Top Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities to Keep an Eye On

Bineesh Mathew | March 31, 2022 | 232 views

Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities are prevalent in all types of businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop shops. The basic fact is that there are far too many risks to counteract all of them adequately.

According to Kaspersky Lab, a leading antivirus company, “The number of new malicious files processed by Kaspersky Lab’s in-lab detection technologies reached 360,000 a day in 2017.” This contributes to 250 new malware threats every minute.

When it comes to cybersecurity threats and network vulnerabilities, malware is not the only thing to be worried about. Hackers can steal your data and sensitive information.


Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities: The Difference

To put it simply, vulnerabilities are weaknesses or flaws in a system or network that could be exploited to bring harm or allow an attacker to manipulate the system in some way.

This differs from a cyber-threat. Computer system vulnerabilities are the weaknesses and flaws present in the system, unlike a cyber threat. Cybercriminals will also use these flaws in their attacks, but they aren't usually the result of a deliberate plan. I short, vulnerabilities lead to cybersecurity threats.

How a computer cybersecurity vulnerability is exploited is determined by the nature of the exposure and the attacker's motivations. For example, these problems could be caused by software programs that don't work well together, system parts that don't work well together, or flaws in a single application.


Top Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities of the Year


Internet of Thing Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) includes many smart devices, such as Wi-Fi-equipped refrigerators, printers, factory robots, coffee makers, and countless other appliances. The challenge with these devices is that attackers can use them to create slaved networks of compromised devices to carry out additional attacks. Worse yet, many firms are unaware of how many IoT devices they have on their networks. This means they are unaware of the risks and possible threats they are exposed to, as well as the vulnerabilities to information security.

These unknown devices provide countless opportunities for attackers and increase the vulnerability risk in cybersecurity for corporations.

To reduce the network security threats and vulnerabilities of IoT devices, a security audit should be conducted that identifies the diverse assets of the network and the operating systems they use. In this manner, the company's cybersecurity plan can effectively account for these IoT devices. In addition, audits like these should be done regularly to account for any new devices added to the network over time.


Phishing Attacks or Social Engineering

In a phishing attack, the attacker tries to persuade an employee of the targeted organization to divulge important information and account credentials by prompting them to download malware. The most common attack is through identical emails from one of your company's vendors or someone from a higher level.

One such example of a phishing email is: "This is Mark from IT. Your user account has shown unusual behavior. Please click this link to reset and secure your password." When you click the link in the email, it directs users to a website that downloads malware and compromises their machine. Other phishing scams may try to get people to handover their user account credentials to the attacker to resolve a problem.


Malware

New malware is generated regularly. The figure of 360,000 new malware files every day may appear alarming. Many of these new malware files are simply rehashes of earlier malware programs that have been tweaked just enough to make them unidentifiable to antivirus software.

However, numerous new types of malware have been developed over time, such as ransomware, trojans, and worms, each uniquely affecting the target's systems.


Security Vulnerabilities That Are Unpatched

As new sophisticated threats are produced regularly, companies have to find sophisticated ways to tackle them perfectly. Malware is looking to exploit the same cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities repeatedly. Failing to patch those cybersecurity vulnerabilities, once they're discovered, it can be dangerous for companies.

It's all too usual for a company—or even individual users on a network—to ignore the ‘update available’ warnings that appear in some programs because they don't want to waste the 5-10 minutes to perform the update. These updates can save a company a lot of time and money and save from threats. Thus, it is good for companies to update programs regularly.


Backdoor Programs that Are Hidden

This is an example of a computer cybersecurity vulnerability that was purposefully engineered. Usually, a backdoor is a piece of software or code that is installed by the manufacturer of computer parts, software, or entire machines. This allows the manufacturer to access a computer remotely for diagnostic, configuration, or technical support purposes.

A hidden backdoor program installs a backdoor into a computer without the knowledge of the user. Secret backdoors are a significant software flaw because it is easy to gain unauthorized access and affect the computer system and the networks to which it is connected.


