Era of AI in Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence to revolutionize cybersecurity

Palo Alto Networks study highlights preference for AI management of cyber  security – Risk Xtra

Cyber attacks are increasing rapidly these days and the trend for zero-day attacks is also not so unknown. To cope up with these evolving cyber threats, it is the need of the hour to be prepared with more advanced counter mechanisms. This is where AI in cybersecurity comes into play.

These days there are tools and security devices that use AI to make the attack detection and prevention process easy and automated. AI in cybersecurity helps to bring out the concepts of behavioral analysis, automation, and many more that help to create a new space in the field.

Role of AI in cybersecurity

AI has opened new horizons and opportunities to detect and mitigate cyberattacks. Every day multiple cyberthreats are born and increase the attack surfaces of the firm. AI in cybersecurity helps to delve deeper into the key areas to find the threats and adjust itself in a suitable way to mitigate them.

AI can identify and prevent cyberattacks

AI has lots of reference modules and predetermined attack engines that helps the user to detect the inbound cyber attacks easily. Some attackers use predefined scenarios, methodologies, and techniques to attack websites and applications. By using AI-based detection techniques, it will be easy for the user to identify the attacks. Once the ongoing attacks are identified, you can add some of the pre-requisites in the AI engine that will help you to mitigate the same.

The automation of cyberattacks

The Real Challenges of Artificial Intelligence: Automating Cyber Attacks |  Wilson Center

AI in cyberspace is rapidly growing and is both boon and bane for the industries. Whereas on one hand, the application of AI in cybersecurity helps to automate the process for mitigation of cyber threats, it also helps malicious actors to create automated cyberattacks. These attacks are pre-programmed based on the analysis of threat vectors of the organization and attack the same in various ways.

The latest research shows that the threat landscape is increasing these days due to the presence of the open-source AI-enabled hacking tools and software. Within the report, the cybersecurity firm documented three active threats in the wild which have been detected within the past 12 months. Analysis of these attacks — and a little imagination — has led small attackers like script kiddies and newbies to create scenarios using AI which could be more dangerous and threatening.

Impact of AI in cybersecurity space

The presence of AI in the cybersecurity space has opened new horizons for attackers and defenders. The landscape of cyberspace is changing its demographics due to the presence of AI, which proves to be uncertain and unbiased. Sooner or later it is going to be the key differentiator between both the veils.

The AI has helped the cybersecurity researchers and continues to do the same in all the way possible.

The presence of the AI has impacted the cyberspace on the following grounds:

  • Identification of the threat
  • Mitigation of the threat
  • Vulnerability assessment of the organization
  • Constant monitoring of the organization’s threat posture
  • Helps in reporting and accounting of cyber threat of the firm


SQL Injection Attack and its Prevention

What is SQL Injection (SQLi) and SQL Injection Attack?

Web Security : SQL Injections and how to prevent it in Java application |  by Anna Jimenez | Medium

If you are quite familiar with the cyber world then you must have probably heard of “SQL” or “SQL Injections” terms floating around. In simple words, SQL is a database language that stands for Structured Query Language. It was designed for operating database systems like MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server or SQLite. On the other hand, SQL injection is a cyber-attack that targets the database with the help of specific SQL statements that are crafted to trick the system into performing uncalled and undesired tasks. The SQL injection attack changes the code to modify the command.

A successful SQL injection attack is capable of:

  • Modifying, altering or deleting data from the database
  • Reading sensitive and confidential data from the database
  • Retrieving the content of a specific file present on the database management system (DBMS)
  • Enforcing administrative operations like shutting down the DBMS

Without proper mitigation controls and security measures, the SQL injection attack can leave an application at a huge risk of data compromise. It can impact the data’s confidentiality and integrity as well as the authentication and authorization with respect to the application. It can also empower an adversary to steal confidential information like user credentials, financial information, or trade secrets by misusing the vulnerability existing in an application or program.

Types of SQL Injection Attacks

What Is SQL Injection? Tips to Prevent SQL Attacks - DNSstuff

An SQL injection can be exploited in many ways and all of these ways require different levels of knowledge ranging from amateur to expert. Here are some common SQL injection types:

  • In-band SQL Injection

It is the most common type of SQL injection attack in which the attacker uses the same communication channel for launching attacks and gathering their results. In-band SQL Injection is infamous among SQL injection attacks for its simplicity and efficiency. It has two sub-variant methods:

    • Error-based SQL Injection: A technique in which the attacker determines the vulnerabilities of the system by deliberately causing the database to produce error messages. Later these error messages are used for returning full query results and revealing all the confidential information from the database. This technique can also be used for identifying vulnerabilities present in a website or web application and in obtaining additional information to redevelop malicious queries.
    • Union-based SQL Injection: In this technique, the attacker gets the benefit of extracting information from the database by expanding results that are returned by the original query. But the Union operator is only useful in case the original or new queries have the same number and data type of columns.
  • Inferential (Blind) SQL Injection

