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The accreditations your business needs to be cyber security certified

Cyber security is becoming an increasingly important investment for small to large-scale businesses, as the sector sees exponential growth in technology and digital transformation. Though for some, the advantages are unclear. Reports show that privacy and security are hard to prioritise with 72% of consumers and executives reluctant to invest in something that “feels invisible” like behind-the-scenes security. By outlining the many benefits, and impact, that information security accreditations and certifications can have in preventing the risk of attack, the investment is made worthwhile.

With the number of data breaches, malware infections and cyber attacks on the rise year-on-year, the demand for skilled cyber security experts and cyber-aware business leaders has never been greater. This bears the question: what skills and expertise do we need to excel in the complex world of cyber security? Besides experience, accreditation and certification are the answer. But these responsibilities fall not just to IT professionals and c-suite executives, but all company staff to combat growing threats together. Knowledge is power, and power is protection.

Undertaking the necessary means to become security certified will show potential clients that you’ve committed to taking the necessary steps to keep them safe. Customers can be reassured that the security within your organisation has a level of validation, showing that you are a trusted provider in the cyber security field. By adhering to a high standard of security measures, your business will be able to continue to support the scale and success of its solutions, administering protection when customers need it the most.


So, what are the top cyber security accreditations that businesses should be investing in?

To help protect your vital business data and operations, it’s worthwhile investing in cyber security certifications and accreditations to keep your workforce security smart. Though these are generally aimed at professionals with IT experience, there are also certifications in cyber security designed for business leaders with minimal knowledge. Online criminals know no boundaries – all the more reason to invest in cyber-upskilling within your business.

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed certification designed to increase cyber security within organisations, protecting them from falling victim to common cyber attacks. The requirements cover five main technical controls that aim to protect devices, internet connection, data and services. These include: software updates, firewalls and routers, malware protection, access control and secure configuration.

With two types of certifications – Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus – you have greater control over the level of protection you wish to invest in. With Cyber Essentials Plus your business will receive the added benefit of a more hands-on technical verification approach, involving the administration of vulnerability assessments for additional assurance.

The benefits of having Cyber Essentials are:

  • Safeguarding your business from 80% of common cyber attacks.
  • Greater opportunity to acquire Government contracts and win new business opportunities that require the certification.
  • Reassuring customers that you are dedicated to protecting your IT against cyber attacks and gaining a competitive edge in showing that you can execute this.
  • Attracting new clients with increased cyber credibility and reputation.
  • Having clear levels of cyber security outlined for long-term safety.

Note: In a recent announcement, the (NCSC) confirmed that updates would be made to the technical controls of its Cyber Essential scheme, coming into effect on the 24th January 2022. The updates will reflect the changes that businesses and governments need to adopt to remain cyber secure in the wake of increasing cyber crime. If your business has invested in Cyber Essentials, you may be affected by these changes. To keep your solution up-to-date, read more about update requirements in our recent blog here.

To find out more about how to obtain a Cyber Essentials certification for your business, visit the National Cyber Security Centre website here.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is recognised internationally as an information security standard, offering a best practice framework for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). The accreditation consists of 114 controls that can be used to better secure overall information security, protecting your most vital business assets like confidential information, brand image and other private details. Application of ISO 27001 is a fitting response to legal and customer requirements such as GDPR and potential security threats including cyber crime, data breaches, misuse, theft and viral attacks.

ISO 27001 has seen a 24.7% increase in worldwide certificates in 2020, thus highlighting its importance in maintaining information security compliance for businesses across the globe.

The benefits of the ISO 27001 certification are:

  • Showing your commitment to following information security best practices.
  • Providing your company with an expert evaluation of whether your critical, private information is adequately protected.
  • The ability to identify and treat security threats according to the level and type of risk that your business is willing to take and tolerate.
  • Meeting supply chain contracts that specify ISO 27001 as a must-have certification.
  • Peace of mind knowing that you meet necessary security laws (e.g. GDPR).
  • Improved customer and business partner confidence.

To find out how your business can achieve an accredited ISO 27001 certification, visit the International Organization for Standardization website here.

