Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law holds that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This law manifests itself in the world of cybersecurity when network security professionals devise a new defense against hacking, and hackers respond with new tools and techniques to breach a network elsewhere.
An organization may not be able to stop hackers, but it can at least stay ahead of them with a few simple tools that will at least slow down their development of new hacking tools in response to any new cyber defenses that the organization might implement. Six of the better cyber defense boosting tools are as follows:
1. Password Safes
Individuals that have password access to multiple different websites might default to using the same simple password for every site. A hacker who is able to steal an individual’s password to any one site will then have his password to every other site. Password safes, such as Keepass, allows an individual to store multiple different passwords in a single secure location. The individual needs to remember only a single password to that safe, which then ties in to other sites that the individual will sign in to.
2. Encrypted Messenger Apps
Encrypted messenger platforms, such as WhatsApp, ChatSecure, and Wickr, allow parties to send text and other messages with complete end-to-end encryption. In theory, if a hacker were to intercept a message sent via one of these apps, the hacker would be unable to decrypt the message without the encryption keys shared by the sender and the intended recipient. Some of these apps have other features, like automatic message deletion, that further enhance their security.
3. Mobile Device Remote Wipe
A substantial number of enterprise network breaches begin with a lost or stolen mobile phone or tablet that includes sensitive corporate data or signin information. Both Android and iOS mobile operating systems include features that allow administrators to do a remote wipe of all data on a lost or stolen device. The value of this procedure is limited to being able to delete the data before a hacker pulls it out of the device. Thus, the remote wipe should be done immediately upon discovering that a mobile device is missing.
4. Webcam Blockers
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and Pope Francis have both been observed using stickers to cover the webcams on their laptops and tablets. A device user can employ anything from a lowly Post-It note to a 3D-printed Eyebloc cover to physically disable a webcam or other camera on a monitor or mobile device. Co-opting that camera might require high-level hacking skills, but the ability to cover the camera is quick and easy.
5. Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra step to the sign-in procedures required to access an enterprise’s network, such as a approval code sent to a mobile phone or a key FOB. Anyone who has purchased an item via ecommerce will already be familiar with 2FA if they have been asked to provide a “CVV” number from a credit or debit card in addition to the card’s number itself. Requiring something more than a password to access a network makes it that much more difficult for a hacker to breach a cyber defense. Most hackers will turn to easier targets rather than spend the time to get over this higher bar.
6. Cyber Liability Insurance
Finally, cyber liability insurance is the ultimate tool to boost a network security strategy. A cyber security quote from an enterprise insurance carrier will reflect the weaknesses in an organization’s defenses and will provide recommendations to repair those weaknesses along with the insurance coverage that an organization needs to cover direct and third-party losses from a breach of its security systems.