Blind SQL injections mainly rely on the server’s behavior and response patterns where the attacker closely observes the indirect clues. For this observation, the attacker sends the server data payloads. This type of technique is called Blind SQL injection because the attacker doesn’t get the data from the website database, thus making it impossible to see the information about the attack in-band. The Blind SQL injection is classified into two methods:

    • Boolean: Here the attacker sends an SQL query to the database that prompts the application to return a result. However, depending on the query, true or false, the result varies, and based on the result, the information modifies or stays the same, that is there in the HTTP response. With the help of it, the attacker finds out whether the result is true or false in the message generated.
    • Time-based: When an SQL query is sent to the database by the attacker, the database waits for some seconds to respond. By observing that period of time taken by the database to respond, the attacker gets to analyze whether the query is true or false. And based on that result, an HTTP response is generated either instantly or after some waiting period. Thus, without relying on the data from the database, the attacker can determine if the message used has returned true or false.
  • Out-of-band SQL Injection

The most uncommon approach to attack an SQL server, this technique relies on particular features of the SQL-enabled database.  It involves the submission of a DNS or HTTP query to the SQL server that has an SQL statement.  If successful, the Out-of-band attack can transmit the contents of the database, escalate user privileges, and perform the same actions that other types of SQL injection attacks perform.


The Recent SQL Injection Attack Examples

Many SQL injection attacks have taken place in the past decade and it can be concluded that SQL injections are one of the most evolving types of cyber attacks. Between the years 2017 and 2019, the SQL injection attacks accounted for 65.1 % of all the attacks on software applications. Here is the list of top SQL injection attack examples of all time that every user must be well aware of!

  1. In one incident of an SQL injection attack, personal details of 156,959 customers were stolen from a British telecommunications’ company’s servers, exploiting a vulnerability present in the legacy web portal. (source: Wikipedia)
  2. According to Help Net Security, 60+ government agencies and universities were successfully targeted using SQL injection attack by a hacker who was involved in penetration of the US Election Assistance Commission and subsequent database sale in November 2016.
  3. The officials at Johns Hopkins University on March 7, 2014, publicly announced that their Biomedical Engineering Servers became victims of an SQL injection attack. The hackers compromised the personal information of 878 students and University staff. They posted a press release and the leaked data on the internet. (source: Wikipedia)
  4. In May 2020, a New Yorker was charged for hacking into e-commerce websites with the motive to steal credit card information. It was reported that the hacker along with its gang used SQL injection techniques for hacking into vulnerable e-commerce websites to steal payment card data.

How To Prevent SQL Injection Attacks?

SQL Injection Prevention - How It Works & How to Prevent It | Parasoft

In order to secure your organization and mitigate SQL injection attacks, the developers, system administrators, and database administrators in the organization must follow these below-mentioned steps:

  1. Ensure to keep all web application software components up to date with the latest security patches and leaving no place for vulnerabilities.
  2. Avoid using shared database accounts between different applications or websites.
  3. Regularly monitor SQL statements from database-connected applications.
  4. Limit the attack surface by getting rid of any database functionality that is no longer needed in order to prevent it from being misused by hackers.
  5. Error messages are key for attackers to learn a great deal about your database architecture, so make sure to display only minimal information.
  6. Always keep the database credentials encrypted and separate safely.
  7. Most importantly, these inculcate the practice of periodic VAPT, i.e. vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. A regular VAPT provides a detailed picture of exploitable vulnerabilities existing within an application and all the risks that are associated with these vulnerabilities. It allows IT, security teams, to focus on the process of mitigating critical vulnerabilities.

Do you think that the SQL injection attack can be another big threat to the next-generation-based software applications in the near future?

A guide to Email Security Practices

Why is Email Security Important?

Word Email Stock Illustrations – 5,813 Word Email Stock Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

Whether exchanging emails across networks or dumping them in your spam folder, a huge amount of data is sent, received and stored. You may not realize but there are high chances that an unsecured email might have landed in your inbox which can act as a source of data exploitation. Now you wouldn’t want that, would you? That’s why email security is very essential for our daily routine in order to keep a check if any malicious email is accessing our inbox or not. The cybersecurity professionals working in every industry vertical must stay updated with the prevailing attacks possible through emails.

According to, 82% of organizations claimed to have faced email-based cybersecurity threats in 2018. Whereas, ransomware seems to be the biggest cyber threat in the coming year. The reason being, ransomware attacks that encrypt critical business files and demand for ransom in return are often sent to individuals working in organizations by emails only!

These eye-opening facts call for proper email protection solutions that are needed to be implemented in every organization as a defensive system against invading cyber threats. As far as cybersecurity is concerned, the best solution is using email security tools that incorporate a wide range of security techniques that email accounts and services have. Proceed further for the top 5 email security practices that can benefit your organization from email-based cyber risks.

The 5 Types of Email Security Practices 


  • Never click the “unsubscribe” link in spam emails:

At times, certain emails manage to surpass the spam filter and land in your inbox. For instance, you come across one such certain email and on opening it, you discover that it looks like a phishing email. What would be your first instinct? In any normal situation, users tend to unsubscribe suspicious-looking emails but that is not actually safe!

