As organizations around the world adjust to working from home, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of hacking attempts and malware attacks.
As of April 2020, more than 40% business owners have reported cyber-attack due to Coronavirus.
Although firms globally are taking steps to ramp up security, around 75% of business leaders are of the opinion that their COVID 19 security strategies are not completely aligned.
So, it becomes even more important that organizations adopt an efficient cybersecurity strategy to prevent hackers from exposing vulnerabilities in your business.
Factors Exposing your Business to Vulnerabilities
It is reported that more than 40% of cyber-attacks were Malware or Phishing related to Covid-19 during the last 12 months.
These are the major vulnerabilities that put your system at risk of similar attacks.
- Poorly configured systems.
- Using an unprotected network for system updates.
- Poorly planned architecture design and software vulnerability which cause almost 35% cyber-attacks on businesses.
- Making use of easy to guess password combinations for critical data.
Cybersecurity threats are mutating far more quickly in today’s age putting a large number of businesses and their customers at risk of losing critical data. No matter how many layers of security you add to your network, hackers may find a chunk someday and compromise the whole system.
IT Vulnerability Management: Need of the Hour
A pragmatic approach in this scenario would be to test existent gaps in your system which make them vulnerable in the first place. And VAPT is just the right tool as it identifies a wide range of threats as and when they arise. It consists of the following parts:
- Vulnerability Assessment (VA)
By conducting vulnerability testing, you can weed out risks to the functioning of your networks and systems. Vulnerability testing is used to identify all risks posed to your system without identifying whether they will ultimately lead to loss or not.
Steps Involved in Vulnerability Analysis
- Penetration Testing (PT)
Penetration testing is the process through which you can obtain an in -depth analysis of vulnerabilities arising in your system. It helps to understand which fault in your system’s architecture will affect it to what degree.
Steps Involved in Penetration Testing
Both Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing work together to strengthen your organization’s protection shield against malware attacks.
How VAPT is Ensuring an Organization’s Safety
Businesses globally are making use of VAPT tools to enhance their system security policy.
A software firm in Pune involved with power plants and irrigation work made use of VAPT service to study the server architecture implemented by them. Then logs generated by the mobile device and server were compared to obtain gaps in the security system.
Simulation of mobile system was conducted to find out further vulnerabilities. In the final step, re-testing of all risk components was performed to ensure that they have been mitigated.
Similarly, VAPT was also conducted by a package delivery site after its customer data got compromised. VAPT analysis on web servers of the company led to the discovery of several high level and severe threats which caused customer data leakage.
After VAPT, it was suggested that each customer’s session on the merchant website be handled properly. VAPT was also helpful for uploading of sample customer data and finding out how easy was it to download this data.
5 Common Myths about VAPT Debunked
VAPT is an important tool for mitigating security risks but the technology has not been widely adopted by SMEs yet. The reason can be partly attributed to myths surrounding VAPT. We debunk them here.
My company has firewall protection in place, so we are safe from the malicious intentions of hackers
Fact: Although firewall protection is a feasible solution against several online viruses and malware, it does not offer protection against all types of cyber-attacks such as online fraud which constitutes 40% of cyber attacks on businesses.
The functioning of a firewall is based on some pre-set rules and once a hacker figures out what these specific rules are, he or she can bypass it. By using VAPT tools, system administrators can analyse different threats which may compromise their firewall.
My website follows HTTPS protocol, so we’re not susceptible to attacks
Fact: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is an extension over Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is used for secure transmission of data over a network. But it only encrypts the data sent from one location to another and offers no security against malware and virus attacks. It is also not enough for protection against data breach, which accounts for top 5 reasons of cyber-attack on security systems.
Scammers can make phishing sites appear secure and attack firms using fake SSL certificates. For example you might get a mail that your email password is going to expire and attached would be a link to change it. Clicking on it will load a malicious program in your system.
Small and medium enterprises do not need an evaluation of their vulnerabilities
Fact: Many SMEs do not have a proper cybersecurity policy in place and as a result are the prime targets of hackers. Common cyber threats on small and medium enterprises such as Advance persistent threats (APT), Denial of service (DoS), Password attacks, etc. create a far negative impact as SMEs lack the budget and resources to nullify these.
Gravity of the situation can be understood from the fact that in 2019, almost 50% of SMBs in India reported a data breach in their system. Therefore, a pre hand knowledge of system vulnerabilities can minimize occurrences of system breach.
I don’t need to conduct VAPT for android and iOS apps
Fact: Mobile software is frequently compromised by ransomware, which constitutes 36% of all hacking attempts.
Security audit is a necessary step not only for websites but also for apps integrated within your system. Third party apps sometimes have an obsolete script which makes it easy for hackers to hack these apps and compromise your system.
Android and iOS apps may also have a host of plugins vulnerabilities. They are susceptible to SQL injection, which makes running malicious SQL statements possible.
I can avoid including third party vendors and supplier contracts from VAPT
Fact: Third party applications are at an increased risk of containing malicious software which can be harmful for your systems, especially for access control and data management.
Further if proper and frequent monitoring of third-party contracts and vendor list is not done, third party suppliers and vendors may not match up to the compliance standards. Thiswill further put your organization in a vulnerable position.
Our Approach to VAPT
Techjockey believes in creating a safe and secure environment for handling internal and external data. Our approach to VAPT is defined in the following steps:
- Define the scope of testing, including what company specific parameters have to be authenticated for risk mitigation.
- Check for access controls which are not limited to physical access through entry points but also electronic access to devices storing Techjockey’s data.
- Ensure that the authentication process is in place to avoid granting access to any unauthorized person.
- Ensure that no user other than the admin can intercept a password while it is being reset.
- Review all SQL commands to ensure that they are free of malicious actions.
- Confirm that all company sessions are secured end-to-end with no possibility of unwarranted access.
There is no better prevention than VAPT to avoid data breach in your system. The above-mentioned steps can be easily implemented by a small business to put in place a protective system that wards off trojan, malware, virus and phishing attacks.
Technology has made our life easier but at the same time has given birth to security issues which are difficult to mitigate. And as most of the organizations are working from home, maintaining previous standards of security is becoming tough.
Thankfully, VAPT services provide a holistic view of your network’s vulnerabilities and help to know which vulnerability may compromise your system. Such a tool builds the system's immunity against malware attacks and phishing and makes your cybersecurity policy robust.