Employees

The employees working for an organization are considered to be cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Most data breaches can be traced back to an employee due to intentional mistake or an accident.

Employees, for example, may take advantage of their access credentials for personal gain. Alternatively, an employee could click on the wrong link in an email, download the wrong file from a website, or give the wrong person their user account credentials, giving attackers simple access to your systems.

Using a least privilege policy, for example, prevents users from having too much data at once, making it difficult for them to steal data. Another benefit of cybersecurity awareness training is that it helps employees recognize phishing and other social engineering-style attacks and not fall for them.


Software or Programming Interfaces With Unknown Security Flaws

Computer software is complicated to comprehend. The complexity of a system grows exponentially as two or more programs interact with one another. The problem is that there may be programming flaws and conflicts inside a single piece of software, resulting in cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. When two applications are linked together, the chance of disputes that result in software flaws increases.

Programming errors and unexpected code interactions are the most frequent cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals constantly seek new ways to exploit them. Unfortunately, forecasting the emergence of these threats and vulnerabilities to information security is not possible because of the infinite number of software combinations that can exist on a single computer, let alone an entire network.


3 Ways to Find and Prevent Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities

Identifying vulnerabilities in cybersecurity before an attacker can exploit is one of the essential steps in preventing a security breach. Many firms, however, does not have the tools and expertise to identify network security threats and vulnerabilities.

Here are some ways to find threats and vulnerabilities in information security:
  • Audit Your Network Assets
  • Penetration Testing
  • Create a Threat Intelligence Framework


Summing Up

Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities have become too sophisticated as our dependency on digital technologies grows. It is because of this companies that use outdated cybersecurity techniques are at a risk of being hacked. Organizations must improve their cybersecurity program to avoid risks. An effective cybersecurity program can assist firms in preventing attacks, reducing recovery time, and containing future risks.


Frequently Asked  Questions


What do you mean by cyber threats and vulnerability?

Vulnerabilities are gaps in a system that allow threats to occur and let threat actors take advantage of the data. It is called a threat when the chance of an attack is multiplied by the possible loss.


What are some of the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity?

Network vulnerabilities, operating system vulnerabilities, human vulnerabilities, and process vulnerabilities are some of the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity.


What is the difference between vulnerability and threat?

A threat is a process that increases the possibility of an adverse event, such as a vulnerability being exploited. On the other hand, exposure is a flaw in your infrastructure, networks, or apps that could expose you to threats.

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Synoptek

Synoptek offers IT consulting, managed IT services, cloud services, and on-premise IT management as well as 24×7 end user support for improving business results. With over 500 employees and more than 2000 active customers in the United States and abroad, Synoptek provides comprehensive information technology management services and support. Over the past four years, Synoptek has been consistently recognized for thought leadership and growth as confirmed by industry awards including recent recognition as a tier-one Total Service Provider by MSPmentor's World’s Top Managed Services Providers in 2017, and the #11 Cloud Services Provider by the Talkin' Cloud Top 100 Report.

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OneLayer | November 14, 2022

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Exabeam Introduces New-Scale SIEM™

