What Are Examples of Proactive Security Measures that Have Paid Off?


    What Are Examples of Proactive Security Measures that Have Paid Off?

    In the dynamic field of cybersecurity, proactive measures are critical for protecting digital assets. We've gathered firsthand accounts from CEOs and Senior Technical Managers, detailing how their foresight in security measures reaped benefits. From implementing an effective alarm system to detecting compromised credentials through UEBA, here are six personal experiences that underscore the value of being steps ahead in cybersecurity.

    • Alarm System Thwarts Data Theft
    • Robust Backups Foil Ransomware
    • Pen-Testing Keeps Networks Secure
    • Filtering AI-Generated Fake Reviews
    • MFA System Blocks Phishing Attack
    • UEBA Detects Compromised Credentials

    Alarm System Thwarts Data Theft

    Proactive security can only be achieved by taking extraordinary precautions and constant monitoring. For example, a company has defined an alarm in its SIEM product to warn when transfers exceed a certain bandwidth outside working hours.

    At night, someone from IT noticed that there was an unusual data transfer, and when he connected to the network, he realized that some database dumps were being attempted to be transferred to a server on the external network.

    They immediately went to the office, physically disconnected the network, contacted us, and asked for their network to be examined. We performed a penetration test and realized that domain admin rights had been seized thanks to a vulnerability in Active Directory. We took our precautions, took this proactive approach, and brought different SIEM alarm suggestions to this new customer that he could define.

    Tamer Sahin
    Tamer SahinCEO, Ethical Hacker, Enfoa Cybersecurity LLC

    Robust Backups Foil Ransomware

    In 2020, our company was working with a freight-broker client. We had implemented a robust, multi-tiered backup protection system for their data as part of our proactive cybersecurity measures. One morning, we received a frantic call from the client informing us that their systems had been hit by ransomware. Despite the initial shock, our team sprang into action. Thanks to the backup and recovery solution we had put in place, we were able to swiftly restore their systems to a pre-attack state. The client was relieved beyond words. Not only were they spared the ordeal of negotiating with cybercriminals, but they also experienced minimal downtime, allowing them to continue their operations without significant disruption.

    This experience reinforced the importance of proactive security measures such as secure backup and recovery. It's not just about preparing for the worst-case scenario; it's about ensuring that businesses have the resilience to bounce back quickly and confidently from any cyber threat. Incidents like these serve as reminders of the critical role that effective cybersecurity practices play in safeguarding businesses against increasingly sophisticated threats.

    Steve Robinson
    Steve RobinsonSenior Technical Manager, Go Technology Group

    Pen-Testing Keeps Networks Secure

    The most important proactive security measure has always been, and will always be, pen-testing. Without putting a great mind to work trying to breach a network, every gap in security gets overlooked until it's too late. I do pen-testing every chance that I get, and that practice has kept several bad actors out of the systems I've been responsible for. However, driving home the importance of keeping employee credentials private may be even more important. Most breaches are from phishing.

    Bill Mann
    Bill MannPrivacy Expert at Cyber Insider, Cyber Insider

    Filtering AI-Generated Fake Reviews

    I used to work for a website where people could leave reviews. It was a super-competitive field, and I was really concerned about fake and potentially malicious reviews. I suggested we filter the photos people used, as well as their information. You see, people would generate fake personas via AI. You know, all those 'this thing does not exist' websites where you generate animals, places, or faces. The owner of the company thought I was a bit paranoid to monitor and filter for this kind of thing, I think. But it turns out I was right, and more than half the negative reviews the business was getting were from fake reviewers with automatically generated pictures. I felt vindicated.

    Sead Fadilpašić
    Sead FadilpašićCybersecurity Writer, Restore Privacy

    MFA System Blocks Phishing Attack

    In a previous role at a mid-sized tech company, I spearheaded the implementation of a multi-factor authentication (MFA) system across our entire network. Initially, there was resistance due to the perceived inconvenience. However, I emphasized the increasing risks of cyber threats and the potential impact of a data breach on our business continuity and reputation. Shortly after deployment, a hacker group attempted to infiltrate our network through a phishing campaign targeting team members' email accounts. The attackers obtained several passwords but were thwarted by the MFA system, which required a second form of verification that they could not bypass.

    This proactive measure prevented unauthorized access and protected sensitive data, avoiding what could have been a catastrophic breach. The incident highlighted the importance of staying ahead of potential threats through proactive security measures, reinforcing a culture of vigilance and the adoption of robust security protocols. The success of this implementation not only safeguarded our assets but also strengthened trust with our clients and stakeholders, proving the critical value of investing in and prioritizing cybersecurity initiatives.

    Handy Barot
    Handy BarotFounder & CEO, StorX Network

    UEBA Detects Compromised Credentials

    We take a proactive approach to cybersecurity by using User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to monitor typical user activity and detect any suspicious anomalies. UEBA is a powerful tool, and it can reduce the time to detect a security incident. This system recently helped us prevent a major data breach by identifying unusual access patterns from a low-activity account, which turned out to be compromised credentials. This experience highlights the value of UEBA in catching threats before they cause damage.

    Hodahel Moinzadeh
    Hodahel MoinzadehFounder & Senior Systems Administrator, SecureCPU Managed IT Services