Certified Cyber Security Consultancy (CCSC)

If your company operates on a consultancy basis or provides these additional services, then you may benefit from becoming a Certified Cyber Security Consultancy. The certification aims at providing support on a variety of complex cyber security issues to government, wider public sector and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) organisations. Upon completion of the certification, consultancies can prove that their services meet the NCSC’s high-quality standard for specially tailored cyber security advice. Currently, consultancy companies can be certified to offer the following cyber services: audit and review, risk assessment, risk management and security architecture.

The benefits of becoming a CCSC are:

  • Receiving expert cyber security advice from a network of certified professional NCSC Assured Service Providers.
  • Exclusive access to member benefits with Tier 1 and Tier 2 options, such as an invitation to the annual CYBERUK event, priority NCSC support and quality management, membership of the Scheme CiSP group, an invitation to Master Class events or Community event workshops, and much more.
  • To show that your company meets the NCSC’s standards as a trusted cyber consultancy, acting in the government’s name

To find out how your cyber consultancy could benefit from additional support from industry professionals, visit the National Cyber Security Centre website here.

What certifications are available for cyber professionals?

A rise in cybercrime has generated an urge for cyber security professionals to join the sector. But the cyber security field is not easy to navigate, requiring candidates to invest in additional training and development. By increasing skill sets, individuals can arm themselves with the required knowledge to better understand how to defend against attack. With the implementation of certifications and accreditations, job-seekers and hiring employers can rest in the knowledge that career pathways are clear and businesses can be safeguarded by skilled workers.

By 2021, experts expect there to be 3.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs worldwide, one reason why thousands of professionals are turning their attention to cyber security.

If you’re seeking to recruit new talent to grow your workforce or searching for a role in cyber security yourself, here are the top certifications you should be looking for, as ranked by the most popular recruitment sites.

Advanced and intermediate certifications for cyber security / IT professionals:
  1. Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)
  2. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  4. CompTIA Security+ Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Beginner certifications for business professionals:
  1. UK Professional Development Academy – Cyber Security Beginner Certificate
  2. Lockcode Cyber Security – The Cyber Threat to UK Businesses Course
  3. Open University Open Learn – Introduction to Cyber Security Course
Our Solution

Having a compliant, industry-standard cyber plan in place can seem daunting if you’re just starting out, but it doesn’t need to be under our guidance. We’ll ensure your business is cyber security certified by selecting the right certifications and accreditations to undertake to meet specific security demands. The Infosec K2K portfolio of Policy and Process Assessments will help you to obtain the necessary accreditations to stay protected as part of a long-term strategy, not a box-ticking exercise. Take the next steps in protecting your business from the risk of cyber attack with the investment in industry-standard support and learning.

Find out how our specialist security assessments at Infosec K2K can keep your business protected for the long term. Contact our expert team!

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All you need to know about the Cyber Essentials update

Following the migration of office to home working and adoption of cloud technologies for remote collaboration, cyber criminals have identified even more vulnerabilities in which to exploit. So, with these rapid changes, we’ve had to advance existing cyber security strategies to deny these newfound opportunities for attack. And at the centre of our attention right now is the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Cyber Essentials scheme, with the power to combat 85% of the most common cyber attacks to eliminate threats for organisations across the globe.

What is Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed scheme, introduced by the NCSC, to help protect organisations from the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape and safeguard against common cyber attacks. By completing the certification, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to cyber security. The requirements cover five main technical controls that aim to protect devices, internet connection, data and services. These include software updates, firewalls and routers, malware protection, access control and secure configuration.

The two levels of certification – Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus – can help you determine the level of protection you invest in. With Cyber Essentials Plus you’ll receive the added benefit of a more hands-on technical verification approach, involving the administration of vulnerability assessments for additional assurance. Certification for both levels can be achieved through NCSC’s partner, Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises Consortium (IASME).

Why is it changing and what are the updates?

The scheme, reviewed by experts at IASME to ensure effectiveness, has released updates for 2022 to keep its five technical controls in line with evolving security challenges. Since its launch in 2014, this is the biggest major update to the technical controls, and it comes as no surprise, after businesses worldwide have had to rapidly adopt digital transformations mid-pandemic.

