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7 Crucial Cybersecurity Lessons From 2020

Lessons learned from the likes of Twitter, Zoom, Marriott, and Magellan

Sneden Michael
Post by Sneden Michael Dec 09, 2020

Did you know that the average cost of data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million? Furthermore, it took around 280 days for enterprises to identify and contain the breach. Its not just the ransom amount that’s a concern, but your organization’s sensitive data and brand reputation is at stake. The staggering insights from cybersecurity attacks in 2020 highlight the importance of securing your security posture. After carefully analyzing the most trending cyber attacks of 2020, we have listed out crucial lessons to help enterprises in 2021.

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Cybersecurity Lessons for 2021  

Its proven that remote technologies weve relied on for years are not as secure as we all thought. We all believed them to be insufficiently secure but never had enough time focus on proving it, thanks hackers! The skills gap for cyber has continued to grow and it becomes clear that as security operations become decentralized, team activity can no longer cover the gaps.  

1. Start with the Basics in Cybersecurity | Twitter Attack 2020

The basics aren’t intellectually stimulating, and so analysts and engineers don’t want to work on them. The attack on Twitter was a classic example of basic spear phishing. An email arrives from a trustworthy source, and then misleads the user to a malicious website with malware. The attackers walked out with $120,000 and made a huge dent on how users perceive Twitter’s cybersecurity.  

All that the attacker had to do was exploit vulnerable Twitter employees with trusted access to the data source. This goes to show that regardless of how advanced security tools you may have in your arsenal, you need to first sort out your basics.  

2. Never Overlook The Threat Actors | Marriott International 2020

The hospitality industry suffered major losses during these pandemic times, but attackers  will not wait until a business stabilizes. Adversaries tend to strike at the most opportune time, when organizations are vulnerable and struggling to adapt. 5.2 million customers contact information was siphoned off by the attackers which can be later used for targeted email campaigns. 

There’s a flood of new technology being introduced in the tech domain each day. Distraction related to new technology continues to be a problem as many organizations lose focus on the fundamentals, leaving the most basic initial attack vectors open for exploitsSuccessful attacks can impact any organization, so its crucial that you remain constantly vigilant towards past, present, and  future threat actors.

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3. Prioritize Cyber Threats that Matter | Zoom Cyber Attack 2020

The link between nation state actors and pure cybercriminals continues to become more apparent. Alternatively, the obscure tactics used by both groups are not as effective as they once were as we learn how techniques and tools are shared between communities. In April, 500,000 Zoom passwords were up for sale on the dark web. Although the data breach wasn’t within the secured servers, the attack was successfully carried out by credential stuffing 

Identify, detect, and prioritize threats that matter the most to your organization. Stay up to date with the threats that can easily attack your vulnerable spots. Have an outside-in view of your attack surface and then handle threats that could lead to a cyber attack.  

4. Empower Your SOC Teams | Attacks in 2020

A report from CISCO stated that most SOC teams can only investigate 56 percent of alerts, on average. Out of these, 34 percent of alerts are considered worth  handling. Amidst these alerts, false alerts can lead to wasted effort and frustration for resources. SOC teams are often playing catch up with handling issues and alert fatigue only lowers the guard 

Why not give them intelligent data to work with? At Netenrich, we empower your SOC teams by helping them see what the attackers see. Our Attack Surface Intelligence (ASI) platform helps you discover, investigate, prioritize, and resolve the threats that matter most. Reduce the time your teams spend in prioritizing, because our tool does that for you.  

5. Take a Proactive Cyber Approach | Magellan Health 2020

Magellan health is a Fortune 500 insurance company, and a data breach meant breach of customer’s trust and picking up the broken pieces. It was a phishing email impersonating a client that opened the doors for attackers to gain access to the systems. Healthcare organizations such as Magellan are vulnerable, and statistics show that the attackers have won more than once.  

Its critical to take a proactive cyber approach. Cybersecurity needs to be prioritized not just for today, but also for the future. You need to be prepared for literally any loophole that adversaries can exploit. Train your employees, empower your SOC teams, look for ways to improve your security efforts, and continue using intelligence over legacy approaches 

6. Protect Your Code Repository | GitHub 2020

Any idea who is looking at your code repositories on the public domain? Hackers are actively breaking into these code repositories available on the open internetreport presented earlier this year spoke about a data breach that exposed over 200,000 U.S. patients and their sensitive records on GitHub. The protected health information and personally identifiable information (PII) were leaked and were accessible with simple searches.  

You need to ensure that your code repository is secured and there is nothing left for chance. The good news is that rather than depending on manual intervention, you can rely on intelligent and automated dashboards. Adversaries do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to exploiting a potential vulnerability, so its critical that organizations manage and secure their code repositories shared on public domains.  

7. Regularly Review Your Cybersecurity Plan

When it comes to cybersecurity, you can never be overprepared. Reports of cyber-attacks in 2020 highlight that fact that even big names such as Twitter, Zoom, and Marriott are equally prone to successful cyber-attacks 

Ensure that you regularly review your organization’s preparedness when it comes to the threat landscape. Everybody is vulnerable and a delayed response to threats will further enhance the possibilities for attackers. Leverage intelligent cybersecurity tools that are at your disposable and think like your attackers do in order to stay safe from them.  

Take a security-first approach in 2021 and uplevel your SecOps with ASI to fend off the bad guys. These critical lessons from 2020 could help you recalibrate your security teams and tools to ensure that you dont leave any loopholes for the bad guys.

Smart and Scalable Security Operation Center


Sneden Michael

About the Author

Sneden Michael

Sneden is a experienced writer who enjoys the process of creating compelling copies. He believes that geek talk is no good unless converted into actionable content. Sneden feels that the world is best explored through the eyes of Google Street View.

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