Three Steps To Secure Your Organisation Against Cyber Attacks

Brought to you by Renelis Mulyandari    

In 2024, a business without a website may as well not exist at all. However, it’s not enough to simply set up an online presence. Your site has to be sufficiently robust and secure to endure the wave of cyberattacks sure to come its way. 

These attacks continue to rise year on year, and can cause significant harm to your organization’s operations, reputation, and finances. In fact, US businesses now declare cyber risks the biggest overall threat to their performance. 

For greater resilience in the face of these threats, it’s important to build up adequate protection. Here are three of the most crucial ways in which you can fortify your enterprise’s online presence.

Employing Security Best Practices

Many cyber threats, such as data breaches, account takeover (ATO), ransomware attacks, social engineering, and insider threats, face your organization and could impact your ability to sustain normal functionality. However, the good news is that preventing them is within your grasp. 

ATO threats, for example, can be averted via robust security practices like strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and role-based access control. Your organization can prevent data attacks through SSL/TLS encryption, and control malicious web traffic by web application firewalls (WAF) like CloudGuard and website malware scanners like SiteLock’s malware removal tool.

Meanwhile, you can address any security vulnerabilities that emerge in the applications you’re using by applying security patches or software updates. Configuration issues can be resolved through vulnerability scanning tools such as APIsec, AppScan, and Sentinel.

When addressing social engineering and insider attacks, organizations must provide adequate cybersecurity training for all employees, empowering them to detect and mitigate attacks. For example, if a website administrator receives an alert about a newly discovered SQL injection vulnerability and fails to update their CMS software in response, their website may stop functioning.

In this way, the first step to robust cybersecurity is simply to stay on top of all controllable security factors. This will prevent avoidable vulnerabilities and enable you to mitigate the impact of any further attacks.

Protecting Against Brand Impersonation

Brand impersonation and spoofing is a major problem regularly encountered by modern businesses. Threat actors, aided by generative AI, can duplicate an existing website or make one up (for a company that does not have an official website). Through these fake sites, they can then defraud customers, steal customer data, or spread damaging misinformation at the expense of a business. 

Most organizations are largely defenseless against brand impersonation attacks, because they seldom have adequate mechanisms to identify all of the impersonated sites. Additionally, the process of taking down the illegitimate sites can take time. The average takedown time frame is ten business days, but there are some instances where it can take up to eight weeks or longer.

The first step in effective brand impersonation protection is awareness: it’s hard to defend yourself from a threat you haven’t noticed. To this end, you can use tools like Google Alerts to get quick updates whenever a page associated with specific keywords or topics - for example, your brand name or other unique identifiers - goes online. When you receive an alert about a fraudulent site, you can request that the page be taken down or take legal action against the perpetrators of online activities that misrepresent your brand.

However, there are tools that make this process easier and more convenient. For example, website impersonation protection solution Memcyco offers a way to keep track of website spoofing attempts and warn customers if they are interacting with a fraudulent site, which is crucial to minimize damages while the fake website’s takedown request is still being processed. Memcyco also shares details of the attack to the company, including complete visibility into the attack, attacker, and each individual victim. Brands typically have little transparency into impersonation fraud, so these insights are rare and help to prevent further attacks and data breaches before they occur.

Ensuring Uninterrupted Online Presence 

Another threat to your online presence is disruption - if your website goes down, you will lose out on potential sales and customers. On average, companies lose around $5,000 per hour of downtime or interruption, and this is before we take into account other financial consequences such as customer churn and reputational damage. It’s impossible to eradicate website availability disruption entirely, but it’s crucial to reduce downtime as much as possible.

One of the key causes of website interruption is the quality, or lack thereof, of your web hosting service provider. It is important to choose the right web host, preferable with high availability at a rate of 99.9% or higher. Your web host should have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, along with infrastructure redundancy so they can restore availability smoothly whenever technical issues arise. Additionally, they must have a reliable load-balancing system to keep up with surges in web resource demand or traffic.

Another cause of website interruption is distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Your web host might already have its own DDoS defense system, but having both enterprise-run and web host-operated DDoS protection is possible and even advisable. A multi-layered approach in fighting denial-of-service attacks is a boon for decreasing website downtime.

Moreover, if you serve customers in diverse geographical locations, it’s smart to use content delivery networks like Cloudflare. They help improve webpage loading times, as well as cushioning the impact of server issues when meeting the needs of users in varied locations. 

In summary

It may be easier than ever to create a website, but it’s more difficult to keep one running. Brand impersonation, denial of service, and the exploitation of avoidable or controllable vulnerabilities threaten all enterprises with an online presence. 

To confront these challenges, you need to implement best practices and use high-quality tools. This kind of proactive cyber strategy will enable you to plug security gaps, detect threats before they occur, and reduce the impact of any that are able to slip past your defenses, thus strengthening the online security of both your business and of any visitors to your site.

Image: Pexels

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