The number of enterprise-level cyber-attacks has increased dramatically globally over the previous year; current estimates place this figure at 500 million globally. 60% of the entities targeted in 2021 had two or more hacks, compared to 16% who had just one. Targeting corporations' "crown jewels," hackers successfully accessed and compromised 35 million files in September 2022 alone (flagship assets, highly sensitive files, or data).  

      ransomware attack

                                                              Source: Embroker

The Data Wars 

The world has gradually started to understand the importance of data. From product and service personalization to running advertising campaigns, data holds tremendous value and therefore privacy concerns.  

Though tech brands like Apple and Google are continuously working to secure the user data introducing options to control the sharing of information across apps, the need for data has expanded across businesses and consumers. Besides, it would be nothing wrong to say that data wars are discrete with respect to industry and usage.  

And therefore, the need for security testing for all that highly valuable data on the web caused the introduction of some significant strategies that can complement the privacy goals of the users. These include:  

  • Birth of Cookies: From audience tracking to limiting the tracking at user end, the concept of cookies has evolved with time for security reasons.  

  • Death of third-party data: In 2011, the EU regulations surrounding data were updated and the threat for data theft made Apple to introduce an option for third-party data rejection at the user end while Google claimed to remove cookies completely.  

  • First-party data: The app tracking transparency introduced by Apple made users more concerned about their privacy and therefore raised value for first-party data. From social media applications to shopping portals, the accuracy of first-party purchase data become a point of attraction for advertisers.  

Thus, it is becoming more and more challenging to protect an organization’s data against breaches like ransomware assaults due to the increasing frequency, sophistication, and size of cybercrime activities. 

Some Biggest Cyber-Attacks Of 2023 

Even if we have come a long way in improving the network and hardware security, the rate at which Cyber-attacks are increasing is huge. And therefore, beginning of 2023, introduced so many incidents of cyber-crimes. 

  • The Guardian, a leading newspaper daily from UK got attacked in December 2022 through third-party access to the internal systems. 

  • Another such incident of ransomware appeared from Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, executed through a popular ransomware-as-a-service platform called LockBit. 

  • In January 2023, Royal Mail was subjected to a cyber-attack that affected international deliveries and advice related to carriers.  

  • On January 11, 2023, FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) got attacked causing disruption to the air travel. 

Usually, a cyber-attack employs one or more computers to target one or more networks or systems with an intention to steal data, purposefully disable equipment, or start new attacks from a hacked computer.  

It is usually launched or triggered through ransomware, phishing, malware, and denial of service attacks. Thus, it becomes extremely necessary that security and privacy surrounding digital systems must be checked in a timely manner. 

Why There Is Need Of Security Testing To Prevent Cyberattacks?  

A robust security policy is more important than ever because viruses and other bugs that assault the digital world are becoming more powerful. Today, it is imperative for businesses and individuals to create software and applications that have undergone rigorous security testing and are capable of warning users of potential cyberattacks.  

Such disruptive attacks create need for: 

  • The need for thorough application.  

  • Strategy for security testing and assuring resistance to these terrible attacks.  

  • Utilize services for application security testing  

Through a wide range of tests that not only identify security flaws but also assess the entire security posture of the apps, application security testing aids businesses in identifying security vulnerabilities. 

The importance of security testing must be considered from the very beginning of the lifecycle as the effect of security issues increases. It is possible to assess codes and runtime interfaces for exploitable flaws using a number of tools.  

Developers frequently believe or assert that they are exclusively in charge of an application's functionality and that security is the responsibility of the QA and testing teams. However, it should be understood that quality is a company-wide endeavour and not the duty of a single person or group. 

How To Prevent Cyberattacks In 2023?  

  • Secure your device  

Your personal information, money, and valuable data like images and texts could be taken if your mobile device is left unattended, misplaced, or stolen. Protect your equipment by installing virus protection software. 

Setting a password, gesture, or fingerprint that must be used to unlock, making the device password-required before applications are installed, hiding Bluetooth when not in use, turning off automatic network connection, and, if your device supports it, enabling remote locking and/or wiping functions. 

  • Penetration Testing as the Hero In Cybersecurity 

Nearly 3/4 of cyber-attacks, according to numerous surveys, are the result of unsecure applications with weak security code. Applications are now the primary targets of cyberattacks since they are being outsourced to a larger and larger portion of the world's population.  

