Mitigating cyber security threats has become indispensable to most organizations’ IT infrastructure in today’s technologically driven, fast-paced global business landscape.
For instance, the latest security breach of the Texas Department of Insurance affected approximately 1,800,000 Texans. However, when the department unveiled a security issue with workers’ compensation information on the TDI web service application, the breach enabled data compromise of names, addresses, social security numbers, and medical information.
With that read, we know there are soaring cyber risks, especially for enterprise application development companies; it has become imperative to ensure mobile app security to prevent falling prey to threat actors from spying or accessing their sensitive data.
In this blog, we’ll explore the intricacies of cyber intelligence by unveiling the top security threats for enterprise mobile application development companies and how to mitigate them. Before that, let’s quickly look at the essence of cyber intelligence and its types.
Cyber Intelligence – A Brief Introduction
Cyber threat intelligence primarily refers to collecting, analyzing, and processing data to analyze and understand potential cyber and physical threats to an enterprise and unveil the vulnerabilities and targets to help mitigate potential cyber-attacks and harmful events occurring in cyberspace.
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Enterprises today focus on cyber intelligence to make more informed data-backed security decisions and change their behavior from reactive to proactive in the fight against threat actors.
Types of Cyber Intelligence
1. Strategic Threat Intelligence
Strategic threat intelligence signifies high-level details about cyber security threats and their monetary impact on the organization.
Strategic threat intelligence enables organizations to collect data on similar incidents which may have happened in the past, analyze the intentions of the adversaries of an attack, understand why the organization is within the scope of an attack, and at the same time, put in efforts to reduce the risk level.
2. Tactical Threat Intelligence
Tactical threat intelligence plays a crucial role in protecting the organization’s resources by offering TTP-related information used by cyber hackers to perform attacks. Additionally, tactical threat intelligence helps cyber security professionals understand the potential attack’s intricacies by identifying the organization’s knowledge leakage.
By leveraging tactical threat intelligence, enterprise security personnel develop measures to detect and mitigate the cyber threats beforehand by altering the security merchandise, known vulnerable indicators, and systems.
3. Operational Threat Intelligence
Operational threat intelligence primarily proffers information above specific threats against the organization. Enabling a clear understanding of the potential threat actors inside the organizational hierarchy and their opportunity to attack vulnerable IT assets, thus ultimately helping in accurate prediction of future attacks and accordingly enhancing the mitigation strategies.
4. Technical Threat Intelligence
Technical threat intelligence provides information above an attacker’s resources used to perform the attack, for example, vulnerabilities in command and control channels, tools, etc., while focusing on loC, providing rapid distribution and response to threats.
The indicators of technical threat intelligence are collected as a part of an investigation from past active campaigns and data feeds provided by external third parties, helping security professionals to identify defensive systems and thereby effectively enhance the detection mechanisms against the inbound and outbound malicious traffic entering the network.
Cyber Security Threats for Enterprises
1. Brute Force Attack
According to a recent Google Cloud analysis, Brute-force comprises 51% of all attacks in the first quarter of 2022, thus remaining one of cloud service providers’ most common cyber security threats.
Brute force attack primarily refers to hackers systematically attempting to unlock a particular file, folder, or repository using multiple combinations of words, letters, and characters until one input comes out valid and enable the intruders to get their hands on the access they need.
In simpler terms, brute force attack refers to attempting multiple combinations on a target until one comes out valid and gets their hands on the access they need.
A few signs of identifying brute force attacks are:
- The same IP address unsuccessfully tried to log in multiple times.
- Many different IP addresses unsuccessfully try to log in to a single account.
- Multiple unsuccessful login attempts from various IP addresses in a short period.
The primary objective of most brute force attacks is to access a resource that is otherwise restricted to other users. This resource can be a privileged administrative account, an essential password-protected page, or just a log of enumerated valid emails on a given app or website.
For any enterprise app development company, losing access to a confidential file or repository would mean compromising the entire site or app, which the cyber attackers can any day leverage to suffice their intentions.
How to prevent:
Since brute force attacks aren’t a vulnerability of an enterprise app or website, there are measures that any enterprises have to ensure while maintaining confidential repositories, websites, or apps.
A few measures that can help prevent brute force attacks are:
- Use decisive enough passwords and recovery questions
- Restrict Authentication URLs
- Limit Login Attempts
- Use CAPTCHAs
- Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2. SQL Injection Attacks
Another common cyber-attack that most enterprise application development companies witness is an SQL Injection attack. In July 2021, WooCommerce announced its software version’s unpatched vulnerability to potential SQL inject attacks; the cybersecurity analysts also identified several attacks occurring during that time. Moreover, In 2022, 1162 vulnerabilities were identified with the type “SQL injections.”
An SQL injection attack, aka structured query language (SQL) injection, is a process of an attacker injecting or infecting an app or website backend database with malicious SQL statements to bypass application security measures and access confidential information.
In essence, the attacker tricks the system into adding, modifying, and deleting records in the database, leading the server to behave in the attacker’s favor.
How to prevent:
- Always keep all your application software components up to date with the latest security patches available.
- Leverage the least privilege principle when provisioning accounts connected to the SQL database.
- Ensure you do not share database accounts between different applications or websites.
- Verify user-supplied inputs for all crucial data types.
- Integrate an effective error-identifying solution that notifies and revokes data breaches.
3. Broken Authentication
When a cyber hacker logs into an app, website, or software’s admin account by leveraging any system vulnerabilities – credential management or session management- and misuses the assigned ID privileges, this is known as broken authentication.
By entering the admin system, an attacker can have various intentions, such as stealing crucial business data, sending fraudulent emails, identity theft, cyberstalking, and much more.