Hackers are good manipulators and they use such links to fool people into clicking attachment which redirects the targeted users to a phishing site. Apart from that, these links also provide hackers with a back door for access into your system.

  • Avoid Public WiFi:

Never access emails from a public WiFi because they are less secure and hackers choose public WiFi to steal information by passing through a weak network. Cybercriminals require nothing but a laptop and basic software to hack into public WiFi networks and monitor all the traffic. Accessing emails via unsecured public networks can lead to misuse of user’s credentials and a huge loss of sensitive data. This could also result in further intended targeted cyberattacks that are down the line.

More organisations banning use of public Wi-Fi – report | Internet of Business

  • Email Encryption:

Disguising and encrypting email content potentially protects the sensitive data that is sent and received, from being read by anyone except the intended recipient. With email encryption, you can secure your emails over untrusted networks from eavesdroppers or any third person trying to invade in between the email exchange. This security strategy reduces the chance of disclosure of information as well as alter of message content.

  • Incident Response Tool:

Every 1 in 131 emails contains malware that is sent to the targeted users. Moreover, 95% of the data breaches are deployed through these malware-laden emails. In order to reduce these cyber risks, incident response tools like Threat Alert Button (TAB), help employees in an organization to report any suspicious-looking email for analysis.

This innovative tool by Kratikal is an instant phishing incident response tool where the reported suspicious-looking email is analyzed by the SOC team and moves the reported email to the spam folder in real-time for future exposure prevention, and this all is managed by just one click.

  • Employee Education:

Limit the chances of cyber risks in your organization by providing employees with cybersecurity awareness training tools. Along with the implementation of policies and email security tools to prevent cyber threat postures, it is essential to encourage employees to become proactive in combating attack vectors like ransomware, phishing emails, and cyber scams. Security awareness tools like ThreatCop is an AI/ML-based security attack simulation tool that assesses the real-time threat posture of an organization. With the unlimited number of attack campaigns and automated training campaigns, this product builds cyber awareness among the employees in an organization and creates a resilient working environment.

Implementing and working on the above-mentioned email protection solutions will not only keep your data safe but will also be beneficial in the long term. In order to protect your business, it is important to make sure that all your employees are empowered to make email based decisions and are protected from data thefts.

Email Security Best Practices for Companies

Hackers are everywhere nowadays and they won’t stop holding back from discovering vulnerabilities and exploiting your data. Secure your organization now with a robust email security tool in order to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of the prevailing cyber threats.

Centrality of Cyber Security in the Educational Sector

Over the last few years, the education sector has become a new favorite target among cyber criminals. From turbulent ransomware attacks to covert data breaches, numerous academic institutions have suffered from various kinds of cyber attacks in recent times.

The introduction and adoption of newer technologies along with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have fueled the situation further. Cyber criminals are attacking educational institutions with tactics and tools that have worked effectively against businesses.

Why has the Education Sector Become a Lucrative Target?

Why Cybersecurity Needs To Be a Priority for The Education Sector

According to an article by CSO Online, the education sector accounted for 13% of all data breaches in the first half of 2017, which resulted in the compromise of approximately 32 million records!


Here are the major reasons for the popularity of the education sector as a target among cyber criminals:

1. Financial Gain: According to research, educational records are worth up to $265 on the black market. The notion of such huge financial gain is more than enough for threat actors to target academic institutions.

2. Valuable Data: Even though educational institutions may not look as lucrative as healthcare companies or private businesses, they serve as a treasure trove of sensitive financial and personal information including valuable proprietary research data.

3. Espionage: Espionage is another reason for cyber criminals to target the education sector. Higher education institutes such as universities and colleges often serve as centers for research and possess valuable intellectual property.

4. Impacting Operations: Several attacks on academic institutions have been carried out with the motive of causing widespread disruption and adversely affecting the institute’s productivity.

Major Cyber Security Threats to the Education Sector

The Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats to Schools (And How You Combat Them) - Enterprise Training Solutions Blog

A wide range of cyber threats has been plaguing the education sector for years. Here are the top threats hounding educational institutions around the globe:


1. Spear phishing Attacks: Using spear phishing, cyber criminals have taken hold of several academic institutions, resulting in catastrophic losses. An article by Business Line reported that more than 1000 colleges, schools and universities were targeted by various spear-phishing campaigns in Q3 2020.


2. BEC Attacks: Threat actors have also resorted to BEC attacks for targeting organizations in the education sector. The same article by Business Line also reported that Gmail accounts serve as the primary medium for launching the majority of BEC attacks, accounting for 86% of all BEC attacks on academic institutions.


3. Ransomware: As per the FBI, schools have become the most popular targets for ransomware attacks. A number of colleges, schools and universities have been hit by vicious ransomware attacks, leading to devastating consequences.

4. DDoS Attacks: DDoS attacks or Distributed Denial of Service attacks are very common in the education sector. These attacks offer an easy way for cyber criminals to disrupt operations, especially if the network of the target organization is poorly protected.


5. Data Breaches: Since academic institutes hold a huge cache of valuable information, data breaches have always been common in the education sector.

