9 Latest Cybersecurity Threats To Be Aware Of In 2020

The advancements in technology are all good until it is used for the benefit of society as a whole. But like everything else, there is a darker side to it. A bigger cyber network means more hidden loopholes, and thus, leading to more cases of cheating and fraud.

It is essential to plan ahead when it comes to maintaining cybersecurity so that your attackers don’t have the opportunity to get ahead before you. The number of cybersecurity breaches has considerably increased in the past few years. This can be dangerous, especially for companies, as it erodes their brand reliability. The less attention you pay to your cybersecurity, the more are the chances that the attackers will target you and take advantage of it because they are getting smarter. This could lead to the attackers obtaining sensitive information from your company. Attackers are constantly inventing new ways to damage the reputation and the functioning of their target company or individual but there are some tried and tested ways to commit fraud to back them up. Protection against these threats will ensure that your company’s data is much safer than before.

Listed below are nine imminent cybersecurity threats you should protect yourself from in 2020.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware attacks that hold information for ransom in exchange for money cause tremendous losses to companies every year. There have reportedly been fewer ransomware attacks on individuals and more attacks on companies and businesses. Even in the first quarter of 2019, there was a 340% increase in the detections of ransomware attacks in businesses.

Ransomware is a piece of disguised malware that encrypts all of the victim’s data. To get their information back, the victim has to pay a certain amount of ransom that the attacker demands or lose their data forever. Businesses are being targeted by such encryption malware as they have more reasons to protect their information and to offer more money as ransom. Some attackers also target high net-worth individuals, trying to break into their vulnerable cloud data in order to cause damage. The surge with cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, enables the attackers to get paid anonymously, playing to their advantage.

In order to protect yourself or your company from such ransomware, you will have to fortify your perimeter security by using firewalls. All devices connected to that network must have an antivirus program installed to scan any attachments from outside for any signs of infiltration by such encryption malware. Thirdly, it is wise to regularly back up your important data somewhere so that even if in case you lose your data to ransomware, you can still restore it with minimal losses or damage to your company.

2. Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks are a serious concern that cannot be dismissed easily even today. Phishing attacks happen when the attacker sends an email with convincing text in order to trick people into clicking the link in the email to surrender sensitive information or install the malware in their systems. This information like the login ID or password or credit card details and later be used to abuse the company’s system.

Phishing strategies are cheap for the attackers to come up with and carry low risk with them. These are so common that about four phishing emails are sent to an employee’s inbox every week on an average. The hackers employ creative strategies, going so far as to use machine learning software that can create convincing content to cheat an unsuspicious person easily. To prevent this, the employees of the company must be trained to recognize such phishing attempts. Their access to important data should be kept at a minimum and anti-phishing software should be installed to detect such emails and delete them.

3. IoT Attacks

IoT or Internet of Things refers to the various devices that are interconnected so that it is more convenient for the user and the business to streamline information quickly. Nowadays, laptops, tablets, phones, smartwatches, and other household application devices are interconnected.  But not all of these devices have strong security against incoming cybercrime attacks. A larger interconnected network means a larger scope for loose ends and risks, which is why such networks are more vulnerable. To prevent IoT attacks from installing malware in the devices, you should regularly update the firmware of the devices in your network.

4. Insider Threats

In many cases, the biggest threats to the security of a company have been their own employees. It has been documented that one-third of all the threats caused to the safety of a company’s data are insider threats. Some employees misuse their exclusive insiders’ access in order to illegally obtain and sell sensitive data to third parties. Employees cause data theft, accidentally share or leak undisclosed information, have their accounts hacked by attackers due to poor security, or are even tricked into downloading malware into their devices, in their workstations that might cause the important data they have to be compromised.

These insider attacks are considered huge threats that companies face on a daily basis because they have the potential to wreak havoc in a company. Even a single employee who is careless or has fraudulent intentions in their mind can easily cause a major data security breach. Such attacks are unprecedented and are hard to deal with, no matter how big the company.

In order to prevent their own employees from turning into threats, companies should apply a strict policy of least privilege, so that employees can access only the minimum of the resources that are enough to let them do their work. Thus, even if the employee’s account is hacked or compromised, it still won’t cause much damage to the entire system or network of the company.

5. Crypto-Jacking

Crypto-jacking is the term used when cyber-criminals hijack or obtain unauthorized access to a computer, phone, or other devices of a third party to mine for cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that can be used in place of real money in order to exchange for goods or services. These cryptocurrencies can be mined through a computer by using special programs to solve complex mathematical equations to gain a piece of the currency. The cryptocurrency obtains its value from how hard it is to find, making its value fluctuate. The more devices, the easier it is to mine for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. All the cybercriminals have to do is hack someone’s computer with code and use their devices and energy to mine for cryptocurrency. This code can be installed in the host computer through phishing email attachments and works in the background without the user of the host computer knowing about it.

Crypto-jacking can be detected by observing the speed and performance of the device. If the processor usage is high, leading to the device getting heated too soon or if the response of the device is suddenly slow, crypto-jacking can be suspected. To prevent devices from being the victims of crypto-jacking, strong security software and ad-blockers have to be installed. Anti-crypto mining extensions for browsers are also available. It is important to stay alert for any phishing emails.

6. Shortage of Cyber Professionals

Cybercriminals find the internet an easy place to obtain quick and easy money from millions of innocent people. This is because there are so many loopholes in cybersecurity that can easily be exploited by them. These criminals are in constant touch with any technological development and usually seem a step ahead of the victims. In order to deal with these cunning criminals, an equally smart team of cyber professionals are required. But there is a huge shortage for such skilled cyber professionals and both, the businesses and government are struggling to hire such people. To cope up with the shortage of cyber professionals, companies must see which candidate has the greatest potential to fit and suit the job and offer them training or an apprenticeship program so as to develop the required skills while retaining their loyalty. 

7. DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service is a form of attack where the normal functioning and traffic of a targeted website or a server is disturbed by overwhelming its network with internet traffic beyond its capacity of handling. The sources of this immense traffic are various IoT devices that had been previously attacked by cybercriminals. Malware is downloaded into these devices, turning them into bots. These bots are then instructed by the attacker, who sends them updated commands through remote control. Each of these bots sends a request to the victim’s IP address at the same time, overwhelming the server, thus causing them to deny service to the normal, genuine traffic. What makes these types of attacks extremely dangerous is that there are various categories within them. It is very difficult to separate normal traffic and bot traffic, since all of the bots stem from genuine accounts and devices, without their knowledge.

DDoS attacks can also be used as a distraction for some other forms of cyber-attacks that happen simultaneously so that they can go undetected with a larger problem at hand. The bots merge with the normal traffic and that is the goal of the attacker. There is no one way to prevent it since the more complex and layered the attack, the more strategic the defender would have to be to protect the network. An easy solution is blackhole routing. Blackhole routing means to direct both malicious and genuine traffic into a null route. The rate of requests can also be predetermined and limited to a particular number. Apart from these, a firewall can also help in thwarting a few types of DDoS attacks.

8. Gaps in Cybersecurity

Even though big businesses have shifted online, there still remains an immense number of gaps in the very fabric of the internet security system that cybercriminals happily exploit. Due to the global outreach and complex technology used with the help of the internet, one has to be prepared all the time to detect any incoming attacks. If the company does not know what they are dealing with, it becomes very easy for the attacker to compromise the company’s network and data. The accessibility of the internet makes it possible for an account or a website to be attacked anytime. In order to prevent attackers from finding loopholes, constant vigilance is absolutely necessary. The functioning must be supervised and the network monitored to detect any such threats before they have a chance to infiltrate a network.

