More and more businesses are becoming victims of cybercrime as the cyber threat landscape continues to expand. Stopping cyber criminals is a full-time job, and threat intelligence analysts employ a full toolset to prevent companies from being breached.
Indicators of Compromise
Analysts are trained to look for IoC’s or Indicators of compromise. Whenever someone does anything on a network or computer, they leave behind a digital trace in the form of artifacts. Most artifacts are benign, but indicators of compromise are left behind when specific actions are taken that are out of the ordinary, like modifying the registry or installing programs that then call out to the Internet for other programs to download.
Analysts use sandbox software like virtual machines and applications that take a before-and-after snapshot of the system to see if a software is safe for install. The application lists all of the changes made to the system, and anything out of the ordinary is flagged for further investigation.
Another way to check for cyber threats is through the traffic entering the network. Analysts use tools like Wireshark to examine incoming and outgoing traffic. Whenever the software sees traffic that is abnormal, it flags that traffic for further review. Thankfully, a lot of websites are cataloged as safe or unsafe which makes the job easier for analysts.
Protecting yourself from cyber threats is easier than you think. Your first step is to determine what you have that would be of value for hackers, like your data. Once you know, create a backup and data recovery plan. Hackers rely on poor or non-existent backup solutions to force businesses to pay ransomware demands.
Consider an endpoint solution that has active scanning of incoming and outgoing traffic, also called an intrusion detection/intrusion prevention system. Endpoint protection software with real-time access to zero-day malware and virus definitions is important too. Finally, training your staff on how to handle potential phishing attempts and how to safely access the Internet is the number-one way to prevent infections and attacks. In most cases, the human factor is how hackers get inside the network. If you adopt a defensive, in-depth framework, you greatly increase your chances of surviving a cyber attack.