Recent Cyber Attacks on the Education Sector

As mentioned above, many educational institutions worldwide have been hit by cyber attacks in recent years. Here are some major cyber attacks witnessed by the education sector over the last couple of years.


1. In March 2021, the London-based Harris Federation suffered a ransomware attack and was forced to “temporarily” disable the devices and email systems of all the 50 secondary and primary academies it manages. This resulted in over 37,000 students being unable to access their coursework and correspondence.

Sophisticated Ransomware Attack leaves 36,000 Students without Email

2. The Division of Structural Biology at Oxford University fell victim to a cyber attack in February 2021. It was involved in extensive COVID-related research and access details for several of its systems were spotted online.

3. The University of Northampton was hit by a cyber attack in March 2021 that led to the disruption of its telephone and IT systems and servers.

4. The University of California, San Francisco paid a ransom of $1.14 million after the NetWalker ransomware locked down multiple servers of its School of Medicine in June 2020.

5. Birmingham college was hit by a ransomware attack and had to ask all of its 20,000 students to stay at home for a week. It had not even been two weeks since they had returned to the college following an extended lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All hell broke loose': How a cyber attack shut a college

How to Protect Educational Institutions Against Cyber Attacks?

Whether it is due to the lack of resources and budget or the absence of stringent security policies, academic institutions have been unable to protect themselves against cyber attacks in the past.


With a myriad of cyber security issues hounding the education sector, it is about time for these institutions to take the appropriate precautions and get ahead of threats. So, here are some effective measures you can take to shield an educational institution against cyber threats.


1. Implement a robust Identity Access Management (IAM) system to prevent anyone from obtaining unauthorized access to the network.

What is Identity Access Management? | Varonis

2. Conduct periodic Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) to detect and fix any exploitable vulnerabilities in your organization’s cyber security infrastructure.


3. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on all the applicable endpoints across the enterprise networks to add an extra layer of security to your organization’s cyber security framework.


4. Train all the employees in the basics of cyber security to generate awareness about various cyber threats and the best ways to deal with them.

5. Enforce cyber security best practices like a strong password policy. Make sure your employees are aware of the consequences of not following the practices and understand their responsibility in keeping the organization safe.


Cyber security in the education sector is essential for about a hundred reasons, the most important one of them being to ensure the safety and privacy of students. So, take the necessary measures now and keep your organizations protected against cyber threats.


Vitality of Cyber Security

Familiarising With The Term Cyber Security 

Key cyber security trends to look out for in 2021 - Information Age

You must have heard of the word cyber security, making headlines in the news, internet, social media, IT forums, etc. However, has it ever occurred to you that what is cyber security or why does the security administrator of your organization keep on talking about the importance of cyber security?

Fundamentally, cyber security is the body of technology, process, and practice, designed to protect systems, networks, programs, and data from cyber risks like cyber attacks, damage, or unauthorized access. It is also referred to as information technology security. With cyber attacks evolving today as a danger to organizations, employees and customers, cyber security plays a very crucial role in prevention against such security threats.

As we have entered into this new decade, we can already see new challenges arising in cyber security since day one! It is no surprise to see that cyber security is constantly on a rise and there is a lot in store for the near future. Today, companies have become more technologically reliant than ever and the trend doesn’t seem to stop. Rather, it looks like this technological reliance will keep evolving in the long term.

Almost every organization nowadays, uses cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive to store their confidential data and sensitive information. If not taken proper online security measures, this data present online can easily be exploited by cyber criminals.

Why is Cyber Security Important for Companies Today? 

The Importance and Scope of Cyber Security

Often some organizations take their data security lightly and as a result, they fall victim to cyber attacks. In fact, our companies are still not immune to these evolving cyber attacks. But thanks to these fast-developing technology standards today, cyber security has become a priority for every organization across the world.

Think you are secure online? Think again!

It is a serious matter of how cyber attacks are shaping in every form possible in order to stay one step ahead of the development in technology. Phishing, ransomware, cyber scams are some of the common yet highly dangerous cyber attacks that are designed with the motive to access and exploit the user’s sensitive data and extort money out of it.

Here are some more major reasons to understand why cyber security is important for companies:

  • Rise of Cyber Crimes

Be it a large scale or a small scale firm, hackers and cyber criminals spare no one. Rather, they lookout for opportunities to exploit data and get money out of these firms. Over the past year, the average cost of cyber crime for an organization has increased 23% more than last year—US$11.7 million, according to the report. Also, the average number of security breaches has risen significantly and it is now $3.86 million, as per the report. With the introduction of new technologies, the chances of cyber threats and risks are also rapidly increasing. Cyber criminals have advanced their attempts of deploying cyber attacks with the evolution of technology.

  • Growth of IoT Devices

With the mission to create smart cities with smart devices, our dependency to connect everything to the internet has increased too. The introduction of IoT technology i.e. Internet of Things, has not only simplified and speed up our tasks but has also created a pit of new vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. No matter how advanced security measures we take,  cyber criminals will always stay one step ahead to attempt cyber crimes. If these internet-connected devices are not managed properly then they can provide a gateway to business to hackers or cyber criminals!

