Five Common Cyber Security Misconceptions

5 Misconceptions

As the corporate technological landscape continues to develop at a staggering pace, it’s our job as cyber security professionals to stay abreast of evolving best practices to maintain a robust business security posture.

To offer some direction on security areas you may have overlooked, we’ve pulled together five common cyber security misconceptions we’ve encountered that are worth extra attention when optimising your organisation’s security environment.

Five Common Cyber Security Misconceptions

1 - Solutions’ Default Settings Reliably Offer Adequate Security

While it may be tempting to utilise the default settings provided by your security solutions until you have the chance to properly assess your requirements and better understand your tools, you may be opening yourself up to unintended vulnerabilities in doing so.

Pay close attention to the capabilities given to users by your tools, who without manual configuration of your security settings, may, by default, be given concerning clearance when it comes to access rights. Ensure your users are not able to, for example, hand over crucial permissions to other apps such as their mailbox, contacts, calendars, and files.

2 - A Best of Breed Approach Guarantees the Best Protection

With a wide array of solutions on the market spanning network security, endpoint protection, email, apps and more, in the interest of securing the best technology available, many organisations employ a “best of breed” approach.

This approach makes sense when hoping to maximise the efficacy of your tools, but often results in a disparate array of solutions from different vendors, creating its own set of security challenges.

Without the time or resources to thoroughly vet new solutions’ suitability and potential for interconnectivity, security stacks have increased in depth, but not always in usable intelligence.

For security buyers that favour a best-of-breed approach, platform play may seem alarmingly simplistic. However, the benefits to your security posture come from optimisation that reduces long-term complexity.

3 - Multi-Factor Authentication is Sufficient Protection

Multi-factor authentication via SMS and authenticator apps such as Microsoft Authenticator provides additional depth to your defence and should absolutely play a part in your overall security posture. However, it’s worth noting that these methods of MFA are still unfortunately vulnerable to phishing attacks.

In the case of Adversary-in-The-Middle (AiTM) attacks such as Evilgynx (an easily accessible and free-to-use framework), threat actors are able to proxy an organisation’s sign-in page to the user, intercept sensitive traffic (including passwords in plain text) and duplicate tokens for their own use. A worthwhile alternative to consider is FIDO2 keys, an industry standard for hardware-backed authentication.

4 - Email Scams and Phishing Attempts are Easy to Spot

Where email cyber attacks were once considered largely identifiable (think flashing banners with urgent calls to action to WIN or receive FREE goods), threat actors have become increasingly determined in their attempts to bypass corporate email security filters and the results appear worryingly legitimate.

Understanding that obvious “spam” content will be flagged by security solutions, contemporary credential and financial attack communications are now able to proxy legitimate sender credentials and often mimic the tone and style of internal or supplier emails. This, in turn, heightens the risk of human error, with even the most tech-savvy users falling foul to threat actors’ requests for fraudulent invoice payment or false password resets in order to gain access to corporate environments.

While artificial intelligence and machine learning is being harnessed by security providers to in order to combat this modern approach to email attacks, as businesses are still catching up, comprehensive user training and practical exercises in: what to look out for, what to do should an email appear suspicious, and tightening of existing tools and filters, is essential.

5 - “The Basics” Are an Easy Fix

In cyber security circles, there’s considerable discussion on doing “the basics” and getting “the basics” right. And while it’s true that often your entire security posture will be predicated on the core, or basic, elements of your environment being in place and properly maintained, in modern security stacks, ensuring that basic standards are upheld is anything but straightforward. With multiple agents on devices, the challenges surrounding patches and critical updates, along with ongoing changes to infrastructure, what may be considered “basic” is often incredibly difficult to wrangle. When you’re considering the basics of cyber security, don’t underestimate the time, work, and organisation involved in keeping things running smoothly.

Threatscape offers a wide variety of professional services purpose-built to address businesses evolving cyber security needs. Whether that’s upskilling your internal team, deploying a new solution, ongoing technical support, or an industry-specific security challenge, we have the capability to support your business.

Talk to us today and an account manager will be in touch to advise how we can best support your cyber security journey.

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