Home routers

Security has become a challenge since working from home, which led to an update in Cyber Essentials for home routers. Whilst routers were previously provided by the employer on-site, the shift to remote working and purchase of home routers has put them out of scope. Now, IoT devices must be protected with a firewall, rather than a home router (unless provided by their employer, then it will be in scope of Cyber Essentials). These changes can be easily met with the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that uses a corporate firewall, therefore transferring the boundary of the scope.

Cloud services

To meet the demands of remote working, cloud services have been fully integrated into the scheme’s update. Organisations will need to check that their existing services meet Cyber Essentials standards. Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SSaS) are now in scope, and so, organisations must take responsibility for user access control and the secure configuration of their services. Those taking charge of implementing one or more of the five controls within its cloud services must provide evidence of doing so to the required standard.

Password and multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Where we’ve adapted to using cloud services to access corporate information, so have cyber criminals, but they’re using it to launch attacks. To mitigate the risk of attack, we can use MFA as an extra layer of protection, which requires more than one verification method to access an account. Cyber Essentials have suggested four types of additional factors that may be considered: a managed enterprise device, an app on a trusted device, a physically separate token and a known or trusted account.

Critical updates

The new scope outlines that all high and critical updates must be applied within 14 days and unsupported software removed. All in-scope devices must be licensed and supported, and have automatic updates enabled. When updates become unsupported, these must be removed from devices. These device updates should be performed within 14 days of being released, in which: update fixes vulnerabilities are defined as ‘critical’ or ‘high risk’, updates address vulnerabilities with a CVSS v3 score of 7 or above, or if there are no details on the level of vulnerabilities being fixed.

Organisations can no longer be selective about which patches they use, as this can render them vulnerable, the extent of which was emphasised by a public cyber attack against a vulnerability in the Microsoft Exchange System. After developing from a complex state actor attack to a commoditised ransomware attack in just seven days, the update to Cyber Essentials technical controls concerning 14-day critical updates is justified.

To read the full list of Cyber Essential updates that must now be adhered to, find out more via IASME.

So, what’s next?

The updates to Cyber Essentials technical controls came into effect for new assessment accounts on 24th January 2022. Those undergoing assessments now, or before the date, will continue to reflect the existing technical controls, so in-progress certifications will not be affected. The NCSC has applied 12 months of grace for those needing to complete new certifications within the next 6 months. Though, if your Cyber Essentials is up for renewal after the 24th of January 2022, you’ll need to consider making the required changes to your existing cyber security solutions.

And, for those looking to invest in Cyber Essentials for their business, there’s no better time than now! With fresh new updates rolled out in January, the scheme is at its peak performance.

To take control of your vulnerabilities and find out what updates you’ll need to implement, contact our expert team at Infosec K2K. We’ll help you stay protected against rising cyber security threats. Get in touch!

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Cyber security best practices for remote workers

Though remote working has its many benefits, it does, unfortunately, go hand in hand with the increased risk of security breaches. With reports that nearly half (46%) of companies plan to implement a flexible, hybrid workforce in the future, it’s time to put our cyber habits under the microscope.

Cybercriminals will continue to hack, regardless. To them, every moment matters, whether we’ve suffered enough during the pandemic or not. The pandemic saw cloud-based systems for staff collaboration adopted en masse leaving many businesses vulnerable to attack from opportunistic cybercriminals that sought to target remote workers.

The rushed adjustment to new ways of working may have caused employees and organisations to overlook existing cyber security processes. And whilst having increased system vulnerabilities is worrying, it doesn’t mean that we’re all bound to fall victim to attack. It is avoidable and can be prevented. By adopting cyber security best practices, businesses can reduce, or even eliminate, the threat of an attack altogether.

Research shows that 55% of companies believe digital transformation will have the largest impact on workplace transformation, with 67% of companies stating that cyber security and data security is the highest priority. (Source: Infosys Knowledge Institute)

What is good cyber hygiene and why is it important for businesses?

