With a new digital age comes new types of cybercrimes, and organizations must prepare to face them. A skilled and efficient Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can step in and thoroughly plan your cybersecurity strategy, preventing many forms of attacks.
What Are Cybercrimes?
As the name suggests, cybercrimes are crimes committed over the internet or computer devices to aid in criminal activity.
Cybercrimes vary in gravity and type. Some are easy to spot; others are much more advanced and could severely affect the individual or business victimized by the attack.
According to a study conducted by Norton Security in 2019, around 350 million individuals were the victim of cybercrime in 2018. The trends in the report also show an increasing concern from consumers on how organizations handle their data, with many citing privacy as the main issue.
Cybercrime as a result of company negligence is a real threat to consumers. Hackers will steal personal data stored on organizational systems that consumers give in return for products and services.
What Is An MSSP?
A managed security service provider (MSSP) is your cyber defense partner. Their business model relies on ensuring the protection of their clients.
Cybersecurity is now an organizational responsibility. It is unreasonable to assume that one IT department should be responsible for the smooth running of the backend architecture while also ensuring its security.
Ensuring there are no bottlenecks in the information system and overseeing an organization’s information system is already an enormous task, especially in larger companies. An MSSP can lift the burden of security, giving space for your organization to expand in its field.
Recognizing your need for security is one thing, understanding how to apply it is another. All businesses operate better with partners they can trust, and if you know you can’t do something well, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
Your operation’s success depends on all parties applying their best to the tasks at hand, and that is what an MSSP will do for your security.
Some of the responsibilities you can expect to see from an MSSP are:
- Managed firewall services
- Cybersecurity architecture implementation
- Compliance advisory services and implementation strategy
- Incident response planning and breach management
- Security awareness training
This list is not exhaustive, and many services are dependent on what you need and how your industry functions. But generally, you can expect some standard services that the best MSSP can provide.
Some Common Types of Cybercrimes
This section will explore some of the common types of cybercrimes you can expect to see. Both businesses and individuals can be victims of these cybercrimes, so take heed even if you are researching during business hours.
If you have ever used an email service provider, chances are you have seen a phishing email. Phishing is the term used to describe attempts by a cyber attacker to bait the victim into giving up sensitive information.
There are different types of phishing that we will discuss below:
- Email Phishing: the most common type of phishing is email phishing. Attackers will cast a wide net of fraudulent emails that try to get the victim to click on a link or download a program. A sense of urgency is part and parcel of all types of phishing, and email phishing is no different. Attackers will often try and spoof an authoritative website, like, say, PayPal, telling the user that their account is compromised and they need to take action soon; just click here (that was a test; you clearly need our services!).
- Vishing and Smishing: like email phishing, vishing uses the medium of voice to trick the victim. Usually, this type of phishing is conducted over the phone or through VoIP. In most cases, it is an automated call warning victims that one of their Amazon, Google, etc., accounts were hacked (or things in this vein). Smishing is the same but via SMS text messaging instead of voice.
- Spear Phishing and Whale Phishing: spear phishing is a more sophisticated type of phishing that involves deliberate targeting of the victim. Attackers will spend time studying the victim and tailor an attack method specifically for them. Whale phishing is a variant of spear phishing that targets high-level executives of an organization (by either impersonating them or getting access to their corporate accounts via phishing).
Phishing attempts are as creative as the artistic capacity of the attacker; the more ingenious the attacker, the more creative the phishing is.
Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDOS) Attacks
DDoS attacks are a type of network attack that intends to block users from using or connecting to the information system. Most attackers will bombard the servers with massive traffic that will slow the services down to a crawl.
This massive traffic flow overloads the system with requests, meaning any legitimate requests get lost in the mountain of information.
Attacks are compounded by the fact that the online gaming industry is susceptible to latency and packet loss issues. It makes game servers easy to overload, disrupting the service for both gamers and providers. But the gaming industry is not the only one to suffer from DDoS, and there are financial motives behind the attacks.
Attackers can hold an organization hostage with DDoS attacks and demand payment to release their information system; this is a type of extortion (unimaginatively called DDoS Extortion).
Lastly, there is a whole slew of DDoS attack techniques that use different traffic mechanisms (such as HTTP or peer-to-peer networks). But the common thing among all DoS attacks is exploiting these communication channels to overload packet requests on the receiving server.
Social Engineering Attacks
Essentially, a social engineering attack is one where the attacker will use an understanding of human psychology to manipulate their victims into giving up sensitive information.
