How to Keep Cyberattack Encounters from Becoming Infections

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Think your business is immune to cyberattacks? Think again. We may not realize it, but there is an invisible barrage of digital attacks hitting us all the time.

In 2015, CBS estimated that internet users faced 1.5 million cyberattacks annually! “That number means there are over 4,000 cyberattacks every day, 170 attacks every hour, or nearly three attacks every minute.”

The same article goes on to say that businesses were attacked nearly 17,000 times a year, averaging out to 46 attacks per day or two attacks per hour. Paranoid yet?

It’s likely that you have faced dozens of attacks this week without even knowing it. Thankfully, there are safeguards to protect our web application security. For example, spam filters protect us from an onslaught of phishing emails and malware attachments every day; and antivirus programs sweep away digital bugs without us having to take any action.

Of course, these systems are far from foolproof. Here are a few techniques to improve your web application security and prevent cyberattacks from becoming cyber infections.

Breach Detection Tools

Let’s face it, breaches happen. According to TechCrunch, “among organizations with 5,000 computers, over 90 percent have an active breach of some sort at any given time.” The breach itself is a problem, but detecting and taking action in the few minutes or hours after are crucial to defending your most valuable data.

Regrettably, very few organizations are using breach-detection technologies; meaning some of the worst symptoms of an attack aren’t discovered or even understood until month or even years later.

Dropbox, for example, experienced a cybersecurity breach in July 2012. It was brought to the company’s attention after consumers complained they were receiving spam to email accounts only used for Dropbox. At the time the cloud storage company maintained that the breach was minor. However, the infiltration’s true scale was revealed in August of this year when it became apparent that more than 68 million account credentials had been stolen.

Target, similarly, didn’t detect a 2013 breach that let cyber crooks make away with 40 million stolen credit card numbers until the U.S. Department of Justice notified the company months later.

While it’s easy to blame the companies themselves (which are nonetheless victims in these scenarios) for missing these infiltration incidents, it’s not uncommon. According to research done by Verizon, less than 10 percent of breaches were discovered internally. The vast majority of incidents were discovered by law enforcement, fraud analysis or third-party investigation. In other words, far too late.

The solution lies in speedy identification and disruption of a threat before it causes significant damage. To diagnose threats quickly, you need real-time information and analysis of security events as they occur.

That’s why cybersecurity companies like Shape Security have specialized in advanced application cyber defense strategies to combat mobile and web application security threats. By understanding user behavior, many companies are learning to spot and deflect sophisticated automated attacks (including credential stuffing, content scraping or application DDoS) before companies are struck by fraud.

Savvy cybersecurity companies are marrying big data with behavioral analytics to understand users’ behavior patterns to differentiate real people from malicious attacks. By combining this with an intimate understanding of how hackers operate, we are finally able to block attackers in real-time before more significant damage occurs.

Detect & Disrupt

While you can reduce the number of cyberattacks encountered by avoiding suspicious emails, websites and downloads, the reality is that you are still being targeted dozens of times each day. Implementing the robust cybersecurity protocols above will protect your business from the most damning effects of infection.

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