Cyber hygiene relates to the processes and precautions that businesses take with the aim of protecting critical IT systems and keeping confidential data secure from external threats. By implementing good cyber hygiene, businesses are more capable of warding off system deterioration and avoiding security risks. Personal and business data will be kept safe by following best practices, by preventing malware, ransom, phishing attacks and more from breaching networks and devices. Maintaining good cyber hygiene also aids the maintenance of device functionality by reducing exposure to outside risks that could hinder performance.

But these processes and precautions don’t just consist of completing a few tasks or ticking multiple boxes – they form part of an ongoing routine that businesses should regularly adhere to. Having these procedures in place is highly beneficial for two main reasons: maintenance and security.

How staff and businesses can protect themselves remotely

Implementing cyber security best practices amongst your business and remote workers is much easier when you have an effective plan in place. These plans and processes can include, or be supported by sharing additional guidance material to keep online activity in check. For example, this could include privacy policies, support guides and most importantly, education and training.

Prior to drawing up cyber plans, businesses need to lay down the foundations of maintenance and security best practices for all employees to follow. It is the group effort that’ll make the difference in working together to safeguard the business as a whole.

Performing regular maintenance

If there’s a missing link in your IT software or systems, hackers will be sure to find it and take full advantage. Businesses will need to perform regular maintenance on their digital technologies to avoid this. This will ensure that IT software and systems are kept secure and stable, with the ability to operate effectively. Basic IT maintenance involves:

  • Performing updates – Often built into computer operating systems, undertaking regular updates is easy. In doing so, the software is kept up to date, improvements are made to computer security and any bugs are fixed. These updates will protect your computer and data from system issues and cyber security threats.
  • Installing antivirus software – If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea for employers to invest in antivirus software for staff devices. It just takes one click from an unsafe website for malware to be deployed onto your system. Perform regular scans to make sure your computer is running properly and data is kept safe.
  • Managing disk space – Software will stop working if your computer’s hard disk fills up. To avoid this and free up space, you can uninstall programs you no longer use and delete files you don’t need. Be sure to also clear up your recycle bin, where files go before they are removed from your device permanently.
  • Enabling backup and recovery – The last thing you want to happen is for important data to be lost entirely, or worse, stolen by hackers. External hard drives are a good way to store excess files in case of a breach. Make use of your Mac or PC internal backup software to protect your files. With cloud systems, work is backed up automatically.
  • Updating system patches – Patches are conducted to repair vulnerabilities or flaws within system versions, upgrades and features. These solutions are an investment that all businesses running large systems with lots of applications should consider, as patch management will scan, detect and fix errors to improve cyber health.
Enhancing security measures

Whilst predicting and preparing for future threats is difficult, by implementing enhanced security measures your business won’t be constantly on the lookout. By adopting security best practices, company devices and systems will remain protected. These top tips can also be applied to reflect our everyday digital habits and personal use of devices. To be smarter with security, we can adopt the following best practices:


  • Creating strong passwords – If a similar username and password combinations are used across different sites, this is an easy way for hackers to steal your information. By making sure each password is unique and difficult to crack, you can easily eliminate the risk of a data breach. Many sites now aid the creation of strong passwords by suggesting the use of at least 8 characters, a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. To help keep track of these passwords you can use a Password Manager.
  • Avoiding phishing – Staff should remain vigilant for phishing scams that distribute information from what appear to be legitimate sources in an attempt to steal your sensitive information, credentials or data. These can come in many forms – websites, adverts, texts, phone calls and emails. With just one click, malware can be automatically downloaded and installed onto your software, or by inputting your details, identity theft can be committed.
  • Using two-factor authentication – Though it can be a pain and slow login time, two-factor authentication creates an added layer of security by verifying your identity in at least two different forms. These include something you are (biometric recognition), something you know (password) and something you have (mobile phone). You’ll receive notifications of these login requests which helps in identifying if someone is trying to wrongly access your account or software.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) – By adopting this framework, businesses will be armed with the ability to identify users, authenticate said identities and authorise the appropriate access. Having IAM policies and procedures in place will help to avoid identity theft and granting wrongful access to sensitive information. Find out more about IAM in our recent blog.
  • Connecting to Wi-Fi networks cautiously – With remote working, it may be the case that you’ll be working away from the office or home environment from time to time. In this instance, it’s important to ensure you aren’t connecting to unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks as this will make it easier for cybercriminals to access your information.