9. AI Attacks

While Artificial Intelligence is the pinnacle of human achievements in terms of technology, it is also highly dangerous in the chance that it is turned against the very reason it was made for – to help the society. AI has enabled computers to attack other networks on their own effectively. They can lead to the hacking of networks spanning multiple devices within seconds, all because of a few lines of code written specifically to exploit the target’s weaknesses. Machine learning is both a boon and a bane for the society because when misused, it can lead to harmful effects. Companies can be discredited with rumors, fake news, and propaganda can be spread across the social media, hidden voice commands that are given by dangerous malware can hijack the workings of voice-enabled systems and appliances, leading to a breach of security. AI attacks can go as far as to cause threats to the military. To prevent such attacks, new algorithms to improve AI resilience should be developed and implemented after thorough testing and research.

Conclusion

The future brings with it many new leaps in technology, and cyber-attacks are not stopping anytime soon. It is essential to be safe than sorry in the cyber realm, and the best way to do that is to be updated about the various techniques used by cybercriminals and take preventive measures accordingly. Building up a highly resilient cyber defence system would prove to be extremely beneficial for an individual or a business in the long run.

How to Establish Organisational Cyber Resilience and Agility

It’s Not Really About The 98% Caught, But Its About The 2% You Miss.

Introduction

You might become complacent and consider a cyber-attack against your business to be a remote possibility. But attack methods are becoming more sophisticated every day, and organisations are increasingly reliant on technology to drive every aspect of their business. With this heavy reliance on technology, this means any organisation is susceptible to a cyber-attack.

The goal of cyber prevention has been to reduce the probability of an attack against the organisation; cyber resilience looks to minimise the impact of these attacks through effective cyber risk management. A cyber resilience program still considers detection and prevention techniques, but it also assumes that a breach is probable. This stance accentuates expectation, agility, and adaptation. In the cyber world, not every attack can be prevented, but with a cyber resilience program, damage can be minimised or avoided altogether.

But, it is not the 98.5 per cent that is caught that is the issue; it is the 1.5 per cent that is missed. With a small fraction of that same 1.5 per cent of current threats is missed by the NGFW (Next Generation Firewall), IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), and endpoint protection (EPP) system; then we have the beginning of a breach.

Modern-day cyberattack campaigns involve stealthy, persistent, and sophisticated activities to establish a footing in organisational systems; maintain that footing and extend the set of resources the adversary controls, and exfiltrate sensitive information or disrupt corporate operations.

Enterprise architecture and systems engineering must, therefore, be based on cyber risk management principles to ensure that mission and business functions will continue to operate in the presence of a security compromise.

To protect your critical organisational assets — and to keep your business running — you need to build cyber resilience and agility as part of your core business strategy.

Here are some recommendations for building a cybersecurity resilience program

Assess and Analyse

Cyber-attacks can impact businesses in several ways, from the loss of data and intellectual property to business interruption and more. To protect all your critical assets and effectively manage cyber risk, it’s vital that you understand the cyber scenarios your organisation is most likely to face — and how much they can cost your business.

To assess your cyber risk, you should:

Identify and inventory critical assets — data, systems, and infrastructure — that are essential to your operations.
Review your internal controls and digital profile to identify internal vulnerabilities and external threats.
Value your cyber assets at risk using modelling and other data and technology tools.
By adopting these steps, the organisation can objectively measure its cyber risk, and incorporate quantitative data into your risk management decision-making.

Embed cybersecurity into the core business strategy

Cybersecurity must be core to and aligned with your organisational business strategy. This should be enabled by default and entrenched across technology stacks by design. This must begin with a typical project’s inception and be continuously validated across the entire project lifecycle, thereby reducing risk potential and maximising delivery assurance. As cybersecurity gets entrenched into core business strategy, organisations inherently gain a greater understanding of risks they face, and embrace the innovation needed to counter identified threats, and have the resilience to restore operations in the event of a security breach.

Drive security from the top-down and encourage a bottom-up reporting approach

Security is everyone’s responsibility. The Board and Executives must demonstrate accountability and support for safety across the organisation. Recognise and empower employee vigilance and engagement as an extension of the cybersecurity programme with the power to drive cultural change. Create cybersecurity consciousness. It’s far more cost-effective to investigate suspicious or fraudulent activity observed by an employee early in the attack cycle than to respond after it has occurred.

Mitigate the impact of ransomware

Remain risk-focused. Minimise exposure to data by enforcing ‘need to know’ policies and implementing data and network segmentation. Prioritise and perform endpoint hygiene, including acceptable usage policies and end-user training to reduce the likelihood of users running malicious files. Boost monitoring to identify ransomware infections early. Enforce backup strategies and store backups offline. Maintain focus on foundational practices such as patch and vulnerability management, data encryption, and identity and access controls.

Use multisource intelligence

Use threat intelligence to prioritise resources effectively and mitigate threats before they impact your business. Incorporate it into the attack and breach simulations to improve cyber defences and incident management processes.

Outpace adversary sophistication through cybersecurity dexterity

Cybersecurity must move at the speed of digital business. The attack surface is fed by continuous releases by DevOps of features and application components that expose new vulnerabilities daily rather than over the much longer release cycles of pre-digital development. Be agile and responsive. Shift resources based on the changing risk landscape and short development cycles.

IN CONCLUSION

The threat landscape is dominated by email phishing threats, exploitable vulnerabilities, and insider actions. Attackers are using macros, scripts, and social engineering methods, finding unpatched vulnerabilities, and compromising access credentials.

They’re also using newer methods, such as compromising trusted supply chains, shared infrastructure, source code, and applications, thereby increasing the need for software component validation. Although their ways continue to evolve, attackers still favour the path of least resistance.

Risks are less predictable than before, and attackers are developing more sophisticated ways of breaching defences. This calls for a mature and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, understanding the risks while gaining buy-in from organisational leaders.

Over the last decade, one observation has remained constant: our adversaries operate on a global level, and we must counter this by investing in the right capabilities across people, process, and technologies to scale at the pace at which cybercriminals operate. With this approach in mind, and considering increasing demands by customers, industry, regulators, and governments, organisations must establish cybersecurity agility to seek competitive advantage.

To develop a resilient and agile cybersecurity strategy, please contact the Author by sending email to support@dangata.com. Or contact him directly at dangata@dangata.com.

Top 10 Tips on How to Improve Security Inside the Firewall

Big companies have significantly improved the security of the network perimeter, and despite considerable investments in this area, most enterprise networks remain vulnerable at their core. Techniques that have deployed and proved highly successful at defending the network perimeter have not been sufficient for protecting the internal system, because of both scalability and perception issues. Despite this, security practitioners can make significant steps in shielding their internal networks by aligning their tactics with the realities of internal network security.

The following ten tips explain ways to tackle the security challenges of large, active internal networks. Furthermore, since these tips involve defensive tactics, they offer a workable a tactical plan for improving the security of an extended enterprise network.

1. Internal security is different from perimeter security.

There is a stack of difference in the threat model between internal security and perimeter security. Perimeter security defends your networks from Internet attackers, armed with zero-day exploits of standard Internet services like HTTP and SMTP. However, the access a maintenance man has to your network, just by plugging into an Ethernet jack, dwarfs the access a sophisticated hacker gains with scripts. Deploy “hacker defences” at the perimeter; configure and enforce tight but flexible policy to address potential internal threats.

2. Tighten VPN access.

Virtual private network clients are a substantial internal security threat because they position poorly locked down desktop operating systems outside the protection of the corporate firewall. Therefore, be unambiguous about what VPN users can access by ensuring there is a clear policy in place. Do not give every VPN user unfettered access to the entire internal network. Apply access-control lists to limit classes of VPN users’ access to only what they need, such as mail servers or limited intranet resources.

