limited budget, make sure you prioritise your most problematic vulnerabilities first.

Yes, it would be bad if someone got into marketing’s content management system.

But those consequences pale in comparison to what would happen if your customer data got hit by a ransomware attack that also encrypted your backup data.

3 – Continuously update your defenses based on the latest threat intelligence

Cybercriminals continuously improve and refine their tactics.

That’s why you need a mechanism that rapidly translates discoveries about new cybercrime tactics into precision defenses.

The best current technology for actively converting new threat intelligence into new threat detection is Extended Detection and Response (XDR).

XDR extends your team’s insight beyond conventional EDR (endpoint detection and response) to include your networks and cloud-based assets.

This extension is vital, because you must be able to detect the telltale digital breadcrumbs today’s high-stealth attackers leave behind throughout your environment.

XDR thus dramatically decreases the amount of time our adversaries can move undetected inside your environment.

That speed of detection, in turn, dramatically reduces your organisation’s risk of a costly cybercrime event.

Consider adopting this combination of adversarial testing and XDR.

Our adversaries, after all, keep stepping up their game. It’s probably time for you to do so as well.

Click here to download Securework’s free e-book.

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Be your own enemy – 3 keys to cybersecurity success