Our solution

If you’re unsure how to get started, but want to ensure your remote staff and business assets are protected, we can help you to set the wheels in motion. Navigate the hostile threat landscape with support from our experts at Infosec K2K who’ll work closely with your IT teams to implement an effective cyber security plan that’ll help keep your hybrid workforce safe.

By keeping threats under control and data secure, your business operations can run smoothly under the guidance of our Security Operations Centre (SOC) that can identify potential system weak spots that could be vulnerable to attack. Our portfolio of solutions can support you at every stage of your cyber security journey, whether you’re going through a digital transformation, already have some solutions in place, or you’ve just been the subject of a recent cyber attack.

Discover more about how our expert solutions at Infosec K2K can keep your remote workers safe and protect what’s most important to your business. Get in touch now!

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Cyber Security 2022 Threat Forecast

Year-on-year, attack, breach and incident rates have continued to rise by 15% within the cyber world. In addition, PurpleSec reported that cyber crime is up 600% as a result of the COVID-19 fallout. As remote working left us more vulnerable to attack, hackers thrived off increased opportunities to strike. Going into 2022, we can expect cyber criminals to get smarter, more advanced and more efficient in finding ways to harvest our data, with attack rates likely to rise.

As 68% of business leaders feel their cyber security risks are increasing, this must be counteracted by recognising the benefits of investing in effective cyber security solutions to safeguard data, assets and systems this new year. To mitigate risk, we must be proactive.

Rising cyber threats in 2022

Cyber security risk management has become a prominent topic for board discussion in recent years, with many C-Suite executives now deeming it a top business priority. And it makes sense, following an escalation of malicious cyber incidents experienced last year, many of which were fueled by increased internet use during the pandemic. As 2021 was deemed the year of ransomware, following rampant attacks on organisations like Kaseya and Colonial Pipeline, the severity of cyber crime left board members realising the significance of investing in effective, ongoing security solutions. To understand what to look out for, let’s dive deeper into the rising cyber threats, trends and predictions for 2022.

Social engineering via social media

While we’re used to sharing personal information online, access to technology is becoming more widely available, as is the use of social media platforms. However this material can be taken advantage of once it’s out in the open. A harmless celebratory new job post to our close network can very easily transform into intelligent information for criminals to exploit, putting ourselves and business data at risk. Social media has become a treasure trove of easily-accessible information for online criminals to revel in; exploitation is simplified when social engineering manipulation comes into play.

So, what is social engineering? It is when a hacker plays on human interaction by using malicious activities to psychologically manipulate us into giving away sensitive information, compromise security, or transfer money. The emotional responses triggered can easily convince us to release private information to the aggravator. In addition, Chetan Conikee, CTO at ShiftLeftshares, comments on the disturbing AI advancements to social engineering methods, “Deepfake is a recently developed mechanism to create fake videos or audios, especially to create riots or to spread wrong information. Hackers use AI-based technology to create counterfeit videos by swapping people’s faces and modifying their speech.”

In September 2021, scammers posted a deepfake video featuring Oleg Tinkov, founder of Tinkoff Bank in Russia, calling on people to use the bank’s investment tools, promising to give every client 50% of the amount of investment as a bonus. Once the link was clicked, users were led to a fake website claiming to be the bank which requested personal information to be shared to receive the offer, leaving sensitive data in the hands of exploiting criminals.

Where the majority of cyber attacks are reliant on social engineering, we need to have a clear understanding of how to avoid these tactics for a breach to eliminate the risk, with phishing the most common form of attack. Remember, social engineering only succeeds when users respond with an action. If the request is ignored, we’ll be able to detonate the bomb-like attack. So, to stay safe, we need to think before we act.

