6 Ways to Detect a Cyber Security Breach

6 Ways to Detect a Cyber Security Breach: Several organizations’ conventional operating models have undergone a major shift following the pandemic. A survey by IBM says 59% of the surveyed companies in the US have accelerated digital transformation, whereas 66% took digitalization initiatives to move with the fast-paced world. The corporate sector is inclined towards tech platforms for their work management. However, the increased use of web applications, mobile devices, and cloud-based enterprise applications is leading to a dramatic increase in security breaches. 

According to a research by Verizon, web application attacks account for 26% of all data breaches. Organizations are investing heavily in incorporating state-of-the-art data security systems to mitigate security risks and increase their credibility among customers and stakeholders. While it’s difficult to predict a security breach attempt, a few simple techniques combined with network security mechanisms can help detect an active or passive breach. Read on as we disclose some of the most effective ways to detect a cyber security breach.

Who Detects Cyber Security Breaches?

Cyber security is an entirely different information technology discipline that uses various tools and techniques to protect crucial information. It also identifies areas susceptible to breaches in networks, applications, servers, databases, and the internet of things (IoT) and implements necessary measures to make it secure. 

Cyber Security specialists are well-versed in the latest encryption, data protection, and intrusion detection techniques. They acquire this knowledge through cyber security bootcamps or degree programs that train IT professionals to safeguard against data theft, unauthorized access, service disruption, and data tampering during transmission.

Cyber security specialists monitor network activities, identify system vulnerabilities, and implement security protocols across the organization. They are also responsible for training employees on the safe use of applications, the internet, and personal devices. They educate employees on possible security vulnerabilities and conventional types of hacking and help them troubleshoot various data security and access right-related issues.

How to Detect a Cyber Security Breach?

Hackers and cybercriminals keep inventing new and sophisticated tools and techniques to invade networks, servers, websites, and applications. A cyber security breach can occur in various ways, including denial of service (DoS) attacks, cross-site scripting (XSS), banking Trojans, malware, phishing, smishing, adware, ransomware, and others. Detecting them well in time can save organizations from massive damage to their reputation and revenue targets. Here are some ways to detect a cyber security breach:

Slow Network and Systems

One of the most effective ways to detect an ongoing cyber security attack is to monitor network activity and speed. In ideal circumstances, there are few spikes in network traffic while the average network activity remains consistent. However, cyber security specialists can observe frequent spikes in network traffic for extended durations in the event of a breach.

Another very prominent sign of a cyber security breach is that workstations, connected devices and programs take a noticeably long time to start. The network also gets slow in responding to connection or data requests from workstations. While a lagging network and computer performance may be due to an underlying hardware or software malfunction, an ongoing cyberattack can also be a major cause.

Too Many Pop-up Windows

One or two odd pop-ups may appear during web browsing, but if they appear too frequently on your screen unexpectedly, it is typical of adware. Adware is downloaded to your system when you intentionally or unintentionally click suspicious links on a website or in your email. The problem with adware is that it is legitimate software that allows businesses to display advertisements when users browse the internet. Hackers use this software to display ads with malicious links. Cyber security specialists employ updated web security systems and internet or web application firewalls to block unsolicited applications, IPs, and links to safeguard networks and workstations from adware.

Abnormal Password Activity

Hackers deploy brute force attacks frequently to guess and steal login credentials and gain access to networks, databases, and applications. Such a security breach can only be detected once a user is locked out of their system. They may also receive an email notifying them of a recent password change activity on a subscribed account. Security policies in an organization should strictly focus on using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication for web application and server security. While weak passwords are easy to break, strong passwords that include a combination of alphabets, numbers, and special characters are nearly impossible to hack. 

Missing Files

If you are trying to open a program that is crashing because a crucial file is missing, you should be aware of the possibility of malware. Malware takes important files and deletes them or moves them to another location. Malware also doesn’t let you open files necessary to run a program.

Restricted Access to Files or Folders

If you see that you cannot access a particular file or folder on your computer anymore, ransomware may be the culprit. It happens when a hacker breaks into your system when you click a link in emails, messengers, or websites. The ransomware installs itself on your computer, deactivates your firewall and security software, and provides access to the hacker. The hacker goes through your files and folders and restricts your access to certain folders. They ask for ransom in the form of bitcoins in return for access to the folder again.  

Like a password breach, a security breach through ransomware is detected only after it has occurred. Updated network and internet security systems, safe browsing protocols, and active network and application firewalls can reduce instances of ransomware.

Intrusion Detection System

Intrusion detection systems are specialized software and hardware tools that allow cyber security professionals to monitor network activity, connection requests, and potential security threats. Intrusion detection systems can successfully detect ongoing denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These tools use blockchain technology to retain and update network signatures in combination with anomaly-based detection techniques to monitor behavior patterns of network traffic. These techniques can instantly identify tampered network signatures, HTTP attacks, and bombardment of connection attempts from single or multiple IPs.

Final Thoughts

With rapid digital transformation and the need for a strong online presence, businesses are more exposed to security and data breaches than ever. Organizations must develop strict security protocols to protect sensitive corporate information and customer data. Since no single strategy can be effective in the long term, businesses and organizations can use a variety of techniques, including network and application vulnerability assessment, network monitoring, penetration testing, network and web application firewalls, and comprehensive security systems to ensure that their cyber defenses are effective against the breaches. 

Detecting and combating active cyber breach attempts is critical for organizations to avoid huge financial losses and damage to cyber posture. We hope the above list will help you detect cyber security breaches effectively so your business can take preemptive measures to mitigate damages.

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