3. Perform due diligence on business partners and build internet-style perimeters for extranets.

Partner networks contribute to internal security challenges. Although highly experienced security administrators know how to configure their firewalls to block MS-SQL, the Slammer worm penetrated defences and brought down networks because companies had given their partner’s access to internal resources without proper risk analysis. Since you can’t control the security policies and practices of your partners so, create a DMZ for each partner, place resources they need to access in that DMZ and disallow any other access to your network.

4. Automate security policy tracking.

Intelligent security policy is the key to active security practice. The challenge is that changes in business operations significantly outpace the ability to adapt security policy manually. This reality demands that you devise automated methods of detecting business practice changes that require reconciliation with security policy. This can be as in-depth as tracking when employees are hired and fired, and as simple as monitoring network usage and observing which computers talk to which file servers. Most importantly, ensure your security policy is not too limiting to impact its day-to-day operational use.

5. Closed off unused network services and ports.

Multiple numbers of servers might be deployed just for delivering email service alone, but a typical corporate network might also have upward of 100 other servers listening on the SMTP port alone. It would help if you audited the network for services that shouldn’t be running. If a server is acting as a Windows file server but has never been used as a file server in a long time, turn off file-sharing protocols on this server.

6. Protect your business-critical assets first.

Perform a complete audit of your network for wireless connectivity, and eliminate rogue wireless access points. It would help if you recognised that wireless network access is a compelling and useful facility, and offer secure wireless access to your network users. You should Position an access point outside your of your perimeter firewalls and allow users to access your VPN through it. The chances of your users trying to install and use rogue access points are eliminated if you already provide wireless access on the network.

7. Build protected wireless access.

Perform a complete audit of your network for wireless connectivity, and eliminate rogue wireless access points. It would help if you recognised that wireless network access is a compelling and useful facility, and offer secure wireless access to your network users. You should Position an access point outside your of your perimeter firewalls and allow users to access your VPN through it. The chances of your users trying to install and use rogue access points are eliminated if you already provide wireless access on the network.

8. Build protected visitor access.

Open access to the internal network should be strictly prohibited to visitors. In many organisations, security administrators and engineers attempt to enforce a No Internet Access from certain areas, like the conference rooms. This policy can force employees to give unauthorised access to visitors from alternative desks areas that are harder to track. To mitigate the chance of this happening, build visitor network segments for conference rooms, outside the perimeter firewalls.

9. Install virtual perimeters.

Hosts will remain vulnerable to attack as long as human beings are operating them. Instead of creating unrealistic goals like “no host should ever be compromised,” make it the intention that no one host gives an attacker complete access to the network if it is compromised. Analyse how your network is used and build virtual perimeters around business units. If a human resources user’s machine is compromised, the attacker should not be able to pivot to other business units, such as IT, for example. So, implement access control between HR and IT. Organisations have experienced network staff who knows how to build perimeters between the internet and internal networks. It’s, therefore, time that these skills are put to use in deploying boundaries between different business user groups on the network.

10. Streamline security decisions.

Network users are a critical ally in the efforts to improve network security. Typical users may not know the difference between RADIUS and TACACS, or proxy and packet filtering firewalls, but they are likely to cooperate if you are honest and straightforward with them. Make the network readily accessible to use for typical users. If users never have bad experiences with convoluted security practices, they will be more responsive to evolving security practices put in place to protect the organisation.

Ten Simple Steps to An Effective Data Security Strategy

Most IT professionals realise that there is such a thing as a data lifecycle, but there’s no common rule on what it is. Lifecycle may be a misleading term, since most lifecycles lead to reproduction or recycling, and data doesn’t. However, at least we can agree that the data lifecycle has some distinct phases during which it needs to be managed.

The data life cycle refers to the process of acquisition, usage, storage and archiving of information in a system or setting. Since we are already in the information age, it will be wrong to say that information can get lost as cloud systems exist to ensure that remote backups are a distinct possibility

I’ve identified 4 different phases of the data lifecycle that most data passes through, and sound data management is one of the foundations on which lies the lifeblood of every company—its data.

1. Data acquisition/creation

How does data enter your organisation? When an employee creates a file, design research, compiles results in a spreadsheet, capture forms on your website, or any other kind of data creation, that information automatically becomes part of your company’s data. This active data is stored locally on servers, in the cloud, or a host data centre.

2. Data usage & processing

At this stage, is when the data is used and moved around your enterprise. Maybe it’s being transformed and enhanced by end users. Data usage can even be a product or service that your enterprise offers to your customers. It is at this phase where governance and compliance challenges arise.

3. Data storage and archiving

At some point in time, the data in your system will have no immediate use, and it’s time to file it in case it might be needed in the future for legal or compliance purposes. This removes the data from your active environment and moves it off to storage. The data is still at risk while in storage, so your controls should always be applied to the data at rest. One of the best ways to achieve security with your data while at rest is through high strength encryption.

4. Data destruction

When you no longer need data, it must be destroyed. This is another point in the data lifecycle where a governance and compliance issue might be raised. It’s essential to ensure that the data has been appropriately destroyed early. Deletion of data may occur on the surface, but there will always be a trail of breadcrumbs which lead back to the existence of the original dataset in the first place. Utilise industry best practices for data destruction to ensure you are not leaving any footprints of the data, which might be of use to cybercriminals in the event of a compromise.

Exemptions to the data lifecycle stages There are exceptions to these lifecycle stages. Data must not pass through these phases strictly in that order, because sometimes data is used repeatedly through some of the steps while skipping others.

It also doesn’t describe the environments that exist for data. Data can live in information silos where some of these stages don’t necessarily apply.

The main point to the data lifecycle is that data management and its distinct governance and compliance issues have phases that must be managed appropriately, which is an often-cumbersome task for enterprises with large amounts of data flowing through its infrastructure.

Recommended Best Practices

The creation of processes, policies and rules that govern the information lifecycle change as technologies regarding both hardware and software. Technology grows at a faster rate than ever and data security as it exchanges hands or moves from one end of the lifecycle to the other is often neglected. Follow these ten simple steps to achieve an effective DATA SECURITY strategy.

  1. Create rules which adhere to industry standards. Such standards include but are not limited to EU-GDPR, PCI-DSS, The UK DPA and others which are critical towards the maintenance of data security not only in the United Kingdom but globally as well.
  2. Implement policies to protect sensitive data and their transmission across networks. Such security policies serve as a form of self-regulation by your organisation within the information technology industry.
  3. Continuously search for vulnerabilities within information systems and on networks. This “prevention is better than cure” approach is one surefire way of keeping systems up and running without fear of shutdown or attack by malicious individuals and criminals.
  4. Improve your access technologies to information systems. This would also include the continuous upgrading of the various cryptographic techniques available which are the fundamental basis for the access to data in the first place. This improvement is always an ongoing process, and it is something that is compulsory as yesterdays’ technology is out of date as at last night.
  5. Implement physical controls to protect information facilities to prevent insider access to your critical crown jewels, your data.
  6. Be security conscious in the selection of personnel which are required for employment in your organisation. Humanity has reached a point where an in-depth background check of individuals who would be working in organisations who deal with peoples’ data should be required. A psychological evaluation of such individuals is also encouraged. Constant behavioural analysis by supervisors should also be the norm, and part of your regular security hygiene.
  7. Implement NGFW (Next Generation Firewalls) in IT systems to prevent unauthorised access to critical components of information technology networks. Firewalls play an extremely vital role in making sure that attackers are kept out of networks where they can do much harm and steal information.
  8. Consistently monitor systems using scanning software (such as malware scans) and other in-depth analysis software for any evidence of abnormal software behaviour. Heuristic methods of finding such anomalous files is another way of securing data. This must be done in all forms of software systems and at all levels of the information lifecycle.
  9. Train your employees who have access to data and records on possible social engineering methods and practices. If a malicious individual may not be able to get access to information the technical way, the human form is also a weak link which can be exploited by such individuals. As such, it is the responsibility of cybersecurity leaders to train employees on such possible means of exploitation.
  10. Use emerging technologies such as blockchain to improve security. Blockchain technology and other emerging technologies have given cybersecurity professionals the kind of hope where everything is possible. Integration of blockchain solutions to existing information technology systems is another way of data protection in the information lifecycle. This is because the fundamental basis of blockchain technology is based on cryptography which is one of the foundational aspects of cybersecurity.

