A study by the Ponemon institute found that most companies take about 6 months to detect data breaches within their network, according to ZDNet. While financial firms take 98 days on average to detect attacks, retailers generally take 197 days. During the months that cyber criminals go undetected, they are able to move about the network where they can log keystrokes, steal login credentials, learn company secrets, and possibly steal money.
And if you think you’re immune, think again. The same study found that 83% of financial companies and 44% of retailers experience over 50 attacks per month. Of course, the high rate of attacks isn’t limited to those industries. Healthcare, agriculture, and hospitality, among other industries, have been attacked at an increasing rate.
Cyber criminals usually leave a trace that can be detected by trained professionals. That’s why it is crucial to be on a Managed Service Agreement (MSA) with an IT company like catmandu. We offer 24/7 network monitoring so we can see oncoming attacks and stop them before you know it and before they cause downtime. While we are monitoring your network all day, every day we will look for the following signs of an attack:
Resources transferring data in strange ways
Sometimes during a cyber attack, certain processes will consume or send a lot more data than usual. This can be a sign of a data breach, especially if the data is being transferred outside the network because it could be in the process of being stolen. Criminals can use this data to steal company secrets, login credentials, bank account information, and money. Your Managed Service Provider will monitor the data flow of your network and see which systems are transferring data and where they are transferring it to.
Users attempting to access systems they don’t normally access
You might own a company with several (or many) employees and you might have quite a few devices connected to the network. Each of these devices will have normal systems that they connect to and certain data that they access. During an attack of a network, attackers will scan for systems that they can latch onto and connect to in order to access even more systems. At this point, their goal is to expand their reach within the network. A Managed Service Provider will monitor the systems that users are accessing and they will be alerted of unusual activity.
Network resources behaving differently than normal
Systems should pretty much do the same thing every day. This is because the people using the systems often follow similar day to day procedures. Employees come to work, boot up their computers, log in, and begin working. When these procedures get out of whack and users start accessing systems they don’t normally access, accessing many more systems than usual, and accessing systems remotely or from foreign countries, you could be under attack.
The type of attacks rise in threat level
You could consider receiving a spam or phishing email as a cyber attack. While these can lead to serious consequences if the receiver does not respond correctly, they are relatively minor. Other times attacks are completely halted by firewalls and antivirus. When attacks start becoming more sophisticated over time, you need to be on the alert. Chances are, you are being attacked in a more sinister way. Your Managed Service Provider will have knowledge of the types of attacks that usually attempt to penetrate your network and will more easily recognize large scale attacks.