Phishing, a cybercrime discussed earlier, is a form of social engineering. Or rather, there is a degree of social engineering involved in carrying out a phishing attack.
However, social engineering has a broad and varying approach. Two types of social engineering attacks you can expect to see in cybercrime are:
- Impersonation: This is when an attacker tricks others into thinking they are someone else. A classic movie trope that you might see is a cyberattacker pretending to be an IT technician who has come to “upgrade” your internet service. The more advanced attacker will get the proper uniform and might even get the right van with the ISP’s logo on it. This example is also a physical security issue.
- Water Hole Attacks: This is when an attacker sets up a fake website that your organization’s staff likes to visit. For example, an attacker might make a fake Financial Times website knowing that your organization’s employees enjoy reading the publication. The attacker will then try to bait the victims into visiting their fake website and input data or download malware to unleash on the information system.
Botnets are short for robot networks. Essentially, these networks are a series of computer devices infected with malware. The infected devices are controlled by a single entity called the “bot-herder” (kind of like a cyber warlock with an army of zombie computers).
The attacker, who controls the network, can direct the computers to do their bidding. They are even used in DDoS attacks as the commanding entity can send the traffic bomb using a botnet.
Each of the machines is referred to as a bot. And with a larger botnet, an attacker can carry out more devastating coordinated attacks. Some common botnet attacks are:
- Email Spam: a botnet effectively sends out thousands of emails at once and may even be used to carry out email phishing attacks.
- DDoS attacks: as mentioned before, the attacker can command the botnet to overload a system by sending thousands or millions of requests in one moment, which can potentially cripple your information system.
- Targeted Intrusion: smaller botnets can target a specific organization. With the smaller network, the bots can work their way further up the chain of privilege, scoping out areas of the information system that contain sensitive information.
- Cryptojacking: botnets are also commonly used in the cryptocurrency world, where the commanding entity hijacks the processing power of computers or internet devices to mine Bitcoins or other crypto coins.
Botnets will continue to be a problem for organizations, especially with the increased reliance on IoT devices. With more internet-connected appliances comes more opportunities for attackers to create more sophisticated botnets.
How An MSSP Can Help Prevent Them
Cybercrimes are dangerous and can cause potentially devastating effects on the organization. However, with the right MSSP, you can stay ahead of the attacker and keep cybercrimes at bay.
SIEM Implementation and Management
Some of the cybercrimes mentioned above can be tracked, flagged, and stopped using the Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) program. An MSSP can help you implement, calibrate, and manage your SIEM system.
Essentially, the SIEM tool is software that tracks user and systems behavior on your network. Then with the right security team, the SIEM can flourish into its full potential. A SIEM system on its own is a formidable adversary to cyberattacks. However, an inexperienced team will likely underutilize it (like giving a Ferrari to a novice driver).
The MSSP is the experienced driver in this situation. They will know all the bells and whistles of the SIEM and how to maximize its effectiveness, giving you the best chance of successfully stopping a cyberattack.
Security Awareness Training and Program Implementation
It’s one thing using the MSSP as a shield against cyberattacks, but what separates an average MSSP from a great one is how well they can get the organization to defend itself.
Some security practices will always require a hands-on approach, specifically the technical aspects of security. For example, you can’t expect everyone in the organization to configure and manage a firewall or handle day-to-day security.
However, the MSSP, through security awareness training, can take a hands-off approach in certain aspects of security, leaving space for a security culture to mature within the organization.
For example, successful phishing attacks can drop drastically if the staff becomes more aware of the practice and recognizes one. An MSSP can provide this type of training.
Security Policy Creation and Management
Security policy is a great tool to manage the day-to-day security in your organization. Similar to other organizational policies, it helps to create a standard that everyone should follow. Utilizing a policy to its maximum potential will involve the effort of everyone in the organization; security is an organizational issue after all.
What an MSSP can do for you is create a security policy suitable for your organization, taking into account your culture and current level of security awareness.
After creating a policy, which may include different kinds of policies from password management to physical security policies, the MSSP can help you with the strategic implementation of said policies.
These policies are often “living” documents and require some degree of maintenance and evolution to the changing threat landscape.
RSI Security The MSSP For You
A good MSSP can make the difference between “cosmetic” security and a well-defined and developed security culture.
Don’t take chances with your most valuable assets; let us remove that burden of responsibility. Avoid the heartache of these types of cybercrimes.
RSI Security is the nation’s premier cybersecurity provider. With years of security experience, we can save you time and resources while boosting your competitive edge in the B2B and B2C environments.
Don’t just demonstrate your security; wear it as a badge of honor; contact us today!