Technology has vastly improved the way businesses can do business. Whether that means interacting with their customers or efficiently working together within their organization. Tech makes it easier than ever for businesses to be able to scale, add functionality, speed, and communication. On the other hand, it also brings big cyber security risks to the equation.
As businesses continue to rely more and more on technology to operate, it has led to more frequent attacks on data. This leads to thinking about how to measure security risk within your organization.
Analyzing cybersecurity risks is a very specialized and technical service that can be seen as a credit score. When a bank analyses a person’s credit history, they are essentially assessing the risk of giving this person a loan. Businesses can obtain cybersecurity ratings in the same fashion. But what all goes into your organization’s assessment?
How to Measure CyberSecurity Risks
There are two important methods that can be used to measure cybersecurity risk which we’ll go over. The first we’ll go over is what is known as IP Reputation.
What is IP Reputation?
The IP Reputation method monitors malware traffic from honeypots, or systems setup to lure cybercriminals into thinking they have found a non secure network, and creates a database of organizations based on IP addresses. This method is known to have its issues for effectively providing accurate data due to the following reasons.
- There are many ways attackers can access public networks offered by organizations and therefore tainting the originating IP address. Criminals can access the internet through guest wifis, computer labs, internet cafes, etc and often use the organizations IP address range. This doesn’t always tell the true story of a company’s practices or their security measures.
- Attackers can often use redirections to “spoof” where the source of the malware is coming from. A VPN is a classic example of this.
- Companies with large networks can often own over a million IP addresses making tracking the attacking IP source meaningless.
- Small to medium organizations can often share public IP address spaces through an internet service provider which also render the tracking of the source IP extremely difficult to accurately capture.
Using IP Reputation to accurately measure cybersecurity risks heavily depends on being able to accurately log specific IP addresses to know how to manage or deal with possible attacks to your business. Failing to understand how IP reputation works can lead to big security vulnerabilities by assuming you have properly managed risks.
Being able to track where malware attacks are coming from is only one of the many faces of cybersecurity however. If IP Reputation was accurate enough to be considered a safe enough method to reliably assess an organization’s cybersecurity, there would still be other ways an attacker can infiltrate your data. Cyberattacks through malware play an important method of cyber criminals in their tool box but there is a bigger cause to business’s data breaches and outages. Misconfigurations.
A cybercriminal successfully hacking into organizations causing data breaches and service outages occur less frequently than you think. Most of the successful attacks happen due to organizations using default security settings or network configurations that unknowingly expose important business resources to risks. Believe it or not, it’s as easy as someone forgetting to switch your organization’s sensitive data to private instead of public on a cloud server.
Cybersecurity resilience method takes every last one of an organizations’ domains, websites and internet facing assets and analyses their internet footprint. What is analysed to measure an organization’s cybersecurity risk?
The first thing that is checked is server configurations. Do they use best practices? Are there important misconfigurations that leave an organization vulnerable to cyber attacks? Next, your service provider will look at your organization’s internet footprint and determine whether your cybersecurity efforts address possible and known threats.
The most dangerous cyber threats for each digital service vendor is often known and can easily be assessed using the cybersecurity resilience method. These include, but are not limited to
- Encryption methods. Is your vendor providing the best protection so that your data isn’t getting intercepted?
- Can your service provider easily get spoofed? This can allow attackers to easily trick people within your organization through phishing to either leak data or money.
- Open ports. Vendors must ensure their ports are safe and are only being used by authenticated users.
- Outdated software. All vendors must constantly patch outdated software to continually address cyberattack loopholes.
- Your vendor should compare your IP blacklist to google’s malware blacklist to ensure your organization’s safety.
As you can see, the two major methods of measuring cybersecurity risk have their pros and cons. Using both methods is also an option and is often used by businesses to ensure their cybersecurity has the best changes against any type of threat.
JTD Partners offers services on how to measure cybersecurity risks. Please contact us for more information.