  • Bridge to Security Gap

Human resources and IT resources have always been one of the most important aspects of any organization. Regardless of their dependency on each other, there has always been a security gap between both aspects. In order to bridge this gap, it is important to provide individuals working in an organization with the right cyber security awareness training. Training for employees is necessary to bridge the gap of cyber security skills and to create a cyber-resilient working culture in the organization.

  • Cost of Cyber Risks 

Cyber attacks today are not only multiplying in numbers but are also multiplying in the cost of damage created. These cyber attacks can prove to be extremely expensive for any organization to endure if not taken proper security measures. With more business infrastructures connecting, it is predicted, cyber crime to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, says the report. Besides, it is not just the financial damage that could cost but also the reputation of the firm along with loss of customer trust in the business.

  • Security of Data

When it comes to data security, it can be clearly seen how organizations are getting highly comfortable in keeping their information online. With the alarming number of data breaches and information leaks making news headlines almost every day, it can be seen how vulnerable the data left is online. Moreover, cyber attack vectors such as ransomware, phishing, cyber scams, risk of removable media, etc. leave no room for data exploitation and publicizing of any vulnerable data. Implementation of the right cyber security solutions is a must to avoid any future cyber risks related to the sensitive data of an organization.

How to Cyber Secure Your Organization in 2021?

The Importance of Cyber Security in Schools - Complete IT

Are you here to look for the best defensive system for your organization to combat cyber attacks? Well, the only thing that is important for your organization in 2021 is a strong cyber security system along with the best cyber defense practices to reduce the cyber threat posture of your organization.

Solely relying on anti-virus software will not stop cyber criminals from accessing your business. But educating employees in making smart cyber defensive choices can definitely reduce the chances of cyber risks!

Moreover, it doesn’t require a specialist to teach employees about cyber defense and cyber security awareness. There are advanced technology-based tools available today to help and guide employees in recognizing and combating cyber threats before they infiltrate networks and systems.

The web and network attackers are constantly striving to undermine the security system of the company’s IT infrastructure today with the intention of stealing the confidential data. Thus, making it more challenging for organizations to stay cyber secure.

Organizations are required to equip themselves to prepare for tight security measures and best cyber security solutions like security risk assessment tools, anti-phishing, and fraud monitoring tools to look for vulnerabilities and to track your brand online. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Banking Industry: A witness of Cybersecurity Challenges

Cybersecurity attacks are evolving, getting more sophisticated, more frequent, and spreading worldwide. It seems like not a day is passed without an organization suffering a data breach or a customer of a bank losing money from the account through stolen credentials.

While most industries worldwide are affected by the imminent peril of cybersecurity threats, the banking industry is one of the prime targets. After all, the sector deals with what the attackers want the most, ‘money and personal information’.


Cyberattacks: The Roaring Trade

Cyber Threats To The Banking Sector To Watch Out For | ClaySys

Cyberattacks on financial firms have become a flourishing money-making business for cybercriminals. As per the report from a cybersecurity firm’s research, cyberattacks against banks spiked by a massive 238% from the beginning of February to the end of April 2020.


In 2017, financial firms saw the highest volume of cybersecurity attacks over any other industry. This threat landscape is widening as it is getting more sophisticated and diverse. The annual cost of cyberattacks in the banking industry has reached $18.3 million per enterprise.


We have witnessed cybersecurity attacks making headlines for several years. Some of the most headline-making cyberattacks have been the DDoS attacks. These attacks flood customer-facing bank websites with traffic and take them offline or attacks on the Swift based money transfer systems, among others.


We have also witnessed big banks suffer these attacks over a decade. Recently, hackers stole $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh. In fact, last month, a powerful DDoS attack struck Hungarian banks and telecom services. It was the most powerful and one of the biggest cyberattacks Hungary had ever encountered.


As fast as the organizations are adopting new-age technologies, hackers are constantly finding ways to penetrate and target exploitable security vulnerabilities. Thus, making it evident that cybersecurity attacks are increasing rapidly every passing year.


A Strong Barricade For The Assets

Banks not only store money but also gather network activities and personal information of the customers. Information that includes names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, and dates of birth. This data has inherent value and can be used for other malicious activities such as identity theft, which can often lead to more disastrous and grievous consequences.

Addressing the cyber attacks faced by financial services firms?

In today’s world, cybercriminals are getting advanced with modern technologies. They develop custom-built malicious code that is not necessarily picked up routinely by antivirus protection. So it is very important for the sector to address the modern times demand.


The banking industry needs to realize the assets they have in store and what mechanisms might be used by attackers to get into their organization. They need to identify the weak points and the measures needed to strengthen the IT infrastructure, based on the risk assessment to defend against those potential threats.


It is high time to shift from passive cybersecurity to active cybersecurity, which is switching from what is largely reactive to embracing the white hacker to test the strength of IT infrastructure security. Regardless of how sophisticated the attack is, it mostly starts by trying to trick the employees into doing something that jeopardizes the system.


Therefore, the industry should not only focus on the systems but also get the employees to take the measurements to defend the loophole. Making the employees understand the approaches that these attackers take and what can be done to minimize the exposure to that risk.


