4 Important Safeguards You Need to Protect Against Today’s Sophisticated Cyberattacks

4 Important Safeguards You Need to Protect Against Today's Sophisticated Cyberattacks

Small businesses are a main target in cyberattacks. In 2018, there was a 424% increase in data breaches of small companies over the previous year. Nearly half of all data breaches target small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and they have far fewer resources to deal with the aftermath of an attack than enterprises.

83% of SMBs don’t have the capital to recover from a data breach or cyberattack.

Often, companies are caught off guard when they get hacked or find out they have a virus or malware infection because they have an antivirus. But unfortunately, basic antivirus solutions often can’t get the job done in today’s more sophisticated threat environment.

Hackers have long figured out how to get around the defenses of a signature-based antivirus/anti-malware tool. So, if that’s your only protection against threats, you’ll need to rethink your cybersecurity strategy.

Why is Signature-Based Antivirus No Longer Good Enough?

Signature-based antivirus tools use a database of known malware and other malicious files that their manufacturer continually updates. When a file or email attachment is being checked by that antivirus program, it looks for the signature in their “known threat” database. If it matches, the file is stopped and dealt with. If it doesn’t match anything in the database, it’s allowed through.

But… what if:

  • It’s a new (zero-day) threat that’s not in the database?
  • A phishing email uses a URL to a malicious site instead of a file attachment?
  • There is no file at all (in the case of “fileless” attacks)?

In all these cases, a basic signature-based antivirus is not going to protect you.

Protections You Need for Today’s Online Threats

For years hackers have worked to create more sophisticated attacks that can navigate around antivirus/anti-malware protections. Tactics used include using URLs instead of file attachments in phishing emails, sending malicious commands to legitimate Windows programs, like PowerShell (fileless attacks), and creating so many new malware variants per day that they can’t all be catalogued in a threat database.

Recent phishing and data breach statistics from PhishLabs and Symantec shows just how important it is to use more sophisticated tactics to combat these new threats.

  • 98% of attacks in user inboxes do not contain a malware file (they use URLs instead)
  • 2018 saw a 1000% rise in fileless PowerShell attacks
  • There is an average of 4,800 websites compromised with formjacking code each month

To properly protect your business network and ensure you don’t suffer a costly data breach, here are the types of tools that you need to replace a signature-based antivirus software.

Network Protection: Next-Gen Firewall with ATP

ATP or advanced threat protection is typically an indicator that your firewall includes advanced capabilities that will allow you to protect yourself against things like fileless attacks and zero-day threats that haven’t yet been seen or catalogued.

They employ a few different protections to catch these types of cyberattacks:

  • Application Whitelisting: This strategy only allows trusted programs to execute. Anything not on the whitelist cannot execute without express permission. This helps prevent zero-day malware from executing malicious commands.
  • Behavior Monitoring: Instead of looking for a signature on a file to match to a list of known threats, next-gen firewalls with ATP look for suspicious behavior of a file or program, which alerts them to a malicious presence.

Device Protection: Antivirus/Anti-Malware with AI & Machine Learning

There is a good chance that if you have an older signature-based antivirus solution that the software developer has already created a more robust version for new and emerging threats.

These more advanced antivirus/anti-malware solutions use artificial intelligence and machine learning to learn the behaviors of suspicious threats and do the same types of behavior monitoring as next-gen firewalls, but on a device level.

Email Protection: Anti-phishing with Sandboxing

Phishing attacks account for 80% of all cybersecurity incidents, so using strong anti-phishing protection can significantly increase your data and network security.

You want to use an email protection solution that includes sandboxing. What is that?

Sandboxing is a mechanism that creates a simulated version of your computer environment to trick a file into thinking it’s made it past your antivirus program. The software puts all email attachments in the “sandbox” to observe their behavior and see if they start acting in a malicious fashion. If they do, it quarantines them to keep them from harming your system.

Web Protection

Now that hackers have started using URLs to malicious sites more than file attachments in phishing emails, it’s more important than ever to use a solution that includes web protection, also known as DNS filtering. Some next-gen firewalls will include this capability.

What web protection does is safeguard your users when they accidentally click on a malicious link in an email or online. Instead of directing them to the dangerous site, it will redirect them to a warning page alerting them that the URL is malicious.

Do You Have All the Layers You Need in Your Security Strategy?

Quantum PC can help your business with all-in-one solutions that include all the safeguards you need to keep out even the most sophisticated and dangerous cyberthreats.

Contact us today to schedule a cybersecurity consultation. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.