5 Ways to Stop Cyber-Attacks in their Tracks

Photo by Michael Geiger on Unsplash

How secure are your systems and data? Are your systems regularly monitored for cyber-attacks? Can you be sure any security breaches are stopped in their tracks immediately?

Dealing with advanced threats is the most significant concern for cybersecurity professionals and organisations these days.

With system downtime, disruption of business operations and reduced productivity costing businesses millions each year, it is important that all is done to curtail the effects of cyber-attacks as speedily as possible.

There are many tools out there to allow proactive monitoring of your network, website, domain names, and email services to ensure a better level of visibility and protection from ransomware across your organisation.

Here are 5 ways in which you and your IT Partner can help stop cyber-attacks in their tracks!

1. Increase Visibility of Security Updates & Antivirus Status

We are sure you know that operating systems regularly provide patches and security updates for your own protection. But can you be sure that these updates are up to date?

Similarly, can you be sure that your antivirus software is running effectively and protecting you against any malware attacks?

Ideally, you – or your IT team – should have a tool which gives you visibility of all devices on your network, helping to check the status and ensure the patches and security updates have been applied in a timely manner across your devices for all operating systems and the main apps you use.

Software can also give visibility on the status of your antivirus solution so can confirm that all machines are up to date or help take proactive steps to investigate any machine appearing otherwise.

At VCI, at a glance we can tell you whether your antivirus is up to date, if the latest patches are ready to be approved and installed, and whether there is any other software which is cause for investigation.

Multiple key performance indicators across your devices and network also give us an informed picture such as disk, memory and processor usage for each PC, as well as abnormal event alerts, so we can take any necessary steps.

2. Spot Ransomware Activity and Isolate Affected Machines

So, what happens if there has been a ransomware attack and malware is spotted? How are you alerted and what happens next?

Whatever happens, your tool of choice should be constantly monitoring your network in order to identify any ransomware-like activity.

Once identified, it should then make every effort to stop the potential ransomware process from running and isolate the affected device from the network to limit the spread to other machines.

In order that your IT team can investigate, it is important that remote access to the affected PC is still available.

3. Conduct Regular Domain Checks

There are a number of tests and validation procedures which can be run to check on the health and wellbeing of a domain.  Depending upon the test, it can take from a matter of minutes to a prolonged period of in-depth investigation. 

The monitoring process should review (and constantly repeat check) the configuration of your domain and Domain Name System (DNS), which includes the instructions that tell the world at large how to locate and view your website and where to deliver emails addressed to you.  Any changes to your domain or DNS as part of a cyber-attack can misdirect emails and stop you sending and receiving from your own domain. 

We have recently introduced a new tool to the VCI toolkit which gives us a consolidated checking system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

These checks are run repeatedly, providing us with alerts and feedback on an ongoing basis.  The results help us spot any changes and become aware of domain issues before they become bigger problems.

This monitoring tool allows us to report on any missing records and adds to your domain and email security.

4. Check for Email Security Breaches

Security breaches are often initiated through leaked data, of course, such as email addresses and passwords.

There are several tools out there that regularly monitor security services which report on leaked email address lists so your IT team can advise you if any of your details have been included in a breach and of the next steps to take.

At VCI, we go one step further and can also provide unique, fake contact details which you can introduce into your database systems. We can then monitor the email address of this fake contact, knowing that if it starts receiving traffic or appearing on leaked lists, this could be an early indication of a data breach, allowing you time to investigate and respond.

5. Be aware of Websites and Domains posing as your own

A cybercriminal may create a website or domain similar to yours, in an attempt to misrepresent you or trick people into corresponding with them.

For instance, if you own mydomain.com, they may register a similar domain – myd0main.com.

By using software which searches for websites and domains which may be trying to look similar to yours, your IT Partner can alert you to any attempts to defraud you or your customers.

It may form part of a more sophisticated attempt at fraud but, by identifying such threats, your IT Team can then investigate and approach hosting companies with the information.  If nothing else, this gives you a chance to warn your contacts and clients if prudent.

VCI have a number of monitoring tools at our disposal to ensure you and your business are best protected and to help stop any cyber-attacks in their tracks.

To learn more about any of the above, do get in touch on 0117 9767111 or email hi.vci@vcisystems.co.uk.