IN CONCLUSION

With the above, it is expected that the information lifecycle is continuously improved upon with the latest techniques and methods of data protection. Achieving a good security posture requires good security hygiene to be built into your overall security program. It is also essential that your security program is reviewed periodically, preferably bi-annually to ascertain if it is still fit for purpose against newly sophisticated attack vectors.

Powering Business Through Cloud-Based Identity and Access Management

Businesses of all sizes and types are increasingly using cloud computing services in production deployments for business-critical operations. Some of these organisations use cloud services to store and process their most sensitive business data. To gain the security advantages of simplicity and consistency, it is crucial to integrate the identity and access management (IAM) systems in use for cloud-based systems with the IAM protections used in-house. Let’s discuss critical considerations for that integration in this article.

Additionally, cloud technologies offer a promising platform for the deployment of IAM services themselves. When implemented well, cloud-based services for IAM can provide significant benefits, including:

Shorter deployment cycles: Traditional on-premises IAM implementation can run as long as several years. This is because some do not offer returns on investment quickly enough. IAM programs can lose momentum and face cancellation. With the advent of cloud computing, this has begun to change. A cloud-based IAM service deployment can slash implementation time to a matter of months., allowing the programs to demonstrate their benefits faster and meet the shorter datelines companies may have for access risk remediation and system improvements.
Elasticity and dynamic nature of services capacity: A cloud-based IAM service deployment enables an organisation to expand and contract services and right-size computing resources on demand, based on the organisation’s needs. For example, IAM processes such as “Access Review and Certification” can benefit from resource flexibility. There are typically only short periods of peak usage when organisations conduct their reviews and certification of individuals’ access. In a traditional on-premises IAM implementation, companies are forced to buy systems robust enough to handle that peak demand, even though they only need it for a short period. By comparison, cloud-based IAM services can dynamically adjust resources to accommodate these spikes.

Lower total cost of ownership: In a cloud-based IAM deployment, ongoing service support maintenance is handled by a trusted service provider, allowing your organisation to focus your resources on initiatives that support your core business. Cloud licensing models will enable you to only pay for what you use; so, costs are based on your usage of the service. Additionally, the cloud-based model in a hosted arrangement may eliminate the need to procure hardware, facilities, and other core IT infrastructure that is often needed to support the solution.When considering cloud for IAM services, the organisation should carefully determine cloud strategies that are aligned with business needs. These strategies typically involve the following:

IAM cloud deployment models (on-premises/hosted, private, public, or hybrid)
IAM service models (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS)
IAM cloud security and risk management.

IAM CLOUD DEPLOYMENT MODELS

1. Private cloud

Private cloud refers to a form of deployment in which a cloud environment is set up exclusively for a given entity or organisation. As shown in Figure 1.1, this cloud environment may be on premises, meaning that the private cloud deployed within the organisation or may be hosted off-premises at a cloud service provider (CSF) with a dedicated environment for the organisation (resources are not shared with any other entity). Private cloud deployment can fit a wide range of business models. They are an efficient solution when setting up a shared pool of IAM services for a large organisation with several separate business units. It allows a delegation of IAM provisioning and other tasks that are better performed closer to each business unit’s end users. Private clouds are ideal when you need to accelerate innovation and have some large compute requirements with strict control, security, and compliance needs.

2. Private cloud

In a public cloud deployment, applications, infrastructure, and platforms are shared across multiple organisations, and a public medium such as the internet is used to access the cloud service. Amazon EC2 would be an example of a public cloud service. It provides a virtual compute environment over the internet, enabling an organisation to use web service interfaces to launch instances with a variety of operating systems, load them with a custom application environment, manage network access permissions, and run the compute image using as many or few systems as the organisation requires. Public cloud can all or some select layers of enterprise architecture, from storage to user interface. As shown above, in Figure 1-1, public cloud IAM deployments provide an IAM service shared across multiple tenants. A tenant is any application either inside or outside the organisation that requires its own exclusive virtual computing environment. In public clouds, multi-tenants are interactive applications with multiple enterprise end users. The main benefit of public cloud IAM services is the cost savings. Resources are shared with many users, and the hardware the CSP provides is built on a system that makes the most efficient use of it. The organisation doesn’t have some upfront costs or time for IAM implementation for basic functionality as the traditional IAM deployment.

3. Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud deployment model is composed of two or more clouds, public or private; or on-premises IAM solutions in combination with off-premises public or private clouds. In both scenarios, at least two unique entities are set up and connected (under common management) by standardised technology that provides data and application between the two.

One of the benefits of a hybrid cloud model is that for organisations that are sceptical about the move to the cloud, it offers a “safer” deployment environment to move IAM services to the private cloud. As the first step in combination with their on-premises IAM services and eventually scale to a public cloud for excellent IAM services once the organisation has a higher degree of confidence in the cloud model. This is especially true for IAM as service processes that involve sensitive identity and access data such as provisioning and certification. Use of a hybrid approach enables organisations to continue to use on-premises solutions while beginning to implement security in the cloud and have the flexibility to move to the cloud on their schedule, instead of adopting an “all or nothing” approach.

There is a common misconception that IAM cloud computing implies an “external” cloud, based on public cloud services. IAM cloud computing is a way of computing, not a physical destination. Most enterprises will benefit from IAM cloud computing within their own data centres, building “private clouds,” and getting there in an iterative process through their existing virtualisation initiatives. When considering cloud deployment models, organisations should choose after careful consideration of business needs and goals. There are three common deployment models:

  1. Employ a public to offload time-consuming maintenance tasks
  2. Establish a private cloud to become an IAM service provider to your business units
  3. Move non-revenue generating functions out of your datacentres

Figure 1-2 depicts the select attributes of the deployment options to summarise the fundamental differences of the models. In the next section of this article, I describe the cloud services models that are typically used in conjunction with these deployments help organisations achieve their business goals.

IAM CLOUD SERVICE MODELS

Cloud-based IAM services can be categorised into three distinct types of cloud service models:

1. Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS refers to a means of providing business functionality through applications typically running on an externally hosted environment in which the purchaser/consumer pays by usage fee or a monthly fee. These software services usually delivered through the web and require a web browser to access applications (g., web-based CRM). The purchaser does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application maintenance, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings. Hosted IAM services are often provided through the SaaS model. For example, within the IAM process domain, “Enforcement” and “Review and Certification” domains provide additional benefits based on the predictable nature of resource usage. A cloud-based IAM solution for these process domains can provide resource flexibility by adjusting resources to accommodate anticipated peak usage demand (e.g., annual or quarterly review cycles).