Ransomware attacks through phishing

As cyber hack methods adapt and grow, some approaches have remained just as powerfully damaging, with the new year predicting a particular increase in ransomware attacks through its most common form, phishing. Ransomware attacks involve the encryption of malware onto systems, networks and devices to hold a victim’s information at ransom and deny access to critical files. Victims are threatened with demands for money in exchange for access, which is where phishing comes into play. React to the information and you’ll be caught in the crossfire of a smart phishing attack.

The National Cyber Security Centre reported three times as many ransomware attacks in Q1 2021 as there were in 2019 entirely. With research by PwC suggesting that 61% of technology executives expect this to increase in 2022, the attack method is becoming highly intelligent and lucrative. As an increasingly popular method of attack, organisations need to educate staff on how to implement good cyber hygiene (both at home and in the office) and adopt solid security plans to include effective prevention tactics to remove the threat entirely.

Internet of things (IoT) vulnerabilities

Technology intelligence across the globe is advancing every second, resulting in a demand for the newest gadget for both personal use and business development. So, as device ownership rockets, so does the number of internet-connected tools. Ericsson expressed that the rate of connected devices (IoT) is estimated to reach 18 billion by 2022. But, like anything, of course, it comes with risk. Cyber criminals are being granted easy opportunities to attack with increased device access points to secure digital systems.

For individuals, this could include an increased risk on household appliances as access to IoT is widespread across varied technologies. Whilst for organisations, attacks are widespread across industries, targeting the infrastructure of warehouses, farming, manufacturing and office based-businesses. IoT vulnerabilities are the root cause for many privacy breaches, resulting in huge legislative penalties for violation of industry-standard regulations, such as GDPR. Many devices are left vulnerable as they lack the necessary built-in security controls to combat attacks. These limited functions indicate a need to seek advanced protection methods with the help of cyber security providers who can safeguard our critical data and important assets.

Though hard to avoid with rapid usage rates, we can improve our experience with devices, technologies and mechanical inventory, and decrease the risk of attack, by using them safely and performing updates when necessary. It’s time to keep the villains astray.

Supply chain cyber security risks

Pre-pandemic, it’s likely that cyber security supply chains were an afterthought for organisations, with key stakeholders defined, relationships well-managed and processes running smoothly. But come 2020/2021, the impact of COVID-19 began to take its toll and production was hit hard by widespread delays and shortages affecting normal business operation. And this was no different for the digital world, as cyber supply chain problems became a critical issue at the heart of many business deliberations.

Cyber supply chains consist of a collection of technology resources, including cloud-based systems and internal on-site storage, software and hardware and methods of distribution. As cyber supply chains work within a digital landscape, points of attack are easily identifiable by preying criminals. Weakened links can generate greater chances of attack, where somewhere along the line vulnerabilities can turn to opportunities for criminals to exploit. By targeting just one key player in the operation, by infiltrating key systems and deploying ransomware attacks, criminals can bring the whole supply chain to an abrupt halt. This highlights the critical need for stakeholders to ensure security processes (like constant monitoring and risk analysis) are embedded in the early stages of cyber strategy, to avoid compromising business operations further down the line.

Such attacks have escalated by 650% since mid-2020, due to the infiltration of open source software, according to a Sonatype study. And the devastating fallouts were brought to light following an attack on SolarWinds at the peak of the pandemic in 2020, where a compromise of software resulted in Russian intelligence gaining access to the data of 18,000 SolarWinds customers. A year on, the attack has forced organisations to gain a better grasp of the need for clarity and understanding into the origin and integrity of software. But all hope is not lost, as in November 2021, the UK Government released a policy paper seeking feedback from organisations who currently manage supply chain cyber security risk, providing an outline on how additional government support would help to overcome such challenges.

API in cloud computing

As we experience a rise in malicious activity, security leaders will need to work in alliance with their development teams to monitor API behaviour and regulate what data is being accessed by the API, and by whom. But what is ‘API’ and how can it jeopardise our cyber security? API, short for Application Programming Interface, defines the protocols for building and integrating computing software. They work by allowing your digital systems to communicate and connect with other computing products and services, so everything is in sync and can run efficiently. And as long as cloud and on-site applications continue to use public (easily accessible) APIs, we’ll continue to see a rise in scraping and bot attacks on applications.

