Blog: Cybersecurity

Building Cyber Resilience: Lessons Learned from Cyberattacks

September 26, 2023 - by Synoptek

In 2023, the global average cost of a data breach reached USD 4.45 million, marking a 15% increase over the past three years. The 2023 Las Vegas Casino attacks serve as a striking example of this escalating threat landscape. Attacks like these offer a huge learning lesson for every company operating in today’s competitive business landscape. Read on as we shed light on why incidents of cyberattacks are rising and the lessons we can learn from recent cyberattacks.

Building Cyber Resilience: Lessons Learned from Cyberattacks

What is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber resilience refers to an organization’s ability to sustain intended outcomes despite challenging cyber events, such as cyberattacks, natural disasters, or economic downturns. It combines business continuity, information systems security, and organizational resilience.

Why is Cyber Resilience Important?

Cyber resilience helps protect sensitive data, ensure operational continuity, maintain customer trust, and mitigate financial and reputational risks associated with cyber incidents. By implementing proactive measures, organizations can minimize the impact of cyberattacks and maintain essential business functions.

Are Cyberattack Incidents Rising?

According to Check Point Research, cyberattacks increased 38% in 2022. And there are many reasons for this!

  • Continued expansion of the hybrid work model is causing a surge in the number of unsecured endpoints and networks accessing corporate information.
  • Employees working from various central and remote locations have substantially increased the attack surface.
  • Growing security skills gap is weakening the security posture of many organizations, making them extremely vulnerable to modern-day attacks.
  • The increasing cost of cybersecurity tools and lack of in-house expertise is restricting businesses from making necessary investments.
  • Limited cybersecurity insurance coverage also puts organizations at risk of lost data and reputation.

Lessons Learned From Recent Cyberattacks

The best way to foil a cyberattack is to understand why it’s happening. Here’s what we can learn from recent cyberattacks:

1. Every Organization is Susceptible to Attacks, Regardless of Size 

Many smaller organizations assume they’re immune to cyberattacks as attackers only target companies with a larger customer base or higher revenue. But the 2022 Costa Rica ransomware attack banished this assumption. Despite being a small country of just 5.15 million people, over 30 government institutions were targeted by hackers. Not only was the government forced to declare a state of emergency, but it also had to shut down all its systems – causing losses of over $30 million daily! 

Smaller countries (and organizations) do not have as much budget or as many resources to thwart an attack and are hence an easy target for hackers. Therefore, they must engage with skilled Cybersecurity Consultants who offer a range of top-notch consulting and implementation services via a Managed Services model.

2. Insider Threats Are Just As Devastating as Attacks by External Hackers

Almost every organization today comprises a small percentage of unhappy current and past employees. But those displeased with company policies, pay, or manager relations are far more than just a disgruntled lot. Did you know? Over half of the organizations around the globe experienced an insider threat in 2022, accounting for nearly 35% of all unauthorized access threat incidents. 

Companies today need to take steps to increase insider threat awareness as well as put plans in place for quick remediation. They must build a robust cybersecurity maturity model to uncover existing risks and the steps they must take to improve security, agility, and responsiveness.

3. Vulnerability Testing Needs More Attention Than It Currently Gets

The security handbook of any organization is sure to have vulnerability testing as one of the core elements. Yet, it gets far less attention than it deserves. One of the largest cybercrimes to have ever happened, the Equifax data breach demonstrated how a simple security exploit resulted in the private records of over 165 million customers being compromised. 

Although a lot has changed in the cybersecurity landscape over the years, lessons from the breach are still relevant for most enterprises. Effective threat hunting, for instance, is a great way to manage and maintain your risk management strategy. It can help quickly and accurately identify and neutralize vulnerabilities while limiting the potential for system compromise. So is executing a zero-trust architecture, implementing security patches as and when they are available, and establishing strong policies for data management and governance.

4. Cybersecurity is Not a One-Time Activity but a Continuous Process

Organizations that think they are protected against cyberattacks just because they have implemented a bunch of modern tools are highly mistaken. With businesses growing, market trends evolving, and customer needs changing, there is a pressing need to make cybersecurity a continuous process. Last year’s CommonSpirit Health attack revealed how threat actors gained access to portions of its network and exposed the personal data of over 620,000 patients. Unauthorized third-party hackers gained access to certain files, causing IT outages, EHR downtime, and hundreds of appointment cancellations, leading to over $150 million in losses due to business interruptions, insurance recoveries, and other expenses. 

Investing in Managed Cybersecurity Services can ensure 24/7 monitoring and management of your technology infrastructure. Skilled professionals can help you build a culture of security, implementing tools and systems that address risks unique to your organization. They can ensure the security of your networks, apps and endpoints and help keep pace with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

5. Identity and Access Management Is Not a Luxury but a Bare Necessity

In today’s day and age, where attacks have become so frequent, organizations must update their Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies. Weak passwords and poor credentials can be extremely costly for businesses. In the recent Las Vegas Casino attack, threat actors breached the casino’s systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in their IAM provider’s client, who was connected to the organization’s directory and accessed passwords. Subsequently, they launched ransomware attacks on over 1,000 ESXi hypervisors after failed negotiations. 

Building a zero-trust culture, conducting frequent system audits, and implementing cybersecurity measures like multi-factor authentication are a few ways of improving your IAM posture. Adding additional security layers can not only streamline user access, but they can also minimize the chances of data being compromised.

Cyber Security Assessment With Synoptek

As the global average total cost of a data breach touches $4.35 million, now is the time to learn from the mistakes of others and safeguard your business against cyberattacks. Learn how opting for cybersecurity assessment services can make your technology infrastructure resilient to attacks.

Contributor’s Bio

brandon woolsey

Brandon Woolsey

Cybersecurity Professional Services Manager

Brandon Woolsey is the Cybersecurity Professional Services Manager at Synoptek. He excels in owning system performance, security, and strategic alignment. With a project management focus, he prioritizes IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, and risk mitigation. His credentials include an MS in Information Security Management, numerous certifications, and expertise in process improvement (Six Sigma, Agile, SOX, etc.).

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