Primarily three primary scenarios lead to Broken authentication:
- Weak passwords: The consumer creates an easily predictable password, for instance, ‘12345’ or ‘pass123’. Predictable or more vulnerable passwords make accessing the application seamless for hackers, thus leading to broken authentication.
- Weak cryptography: Weak encryption techniques like base64 and weak hashing algorithms like SHA1 and MD5 make credentials vulnerable. It is advised to store these using robust hashing algorithms that make password cracking challenging.
- Poor session management: Another typical driver of broken authentication attacks is session management. For example, when a user plays an online game and login into the application, the game server creates a unique session ID via which users get to interact with the network, and the application communicates all the user requests.
Once a hacker gets to steal your session ID, he can sign into the server by impersonating your identity, known as session hijacking. One of the most common examples of session hijacking is a user who forgets to log out of an application and then walks away from their device.
How to prevent:
A few ways to prevent broken authentication attacks are:
- To verify the consumer’s identity execute multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Use a mix of small & capital letters, alphanumeric symbols, characters, etc., for your password.
- Limit the failed login attempts to 3 or a max of 5
- Make sure that your app’s credentials and API pathways are not easy to access
4. Social Engineering
Another cyber attack that has become common for enterprises to witness over the years is Social engineering. In simpler terms, social engineering is a cyberattack wherein cybercriminals psychologically influence unsuspicious users leading them to either give up confidential information or make irreversible security mistakes.
According to firewall times, 98% of recent Cyber Attacks in the past five years majorly involved social engineering.
One of the most significant social engineering attacks was executed against two of the world’s social giants: Google and Facebook. A Lithuanian national, Evaldas Rimasauskas, and his team strategically set up a fake company and a bank account, impersonating a computer manufacturer that dealt with Google and Facebook.
These scammers then sent phishing emails to a set of Google and Facebook employees with look-alike invoices for goods and services and manipulated them to process the invoice into fraudulent accounts. This scam took place between 2013 and 2015, and during this period, Rimasauskas and his team successfully conned a whopping sum of over $100 million from the two giants.
In essence, There are two goals of Social engineering attackers:
- Corrupt data and cause inconvenience to an organization.
- Steal crucial information, money. or obtain unsolicited access.
How to prevent:
- Ensure to prioritize having spam filters to help you avoid spam messages to a large extent.
- Always have different passwords for different accounts.
- Ensure to secure your account with two-factor or multi-factor authentication
- Practice changing passwords in frequent time intervals.
- Aware employees regarding cyber security and ways to mitigate them.
5. DDoS Attacks
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is yet another common security threat for enterprises. For example, Norton calls DDoS attacks “one of the most powerful weapons on the internet.” Simply put, DDoS attacks aim to hamper a targeted network’s traffic by overburdening the server with multiple requests that can effectively lead to a shutdown, thus impacting an organization’s business operations.
Ransom DDoS attacks witnessed a notable increase by almost a third between 2020 and 2021 and jumped by 75% in Q4 2021 compared to the previous three months. – a recent report from Cloudflare acknowledged.
How to prevent:
- Secure your infrastructure with multi-level protection strategies.
- Establish an incident response team
- Identifying security exposures to better prepare for a DDoS attack
- Make your network as resilient as possible against DDoS attacks
- Partner with Cloud-Based Service Providers
6. Insider Cyber Threat
A recent report from Cybersecurity Insiders signified that 57% of organizations had witnessed an increased frequency of insider incidents over the past 12 months. Especially in the healthcare & finance sector, enterprises regularly experience employees misusing their access privileges.
As per the name, an Insider threat is a potential cyber risk within the enterprise. This threat can be an existing employee or an ex-employee with access to confidential information or privileged accounts that can hamper the organization’s operations or brand identity.
Tessian’s platform data recently signified that Negligent Insiders might be responsible for even more incidents than most expected. For instance, on average, over 800 emails are sent to the wrong person yearly in companies with 1,000 employees, which is 1.6x more than IT leaders estimate.
How to prevent:
- Prioritize protecting critical information or documents
- Lay down organizational policies that include cyber risk clauses
- Deploy solutions or strategies to gain visibility of employee actions
- Educate employees regarding security issues
7. Third-Party Data Breach
The rising adoption of digital transformation has led organizations, especially in the IT sector, to deal with more third-party vendors to develop robust products, which is why enterprises often fall prey to third-party cyber risks when dealing with outside vendors and outsourcing their operations to outsiders because even if an organization is well equipped with the security measures, the external vendors aren’t.
Recent research by Gartner depicts that 60% of organizations currently work with more than 1,000 third parties.
Not just this,
The recent Statista report acknowledged 817 cases of data compromise in the first half of 2022 in the US. Meanwhile, during the same time, over 53 million individuals were found to be affected by data compromises, including data breaches, data leakage, and data exposure.
Third-party risk, in essence, refers to any threat to an organization caused by external parties in its ecosystem or supply chain. The third-party threat includes outside vendors, suppliers, contractors, or service providers, with access to crucial internal data, systems, and processes misusing the data for unethical means.
How to prevent:
- Always follow a data-centric approach.
- Set policies that’ll automatically imply when data is shared externally.
- Strategize regular audits and data compliances
- Give data access controls.
Enterprise Mobile App Security: A Consistent Practise
With all the threats we read above, we can conclude that every business owner who plans to undergo rapid digital transformation must be cautious with their build and have cloud security solutions in place.
Every data, process, or account they share or operate with might have a cyber risk, making it imperative for enterprises to ensure that they partner with the top enterprise app development companies that follow a modern approach to cloud security solutions to monitor and assess security policies and methods comprehensively.
If you are a tech leader looking for the best enterprise app development company to help you develop a robust mobile solution to help your business grow, partnering with a team of top digital transformation experts with the safest cloud storage at Copper Mobile can be your best bet.