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), PaaS is “the capability provided to the consumer to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage but has control over the deployed applications by possibly application hosting environment configurations. PaaS focuses on everything underneath the application layer, including the underlying platform and some components of infrastructure. IAM deployments in the PaaS model will seek to share resources at the software platform level will have more transparency and control in comparison to the SaaS model.

3. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

IaaS refers to a service model that provides a hosted environment wherein a buyer can purchase infrastructure capacity that can be rapidly provisioned and deployed according to need. This may be useful in IAM deployments where the organisation seeks more control and transparency over security and availability of capabilities.
A cloud-based IAM service model should be aligned with your organisation’s target state business scenario and IAM process, protected resources and type of targeted user population. Common business scenarios within these IAM process domains are the following:
Employee access to external applications (both traditional hosted and cloud-based hosted business applications)
Employee access to internal applications
Business to business partner access
Consumer access to internally hosted and externally hosted services.

As shown in Figure 1-4, for each of these scenarios, protected resources can include SaaS applications (Google Apps, Office 365, etc.), and traditional on-premises applications.

For example, an organisation may choose to implement a shared authentication service for its cloud-based applications and on-premises applications to provide its employees with a seamless user experience across applications. Another example would be that an organisation can provide an access review and certification process as a cloud-based IAM service and the results of the review and certification may feed into an internal access de-provisioning process.

IAM CLOUD SECURITY AND RISK MANAGEMENT

A primary inhibitor of widespread adoption of cloud-based IAM service models is a concern for the security of applications and sensitive data that may need to reside in the cloud. For cloud-based IAM services to become a vital part of the IT enterprise portfolio, providers need to implement adequate security controls for sensitive enterprise data and applications. Cloud-based IAM service providers have made significant strides in addressing these concerns through their internal controls and service provisioning strategies. The purchasing organisation’s internal controls must augment the service provider’s security and privacy protections and validated further by that organisation’s third-party risk management program.

The fundamentals of protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information are not different in cloud-based services. When using a cloud environment, organisations must understand the risks to their systems and data. Asking some fundamental questions to your organisation’s CSP is a good starting point. Typical questions to ask:
Where will the organisation’s data be located?
Who will have access to the organisation’s assets and data? How will the organisation’s systems and data be secured?
What is being monitored and logged?
What evidentiary reporting will the CSP provide to enable compliance?

Regardless of the deployment and service model used, cloud computing creates new IAM challenges that must be addressed. Management of virtual machines within the cloud requires elevated rights that when compromised may give attackers the ability to gain control of the most valuable targets in the cloud. Such rights also provide the attackers with the ability to create sophisticated data intercept capabilities that may be difficult for cloud providers to detect promptly. The risk of undetected data loss, tampering, and resultant fraud can be magnified unless controls are in place.

CSPs should have documented processes for their IAM practices. This includes both physical and logical access environments. Traditional vendor risk management practices will apply for physical access to the hosting environments (background checks, employment status, hosting company location, roles and responsibilities, etc.) On the logical access side, the flexible and dynamic nature of virtual environments introduce new challenges as virtual machines can be moved, copied, or important configuration settings can be modified easily. For this reason, automated security controls at the hypervisor level are necessary. For example, CSPs must implement privileged access management (PAM) solution at the hypervisor level. Organisations should take steps required to understand the controls CSPs have implemented around each hypervisor administrator identity. Organisations considering a cloud-based IAM service model should tailor security controls to the type of cloud deployment, service model, security requirements for IAM service, and confirm that CSP can meet these requirements. Can the cloud service provider security controls in compliance with the organisation’s security policies for on-premises solutions? Can the organisation still operate its IAM security process if one or more parts of the cloud-based IAM service become unavailable?

CONCLUSION

Both my research and experience working for large enterprise organisations indicate that organisations that turn IAM into an explicit business enabler rather than a cost centre will create competitive advantage. By offering cloud-based IAM services around the six IAM processes of request and approval, provisioning, enforcement, (authentication and authorisation), review and certification, reconciliation, and reporting and auditing, the IT security organisation become and IAM CSPM to the rest of the enterprise.

How DNS-Based Attacks work from the Inside Out, and How to DEFEND Against Them?

The first and foremost thing is to know what DNS is and how it works? Let me explain to you in simple words. The Domain Name System (DNS) has a secure link with modern network connectivity. Internet users can access content online through domain names like twitter.com. As we know, Web browsers interact through IP (Internet protocol) addresses. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources. Many DNS related cyber-attacks involve malware/ransomware, which steals and transfers data out of organizations.

Unfortunately, Cyber-criminals use DNS to carry out attacks and take advantage of vulnerabilities in the domain name system. There are many ways cybercriminals exploit the unique properties of DNS and damage the organization’s reputation and profitability. DNS attacks can cripple an organization due to failures in DNS security. To prevent these attacks, you need to understand how DNS attacks work from Inside Out and Outside-in attack. Both are different from each other. The focus in this article is how to defend against inside out DNS attacks.

1. How DNS-Based Attacks Work from the Inside Out

Hackers use bugs and plant them on an organization’s servers to send information out via DNS query responses. Malware exploits are the most common example of DNS attacks. Malware exploits are inside-out threats that usually commit a crime for money by criminal groups that combine the hierarchical organization of legal business with the terrorist networks. These criminals also used exfiltrating data malware to get confidential information such as customer credit card numbers and market it to lesser criminals. Therefore, it is essential to take proactive actions to prevent attacks that harm the organization’s brand reputation and violate criminal law. Now, I am going to share how to defend against these DNS attacks.

2. How to Defend Against DNS Attacks

Indeed, DNS attacks are not suitable for an organization’s growth. Most targeted sectors of DNS-based Inside Out attacks are the financial sector, telecom sector, and media. Mostly these sectors are hit by the highest number of brand damage. Due to the theft of sensitive information, companies bear the highest costs of an attack. Therefore, it is very much essential to fight back against these attacks to protect the organization. Whenever these attacks hit companies, they turn off affected processes, disable affected applications, and shut down the business services for a while. Companies must take proactive approaches to prevent these attacks or predict the attacks before they happen. There are specific ways by which you can avoid the DNS attacks.

3. Keep DNS resolver private and protected

Organizations that are running their resolver, they should keep ‘their usage restricted to the users only on their network. By doing this, you can prevent your cache from being poisoned by hackers. By using the measurement Factory’s online tool, you can check for open resolvers on your network.

4. Build Protections into your DNS software

To prevent the DNS attacks, you must build protection into the DNS software to protect the cache poisoning. For example, add variability to outgoing requests that make it harder for a hacker to get the bogus response accepted. Popular ways of doing this are; using a random source port instead of UDP port 53. You can also randomize the query ID. It is randomizing the casing of the letters of the domain names that are sent out for resolution.

5. Implement internal threat intelligence

It is essential to implement internal threat intelligence to protect an organization’s services and confidential data. The matter of the fact is Real-time DNS analytics helps to detect and prevent advanced attacks like DGA (Domain generation algorithm) malware and zero-day malicious domains.

6. Ensure security Compliance

To combat DNS attacks, a user needs to integrate DNS with IPAM (IP address management). In network security composition processes that can help to automate the management security policies, keep the system consistent, and auditable.

7. Control DNS Unique traffic visibility in your network security ecosystem

To prevent DNS attacks, implement real-time behavioural threat detection over DNS traffic. It ensures that qualified security events sent to your Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software. It helps SOCs accelerate remediation.

