Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and it’s essential for businesses and individuals to stay informed about the latest threats and how to protect against them. According to a recent IBM study by the Ponemon Institute, “for 83% of companies, it’s not if a data breach will happen, but when.” Additionally, the faster a threat can be detected and mitigated, the better. Shorter breach lifecycles could save you millions. In fact, according to IBM, the average cost of a data breach was $4.35 million in 2022, and that number continues to rise. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most significant cybersecurity threats organizations are currently facing and how to detect and mitigate them in order to protect your customers, your brand, and your bottom line.
One of the most significant cybersecurity threats today is ransomware. What is ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malware delivered by attackers via various vectors including exploiting application vulnerabilities or email phishing. It encrypts a victim’s data on their devices or servers compromising the availability of their data and demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. In recent years, ransomware attacks have become more sophisticated and targeted, with attackers often focusing on specific industries or organizations. This type of attack grew by 41% in the past year! To protect against ransomware, it is crucial to have regular backups of important data and to keep all software and systems up to date with the latest security patches. It’s also important to implement advanced web application & API protection services (WAAP) for all your web-facing applications to mitigate any application vulnerability that can be used by the attackers as a backdoor into your critical systems and data via direct compromise or lateral movements.
Another significant threat is phishing attacks. What is phishing? Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that aims to trick victims into providing sensitive information or installing malware via nefarious links usually delivered in the form of spam emails. These attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are often tailored to specific individuals or organizations. To protect against phishing, it is essential to educate employees about the dangers of phishing and how to spot a phishing email. Consider running internal phishing campaigns to identify weak points in any part of your organization. Organizations should also consider running external email scans and other best practices to tag emails from external entities properly. Other technologies (i.e. remote browser isolation (RBI) and micro-segmentation) can also help protect against malware downloaded from phishing emails by preventing access to the rest of the system.
The third significant threat is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which are used to overload a website or network with traffic, rendering it unavailable to legitimate users. DDoS attacks can be launched from a large number of compromised devices, also known as botnets, that are infected by malware. The distributed nature of the botnet makes it difficult to trace the source of the attack. DDoS attacks are commonly achieved via exploiting network or transport layer protocol (i.e. ICMP flood, UDP flood, or TCP flood) where massive volumes of packets are being sent to saturate a network. but application DDoS, in the form of carefully crafted HTTP flood, designed to surgically overload a sensitive application or backend has been on the rise. In fact, according to the 2022 Verizon DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report), the number one security threat is a DDoS attack (46% of attacks) – and it’s growing every year. This is why it’s critical to have holistic protection from the full spectrum of DDoS attacks.
In June last year, Edgio stopped two large DDoS attacks for our clients. The second of which was 355.14 Million Packets Per Second (Mpps) which placed it at 44% of the largest publicly disclosed DDoS attacks ever. To protect against DDoS attacks, businesses can utilize a full spectrum DDoS protection solution, like Edgio’s edge-based solution, to mitigate Layer 3, 4, and 7 attacks through their massive edge network as well as direct-to-origin attacks via BGP Anycast GRE-based DDoS Scrubbing solutions. Learn more about how you can reduce vulnerabilities and defend your brand against DDoS attacks in a previously written article here.
Some of the highest-profile security incidents of the last couple of years were caused by zero-day vulnerabilities due to the prevalence of a multitude of open-source software or popular SaaS used in many enterprises (i.e. Apache, WordPress, Drupal, Confluences, etc.). According to MITRE, there were more than 25,000 new CVEs disclosed in 2022, which is a 24% increase YoY from 2021, and new vulnerabilities are expected to continue to grow by double digits. Many of them include famous zero-day vulnerabilities (i.e. Log4j, Spring4shell, and Apache Struts) which impacted numerous organizations and are responsible for some of the largest data breaches (e.g. Equifax breach). It’s important for organizations to have the right solutions and capabilities to allow them to quickly gain visibility on the zero-day exploits and mitigate them. Businesses should implement highly capable Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) that detects not only the most common vulnerabilities but also provides the ability to create virtual patches to mitigate zero-day exploits quickly. Businesses should also ensure that they keep all of their software up to date with the latest security patches.
