While cyber criminals have plenty of motive for targeting large enterprises, public institutions, government agencies, and financial institutions, cyber security threats and breaches at small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly on the rise. All businesses offering digital and web based services are vulnerable to cyber threats. According to Trend Micro, SMBs were hit particularly hard in 2015, and accounted for approximately 45 percent of all cyber threats involving Point Of Sale (POS) malware.
Verizon’s Data breach Investigation Report 2016 determined that while no industry or organization or region was immune to data breaches, some of the Industries that seemed to have been a target of cyber threats more frequently than others include:
With smaller IT budgets, SMB’s don’t invest in adequate protection. There is a perception that cyber security breaches happen only to larger organizations. There is also the perception within SMBs that they dont have sensitive data worth obtaining or that they are too small to be worth the trouble. Many SMB’s believe that as long as they are compliant, whether it’s PCI Compliance, HIPPA, GLBSA, SOX, or others, that they are secure. As a result, most fail to both prevent and respond effectively when they are breached.
For an organization with limited financial and IT resources, the damage when it happens can be catastrophic. The reality is that while these organizations might be completely compliant, they can also be completely insecure and unprotected.
Before a SMB organization can protect its business from cyber security breaches, it is important first to understand what is a cyber security break, a cyber security threat and the types of threats & volnerabilities. Only then can an organization determine how to protect their organizations against cyber threats.
Cyber threat relates to the source of a particular attack. By analyzing and understanding threats, security policies and procedures can be created to protect against the various types of cyber attacks.
The most common types of cyber threats are:
- Malware (viruses, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, etc.)
- Phishing and Spear-phishing
- Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
- Privilege Escalation
- Distributed denial of Service (DDoS)
- Point of Sale Malware
A Vulnerability is related to a security flaw in the system. The system can be a software application, a device or a network that could lead to a successful attack. Testing for various types of vulnerabilities allows for constant monitoring of the various weaknesses and gaps in a system and also helps identify the types vulnerabilities that need to be addressed to protect against various cyber threats and attacks.
Common types of Vulnerabilities are:
- Injection Vulnerabilities
- Security misconfiguration vulnerability
- Identification and authentication vulnerability
- Sensitive data exposure
- Buffer overflows
- Insufficient communication or data encryption
- Insufficient perimeter security