Hands of hacker with access denied message on laptop showing state-sponsored cyber attacks

Bulletproof Your Enterprise Cybersecurity Against State-Sponsored Attacks

Amid the global pandemic, state-sponsored cyber-attacks have worsened the uphill battle when the entire world faces diverse economic and health-infrastructure-related concerns.

Hackers working on behalf of a foreign government have led to widespread destruction as confidential data gets exposed, leading to losses worth millions of dollars.

Since most of the cyber-attacks were backed by nation-state actors, the primary purpose was to gain leverage in every possible aspect over the rivals.

However, amid the chaos, individuals and organizations became the victim and had to face damages, whether in terms of financial losses or brand image tarnishing.

One such colossal brand that became the victim of such attacks was Pfizer. The company compromised its vaccine data after the hackers sneaked into the network of EMA (European Medicines Agency).

Hence businesses must understand the importance of securing their networks through every possible means.

Here’s what needs to be done at the enterprise level to ensure bulletproof cybersecurity against state-sponsored attacks in the most uncertain times of COVID-19 and beyond.

Zero trust security – The pressing need

Today’s digital era has made it difficult for enterprises to differentiate what’s inside or outside their network, significantly when cloud and on-premise assets are quickly distorting.

Moreover, many organizations aren’t even aware that they’ve allowed unauthorized professionals to bypass their lines of defenses when they switched to cloud or even hybrid models.

The reason is- they didn’t understand the overall security mechanism of the newly-adopted architecture.

Here’s where zero-trust security comes into play.

This smart mechanism ensures no trust is provided to any user or device, whether inside or outside the enterprise’s network. Furthermore, permission is offered at every stage through robust identity verification and access management processes.

With SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) coupled with zero-trust strategies in place, an organization can ensure the maximum level of security as the company’s assets/resources can’t be accessed regardless of the network architecture.

This is what enterprises need at the earliest in an era where cybercriminals are quickly side-stepping different authentication layers.

Passwordless authentication and authorization

Most of the security breaches result from compromised credentials, which can be fatal for an organization.

Whether it’s phishing, malware attacks, or password spraying, attackers continuously explore new ways to steal passwords to access organizations’ sensitive information.

Once these attackers gain access to passwords, they quickly bypass the authentication barriers, and in most cases, these kinds of attacks don’t come to the enterprise’s notice until months.

Passwordless authentication and authorization can be a game-changer in overcoming these issues as it paves the path for a secure login without the hassle of securing user passwords.

Moreover, the passwordless login options are easier to use and implement, reinforcing the overall defense system against unauthorized access to sensitive information related to consumers and the enterprise.

Hence, there’s not a single reason for enterprises relying on old-school credential management mechanisms not to switch to passwordless authentication.

Getting privacy compliant (EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA)

For those who aren’t aware of privacy compliance laws- it states how organizations (regardless of their domain) meet regulatory & legal requirements for collecting, processing, and maintaining consumers’ personal information.

These privacy laws and regulations protect customers in different countries by ensuring consumer data is being handled appropriately.

Privacy compliances, including the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, have pushed enterprises to implement new stringent policies, reviews, and enhance focus to get better at detecting a breach continuously.

Also, getting these policies in place helps organizations improve the overall defense system and reinforce breach identification to minimize the loss at the earliest, especially in a state-sponsored attack.

So, how could a business get compliant with these regulatory compliances?

Well, businesses can leverage a consumer identity and access management solution that offers compliance to ensure consumer data isn’t compromised, and businesses can quickly safeguard their sensitive information.

Enhancing security awareness

As per stats, the primary cause of data exposures is a human error such as weak internal cyber-security, which results in record vulnerability.

Training employees regarding the latest trends in cybersecurity could be quite fruitful for a business as it may prevent any unauthorized access, whether through phishing attacks or social engineering practices.

It’s important for businesses to frequently organize cybersecurity training as attackers continue to explore new ways to exploit user identities to sneak into an enterprise’s network.

But the biggest question is- does it affect the overall defense mechanism against state-sponsored attacks?

Yes, undoubtedly!

The unintentional insider threat to a network by means of phishing techniques by state rivals continues to hinder the most informed defense systems just because of the negligence of an employee.

Hence, enterprises can lower the risk by regularly training and testing their employees regarding awareness and cyber hygiene.

Final thoughts

Many enterprises and individuals may become a victim of state-sponsored attacks as they are intended to reveal sensitive information of a particular state by targeting individuals that are directly or indirectly associated with government organizations.

The aspects mentioned above can be quite helpful for businesses in securing consumer identities and overall crucial business information by adding multiple layers of security that are hard to bypass in any scenario.