According to Salt Security’s State of API Security for Q3 2021 research, 91% of respondents experienced an API security incident last year, where vulnerabilities (54%) and authentication issues (46%) topped the list, followed by bot/scraping (20%) and DoS attacks (19%). Though, this data provides insights for attacks on standard computer-to-computer API’s, not cloud-based systems, in which the risk of a breach is even higher.

So, how can we try to tackle the rising issue? Before going live with cloud-based API’s, organisations should implement penetration testing to ensure all vulnerabilities affecting them are detected and eliminated. Businesses will need to invest in better security prevention technologies that can address bot protection, API and application security, and data leak prevention. Plus, analysis of entitlements, through identity and access management, will prove a key tactic in making sure criminals are not wrongly given access to critical data.

According to Prakash Sinha, Technology Evangelist and Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Radware, we should expect to see bigger investments in more advanced visibility tools in 2022, as well as forensics tools that provide actionable insight for management, monitoring, auditing, compliance, and troubleshooting.

Cyber attack prevention methods

As cyber security trends for 2022 predict increased threats, businesses need to arm themselves with the necessary technologies and solutions to detect, manage and implement security tactics to avoid falling victim to attack. Whilst there are many ways we can work towards creating a safer 2022, it’s not a one-stop-solution kind of approach. For complete protection, you’ll need to adopt a combination of the following within your cyber security strategy for this year.

  • Always assume the worst, so you will always be ready to counteract an attack. If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail.
  • Use cyber technologies to monitor systems to detect vulnerabilities before it’s too late, and get these fixed!
  • Take caution with suspicious communication. Think before you click links, download attachments or share personal information. Consider whether the source is trustworthy.
  • Create safety strategies and social media policies to educate employees on how to stay safe online. Outline avoidance tactics and indicators for an attack.
  • Employ email filtering by setting spam filters to high so malicious messages do not reach your inbox.
  • Update systems, applications and devices to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Adopt identity and access management processes for systems that contain sensitive company data, by applying methods like Multi-Factor Authentication to restrict unwarranted access.
  • Backup files regularly to avoid mass data loss in the instance of attack.
  • Complete audits on IoT devices to ensure company-approved programs and systems are being used.
  • Implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning across systems to identify patterns of behaviour and detect future risks.

To stay protected this new year, find out more about how our expert cyber solutions and strategies at Infosec K2K can mitigate the risk of attack to help your business stay on top of ever-growing threats. Get in touch now!

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Why is implementing Identity and Access Management important for your business?

The opportunity for cybercriminals to commit online fraud by stealing identities is widespread, with 37% of all breaches involving the use of stolen credentials. To avoid falling victim, we need to safeguard our digital footprint and identities. Keep your important data padlocked, by granting keys to strictly authorised users only. Don’t let intruders unlock access to your important assets…

Protect what matters the most by having a strong cyber security plan ready to go if an emergency strikes. An important part of that consists of implementing Identity and Access Management processes within your business, especially for large-scale workforces with growing teams. There’s no use in sharing sensitive data amongst staff without having secure user control and access management in place. The two should go hand in hand!

At a time when confidential business data is more likely to be exposed due to the rise in remote working and expanding staff bases, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your business is protected. There is greater risk involved in the new normal – utilising cloud-based, collaborative systems – than sharing and accessing data internally. And the risk of falling victim to cybercrime is hard for any business to bounce back from.

So, what is Identity & Access Management?

Identity and Access Management (IAM or IdAM) is a framework consisting of products, policies and processes that ensures the right users have appropriate access to internal systems and technology resources. In a nutshell, it’s checking that you are who you say you are (authentication) and granting you access to what you’re allowed to see (authorisation). It aims to prevent cybercriminals from breaking through business barriers, emphasising the importance of having effective IAM procedures in place.