8. Manage your DNS server securely

When it comes to user’s authoritative servers, the organization needs to decide whether to host them or have them hosted at a third-party service provider. Most organizations prefer to organize and manage their DNS by themselves. Because they fully understand that their security interest is more reliable internally, rather than with a third-party provider. If your organization has skills to host and manage its DNS, then you do not need to engage the services of a third-party DNS provider. However, if your organization lacks internal DNS skills, then it is ok to seek the services of a reliable DNS provider. If this is the case, perform due diligence on the potential providers before engaging their services.

9. If you host yourDNS servers

Mitigate the risk of a DDoS attack: The DNS servers are vulnerable to a DDoS attack that affects system availability, which thwarts one of the core tenets of cybersecurity CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability). It is essential to ensure that a DDoS mitigation service protects the server. It helps to eliminate the unwanted traffic and provide bandwidth to ensure that your DNS servers remain reachable or not.

Avoid Known vulnerabilities: whenit comes to running your name servers, then it is essential to keep them up to date to prevent known vulnerabilities. One of the most used security tools is a patch management system. You know what? A hacker can send DNS requests with spoofed sources to your servers by which your servers respond by sending unwanted traffic to the spoofed source. Therefore, it is essential to keep them updated to prevent your name servers from being used in reflection attacks on third parties.

DNS software used a technique called Response Rate limiting to avoid the extensive responses to the same spoofed source in a limited time. Using this technique makes your server secure from hackers.

Restrict Zone transfers: To prevent hacker attacks, you need to use a hidden primary master name server. Often slave name servers request a zone transfer, which is a copy of part of the master server’s DNS database. The zone contains a ton of information that could help a hacker to understand the topology of your network. Therefore, you need to ensure that your name servers are configured only to carry out zone transfers to the specific IP address of your slave DNS servers.

Keep monitoring your name servers: You should actively monitor the visibility of your server, what are the status and any changes made or not. Keep watching unusual behaviour in your DNS activity log. The quicker you detect the unfamiliar or suspicious activity, there are chances that you may be able to thwart the potential hack of your Domain for nefarious acts.

Use PKI to protect your DNS server. You need to use a digital certificate to authenticate your Secure Shell (SSH) session whenever you log on to your DNS server to make changes. This communication is encrypted as it traverses your network, and the chance of interception is zero.

Apply specialist DNS appliance: To minimize attacks on your DNS servers, shutdown unwanted services, or unneeded ports. It is essential to know that DNS appliances offer hardened operating systems with automatic updates that help the organization to protect it from denial of service attacks.

10. If Your Domain managed by a registrar?

Whenever a third party manages your Domain, then it is essential to satisfy yourself that your online operations and security measures work efficiently and appropriately.

Use Multi-factor authentication. The use of MFA further strengthens any authentication to your DNS servers, which will require a second authentication factor such as a token, mobile device for OTP, etc.

DNS change locking. Most registrars enforce specific security processes before changes are carried out on the DNS settings. Let me give an example; a registrar may call a particular number to get verification from your organization before carrying changes to its DNS servers. It provides some assurance that no changes can be made to the servers unless someone in the organization authorizes it.

IP-dependent logs in Registrars offer a range of IP addresses from which you can log in to your systems. It does not protect insider threats, but it helps to keep you safe from outside-In attacks.

Use DNSSEC technology: DNSSEC allows your record signing at the authoritative DNS server with public-key cryptography. It is designed to protect applications from using manipulating DNS data like hackers’ created DNS cache poisoning. DNSSEC signs all confidential information within its protected zone.

11. The Defense Strategies of DNS

In this segment, I am going to elaborate further on DNS defence strategies by which an organization can protect their DNS server(s) from attacks includes;

Water Torture: It is also called pseudo-random subdomain attacks. It bombards DNS resolvers with legitimate domains followed by random labels that force the DNS to work harder or challenging. Therefore, you need to block fake zone query, Limit FQDN structure, Limit FQDN query rate. Examples: attackers sending non-existent subdomain requests to an Authoritative Name Server for a specific domain. These malicious requests consume the resources on the name server and significantly slow down the responses for legitimate claims. Ultimately, users are not able to reach your web application. Therefore, Authorities need to install Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM), which helps to detect and prevent system DoS and DDoS attacks. 

NXDomain: By consistent request of Non-existent domains (NXDomains), the hacker affects DNS resolvers and servers to become overwhelmed. So, you need to limit the Xdomain response to prevent the attacks.

Query Flood. A multitude of queries flood either attack on the DNS resolver or the authentication servers. DNS Query Flood is a kind of DDoS attack that belongs to application attacks. Example: the attacker sends a succession of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets to a DNS server to exhaust server-side assets such as memory or CPU. By this, the attack prevents the server from direct legitimate requests to zone resources. Relying on UDP protocol makes the packet’s information accessible to spoofing (IP, data size, etc.). This attack hard to distinguish from legitimate one and hard to mitigate. To prevent the attacks, you should limit queries rate by source spoof check.

Malformed DNS query: This kind of queries force the DNS to complete additional processes and use other resources. In this case, you need to focus on the L3-L7 RFC check to prevent unwanted queries.

DNS reflected Amplification: DNS is all about the queries that possibly makes it an ideal target for reflected attacks. The attacker leverages the functionality of open DNS resolvers to overwhelm a target server with an amplified amount of traffic, rendering the server and its surrounding infrastructure inaccessible. Due to the high amount of traffic generated, the infrastructure surrounding the server feels the impact. The Internet Service Provider or any other upstream infrastructure providers may not be able to handle the incoming traffic without becoming overwhelmed. As a result, the ISP may blackhole all traffic to the targeted victim’s IP address. Protective services like Cloudflare DDoS protection, are mostly preventative infrastructure solutions. Therefore, you need to block the weaponized DNS resolver list, Drop UDP fragments, and restrict UDP pack size over 53.

Spoofing:  It is a hacker attack in which a program successfully identifies as another server or Domain by falsifying data, to gain an illegitimate advantage. An attacker spoofs the IP address DNS entries for the target website and replaces them with the unauthorized IP address under their control. They create files on the server with names matching those on the target server. So, to prevent this attack, users need to focus on UDP and force to TCP challenge. 

CONCLUSION

DNS-Based Attacks from the Inside Out are a common issue that organizations face; therefore, it is essential to know How to DEFEND Against Them. DNS security is critical because failure in DNS can harm the organization. The attackers actively find ways to exploit the DNS protocol and the company’s DNS infrastructure for multiple benefits. These attacks are prevalent, but they are not getting the attention they deserve. This article offers practical ways by which an organization can prevent Inside-Out DNS attacks to limit the disruption to business services and curtail financial losses.

Identity Management in the Era of AI -How to deal with non-human identities

In today’s business environment, where everything is highly interconnected and globalized, the chances of cyber threats are also exceptionally high. By pressing a single button, we can get access to a vast range of information or get connected. Isn’t it interesting? No one has any barrier while collaborating. But do not forget, With the increase in globalization, cyber threats also increase. To prevent these cyber-attacks, organizations need to take proactive actions like implement Artificial Intelligence or Machine learning strategies. AI plays the most significant role in every field of life. Fortunately, it is no longer part of science-fiction; it is now all around us.

Al has significant importance in Cybersecurity and Identity and Access Management (IAM). One of the biggest challenges for an organization is to decide who should have access to what data set. Ironically, it leaves their systems vulnerable. Therefore, the importance of a mature Identity & Access Management (IAM) strategy cannot be over-emphasized. Keep in mind; smart IAM tactics indicate an instant correlation to minimize security risk, improvise productivity, highly privileged activity management, and extensively reduces loss over the organization’s less mature counterparts. This article plans to help you understand identity management in the Era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how to deal with non-human identities.