According to a report by Deloitte India, cybersecurity attacks are getting complex each passing day and to prevent these threats banks will also need to hire Chief Risk Officers. The officers who are experienced in taking responsibility and lead the firm with military-level cybersecurity solutions to identify the modern sophisticated cyberattacks.


Having a CRO (Chief Risk Officers) will help the firm in managing the operations to prevent cybersecurity threats. It can also fill the responsibilities, including identifying, evaluating, reporting the threats and monitoring the external and internal cyber threats to the firm.


Methodology For Mitigating The Threat

It’s about time for financial firms or any industry to stop relying on the obsolete IT infrastructure. Instead, they should adopt cybersecurity measures that are more complex and sophisticated than ever before to prevent prevailing and emerging cyber threats.


Here are some basic steps the financial firms can implement to minimize the risk of a cyberattack:

Cyber risk management in consumer business | Deloitte Insights

  • Identify and classify the assets- It is important to identify and categorize the information assets, based on its level of sensitivity, value, and criticality to the bank. Information assets including various categories of data that are highly-restricted, confidential, internal use, and the public.
  • Risk assessment- It is advisable for every bank to prepare a cybersecurity risk assessment, and implement a cybersecurity protection plan to address those threats identified in the risk assessment procedure. This helps the organization to mitigate the factors that cause disruption in running a smooth business operation.
  • Identify threats and vulnerabilities– Threat and vulnerability can be subjected to a person, an organization, weaknesses in the system or the network. So it is not a necessity but mandatory for the organization to identify these threats and vulnerabilities through penetration testing in order to patch the weaknesses that can be exploited to gain access and affect the system.
  • Analyze risk- As mentioned earlier, the bank has the assets that the hackers sought for. So, analyzing the risk to these assets based on the impact or criticality is a way to go for an organization. The process should occur on a regular basis to identify any new potential threats.
  • Educate employees- All employees should be aware of the threats and consequences of ignoring it. For instance, they should be aware of the hazard by clicking a malicious link or opening an attachment from an unknown person. So, it is crucial to provide cybersecurity awareness training for the employees with tools that helps in raising awareness to prevent cyberattacks. It is particularly important because most of the cyber incidents are the result of  “human error.”

Workplace importance of Cyber Security Awareness

For every organization, it is always necessary to maintain proper cyber hygiene. It is also vital for companies to remind their employees of the ongoing danger of cyber violations. Employees unintentionally cause data breaches because of cyber security unawareness which further results in increasing cyber risks. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cyber risks have increased many folds. These rising risks can be attributed to the companies’ resorting to the work-from-home (WFH) policy. Cyber security experts have warned that it is high time to prioritize security awareness training during this Cyber Security Awareness Month. Security awareness training not only prevents workers from placing the company at risk but also makes them the first line of cyber defence the organization.

8 Ways to Encourage Cyber Security Awareness - Delta Risk

The Importance of National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The world began to realize in October 2004 that cyber security is becoming a never-ending issue. Although it had been established in 2004 to raise cyber security awareness, it became a critical part of our life. This is how Cyber Security Awareness Month came into existence.

Every day millions of online users are hacked and their data is stolen from their devices. They are unaware of how to properly protect their web-equipped computers, so the National Cyber Security Association (NCSA) is helping to raise awareness on this issue.

Every year the NCSA tracks threats to the cyber security of America. The non-profit association pays attention to all aspects of vulnerabilities, from big public offices to individual home users. Anyone on the Web needs to learn how they can comfortably enjoy their cyber experience maintaining online safety.

The NCSA helps to raise understanding and awareness during Cyber Security Awareness Month, through brochures and blogs to workshops and security awareness training programs.

RH-ISAC | RH-ISAC Announces Commitment to Global Efforts Supporting and Promoting Online Safety and Privacy for Cybersecurity Awareness Month - RH-ISAC

Six Plan of Actions for the Cyber Security Awareness Practices

1) Building Constructive Attitude among Employees: It is of utmost importance to create a strong, constructive attitude towards cyber resilience among employees. Use stories to allow people to see how cyber security integrates with their lives. Encourage uplifting stories that enable people to take control of digital lives, work, and home, and to enjoy humor. Why is it so important? Because happy people will hear what you have to say more often! Use them all year round and get more involved in the role of cyber security in their lives.

2) Start Interaction between IT and Employees: 75% of employees claim that they either generally or nearly always obey their IT department’s advice. IT teams just have to make sure that they consistently provide these directions to start interaction between the IT department and employees.

3) Personnel Investment in Addition to Products: Businesses need to make efforts to flexibly and continuously improve the cyber knowledge of their employees. Therefore, organizations should invest in their personnel apart from brand promotion and product manufacturing.

4) Concentrate on Reducing the Threat and Making Training Fun: Sessions of educating the employees must be amusing. Customize preparation and integrate team humor in the cyber security awareness content. Lessons must be related to the individual life of the trainees. Using personal home safety and privacy examples can be related to their day-to-day office work and organization.

