SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

How to make a business ‘invisible’ to hackers

By Contributor
Wed 9 Feb 2022

Article by Comodo Security A/NZ vice president, Greg Wyman.

Critical to every organisation is how to stop a cyber-security breach AND the damage it causes and do so within available budgets.

Organisations of all sizes need to have the ‘right’ security to ensure that hackers bypass their business and attack another victim. This process is often referred to as making a business ‘invisible’ to hackers.

In the rush to enable work-from-home as quickly as possible, many users connected to the internet via unsecure home WiFi. This has created a unique opportunity for hackers and attackers to breach and infect.

The situation is potentially even worse, as these infected machines are then taken back to the office and plugged directly into the corporate network from behind the firewall, giving hackers direct access into the entire network.

Every week we hear that another multi-national has been breached, their data stolen, a ransomware attack launched, and customers being extorted. This makes headlines because of the size and severity of the breach, but these are not the majority of attacks.

Small to medium businesses are under the greatest risk of cyber-attacks, as typically they have only basic AV (Anti-Virus) or NGAV (Next Gen Anti-Virus) and perhaps EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) products installed – making them ‘easy’ targets for hackers and malware.

A small business is often not a victim of a targeted attack by a hacker, but using a hackers ‘spray and pray’ mythology, they are looking to infect as many (small) businesses as possible – it is quite simply a volume game.

The more businesses they infect, the more chances they will make money. In recent times, ransomware demands start at $US50,000 to $US100,000, even for micro-businesses with just a handful of computers.

Hackers look at the economics – it is harder to breach, steal data, and launch a ransomware attack (worth typically between $2 to $10 million) against an organisation spending hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on cyber-security. A large enterprise may even have a SOC (Security Operations Centre) with a dedicated team of security experts constantly watching for signs of intrusion 24/7.

On the other hand, it is relatively straightforward for a hacker to infect 10, 50 or 250 small businesses with just basic AV and charge them $50,000+ each. In fact, every 10-seconds another victim is infected with ransomware, as reported by Infosecurity Magazine. So that must raise the question, just how effective is your cyber security product in protecting you?

The reality is that it is mathematically impossible to be 100% breach-proof, regardless of how much is invested in cyber-security. There are quite simply too many attack vectors, and when combined with the ever-increasing capabilities of attackers, it becomes problematic.

Even the inexperienced attacker can now ‘hire’ a SaaS model for ransomware on the Dark Web. It is called Ransomware-as-a-Service, and it starts from just $100 per month, making it daunting for customers and MSPs alike.

The premier issue is that hackers can evade detection by traditional AV and NGAV products, essentially opening the doors and windows to a hacker to discover what the business has, steal its data, and launch a ransomware attack.

All is not lost; we simply need to go back to basics, understand the new issues, and put in place affordable solutions to minimise those issues. The objective for a small to medium business is to become as ‘invisible’ as possible to a hacker.

This involves moving from ‘old school’ detection-based cyber-security products to prevention-based solutions designed to stop the damage caused.

The following example is focused on small to medium businesses with limited budgets and minimal specialist security skills. But, of course, the same solutions can be deployed in medium to large organisations combined with additional layers, as they are under more targeted attacks and need extra layers of defence as the attacks are more focused and targeted.

The three pillars of a prevention-based cyber-security solution to help make a business ‘invisible’ are:

  • Know what you have and which devices/applications have vulnerabilities that a hacker can exploit. Objective: Close the doors and windows to make it harder for a hacker to see and exploit the business. Run continuous, always-on vulnerability scans across your internal and external network.
  • Understand what data is regulated, private and sensitive, its value, track how it moves, where it flows in and outbound with optional encryption of the data once it is no longer actively required by the business. Objective: Once breached, the vast majority (often exceeding 96%) of data that a hacker steals has been encrypted, and it has zero value to the hacker.
  • Deploy prevention-based security to replace ‘old school’ detection-based AV and NGAV products that stop ALL unknown malicious files from writing to the disk. Objective: Stop the breach before the infection occurs without impacting productivity.

Now, a business may not be totally invisible, but a hacker will find it exponentially harder to breach it, and the objective is for them to move on to the next victim. As a guide, each basic layer should cost less than $5 per endpoint per month, with options available if more advanced protection is required.

Article by Comodo Security A/NZ vice president, Greg Wyman.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
VPN
Palo Alto Networks says ZTNA 1.0 not secure enough
Palo Alto Networks is urging the industry to move to Zero Trust Network Access 2.0 because previous versions have major gaps in security protection.
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Infoblox's State of Security Report spotlights Australian remote work hazards
Attackers exploit weak WiFi, remote endpoints, and the cloud, costing 50% of organisations over $1.3 million in breach damages.
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Remote Working
Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues
SOTI's new report finds better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.