1. What Identity management exactly is?

It is the organizational process for identifying, verifying, and authorizing a person or group of people to have access to particular applications, systems, or networks.These are associated with user rights and limitations with established identities. Identity and Access Management solution vendors see AI and Machine learning approached as significant opportunities that make clear business sense. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the fraudulent activities in large organizations, but AI can identify unusual activities, outliers, or deviant cases that require additional investigations. AI helps managers to detect problems early in the cycle. Fraud detection is one-wayAI very useful in financial systems.

2. Identity & Access Management (IAM) Tools

In organizations, IAM systems allow administrators to change an employee’s role with IAM tools and technologies. They can track user activities, create reports on employees’ activities, and enforce policies on an ongoing basis. These systems specially designed to provide a means of user access across the enterprise and ensure agreements with corporate policies and government regulations. Identity and management technologies come with multiple tools, which include password-management tools, security -policy enforcement applications, provisioning software, reporting, and monitoring apps, and identity repositories. In this segment of the article, I would like to share a few identity management tools for better understanding. These IAM technologies come with low maturity, but have high current business value;

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM): This tool allows “comprehensive management and authentication of users; self-service and profile management, integration with customer relationship management (CRM), ERP, and other customer management systems and databases,” based on the report.

Identity as a Service (IDaas) – This tool includes “software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that provide Single sign-on (SSO) from a portal to web applications and native mobile applications, and user account provisioning and access request management.”

API security: It is a widely used tool that provides high security to the database. Therefore, it enables IAM to secure access. It has been used in B2B commerce, integration with the cloud, and microservices-based IAM architectures. API security solutions used for Single sign-on (SSO) between mobile applications or user-managed access. It allows the security team to manage various device authorization and personally identifiable data.

Identity analytics (IA) -This tool allows security teams to detect and prevent risky identity behaviors,  using rules, machine learning, and other statistical algorithms for security purposes.

Identity Management and Governance (IMG): It provides automated ways to govern the identity life cycle. It is essential when it comes to acquiescence with identity and privacy regulations.

Risk Base authentication (RBA): It takes in the context of a user session and authentication and establishes a risk score. Then organizations prompt high-risk users for 2FA and allow low-risk users to authenticate with single factor identifications.

3. IAM face challenging situations

As we know, an IAM system manages user identities. It ensures that users have access to the particular applications and data that they need. For example, IAM prevents junior sales representative access to information related to customers that are not assigned to them. Only Vice President of sales has access to examine the entire customer list. In real-time, IAM is becoming an increasing issue in every organization. One issue with IAM is that enterprises give access privileges to the employees based on their role in an organization, but employees rarely fit into single roles. They need exclusive one-time access or each worker that performs the same role might need different types of access on the database. By which very complicated situations occur that often require collaboration between many departments. Whenever management involves many employees across all layers of the organization, then people might suffer from “security fatigue.” The reason is that employees have to deal with a high amount of technical data and complicated decision-making processes in day-to-day Job activities. Terrible situations occur in the business when the administration is poorly managed in the IAM infrastructure.

4. How AI deal with challenging situations of IAM?

Well, the above mention situation is common in various organizations. It does not mean there is no solution to this issue. AI and Machine learning technologies significantly help to improve the IAM of any organization and conquer much frustration. Both technologies facilitate an organization’s technical access management. Analytics, combined with an AI system, offers focus and addresses insights so each worker, whether he/she is a technical or non-technical worker, works with ease. These technologies provide different ways to get new insights and automate processes and speed up the IAM system effectively. They detect variances and potential threats and prompt the security consultants to take immediate actions to prevent threats. This whole system provides each technical and non-technical worker appropriate knowledge. So, workers can make correct choices. AI and machine learning have been used in the area of anti-money laundering and fraud detection. These also fight against business executive threats. It leads the organizations to perform up to the mark with a continuous secure system for IAM. Therefore, IAM experts suggest that the IAM system must be strong enough to face the complexities of today’s challenging virtual world.

5. How to deal with fraud or non-human identities

An enterprise’s computing environment mainly used on-premises, and identity management systems authenticated and tracked users as they worked on-premises. IAM system enables an organization’s network to authenticate the identity of an employee against a set of pre-prescribed identifications. The system can range from simple username and password to digital certification and physical tokens, it depends on the system that is accessed. Most organizations used biometric ID and passwords that can range from fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition, or even authentication based on heartbeats. In this advanced world of technology, identity fraud is a growing menace.

Whenever data breaches occur, it is not the management that transfers identification to an unknown party. Artificial intelligence is the best solution that glue to bind them together to mitigate the effects. Move toward biometric passwords, AI could identify a user securely by using sight and sound. Now, machines have an AI system that makes them able to understand and confirm a user whom they claimed to be. These identification machines know when to grant access and act accordingly. They permit access based on machine learning. The hacker and fraudsters are actively looking for a weak IAM system and cybersecurity system of the organizations. To prevent hackersor threats, the enterprise needs to implement robust ID scanning solutions. They need to install reliable software that performs excellently and ensures that an ID is not fake. Artificial intelligence and machine learning makes it possible to appropriately process, verify, and authenticate users’ identities at scale.

6. Scale ID authentication with Machine Learning

Machine learning is a better processing system than an untrained human to look at the identity documents. Identity documents like driving licenses, passports, are scanned to verify multiple elements of an ID. For example, confirmation of original microprint text and security threads, barcodes, magnetic strips, data validity tests, biometrics to link the user to the ID identification. Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Using machine learning organizations can create an efficient and accurate process of user identification. The ML system contains tones of internal data mechanisms that can store information about the operations and software. The data is automatically transmitted to the user’s information and identifies them regularly. This entire process saves time and efficiently secure your crown jewels from an unauthorized person(s).

7. Multiple models of ID authentication

New datasets are fed into the algorithm to test outcomes. The process is called a feedback loop. By which organizations can test the results are consistent and improving or not. Then results are fed into the algorithm so that the software continuously learns and adjusts new data. There are various models of ID authentication include

Regression analysis: This ID authentication approach continually tests and analyses the results to improvise the algorithm.

Semi-supervised learning: Completely relying on automated machine learning can result in “failing” documents that have manufacturing errors.

Data mining: Investigating large databases to transform raw data into useful information. For efficiency, extract clean data to save time with this process.

8. Use Biometrics for Identity management

To strengthen the identity verification process, organizations implement Biometric identity verification methods such as facial or voice recognition. It is only possible if you installed proper AI or machine learning in your system. The biometric identification approach is not only right for the customer, but it is also making security protocol rigorous. A biometric security system mimics exactly as human neurons process and understand difficult information such as faces and language and identify a person. Correspondingly, deep learning technology software, understand a large amount of complex data. Facial-recognition technology is another approach that uses deep learning to learn to match the image on the ID to a user’s face. The algorithm looks for specific patterns, whether it is a basic shape (eyes. Mouth, nose) or complex shapes (Complete faces and distinctive shapes).

CONCLUSION

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) play an essential role in Identity and Access Management (IAM) in any organization. Some vendors already deployed AI and ML for IAM. In this article, I comprehensively described how AI has a significant impact on the Identity management system of an organization and how to deal with non-human identities. The fact is, AI is uniquely suited for cybersecurity and the IAM system because these have multiple connections.And a wide array of activities to monitor to prevent the threats earlier before the problem reaches danger level and challenging to overcome.

AI-Powered Smart Cybersecurity: Helping Security Operations to Stay Ahead.