5) Customize Roles Specific Training: Each employee should be equipped with the know-how and skills required to recognize specific roles and react appropriately. In an organization, there are different roles of employees, department-wise. Therefore, customizing role-specific training will help to build robust threat intelligence against emerging and common cyber threats.

6) Make Cyber Awareness Practical and Accurate: Management must take up and protect the value of cyber security by direct communication with staff. When talking about the WFH policy, as an organization you must ensure that workers know how their behavior at home can also have an effect on the business. Explain the point of view of hackers. How can a person be a target? Which information may be of use to an intruder on social media accounts or other information that is accessible? What effect does it have on the organization or mission? Be specific to businesses, staff,, or the community regarding their safety impacts.

Employee Attraction towards Cyber Attacks

With the rapid development in technology and ever-increasing internet users, cyber security plays a critical role in every industry. Securing the IT infrastructure in an enterprise helps in maintaining smooth workflow and consistent business operations.

In recent times, cyber crimes have become extremely sophisticated and threat actors have come up with new ways to obtain access to an organization’s systems and sensitive information. All throughout 2020, everyone was battling to overcome the onslaught of challenges brought by the pandemic.


However, cyber criminals saw an opportunity and wholeheartedly exploited the panic and chaos caused by the pandemic to fill their own pockets. And these criminals took no time to launch back to back cyber attacks during the pandemic.

Which of Your Employees Are Most Likely to Expose Your Company to a Cyberattack?


These threat actors left no stone unturned to target the vulnerable companies that weren’t prepared to support a remote workforce securely. As a number of well-established companies became victims to various cyber attacks, 2020 witnessed several security incidents making the headlines.


Since companies are not willing to compromise with the health of their employees, remote working is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond. But the question is, how do companies survive the fight against cyber crime and secure their employees while overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19?


Cyber Risks and Lack of Security Awareness Among Employees

Often organizations focus on upgrading the hardware and technologies to stay protected against cyber threats. In doing so, organizations spend millions of dollars on the latest security patches and upgrades. But just like our computers, humans store, process, and transfer information too.


Yet, if you compare the amount of time and money an organization spends on securing its computers and other electronic devices to the resources it focuses on securing its employees, you’ll see how huge the difference is!


Organizations typically invest a lot in installing antivirus and spyware software as well as upgrading the operating systems, applications, and browsers. Additionally, every company has help desks, support teams, and security technical teams to maintain all this software and hardware. But how much does an organization spend on securing employees? Very less.


Cyber security has become a massive issue in both private and government institutions. Looking into the core of the issue, it is not really about the technology or the systems. Technology and systems have become increasingly secure over the years.


Employees are the actual issue. Even though it is unintentional, most cyber attacks are caused by human error, whether it is a careless click on an unsolicited link or an innocent downloading of a corrupted file.


How to Fix these Cyber Security Loopholes? 

hacker attack every 39 seconds-min - Cybint

It may sound controversial, but the security teams are the last line of defense within an organization. Even though these teams face many cyber security challenges, it is the employees who form the first line of defense.


According to a report by IBM Security, human error is the main cause of 24% of all data breaches.


Therefore, it is imperative for every organization to train the employees to be aware of the prevalent cyber threats. This does not mean that organizations should implement such heavy security measures that will just create chaos and difficulties for the employees.


Rather, every organization should come up with a solution that makes the day jobs as easy as possible for the employees while making their IT infrastructure as secure as possible.


Here are some effective measures you can take to secure your organization:


  • Discover:  Start looking from a risk management perspective. Find out if there are any flaws in the organization’s cyber security framework. Conduct services like VAPT to discover and identify the loopholes within your organization’s network and IT infrastructure.


  • Practice healthy cyber hygiene: Implement basic cyber security protocols. Enforce a strong password policy, enabling multi-factor authentication for verification, using secure Wi-Fi, encrypting sensitive data, and regularly updating the systems with the latest security patches.


  • Lookout for malicious links: Think carefully before clicking on a link or downloading an attachment from an unknown source. An email can sometimes be from a threat actor impersonating a trusted individual. To protect yourself against malicious actors impersonating your email domain, set up tools like KDMARC and defend your domain against forgery.
  • Set up a firewall: As the name suggests, a firewall is a wall between the computer and the internet. It acts as the gatekeeper for all incoming and outgoing network traffic. Setting up a firewall protects the internal networks of your business against cyber threats.
  • Update on the latest risks: Keep up with the latest cyber hacks and threats news. It helps your organization stay up-to-date with the latest cyber security-related news. It also provides you with the cyber security preventive measures that your organization can adopt to avoid becoming a victim.
  • Train Employees: Educate employees to recognize social engineering attacks such as phishing, vishing, smishing, etc. To be more aware of the cyber threats evolving around the world and how to react when needs arise.


The Ultimate Solution to Make Employees Cyber Secure

Lack of Cyber Skills Holding Back the Growth of Small Businesses

There are several steps an organization can take to protect itself against cyber threats. However, it all comes down to how strong is your organization’s first line of defense – the employees. It has become essential for organizations to provide cyber security awareness training to their employees.