Advanced Persistent Threats
Another cyber security threat is Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), which are methods used by attackers to infiltrate a network and establish a long-term presence to gather sensitive info or to compromise the integrity of the system. APTs are often targeted and sophisticated attacks launched by nation-state actors or other highly skilled attackers. These attacks can be perpetrated by breaching the weakest part of an organization’s system that’s least well-maintained (i.e. non-revenue generating or an informational website). These weak points from seemingly less valuable targets allow the attacker to potentially gain backdoor access to other critical services.
To protect against APTs, it is crucial to have robust network segmentation in place and to regularly monitor for unusual or suspicious activity. It’s also important to implement holistic security solutions and ensure all internet-facing applications, regardless of how “valuable” they are, are protected to prevent lateral movements.
Finally, one of the biggest threats to business is bot attacks. A large part of the internet traffic today is from automated clients, aka bots. Some of these bots are essential to the functioning of an online business (i.e. SEO bots, monitoring bots, chatbots, and social media bots), however, there are also large amounts of bad bots that could cause severe damage to an organization. Some of the most common attacks performed by bad bots include credential stuffing, application DDoS attacks, data scraping, inventory exhaustion, and gift card fraud. According to IBM, the average cost of credential stuffing to an organization was $4.55 million in 2022, and, per the FBI, 41% of cyber attacks on financial sectors are from credential stuffing, which is designed to gain unauthorized access to user accounts and their financial info.
Due to the prevalence of bot attacks, every business should have an advanced bot management solution in its cybersecurity arsenal. An advanced bot management solution allows an organization to detect and track the good bots as well as mitigate bad bots from performing the attacks mentioned above. Advanced bot management solutions should utilize a machine learning model that combines both signature and behavioral models to detect and identify bad bots.
How can businesses detect and mitigate cyber-attacks?
Even though the threat landscape continues to evolve, there are still several things you can do, as mentioned throughout this article, to protect your business from cyber-attacks:
Adopt holistic security protection by utilizing edge-enabled security solutions that are massively scalable and improve both the security and observability of the network and application traffic, as well as the performance and reliability of your applications.
Keep all software and systems up to date with the latest security patches, and implement advanced web application & API protection services (WAAP) for all your web-facing applications to mitigate any application vulnerability that can be used by the attackers as a backdoor into your critical systems and data.
Protect your network, applications, and origin using an edge-based DDoS protection solution.
Thwart direct-to-origin attacks with a dedicated high-capacity DDoS scrubbing solution.
Implement an advanced bot management solution to detect and monitor bot traffic and mitigate the bad ones.
Educate and train employees to help protect against attacks like phishing scams.
Consider a 24 x 7 SOC to supplement your security operations and improve your business’ security responsiveness.
Key Edgio Security Advantages
Edgio is one of the very few players providing edge-enable holistic security solutions. Our customers know Edgio’s WAAP defends their business’ infrastructure, applications, and brand 24 x 7. Edgio’s holistic edge security platform provides comprehensive protection across the network and infrastructure, web applications, and APIs, including bot management. In addition, Edgio’s managed security services (threat analysis and managed SOC) and analytics (analytic dashboard, real-time logs, and SIEM integration) enable businesses to identify threats and act faster than ever.
Edgio’s 250 Tbps of bandwidth capacity is one of the largest global edge networks.
Edgio is one of several edge platforms to provide a fully comprehensive network and application protection via our Web Application and API protection (WAAP). Our multi-layered solution provides holistic protection.
Edgio’s unique Dual WAAP mode allows customers to perform security AB testing via production traffic, providing predictive data, cutting down the security update cycle, and improving response time against new vulnerabilities.
Edgio’s advanced bot management solution utilizes a patent-pending machine learning model to detect bots via signature and behavioral fingerprinting on the server side without requiring JS injection or SDK.
Edgio’s automated DDoS Mitigation works 24 x 7 x 365 protecting thousands of web applications daily. Edgio’s proprietary Stonefish DDoS mitigation system analyzes samples of all packets traversing our network, scoring them for threats and taking action when necessary.
Edgio’s managed security team and 24 x 7 SOC proactively mitigate threats and offload customer security operations.
Edgio supports security automation via 100% API coverage and Terraform integration. All security updates can be deployed on the entire Edgio network within 60 seconds.