Identity and Access Management systems have three key aims: to identify, authenticate and authorise. The core components that make up an IAM framework include:

• Users’ identities and access privileges database

• The ability to create, monitor, modify and delete access privileges

• A system for auditing login and access history

What risks could you face without implementing Identity & Access Management?

Failure to define and manage the roles and access privileges amongst network users can put you at risk of a security breach. It may be the case that Identity and Access Management is the missing link within your business’ security plan, causing system vulnerabilities.

Research shows that 44% of security professionals believe that an identity and access management (IAM) solution will address their current security gaps (Source: LogRhythm)

Whilst IAM is a useful tool, it might be one your organisation hasn’t considered. There are many risks involved if it is not put in place, with an increased likelihood of attack. Identity and Access related breaches result in huge negative consequences including data loss (60%), compromised accounts or credentials (52%), ransomware infections (47%), malware infections (29%) and financial loss (18%).
(Source: Expert Insights)

The benefits of Identity & Access Management

But, it’s not all bad news – these damages can be avoided. With secure user control and access management, businesses will see the advantages of keeping their digital data safe. Let’s take a look at the benefits of IAM:

• Enhances security – The most important benefit of IAM. By controlling user access, companies can eliminate the chances of a data breach, identity theft and illegal access to confidential information. IAM can prevent the escalation of compromised login details, avoid unauthorised entry to internal networks, and provide protection against potential cyber-attacks.

• Improves user experience – Reduce the need to enter multiple passwords to access systems by using a combination of the following: Single Sign-On (SSO) with one-time user verification, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for added protection that requires codes to access; Biometric Authentication like fingerprints and facial recognition and Risk-Based Authentication where risks are detected due to differentiating IP addresses.

• Streamlines IT workloads and reduces IT costs – Access privileges can be changed altogether, at the same time, when security policies are updated. IAM can reduce password reset requests by creating automated procedures for tiresome IT tasks, therefore reducing internal costs required for additional IT staff.

• Increases productivity and collaboration – Organisations can provide users outside of their network with access to their systems safely without putting security on the line.

• Helps with compliance – Allowing businesses to meet the requirements of industry regulations or implement IAM best practices.

How your business can implement Identity & Access Management

If you’re feeling a little lost with how to put IAM processes in place to protect your business data, see below on how to get started, featuring a combination of human-focused and technical solutions.

• Strengthen access – Ensure you have a strong password policy in place that all employees can view. It should include tips on how to create, store and share passwords safely. It’s a good idea to consider password management solutions that involve storing passwords within encrypted vaults and providing password generator tools.

Invest in Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions to monitor and control the access and authorisation of users. PAM increases security by ensuring that only correct and verified users can access data based on their assigned roles and responsibilities. These accounts are targeted the most by hackers due to their higher-level control, so it is important to keep them extra secure.

• Authenticate users – Enforce Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) methods. This requires users to prove their identities in two or more ways to ensure access is granted correctly, thus avoiding the chance of unauthorised, illegal access outside of your organisation.

• Educate employees – By teaching your employees how to be vigilant, they’ll be more alert when it comes to identifying areas within the business that may be vulnerable to attack. Adapting a more forward-thinking approach will keep organisations protected and encourage safe user activity, which is especially important with remote working. Investing in security training solutions will prove worthwhile for businesses as a way to increase safety awareness amongst staff and ensure good cyber hygiene.
(Source: Digital Guardian)

Our solutions

Wondering how to bring it all together? Look no further! With the guidance from our expert teams at Infosec K2K, we’ll help your business to streamline its Identity and Access Management solutions to better protect integral assets and digital identities.

Take the hassle out of investing in costly, confusing solutions, or weakening security barriers with internal ambiguous test-and-learn approaches. Our tools and technologies allow internal IT teams to manage IAM processes quickly and efficiently by removing the need for questions, leaving no room for error. With advanced solutions owing to our partnership with CyberArk, users can access and manage information securely using AI technology to monitor activity and keep systems bot-free.

Enlist the help from our specialist teams at Infosec K2K to implement effective Identity and Access Management solutions for your business. Contact us today!