In the field of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) play a vital role. Both are ways to solve the problems in different applications and industries like reduce street traffic, improve online shopping. It makes life easier with voice-activated digital assistants, prevents hacker attacks, and much more. The role of AI and machine learning is increasing in the real world, where the threat to Cybersecurity is a big issue. Therefore, it is essential to understand what artificial intelligence exactly is? How are they helping security operations to stay ahead of hacker attacks? In this article, I answer these questions so that you clearly understand the impact of AI on Cybersecurity.

1. What Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning exactly is?

Artificial Intelligence is a field of science that has a significant focus on finding solutions to resolve complex issues. By taking artificial intelligent decisions similar to or equal to human decision making. The Artificial decisions based on Algorithms and related mathematical calculations that assist the software to make real human decisions. Initially, it is complicated to replace the human brain with software. Machine Learning is a scientific study of algorithms and statistical models by which computer systems perform a specific task. It is the application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides the ability to the system to automatically learn the programs. The primary focus of ML is to develop computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves. It is closely related to computational statistical models and algorithms that focus on making predictions about using computers. My main objective is to tell you about the role of AI in Cybersecurity and how to stay ahead.

2. What is the role of AI in Cybersecurity?

Let me tell you first what Cyber Security is? It is the security measures taken to prevent cyber-attacks in the virtual world. Cybersecurity is all about protecting online data from attacks. In short, it is a shield on sensitive networks to protect the data and restrict unauthorized access. It is also the confidential data under the protection of Cybersecurity teams in large-scale financial institutions and government. The sensitive data needs cybersecurity protection from cyber-attacks. The Ransomware, Phishing, Malware, Data breach, and Spying are some of the top cyber threats that hackers used to steal sensitive and valuable data from the network. To prevent these attacks, users adopt proactive approaches like Artificial Intelligence systems. AI provides innovative ways to enhance Cybersecurity and technologies designed to protect the networks from hackers or unauthorized access and prevent damages to the information present in the network.

In the world of technology, Artificial Intelligence used efficiently in analyzing an extensive range of data,provides timely solutions. The most exciting thing is with the rise of technological inventions, Artificial Intelligence (AI) earnsits place in Cybersecurity.

3. Prevent Cyber-attacks

Simple identification of a security threat has not enough capacity to help a website or a virtual platform to prevent cyber attackers. AI can be widely used to stop cyber-attacks in different ways. Anyone in charge of the website must think like a hacker to prevent a cyber-attack. AI think like hackers and acts to break the attacker codes. A group of hackers uses different techniques and methods totarget a website. They keep an eye on the target website and identify the weaker point to entry to launch an attack. Hacking use malware and hacking tools to hack a website or security codes. AI helps websites to keep away from Cyberattacks and hackers and phishing.

4. Real-Time Security mapping

AI works faster than the human brain when it comes to making calculations and making data-fed decisions. Compared to a Human-based security monitoring system, an Artificial Intelligence system is the best and efficient security system. AI statistically tells every 4.2 seconds when malware is present. It is hard work for humans to diagnose and eliminate cyber threats from bad actors. AI-powered Cybersecurity system monitors the websites in real-time and fights against threats as they occur.

5. Minimize human involvement in Cyber Security

Operationally critical websites need a high-security system to prevent Cyber-attacks from unauthorized bad actors. AI can detect and combat attackers without any human involvement. AI algorithms are designed by humans to analyze the micro-behaviors in a virtual world and monitor malicious activities to identify the attacks before it occurs in the system. Artificial Intelligence cybersecurity systems make predictive analytics that provides a practical approach to detect hacker activities. The AI-Powered system automatically changes preferences and remote networks that ensure data protection.

6. Help Security Operations to Stay Ahead of threats.

AI is all about the machine learning process in which software or the computing system collects data from the source for observation and learning. It is a fact that AI is under development stage and entirely rely on the cybersecurity system. But we also cannot ignore its potential of getting ahead of cyber threats. It prevents attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities that harm the systems. You can also use VPN to protect the data and strengthen the security system.

7. Assist Cybersecurity experts

Without any smart computing help, identifying cyber-attacks in real-time is an impossible task for security experts. AI takesa smart decision in the cybersecurity system by which professionals can understand the issue and make faster security decisions. The AI security system can scan a log of many entries for potential threats that’s impossible for a human team to understand.

8. Secure large-scale platforms

The AI system can is used for login and password-protected areas where biometric login is applied. You can strengthen the system by implementing an AI system based on scan fingerprints, retina image, and palm prints that provide secure biometric login access. Large cybersecurity firms strive hard to establish patterns through an AI-powered system to protect sensitive data. It can collect a vast range of data automatically from different studies, news, articles. After collecting data, you can use it with Natural Language processing that helps to detect threats and malicious activities. Large-Scale platforms implement an AI-powered system that can create a framework that allows access to global authentication and prevent cyber-attacks.

9. Types of AI applications used in Cybersecurity

AI application depends on the human imagination, and which kind of application it wants to examine. Below are AI application use cases that you can explore.

  • Fraud detection
  • Spam Filter Application
  • Cybersecurity Ratings
  • Botnet Detection
  • Network Intrusion Detection and prevention
  • Credit scoring and next-best offers
  • Secure user authentication
  • Hacking Incident Forecasting

10. Limitations of AI use in Cybersecurity

A critical issue that organizations need to understand, whether it is small or big, is AI/ML cannot do causation. That means It cannot tell you the reasons why something happened. As we know, the critical component of Cybersecurity is to understand the reasons why attacks frequently occur to damage the security code system. To build and maintain a Cybersecurity system, companies would require a considerable amount of resources like memory, data, and computing power. It is often not a cost-effective option to fully protect the data from hackers. AI are systems trained through a vast range of learning data sets. Therefore, cybersecurity experts need to get many different data sets of malware codes, non-malicious codes, and anomalies to obtain accurate data sets. This process requires time and resources that is harder for companies to afford.

11. Solutions to AI limitations

There are some solutions to AI limitations. The organization should follow these solutions as a cybersecurity strategy.

  • You should employ a cybersecurity firm with experts who have experience and skills to handle the security system efficiently and effectively.
  • Your cybersecurity team must test your systems and networks frequently for identifying any potential gaps and correct the issue(s) immediately.
  • You need to install a firewall and other malware scanners to protect your systems from hacker poisons and keep updating anti-virus scanners regularly.
  • Use filters for URLs to block the nasty links that carry potential viruses or malware.
  • You should monitor outgoing traffic and use exit filters to block this type of traffic.
  • Frequently monitor the cyber threats and security protocols to get information about risks that you should manage to develop robust security protocols accordingly.
  • Regularly audit both hardware and software to make sure the system is functioning correctly or not.

These points help to mitigate various risks associated with cyber-attacks. Organizations should work with the cybersecurity teams and make cost-effective recovery strategies to fight against hackers’ attacks.

CONCLUSION

As we know, every small or big organization has a massive amount of confidential data that organizations put on the networks and online systems for easy access. The data is stored in a system and restricted to unauthorized persons. Unfortunately, the data can be attacked by bad external actors. These bad actors can hack the system and extract sensitive information to harm the brand reputation and demand ransom money from your company. The amount of data could be personal or financial information, intellectual property, or any other significant data which if it is exposed, the consequences would be costly. This kind of situation only happens when a user has insufficient cybersecurity awareness training. The purpose of Cybersecurity is to detect data theft and cyber-attacks before data get exposed or stolen. Various agencies and organizations explore ways to deal with such kind of challenging situations by Implementing Artificial Intelligent (AI) in their cyber risk operations. The AI with Cybersecurity reduces pressure on humans by detecting interruptions promptly and help in mitigating the attacks. Yet, AI is a useful tool that combats against cyber attacks or threats; an AI is the best solution that enterprises widely used as security strategies.