The key to mitigating – or eliminating – the impact of a cyberattack is to detect the attack in its infancy, swiftly stop it, and then quickly remove all malicious software from your network. This cannot be accomplished in a reactive, passive manner. With a passive approach, a cybercriminal will often penetrate your network undetected and remain in your network for weeks – if not months – before they’re exposed. By this time, the criminal has successfully deployed their malicious software and they’ve secured administrative access to your network. At this point, you’re screwed.
An example of a passive cyber defense is one in which you periodically perform a penetration test and occasionally run a vulnerability scan. A test or a scan at some point in the future – or even one that was performed at some point in the past – is just a snapshot in time. It provides valuable information that you can use to bolster your defenses but it’s not doing anything at all to stop an attack when the attack is happening.
Likewise, the implementation of antivirus software is also a passive cyber defense. Antivirus software contains a library of known viruses. When the antivirus software scans your PC, it looks for those viruses and when it finds a virus it will then help you to remove the virus from your PC. The problem is that the virus has already infected your PC and there’s no telling what kind of problems the virus has already caused.
The longer malicious software – and the cybercriminal – remain in your network the harder it is to get rid of this threat. This is why early detection and swift remediation of the threat is essential to mitigating the attack’s impact on your dealership.
Rather than sit back and wait for threats to take hold within your dealership you should opt to take a proactive stance against cybercrime. This means constantly looking for suspicious behavior and then hunting down the potential intruder. This “hunt” requires cyber threat hunting capabilities.
Cyber threat hunting is a proactive tactic that is part of an effective continuous threat monitoring solution. Cyber threat hunting is based on a process in which security analysts continuously scrutinize data based on their knowledge of the network and systems and then make assumptions about potential threats. Cyber threat hunting relies on machine learning and user and identity behavior analytics to sniff out suspicious behaviors. Once a risk – or potential risk – has been identified then an investigation is initiated and cybersecurity experts are dispatched.
Continuous threat monitoring – which takes place every day, all day – and the cyber threat hunting capabilities of the team of professionals manning your security operation center (SOC) are examples of a highly proactive cyber defense. It’s precisely this type of defense that will help your dealership to detect threats early and remediate them swiftly. Today, every dealership should have in place continuous threat monitoring. It’s crucial to preventing a catastrophe.