Securing the office remains a more critical responsibility than ever. Cyber risks continue to be a leading worldwide threat to businesses. In 2022, cyber risks were the top fear of business leaders, and according to the Allianz Risk Barometer, the threat of ransomware attacks, data breaches, or significant IT outages was more problematic than business and supply chain disruption or natural disasters.
Cyber concerns rose to the top concern for only the second time in the Allianz Risk Barometer’s history. Even more worrisome is that cybercriminals can penetrate 93% of company networks, betanews.com notes. Going back to 2021, businesses suffered 50% more cyberattack attempts per week, according to darkreading.com.
Likewise, according to a recent email threat report, 58% (~130 million) of the nearly 230 million malicious emails scanned utilized nefarious content, and 42% (~95.7 million) of these emails contained malicious links. Also, 90,000 of the 5 million malicious attachments were detected with behavioral-driven monitoring. Cybercriminals are using malicious content to trick victims into performing an action, such as approving or submitting a payment, which is significantly more challenging to detect.
With the increasing reliance on technology and the rise of cyber threats, businesses must adopt comprehensive cybersecurity measures to protect their operations, data, and reputation. There are several components of a successful, robust office security strategy. These are endpoint detection and response (EDR), managed detection and response (MDR), and email security solutions.
Endpoint security with EDR
To begin, it’s essential to understand what endpoints are in a business environment. Endpoints encompass all devices connected to a company’s network, including computers, mobile devices, and servers. Securing these endpoints is paramount to prevent cyberattacks.
An EDR solution goes beyond traditional antivirus software. It provides real-time threat detection and incident response capabilities. Unlike static antivirus solutions, EDR leverages behavioral analysis and machine learning to detect sophisticated threats that may evade conventional defenses.
EDR solutions offer a range of features, including:
• Threat detection: Continuously monitor endpoints for suspicious activities.
• Incident response: Enable real-time responses to security incidents.
• Forensic capabilities: Provide detailed information for post-incident investigations.
By implementing EDR, businesses significantly enhance their endpoint security, reducing the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats.
24/7 monitoring and detection with MDR
MDR services continuously monitor and detect threats within an organization’s network. This proactive approach is essential in today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape. MDR teams engage in proactive threat hunting, in some cases, using advanced techniques and threat intelligence to uncover hidden threats. By identifying risks early, businesses can mitigate potential damage.
MDR providers play a crucial role in incident response and coordination in a security incident. Their expertise and 24/7 availability ensure a rapid and effective response, minimizing downtime and financial losses.
SMBs with constrained resources and a team lacking a deep understanding of cybersecurity find it hard to ensure their business operations are free from malware and other threats. Couple that with the increasing cost and complexity of managing various solutions that tend to create “alert fatigue,” and it only increases inefficiencies and delays in incident response times when faced with actual threats.
MDR allows the security team to seamlessly track and monitor threats around the clock to provide security monitoring, advanced attack prevention, detection, and response.
Email as a vulnerability
Email is a common vector for cyberattacks. Phishing attacks, where employees may unknowingly click on malicious links or provide sensitive information to attackers, have been a significant source of cybersecurity incidents. These attacks are often successful because they exploit human behavior.
Phishing emails accounted for a significant portion of data breaches. Many phishing emails now utilize QR codes as a primary attack method, diverting users to a phishing page. The increased use of QR codes suggests that users are increasingly aware of traditional email-based attack techniques, such as malicious links or attachments, forcing threat actors to switch to more unconventional methods.
Email security solutions employ content filtering and link analysis to detect and block phishing emails. Businesses can avoid data breaches and financial losses by preventing employees from falling victim to phishing attacks. These solutions scan email attachments for malware and prevent data loss by monitoring and controlling the transmission of confidential information. Encryption and authentication mechanisms further enhance email security.
Email protection solutions can sometimes flag users before sending an email to ensure the sender sends the message to only the intended recipients.
Addressing common vulnerabilities
In addition to EDR, MDR, and email security, it’s crucial to address common vulnerabilities that can compromise office security, such as:
• Insider threats: Insider threats, whether intentional or unintentional, are a concern for organizations. They can result from malicious actions by employees or contractors with access to sensitive data or systems. They can also occur because of negligent or unaware employees making errors that expose the organization to risk.
• Unpatched software: Employees who do not keep their software and systems up-to-date can inadvertently create vulnerabilities that attackers exploit, often because of negligence or lack of awareness.
• Weak passwords: Weak or easily guessable passwords commonly cause security breaches. Employees who use weak passwords or reuse passwords across multiple accounts put their organization at risk.
• Social engineering: Social engineering attacks often target employees through manipulation or deception. Employees not adequately trained to recognize and resist these tactics can become unwitting accomplices in cyberattacks.
• BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): The increasing use of personal devices for work can introduce security risks. Employees must follow proper security practices on their personal devices to avoid exposing their organization to vulnerabilities.
Securing the office is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a combination of advanced cybersecurity measures. Endpoint detection and response, managed detection and response, and email security solutions each play crucial roles in safeguarding an organization’s digital assets.
As cyberthreats evolve, businesses must invest in comprehensive cybersecurity strategies that include these technologies and address common vulnerabilities. By doing so, they can protect their operations, data, and reputation in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. Be sure to act now to fortify your office’s defenses and secure your digital future before a cyberattack occurs.