Because of this, it is essential for a company to guarantee the calibre of the source code that supports connecting to the application. Such issues can be skilfully avoided with the correct penetration testing methodologies

A penetration test, commonly referred to as a pen test, attacks your system in a simulated cyber-attack with the goal of exploiting significant vulnerabilities. The effectiveness of a web application firewall can be increased by penetration testing. These services aim to ensure that the software doesn't exhibit any weaknesses or defects that hackers could take advantage of.  

AI & ML Technologies Have All The Potential To Transform The Future Of Penetration Testing! 

Read How AI & ML Could Redefine Pen Testing 

  • Encrypt Data When Sharing or Uploading Online 

By encrypting the data or using a cloud storage provider that offers end-to-end encryption, you may also avoid cybercriminals intercepting it during transfers. Keep the decryption key safe if you are using the programme to encrypt the data before saving it online. You will lose the data if you don't.  

You must use a VPN or encrypt your network using the control panel settings to prevent cyber threats and guarantee the security of your data transfers and online communications. Companies can gather and maintain the necessary data used by cybercriminals, jeopardising the confidentiality of the company's data. 

  • Staff Awareness On Cyber Security  

Many less tech-savvy employees are now exposed to cybersecurity risks due to remote employment. Collaboration is susceptible because of work-from-home regulations and insecure Wi-Fi networks. Enrolling in KnowledgeHut's IT Security courses will upskill employees and teach them best practises, preventing unauthorised access to databases.  

cybersecurity awareness

Businesses must foster a culture in the workplace that values cyber security. Understanding the procedures for preventing cybercrime and having a cyber incident response plan available will enable staff to tackle any threats and data breaches. They ought to receive training on how to monitor which critical material to send and which to disregard. 

  • Perform A Regular Audit Of Cyber Protection Procedures  

Although automation is not the answer to all cyber security issues, solutions driven by AI and machine learning make it simpler to set up security monitoring. Additionally, some companies think that automating cloud security is one of the time- and money-efficient solutions to protect remote networks.  

Additionally, adopting automation in cloud investing helps to cut down on the time, resources, and money needed to look into the incident's underlying causes, scope, and effects. Companies also require the ability to automatically acquire and analyse data at the speed and scale of the cloud, given the volume of data now stored in the cloud. 

   Security test

Working with diverse cloud teams and access requirements shouldn't be a concern for security teams.  

Additional Tips On Preventing Cyberattacks  

  • Create A Data Backup 

Always make sure you have a backup of your work and sensitive documents. In the event of an attack, you shouldn't suffer data loss. Data loss has an impact on a company's reputation in addition to its financial health. 

  • Keep Track Of Who Access Your System 

Giving any random individual access to your personal devices could land you in awkward situations. Decide who will check your gadget while you are away. Put system locks in place and only provide the appropriate individual access privileges.  

  • Wi-Fi Security  

Installing a dedicated Wi-Fi at the office will keep your data secure. Wi-Fi is less safe than LAN and needs to be properly secured.  

  • Personal Accounts For Employees  

To enhance privacy and secrecy, give each employee a distinct personal account. 

  • Separate Username & Passwords  

Avoid using the same username and password across all of your accounts. Keep a variety of passwords on hand, and change them frequently. Maintaining similar passwords can increase the risk to your company, and if any fraudulent activity takes place, you could lose everything at once.  

  • Create Manual Cybersecurity Policies  

While there will be standards for safeguarding equipment and systems, strict regulations are also necessary to stay on guard against attacks. 

  • Set Online Safety Guidelines  

Every company requires a security policy that details its rules for safeguarding the organisation, using the internet, and preventing employee exploitation. To do this, businesses need to build up a secure system for processing transactions, safeguarding consumer identity, and dealing with financial losses.  

Conclusion  

(if) we are living in a time of advanced software and cutting-edge technologies, we are also seeing the most "intelligent" cyberattacks. Simply explained, releasing excellent software is insufficient. It might not yet determine the overall success of any application, business, or organisation. A key aspect of success is the capacity to defend data and intellectual property against cyberattacks. 

 

Therefore, anything average can simply not work when it comes to testing vulnerabilities, mitigating threats, and providing security. 

And if you need some expert assistance on security testing or VAPT testing of your system, reach our experts

Tushar Kashyap

Tushar kashyap is a senior quality engineer at Bugraptors. He has experience of more than 10 years in the field of software testing. He is a security testing pundit who also expertise in Test planning, regression testing, black box testing, android application testing to name a few. He is well versed with tools like SQL,Selenium, Appium, Rest Assured, Java script and much more. He holds a good hand experience in providing solutions to complex testing problems.

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