Digital Asset Risk & Security: A Guide

The world is increasingly aware of the threat of cyberattacks and data breaches, but not every organization knows how to defend itself against them. System breaches large and small have more than doubled in the past five years, and attacks have become more sophisticated and complex.

Right from DDoS attacks to data loss, these can have devastating consequences for a brand. Not only does this lead to a loss of consumer confidence, but also the way the company handles an attack can also have a significant impact on its profits and reputation.

Although it may seem hopeless and sometimes even impossible, the good news is that it is not. Every organization can take some key steps to protect its digital landscape. To protect digital assets, it’s good to start with the basics, how to organize, and understand the implications of attacks and breaches.

An evolved digital security system has made digital asset management more transparent, accessible, and streamlined than ever. But protecting digital assets comes with a number of unique challenges. Today, we’ll take a bird’s-eye view of what the present state of the digital landscape is, the technologies that come with it, and the solutions.

Difference between digital assets and digital security

Digital assets can range anything from, a text document for a private key to something in a digital format, to a company’s database. In determining the priority of assets to be protected, organizations face both external and internal challenges. The idea that certain resources are of fundamental importance to a company must be at the heart of an effective strategy to protect against cyber threats.

Digital security, on the other hand, is  “a digital representation of property found security, often an investment contract, the ownership of which is verified and recorded on a distributed ledger. Digitial security subject to the traditional securities laws is called security token.

Let’s look at an example here. Digital security could be a share, a note, or even debt security. It could also be a fraction of interest for a security token concept, discussed by some commentators.

Risks involved with digital assets

In the past decade, industries from all around the world have seen their fair share of digital threats. As businesses and customers continue to expand digitally, they are vulnerable to the cyber security risks, with their security’s IT and infrastructure.

Common Vulnerabilities

  • Credential Stuffing

A type of cyber-attack that usually targets banks, for their client’s personal data, is called credential stuffing. These stolen credentials can then be used by the hackers to gain unauthorized access to their accounts, using automated large-scale login requests. 

It doesn’t really stop at that. This information can further be used  to bombard websites and servers to get access to critical IT infrastructure. Credential stuffing is different from brute force attack in ways. One being, that here the hacker often uses usernames and passwords that have, at some point or the other been used. This is an emerging problem and a serious threat, especially for banks, and is only getting worse with the increase in the number of breaches.

  • Phishing Attacks

A commonly known cyber-attack, phishing is used to steal user data, consisting of email login credentials and credit card info. In phishing, the attacker usually tricks the victim to open a malicious link, with leads to the installation of a a malware, following which the system freezes, as a part of the ransomware attack. We don’t need to tell you how devastating this can be for a business. 

  • Ransomware Attacks

Following the above discussion of a ransomware attack, you’ll have to pay a hefty fee to unfreeze your system. You cannot possibly access any of your data when your system is under attack. 

To give you an estimate of how serious this problem is, more than $75 billion per year in damages is cause solely by these attacks. Banks again being the most vulnerable targets, given they are the treasury for a big payoff. 

  • IoT Exploitation

Though most cyber-attack attempts pertain to a vulnerable software, it can just as easily be a vulnerable piece of hardware. From a “not so secure” piece of device, to an unsecure network connected to the device, can put an entire organization’s digital infrastructure at risk. The one thing that usually goes unattended is how easily can IoT devices be exploited, since they don’t require the same level of attendance as a computer.

As we continue to connect more devices to the internet, the potential for us to get attacked increases. Unsecured IoT devices, like home routers, printers, IP cameras, these are all examples of such added threat. A breach will always come from an unsecure device and make its way to a bigger system. Once they are in, they have full access to your entire network.

  • Cloud Storage Vulnerabilities

Although cloud storage has smoothly taken care of the unlimited data storge problems that companies might possess, it’s know to done more harm than good. Trusting a storage provider, often always come with its own set of risks. While it might not be the cloud provider’s intention, more often than not they fail to provide security for sensitive data.

Since most of these cloud storage solutions have to provide access to multiple people in any organization, they become an easy target for a malicious attack. Especially when it comes to public servers. To give you an estimate of how damaging this can be, imagine that over 1.4 billion records of data were lost to breaches in March 2017 alone, and a large portion of this were cloud servers.

  • Data Loss

Data loss can happen due to multiple reasons, like a data breach or no backup in case of malfunction of a disk drive. Simply put, it’s like losing keys to your house. Even though you might know where the data is, or it is still in existence, you cannot get a hold of it, because you can’t unlock it.

If a hacker can get access to you r cloud storage, it is easily wipeable. And there have been quite a few reports of that happening. Hence, it is always a good idea to divide and rule. Distribute your data across multiple zones and always, always have an off-site backup, wherever possible.

  • Compromised Credentials

We’ve already give you a picture of a compromised account, and to think it sounds as simple as a hijack. Anyone who’s gotten into an account has access to transactions being done via that account, can get their hands on sensitive information, can manipulate data, or can even redirect a client to a self-serving website. Or even worse, if there are other accounts linked to the one account, can you even imagine the nightmare?

While all this may sound deeply disturbing and overwhelming, it can all be prevented with a secure, and unique password. While we totally understand that remembering complex and a large number of passwords can be a challenge, there are trusted password managers that can help simplify things for you.

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