Abed-Samhuri -Cyber-Institute-Lead - Axon - Technologies - Cybersecurity - digitization - digital transformation - defence - techxmedia

Cybersecurity implications of digitization & what effective defense look like

Digital Transformation Technology
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It is true that firms that had implemented digital transformation ahead of time were able to deal with the issues of remote working during the pandemic. And as a result, many businesses have begun to seriously contemplate digital transformation. Digital transformation, on the other hand, if done without security in mind, might increase the attack surface against the business and lead to more security incidents.

One of the most difficult aspects of conducting digital transformation safely is a lack of resources (budget and manpower). As a result, our initial advise is to hire a third-party cybersecurity firm to handle this. Three main recommendations for reducing security risks associated with digital transformation are as follows:

  • Cloud Security: given that a lot of technologies for digital transformation are cloud-based, it is crucial that you pay attention to this point. Cloud security starts with choosing the right cloud service provider – one that already has a strong security policy.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): it is not enough that you have strong passwords on various online accounts. You need to enable/ enforce MFA to prevent account compromise, session hijacking, and other attacks.
  • Enable Auditing and Logging: whenever you utilize a cloud-based service, ensure to enable logging of various actions (permissible or otherwise). In times of crisis, those logs are the first thing that will give you clues of what is happening, why it is happening, and how to fix it.

Towards zero trust security

Zero-Trust Security is a security architecture paradigm in which “trust” between interacting entities is abolished – such as a person accessing a system, an application accessing a network share, and so on. Authentication and authorization are constantly enforced between entities in this manner, independent of their network or location. When entities in a network may interact without authentication, it is not considered trustworthy. As a result, it’s all about destroying trust.

The benefit of a zero-trust strategy is self-evident. It eliminates the possibility of an attacker taking advantage of a trust relationship and acquiring illegal access as a result of that trust. Spoofing, hijacking, privilege escalation, and other attacks are greatly reduced with an infrastructure built on the zero-trust principle.

This, however, does not come without a price. Zero-trust security necessitates extra effort in network infrastructure architecture. Furthermore, there is administrative overhead; zero-trust security necessitates continual user and device monitoring and auditing.

What effective cyber defense looks like

A combination of the right people, processes, and technologies is required for effective cyber defence. It is not enough for a company to buy numerous technologies and install them on their systems when it comes to cybersecurity and especially cyber defence. Experience has repeatedly proved that technology cannot satisfy expectations unless it is managed by a team of highly trained security experts.

A good cyber defence programme necessitates the use of human intelligence. Security analysts, engineers, and incident responders could make up the team. Technology can be a good preventive tool, but whatever gets past it requires humans to study, investigate, and look for otherwise undetectable incursions.

Finally, a set of processes must regulate how the team interacts with technology in order for detection and reaction to be effective. The team’s methods and step-by-step actions are outlined in processes. They aid in the elimination of impromptu responses in times of crisis and improve the entire cyber defence strategy’s visibility and efficiency.

Enhancing cybersecurity with gamification

By giving a competitive setting and excitement, gamification increases emotional engagement in training. Game play is thought to be a sophisticated method of teaching and educating security personnel. People learn best when their emotions and practical experience are combined in a competitive context, according to scientific studies.

The following are two examples where we leverage gamification in cyber training:

  • Training interns: within our internship program, the intern is assigned an account on a gamified cyber security platform. The intern has to complete around 200 challenges, where each challenge has a certain score. As the intern completes one challenge after the other, their score increases, and they can view their ranking on a leaderboard. The challenges are categorized into different topics such as web application attacks, reverse engineering, security event analysis, malware analysis, cryptography, etc.
  • Cyber War Game: it is an event that is set up to simulate and exercise cyber offense and defense techniques and tactics in a gamified and challenging way. Participants are grouped into 2 Team categories: Red-Team (Offence) and Blue-Team (Defense). The Red-Team attempts to break into a predesigned virtual infrastructure while the Blue-Team will detect, track, and respond to the attacks.

To sum it up, gamification is an effective approach to sharpen the skills of the security teams, enhance the communication between the team members, and increase the organization’s resilience to cyber-attacks.

Empowering cybersecurity professionals

Cybersecurity institutes that offer high-quality intensive courses and workshops in all areas of cybersecurity are needed by the industry. IT personnel must establish themselves as security experts in their firms.

Cyber Defense, Cyber Offense, Incident Response and Forensics, and Management are just a few of the cybersecurity development routes that should be included in the courses and training programmes. We’ll need sequential classes for each path, ranging from beginning to expert. Participants can design their own training programme.

The lectures should ideally be hands-on, with extensive lab sessions and exercises. Not only should we cover the fundamental ideas and concepts, but we should also ensure that the participants can apply the skills in real-world circumstances. Cybersecurity professionals can improve their knowledge and abilities, and so grow in their careers, by enrolling in such training courses and workshops.

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