Exabeam | October 17, 2022

Exabeam, a global cybersecurity leader and creator of New-Scale SIEM for advancing security operations, today announced a groundbreaking cloud-native portfolio of products that enables security teams everywhere to Detect the Undetectable™. New-Scale SIEM is a powerful combination of cloud-scale security log management, industry-leading behavioral analytics, and an automated investigation experience. Built on the cloud-native Exabeam Security Operations Platform, the New-Scale SIEM product portfolio gives worldwide security teams the greatest fighting chance at defeating adversaries with advanced threat detection, investigation, and response (TDIR). The new product portfolio is generally available (GA) today. “Security operations teams have faced difficulty defending against complex threats and evolving adversarial behavior because technology innovation has not kept up in the realm where big data meets cybersecurity. “Exabeam is known for having the best behavioral analytics product on the market — it’s why so many of the world’s largest organizations count on Exabeam every day to help stop adversaries, including the majority now utilizing valid credentials. We are marrying behavior analytics with the world's most modern, hyperscale, cloud-native data lake to ingest, parse, store, and search data in real time from anywhere. The SIEM industry has been ripe for evolution for some time and New-Scale SIEM represents that evolution.” Michael DeCesare, CEO and President Exabeam Unmatched Performance Significantly more affordable than competitive offerings, the new Exabeam cloud-native product portfolio is built on an open platform that integrates with more than 500 different third-party products and includes nearly 8,000 pre-built parsers, greatly reducing onboarding, deployment, and run times. An industry-first, security teams can now search query responses across petabytes of hot, warm, and cold data in seconds. Organizations can now also process logs at sustained speeds of over one million events per second. “The Exabeam Security Operations Platform and portfolio of products are designed like no other on the market. We deliver the single solution security operations analysts can count on to conduct accelerated, thorough threat detection, investigation, and response (TDIR) with the most consistent and successful outcomes,” said Adam Geller, Chief Product Officer, Exabeam. “We provide security teams with a holistic picture of their environment –– data from core security products, IT infrastructure, and business applications joined with critical user and device context and timely threat intelligence data –– to detect what competitive SIEMs simply can’t. In addition to our industry-leading behavioral analytics, we’re proud to deliver world-class security log management and new modular SIEM solutions for organizations at all stages of their data growth and security journey.” Understanding Normal Behavior to Detect and Prioritize Anomalies Organizations can use Exabeam to defend against the rising threat of external and internal attacks that in today’s world are more often than not leveraging compromised credentials. More than 750 behavioral models power 1,200 anomaly detection rules in Exabeam to baseline normal behavior for every user and device. This is beyond anything a legacy SIEM can possibly create with correlation rules. For example, for an organization with basic logging, 20,000 users, and 50,000 assets, Exabeam can dynamically build and update 50 million unique detection rules. According to the 2022 Verizon DBIR, over 90% of breaches are rooted in compromised credentials. Whether it’s phishing, ransomware, malware, or other external threats, valid credentials have emerged as the adversaries’ primary target. This combined with explosive amounts of data demands a shift in investment from legacy on-premises, rule-based detections to cloud-native SIEM platforms that uniquely understand normal behavior, even as normal keeps changing. “It’s all about the credentials. Today’s announcement takes Exabeam, our customers, partners, and the SIEM market into an entirely new stratosphere,” said Ralph Pisani, President, Exabeam. “Detecting stolen or misused credentials –– and the abnormal behavior that follows –– is not possible without understanding normal behavior. If you don’t know normal behavior for every single user and device in your environment, understanding abnormal behavior in your organization is a near impossible undertaking –– this is a fundamental capability that only Exabeam can deliver on at scale.” Whether replacing a legacy product with New-Scale SIEM, or complementing an ineffective third-party SIEM solution by adding the industry’s most powerful behavioral analytics and automation to it, Exabeam can help organizations achieve security operations success. Exabeam customers are moving to and experiencing the benefits of New-Scale SIEM. “Exabeam is our holistic security operations platform that provides and coordinates automated visibility, detection, analytics, investigation, and response across our key operating environments,” said Jerry Larsen, IT Security Manager, Patrick Industries. “We have several ERP systems that all need to be protected and Exabeam does the job better than any legacy SIEM we looked at –– we’re excited to be an Exabeam customer and part of their innovation machine.” “At NEC Australia, securing our data, users, devices and infrastructure are paramount to how we operate as a technology company. Having broad and accurate visibility of our IT environment as well as the ability to recognise what’s normal behavior for our users and entities is key,” said Peter Fröchtenicht, National Service Manager – Security and Compliance, NEC Australia. “Deploying Exabeam’s SIEM has enabled our team to effectively prioritize security alerts, which has freed up time for our analysts to focus on other security tasks, whilst also having a greater understanding of our attack surface and how all our employees interact with our resources.” New Exabeam products include: Exabeam Security Log Management - Cloud-scale security log management to ingest, parse, store, and search log data with powerful dashboarding and correlation. Exabeam SIEM - Cloud-native SIEM at hyperscale with fast, modern search, and powerful correlation, reporting, dashboarding, and case management. Exabeam Fusion - New-Scale SIEM™, powered by modern, scalable security log management, powerful behavioral analytics, and automated TDIR. Exabeam Security Analytics - Automated threat detection powered by user and entity behavior analytics with correlation and threat intelligence. Exabeam Security Investigation - TDIR powered by user and entity behavior analytics, correlation rules, and threat intelligence, supported by alerting, incident management, automated triage, and response workflows. Exabeam architected its new security operations platform and New-Scale SIEM product portfolio on Google Cloud (NASDAQ: GOOGL). “We are delighted that Exabeam has built its platform and portfolio of products on Google Cloud to help more companies securely leverage their data at cloud scale,” said Gerrit Kazmaier, Vice President and General Manager, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence at Google Cloud. “The combination of Exabeam cybersecurity products with Google's Data Cloud capabilities removes limits on security team productivity, storage, and speed to fully optimize security operations.” About Exabeam Exabeam is a global cybersecurity leader that created New-Scale SIEMTM for advancing security operations. Built for security people by security people, we reduce business risk and elevate human performance. The powerful combination of our cloud-scale security log management, behavioral analytics, and automated investigation experience gives security operations an unprecedented advantage over adversaries including insider threats, nation states, and other cyber criminals. We Detect the UndetectableTM by understanding normal behavior, even as normal keeps changing – giving security operations teams a holistic view of incidents for faster, more complete response.