You can opt to educate your employees with tools that offers the most effective security awareness training materials. The tool generates awareness amongst employees about the common cyber threats wreaking havoc around the world.


Next Big Threat? – Polymorphic Attacks

During the first half of 2020, cybersecurity analysts and security experts have discovered that most of the phishing attacks conducted through the use of spoofed login pages. Polymorphic phishing attacks are on the rise in recent times as hackers are coming up with new ways to create spoofed login pages that are almost unidentifiable. This is one of the most frequently used methods implemented by cybercriminals for stealing the credentials of employees and users.Researchers have disclosed that more than 50,000 spoofed login pages replicating 200 popular international brands have been circulating since 2019.

This sudden increase in the number of polymorphic phishing attacks is because spoofed login pages are extremely difficult to identify but are comparatively easier to generate by hackers. Automated phishing kits that are illegally sold over the dark web, are deployed by cybercriminals to instigate these malicious phishing campaigns and to trick employees on a wider scale. This is why phishing awareness and training has become absolutely imperative in organizations in the 21st Century. As a CISO or CIO of your company, taking adequate precautions to prevent polymorphic phishing attacks is the need of the hour.

All you need to know about Polymorphism 

In a polymorphic phishing attack, attackers usually make minor alterations in the sender ID of a valid source or spoof an email address. They use social engineering attack techniques to make sure that the spoofed email ID replicates the authentic ID. The hackers then send these malicious emails to the employees in reputed organizations. More often than not, the email lands into the inbox of employees due to the lack of proper email authentication protocol in the company.

This malicious email comes with a link or attachment that redirects the employee to a spoofed login page. The login page asks for the employees’ corporate credentials and passwords. Ill-informed and unaware employees can easily fall for such polymorphic phishing attacks and give up their company login credentials on the spoofed page.

This information is used by hackers to extract valuable data of the company, gain access to company assets and financial information, find out personal details of employees working in the company, and conduct other fraudulent activities.

42% of all phishing attempts in 2020 were as a result of Polymorphism, as per a global survey conducted by security researchers.

According to security officials around the world, while these login pages are fraudulent in nature, they look extremely similar to original webpages. This is why cyber attackers use Polymorphism techniques to phish employees via spoofed login pages and succeed at it.

A cybercriminal can make minuscule changes in the email address so as to replicate a popular brand as closely as possible to skip detection. Since the changes made are very minor, such emails easily evade email security checkers, and email security tools may fail to detect them.

The most probable reasons for the increase in the number of spoofed login pages may be due to the following two reasons:

  • CISOs, CIOs, and SOC analysts of the reputed brand whose landing page has been spoofed seek ways for taking the fake pages down. This makes the hackers create more new pages so that it can continue to spoof employees.
  • Certain brands or companies may be an easy target for cybercriminals due to the lack of a well-rounded workplace security policy in their organization. This is the reason why attackers get away with polymorphic phishing attacks.

How to Detect Spoofed Login Pages?

While it may be difficult to detect spoofed login pages and prevent being phished, there are certain ways by which one can attempt to understand whether a login page is from an authentic source or not. Before being redirected to a login page it is always advisable to check whether the email is from a valid IP address as well.

This can be done by paying attention to the domain name and subdomains, as attackers might make minor changes in the same to trick employees. It also advisable to check whether the email has a relevant subject, is grammatically correct, and doesn’t provide lucrative offers or instigate a sense of urgency. After making sure of these pointers and clicking on the URL in the attachment when the login page opens up, employees must make sure:

  • While hovering over the URL it is redirecting them to the desired page
  • The login page is well-designed and all the hyperlinks on the page are fully functional and redirect them to the desired pages
  • The URL of the webpage is secured over HTTPS
  • The page doesn’t ask them to disclose their corporate credentials or bank account details and password since such information should never be submitted on external platforms

Polymorphic Phishing Attack Prevention and Solution

As a CISO in your company, implementing a robust cybersecurity policy in your organization is imperative. To achieve this, security analysts may take help from the IT department and implement security solutions and tools in their respective organizations. A phishing attack awareness and training program can help employees to gain better insights on social engineering attack vectors. Proper awareness among employees can reduce the chances of polymorphic phishing attacks.

cyber attack awareness and training program starts working by simulating sophisticated impersonations of real-life cyber attacks on a company’s employees. A number of simulations are perpetrated to increase security awareness.

After this, the training procedure is initiated, by imparting knowledge on the various types of attack vectors. This is done through awareness content giving detailed insight on them, visual presentations on attack identification, as well as video lectures and advisories on the same. Regular cumulative assessments are then taken to ensure improvements and initiate a better response against attacks.

Detailed analysis of simulation reports is provided to track results and monitor progress made via assessments and knowledge imparting sessions taken by employees.

In order to prevent employees from falling prey to phishing attacks, it is imperative for CISO and security officials to implement AI-driven cybersecurity solutions. By upgrading your workplace cybersecurity policy and implementing leading-edge cybersecurity solutions in your company, it is possible to ensure protection against polymorphic phishing attacks.

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