Insights 30 January 2023

Prompt Responses to Cyber Attacks!

Like a coin, technology has two sides. The more merits and impacts technology has on everyday life and business, the more cyber threats it poses. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that cyber threats are a grave concern for worldwide organizations regarding the growing damage they cause. Damage from cyber attacks is expected to reach US$6 trillion in 2022 and US$10.5 trillion in 2025, showing an average annual growth rate of 15%. The big question is how much your organization is ready to cope if it falls victim to such an attack.

Hackers’ frequent strategies

The main goal of cyber attacks is money. They happen in considerable forms ranging from basic attacks to complicated ones. Bluebik Titans has gathered them here!!

  • Ransomware – Hackers use it to halt operating systems and demand the ransoms that attacked organizations must pay to have their data and operating systems unlocked.
  • Business Email Compromise (BEC) – It is used to trick victims into transferring money or doing financial transactions. Targets are the organizations that have international business and trade and communicate by English emails.
  • Data theft – Personal data, important data and classified information of organizations are stolen for ransom or sale in dark web marketplaces.

Doors left open to hackers

Hackers usually start their attacks on weak points to penetrate into the systems of organizations and wait to take advantage of them and damage them. Their attacks can happen in many forms:

  1. Organization-targeted – attacks aimed directly at organizations
  2. Vulnerability-targeted – attacks made at the discovery of weak points
  3. Malware-infected Host – the infection of malware rampant on the net.

3 responses to cyber attacks

Normally cyber attacks are detected by system administrators after they greatly damaged and affected organizations which then have to use considerable resources to urgently handle the situations. Most attacked organizations face such problems when they do not have a cyber incident response plan or a practical response plan.  Caught off-guard, attacked organizations are too confused to know what they should do, what are the responsibilities of those in charge and how internal units should communicate. Such problems may compound their damage.

Bluebik Titans have handled cyber attacks with organizations in many industries and found that most organizations wanted to solve only the problems that caused damage and did not conduct any in-depth investigation into the incidents. Consequently, they can overlook the circumstantial evidence which may indicate previous incidents and be related to detected attacks. Then they will not see the causes and the weak points that hackers used for their attacks. Such flaws result in repeat attacks in no time.

1) The analysis of incidents and relevant information – This is one of initial responses to a cyber attack. It includes investigation into security alerts, the assessment of observed damage and initial response activities to contain problems and damage. Then specialists will gather evidence for the sake of the proper and complete collection of evidence. They will also analyze information from relevant sources. The process is based on digital forensics and starts from the proper and complete collection of evidence and data that can be used for in-depth analysis. The collected evidence can be legally-admissible evidence which points to wrongdoers.

2) The planning of elimination and its procedures – Once a root cause, the indicator of an attack and an attack path are identified, an attacked organization can plan steps to remove a hacker from its information system, block channels and delete tools and programs used during the attack. Also, an attacked organization should have a plan to improve security and close technical and procedural loopholes in both short and long terms to keep all the cyber risks related to the attack at a tolerable level (Risk Appetite).

3) Detailed reports on incidents – Responses to a major incident should include a detailed report on it for internal and external supervisory organizations as required by laws and business regulations. There should also be a detailed report on incident analysis to share the data that can be used for legal action.

Information technology departments should no longer have sole responsibility for solutions to cyber attacks. High-level executives of organizations should also share the responsibility and give support because decisions on issues concerning cyber security must be made in an instant and no one can tell when their organizations will fall victim. The truth of the matter is that cyber attacks damage organizations at their business, finances, reputations and legal affairs.

If you have any inquiries about effective responses to cyberattacks or are under such attacks, please feel free to contact Bluebik Titans at [email protected].