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DATA SECURITY, NETWORK THREAT DETECTION, PLATFORM SECURITY

AwareGO Launches Employee Cybersecurity Risk Audit for Organizations

AwareGO | October 17, 2022

Human cyber risk management and awareness company AwareGO announced today that during the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the company launches its long-awaited full Employee Cybersecurity Risk Audit and consultation. “Today, around 90% of all successful cybersecurity attacks involve employees enabling the break-in. It is therefore critical for anyone responsible for an organization's cybersecurity to have a clear picture of what employees know and how they behave in the face of potential threats. Only then is it possible to effectively respond with training or other risk-reducing approaches.” said AwareGO Chief Executive Officer Ari Jonsson, Ph.D. “AwareGO's Human Risk Assessment software is the first of its kind when it comes to measuring both the knowledge and the behavior of employees for a broad range of cybersecurity threats, going far beyond just phishing. This capability is allowing us to now launch our full-service Employee Cybersecurity Risk Audit for organizations. In this audit, our cybersecurity experts work directly with individual organizations to set up the appropriate assessment, execute it, evaluate the outcome and map that to effective risk-reducing decisions.” AwareGO is renowned for its industry-leading Human Risk Assessment and its uniquely effective approach to security awareness training. Created by cybersecurity experts, behavioral scientists and interaction designers, the Human Risk Assessment uses interactive scenarios to assess employees across a wide range of threat areas and key behaviors. The resulting dashboards and reports help identify vulnerable departments and roles, and offer actionable insights to create informed security strategies to improve any organization’s overall cyber defense and reduce cybersecurity risks. The Employee Cybersecurity Risk Audit is designed to apply the capability of the Human Risk Assessment as effectively and as efficiently as is possible for client organizations, so that they may quickly identify vulnerabilities among their employees and address them right away. The audit is conducted by AwareGO experts who will work with clients through the entire process. The first step is to work with the client to determine the scope and priorities for the audit, based on company structure, risk profile, security stance and more. Then, the employees will be assessed across six different threat areas: phishing; passwords; sensitive data handling; device handling; physical security; and remote work. When that has been completed, our experts deliver a detailed report on the results and consult with the client to identify potential next steps to reduce vulnerabilities, as well as to develop an informed cybersecurity strategy for the future — backed up by data. Organizations interested in the Employee Cybersecurity Risk Audit can schedule a 15-30 minute call with AwareGO through this web page to learn more about the process and to get a price quote based on the expected scope of the project for their case. About AwareGO AwareGO is a global provider of human cyber risk and awareness solutions that help enterprises, and SMEs identify, quantify and remediate the human risk factor when it comes to cybersecurity. To date, AwareGO has successfully trained more than 8 million employees worldwide. Based in Iceland, the company has locations in the United States, Czech Republic, and Croatia.

