How To Prevent a Cyber Attack In 2022

As cyber threat actors grow more skilled and sophisticated, cyberattacks have increased both in number and their impacts to affected organizations. Today, any organization could be the victim of a cyberattack, and the potential repercussions are significant. In 2021, the number of cyberattacks per week jumped 50% from the previous year, and high-impact attacks such as SolarWinds and Log4j revealed the gaps in many organizations’ defenses.

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Why Preventing Cyber Attacks is Important

Often, corporate security policies are centered on threat detection and response. After a potential threat has been identified, the security team investigates it and takes action to remediate the threat.

However, this defensive approach to security leaves the security team reacting to the attacker. As a result, the attacker may have the opportunity to cause significant damage, steal or encrypt sensitive data with ransomware, or take steps that make remediating the attack more difficult and expensive.

Focusing on threat prevention is a superior and more cost-effective approach to security. If an organization can prevent an attack from occurring in the first place, it eliminates the potential cost and damage to the organization.

4 Ways to Prevent a Cyber Attack

The best way to manage a cybersecurity incident is to prevent it entirely. Here are four steps that companies can take to improve their threat prevention capabilities:

#1. Practice Good Security Hygiene

Cybercriminals commonly take advantage of poor security hygiene within an organization. If an organization has gaping security holes in their digital attack surface or no internal threat visibility, then this only makes them easier targets. By practicing good security hygiene, an organization can make itself a harder target for an attacker and prevent future attacks. 

Some important security best practices include:

  • Patching: After a new vulnerability is made public, cybercriminals commonly scan the Internet for vulnerable systems that can be exploited. Installing patches promptly can help to protect an organization against these automated attacks.
  • Network Segmentation: An intruder commonly needs to move laterally through an organization’s network to achieve their objective. Implementing network segmentation with a next-generation firewall (NGFW) and intrusion prevention system (IPS) makes this lateral movement more detectable and preventable.
  • Continuous Monitoring: The alerts that security solutions generate are useless if they aren’t seen and acted upon. Companies should continuously monitor incident logs and alerts to enable rapid incident response.
  • Security Auditing: An organization should perform regular security audits and penetration tests to evaluate the organization’s current security posture and identify potential risks that should be addressed.
  • Least Privilege: Cyber threat actors commonly take advantage of excessive permissions and privileged accounts in their attacks. Limiting the permissions of users, devices, and applications to the bare minimum makes it more difficult for malware or an intruder to achieve their objectives.

#2. Deploy a Unified Security Architecture

The average organization has deployed dozens of standalone security solutions. Each of these solutions requires independent monitoring and management and generates many security alerts, overwhelming security personnel. Additionally, these solutions may have overlapping capabilities and leave significant security gaps.

A consolidated cyber security architecture is essential for effective cybersecurity. With a single, unified security architecture that covers all platforms — including networks, endpoints, cloud, and mobile devices — and addresses major threats, an organization can effectively enforce a consistent security policy and prevent threats across the entire organization.

#3. Address All Attack Vectors

One of the biggest advantages that an attacker has over a defender is that the attacker only needs to get lucky once to succeed, while a defender needs to protect against all possible threats. Cyber threat actors have a variety of different attack vectors at their disposal, including:

  • Phishing: Malicious emails or other messages could carry a link to a malicious site or an infected attachment.
  • Web Browsing: Web browser exploits or malicious files can deploy malware on a user’s computer, or a phishing site may steal sensitive data.
  • Vulnerability Exploitation: Attackers can exploit unpatched vulnerabilities to access or harm corporate systems.
  • Mobile Applications: Malicious apps have emerged as a leading threat to the security of mobile devices.
  • External Storage: Infected USB drives and other mounted drives can bypass perimeter-based defenses to deliver malware to an organization’s systems.

An organization’s cybersecurity architecture must include coverage for all potential attack vectors. Otherwise, an attacker can slip through a security gap to attack the organization.

#4. Keep Security Up-to-Date

Cybersecurity is a cat-and-mouse game as cyber threat actors try to develop new methods of bypassing cyber defenses. Cybercriminals regularly launch new attack campaigns that include new malware or novel techniques for accessing an organization’s systems.

With the constant evolution of the cyber threat landscape, keeping security solutions and threat intelligence up-to-date is essential. Without solutions that take advantage of the latest in cybersecurity innovation and intelligence about current threat campaigns, an organization can fall behind and be vulnerable to attack.

Prevent The Next Attack With Check Point Infinity

Companies face growing numbers of high-impact and expensive cyberattacks. To effectively manage these cyber threats, companies must focus on threat prevention by deploying strong, consolidated cyber defenses that protect all of their IT infrastructure. Learn more about today’s leading cyber threats in Check Point’s 2022 Cyber Security Report.

Check Point Infinity provides a consolidated security architecture that prevents the latest threats while improving the efficiency of an organization’s security team. For more information on how to prevent your organization’s next cyberattack and how Infinity can help, check out this whitepaper.

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