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NETWORK THREAT DETECTION,PLATFORM SECURITY,SOFTWARE SECURITY

OneLayer Announces Partnership with Druid Software to Provide Superior Security for Private Networks

OneLayer | November 14, 2022

OneLayer, a pioneer in securing private LTE/5G networks for enterprises, announced today that it has partnered with Druid Software, the leading global provider of private cellular network core software solutions for enterprise. OneLayer will be securing Druid Software's 5G private network domain, ultimately providing its clients, including system integrators, with a platform and the abilities they need to successfully deliver and support end-to-end cellular networks to the enterprise. Private cellular networks provide organizations with connectivity on a completely different level, including increased reliability, a dedicated bandwidth with capacity and range, no lag time, and connectivity of IoT and OT devices across vast areas. As organizations increasingly adopt these networks, they must consider a critical element of successful network deployment, namely, integrating the cellular network with the enterprise's existing IT network. To successfully accomplish this integration, organizations must keep the network secured, including both visibility and segmentation. Druid Software, a core cellular network software company, and OneLayer's partnership now provide a solution that removes the security concerns for Druid's clients. OneLayer is integrating its SaaS solution on Druid Software equipment, allowing for seamless security for any private LTE/5G network running on Druid Software's core. Its solution for securing private cellular networks will enable network security using a Zero Trust approach, asset management, cellular and IoT device fingerprinting, policy enforcement that allows network segmentation, and anomaly detection, amongst other capabilities, securing devices connected to Druid Software's core. "We are excited to be working with Druid Software as a strategic partner. In addition to providing a security solution for Druid, we have also included Druid's core as a part of our new 5G Security Lab. "By providing a much-needed security solution for Druid we are giving users the confidence to invest in adopting an LTE/5G network that has the potential to take their business to the next level. We feel this first-hand through our own implementations and research" Dave Mor, CEO and Co-founder of OneLayer "By adding this security solution which brings further essential capabilities for network protection we are addressing a market need for our clients and ensuring them the best and safest 5G or 4G offering to date," said Tadhg Kenny, Senior Vice President for Partnerships at Druid. "Our clients rely on Druid for the quality of its Raemis core network. Now with OneLayer's additional levels of security, we will be providing an even more comprehensive product to serve their business needs" About OneLayer OneLayer provides enterprise-grade security for private LTE/5G networks. Its platform and IoT security toolkit can be implemented in private cellular networks to provide better visibility, control and protection for organizations. The company was founded by world-class cybersecurity experts with a deep understanding of both cellular protocols and IoT security needs along with veterans from the IDF's 8200 and 81 intelligence units. OneLayer is backed by industry-leading advisors and has partnered with experts both in the cybersecurity domain as well as the telecom industry. About Druid Software Druid Software is a core cellular network software company based in Ireland. Established in 2001 Druid Software has evolved into one of the world's leaders in Private 5G & 4G Cellular technology over the last 20 years. Druid Software's RAEMIS™ platform is a mature 3GPP compliant 4G/5G core network, with unique features designed specifically for business and mission critical use.

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